You should allow 45-60 minutes for the tour with the quiz questions. Parents/guardians may need to adapt the questions according to the children’s ages-the answers are provided at the end -just in case of dispute!
Start at the west end of Main Street outside of Wordsworth House
(Q1. Name a brother and sister who were born here).
With the House behind you, turn left and walk ahead. After a few metres you pass Bridge Street (this provides access to the other side of the River Derwent and the Memorial Gardens with its children’s play area).
(Q2. Where will you find lots of books?).
Proceed along Main Street with its wide range of shops, cafes, pubs and hotels. Note the interesting side alleys- on either side of the street -with more retail outlets. The Mayo Statue (honouring a former Cockermouth MP who became Viceroy of India) stands in the centre of the road.
(Q3. A gentleman stands tall in the middle of the street with his best foot forward. Which foot is it?).
Just beyond the pedestrian crossing, you come to High Sand Lane on your left. Over to the right you will see the entrance to Station Street, the other major shopping area in the town.
(Q4. What colour is the cow found near here?).
Walk down High Sand Lane to the junction with Waterloo Street.
(Q5. What suggests a buzz along Waterloo Street?).
Now cross the footbridge over the River Cocker- noting where the mouth of the Cocker meets the River Derwent. Continue along Brewery Lane and past Jennings Brewery (with shop and tour).
(Q6. In what year did this brewery begin?).
Soon you arrive at a main road. On your left is Cockermouth Castle (now a private residence) and ahead a sign points to Castlegate House (an art gallery with an interesting garden).
(Q7. What fruity sounding restaurant can you see?).
Now turn right and go down Castlegate to Market Place. There are further retail outlets here including Banks, a fascinating ironmongers.
(Q8. What’s the name of the alley that leads down the side of the ironmongers?).
Walk about 25 metres beyond Banks to arrive at the historic Percy House-now an art gallery and craft shop. Turn left and take great care to cross over the busy road to Fellside Sports. Now turn left and follow the pavement as it bears left with the cycle shop on your right. (Note that the Tourist Information Centre is at the end of Market Street, off on your right hand-side). However, continue along Market Place to Kirkgate on the right.
Walk up Kirkgate crossing the bridge over the waters of the Bitter Beck before you pass, on your left, the Kirkgate Centre (art and entertainment centre) and The Bitter End Pub and Brewery (much favoured by real ale enthusiasts), and on your right, All Saints Church (Cockermouth’s Parish Church).
(Q9. Who isn’t allowed into the churchyard?).
Climb about half-way up Kirkgate to reach Cocker Lane. Turn right, walk along the lane and down the steep bank to the footbridge.
(Q10. What’s the trail number you’ll find around here?).
Cross the footbridge over the River Cocker and proceed ahead along the terraced street ( called South Street).
(Q11. What’s the bird that has a studio on this street?).
Proceed ahead to the crossroads. To your right, Station Street, with its shops, leads back to Main Street. However to complete your brief tour, turn left where you will find yourself almost immediately outside of Mitchells Furniture Hall (venue for furniture and general auctions (Thursdays) as well as regular fine art sales). Turn right and cross the road at the pedestrian lights. Now turn left.and walk up the hill.
(Q12. Why will the Grand Theatre now be visited by lots of animals?).
Continue climbing, passing, on your left, the war memorial, the Fire Station, and next to it the Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team centre.
(Q13. Who is on the top of the war memorial?).
At the traffic lights turn right to enter a small seating area that provides good views over the town and beyond.
(Q14. What do you think is the name of the building on the right with the tall spire?).
After enjoying the view, turn right down the hill (this is Gallowbarrow) to pass Fairfield School, noting the references to Board School and Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
(Q15. In what year, a long time ago, was one of the classrooms enlarged?).
Continue your descent. Just before you reach Wordsworth House look over to your left and you will see a bronze sculpture of a man’s head.
(Q16. Can you guess the name of this famous local man?).
You are now at the end of your brief tour and you deserve to have some refreshments. Well done!
1.William and Dorothy Wordsworth; 2.Cockermouth Library; 3. Right foot; 4.Brown (Cow); 5. Beehive- white model above third door on right; 6. 1828; 7. Quince and Medlar (three winner of the national Vegetarian Restaurant of the Year Award); 8. Banks Court; 9.Dogs; 10. 5; 11. Skylark; 12. The Theatre now houses a local Vets (and a lighting centre); 13. The Angel (of Victory); 14. All Saints Church; 15.1887; 16. William Wordsworth
For further walks, detailed and fascinating historical information see: Cockermouth Walks around the Town by J. B. Bradbury updated and published by The Civic Trust, 2003; also Cockermouth Town Trail prepared by Cockermouth & District Civic Trust available from The New Bookshop (42-44, Main Street) and The Tourist Information Centre.
Walk designed by Peter Donaghy. June 2004.