Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Beautiful Britain - Maryport, Cumbria

Hi there everyone

We had soooooo much rain here last week. It's hard to believe that just a week or so ago we were on the North West coast with clear blue skies and warm sunshine.

After a glorious weekend it was Monday morning and we couldn't quite believe it but the weather was still on our side. It was just lovely, clear blue sky and bright sunshine ... the seaside it was.

We had both been really looking forward to visiting Maryport. We’d had a sneaky look on Google street view and it looked really pretty and, anyway, it was by the sea, what’s not to like.

We headed out from Sale Fell, past newborn Spring lambs, wrapped up to keep warm ...
... past Bassenthwaite village for the drive to the coast, which took about 30 minutes.
First stop was the harbour area, where we parked up by the aquarium, as we really wanted to see the lighthouse.
The tide was out and I’m sure it would definitely be worth another visit when it’s in as everything would look completely different.

It was a surprisingly big harbour area with several separate dock areas, for what we thought would be a fairly small village and we spent a good while exploring. As the pedestrian footbridge wasn't currently in operation we did end up taking the car right round to the far side of the harbour to get a closer look at the lighthouse ...
From the lighthouse there were some great views to be had looking back across the harbour ...
The pretty Victorian octagonal cast iron lighthouse, thought to be the first of its construction type built in England and possibly one of the world's oldest cast iron lighthouses, dates back to 1846. It is now disused and its function was taken over by a concrete tower sited at the end of the pier.

We couldn't resist a walk out to the 'new' lighthouse ...
The views from the end of the pier were definitely worth the wander. With the coast of the Solway Firth to the North ...
... the not quite so picturesque, but very atmospheric, Whitehaven to the South ...
... and Maryport back inland ...
It was then time to head back towards town where we visited the Harbourside Cafe for lunch.

Refreshed and ready to explore some more we drove out along the promenade heading North where we parked up and walked a bit further along the coast path for some incredible views looking back towards the lighthouse ...
 ... and across the Solway Firth to the Scottish coast.
There was then just one last part of the village that we wanted to explore and we headed up to the Roman Fort on the cliff top.
Although Hadrien's Wall ended at Bowness-on-Solway, the system of forts, fortlets and towers was continued down the Cumbrian coast for about 25 miles and this is the fort that lay at Maryport.

We weren't planning on exploring the fort today, it was closed anyway, but we did have a walk along the path for yet more amazing views ...
... and some of the locals ...
By now we were needing to head for home so just had a very quick drive through the town centre before heading off.

We'd had a lovely day. We both had fallen in love with Maryport and were so surprised by how beautiful a spot it was and how much there was to see there. It was definitely somewhere we hoped to visit again before the end of our holiday.

I also decided that, once back home, I needed to find a way of somehow capturing the image of the lighthouse, maybe this could be my first mosaic project ... now wouldn't that be a thing 😀

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