An up-and-coming city with down-to-earth people is a hidden gem on the Cumbrian coast

Cumbria is perhaps best known for its stunning Lake District views, but if you step away from the famous Windermere and Keswick honeypots, you’ll find stunning ocean views, a rich industrial past, and independent shops along the county’s scenic shores. .

Maryport is one of those cities on the Solway Coast that rarely gets the credit it deserves. Overshadowed by the more tourist-driven neighbors of Silloth, Allonby and St Bees, it’s rare to see Maryport teeming with tourists and day trippers.

But I’m ready to put money into the fact that in the coming years, this will change. Despite its rich Roman heritage, Maryport is perhaps more identified with its industrial past, with its thriving 19th-century shipbuilding and tons of coal shipped from the town along the Maryport to Carlisle railroad.


In recent years, many regeneration projects have made their way to Maryport, including the government’s Future High Streets Fund. Some of the projects in the pipeline include turning one of the city’s most prominent landmarks – the charming Christ Church – into a new home for the Maritime Museum; turning the city’s former cinema into an arts space and revamping shop fronts, just to name a few.

There’s no doubt that Maryport will look very different in the years to come, but the transformation has already begun. Many new businesses, cafes and restaurants have joined other independent shops and restaurants that line Maryport’s winding streets.

Senhouse Street, Maryport, is filled with independent businesses(Image: Federica Bedendo)

Among the city’s relatively new businesses is Portobello Wood Fired, a small bistro offering wood-fired pizza as well as a selection of mezze. They also operate from converted horse trailers in the city harbor on certain nights.

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