Workington is an ancient market and industrial town on the banks of the River Derwent and is a perfect base from which to explore the West Coast and Lake District. Workington has a historical and lively town centre with some great shopping, cinemas and theatres. The town also has a fine collection of historic churches.
A new exhibition at Workington has recently been launched called ‘The Rails Which Circled the World’. It provides a fascinating insight into Workington’s local history and industrial heritage, and serves as a reminder of the world-leading skills and dedication of the thousands of local people who worked in the steel, coal, iron, shipping and rail industries. Giant-sized boards on Workington’s North platform tell a picturesque story throughout the years, essentially creating an ‘outdoor museum’ for all to learn from and enjoy. A short film is also screened in the waiting rooms on both platforms.
Parts of the town on the north bank date back to Roman times when forts protected the coast from raiders coming from modern day Ireland and Scotland. Workington Hall, built in 1379, is steeped in history but currently closed to the public although the grounds of the Hall and surrounding Curwen Park are available for the public to visit. In 1568, the Hall was a refuge for Mary Queen of Scots during her flight from Scotland before her imprisonment and final execution.
The Helena Thompson Museum is home to a wide variety of interests and activities, including children’s days, exhibitions and concerts. See displays of pottery, silver, glass, and furniture dating from Georgian times and learn more about the social and industrial history of Workington.
Workington makes a great base for cyclists. The Sea to Sea Cycle Route is the flagship of Sustrans long distance routes. It is a wonderful route through the Northern Lake District and over the Pennines, beginning at Workington or Whitehaven and finishing in Sunderland or Tynemouth on the east coast.
Close to the railway station is a harbour area which has recently been rejuvenated and offers a pleasant stroll along the quayside.
The bus station is 10-15 minute walk from the station with buses to Cockermouth and to Keswick. Changes can be made at Keswick for Borrowdale and Buttermere. Check timetables carefully as some buses do not run throughout the year. For timetables, click here.