This attractive market town at the confluence of the River Cocker and the River Derwent has a broad selection of small speciality shops, bakeries, family butchers, restaurants and cafes. Aldi, Sainsburys and Co-op each have stores in town. Jennings Brewery offers daily tours and many of their award-winning ales are found on tap in the town's pubs. The Kirkgate Centre is Cockermouth's main arts venue with an exhibition space and theatre.


Writer and bard William Wordsworth lived in the town for a time and the large Georgian house in the Main Street, where he and his sister Dorothy were born, is now in the care of the National Trust. Another famous local was Fletcher Christian who led the mutiny on 'The Bounty'. He was born a mile away at Eaglesfield in 1764 and attended the same school as Wordsworth. John Dalton, born in Eaglesfield in 1766, was the originator of atomic theory.

Cockermouth Castle dates from the 12th century and was built as a defence against Scottish incursions. It is believed to have been built with stone sourced from the Roman fort of Deventio at nearby Papcastle. Much of its structure was destroyed by Robert the Bruce in 1315 and it was besieged again in 1648 during the Civil War when it held out for Parliament against King Charles I. This privately owned castle opens its doors for public tours during the Cockermouth Festival in July.


The Cockermouth and District Civic Trust's self-guided historical walk can be followed with the aid of the Town Trail leaflet available from Tourist Information. Small cast-iron plaques, created by the children of Cockermouth School, guide you along the trail.  Also worth a mention is Cockermouth's biennial Georgian Fair, held every other year in May.