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Trip Report Retirement Planning Trip: Whitehaven and surrounds

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The one thing I am enjoying about the thought of retirement is the planning. Its been a big excuse for additional trips to see where on the coast I want to settle with my wife. So far we have visited Kirkcudbright, Bootle, and now Whitehaven and district. Other places on our ‘must look at’ list are the Wirral, Silverdale and surrounds, and Anglesey – we may stretch it to include Skegness and the Lincolnshire coast.
We loved Kircudbright but its not the easiest place to get to and with grandchildren recently on the scene this is putting us off. Bootle which we liked the first time we saw somehow didn’t inspire us second time round, and so to Whitehaven.

On paper, this is an ideal place: its on the coast and adjacent the Lake District (we love walking).

We stayed two nights at the beautiful Hunday Manor Hotel. Set in its own lovely grounds it looks like something out of the ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’. The décor is sumptuous and no expense has been spared in making it a romantic place to stay. The rooms are wonderful and spacious and the bathroom is well equipped and consists of shower and bath.
Hunday is nearer Workington than Whitehaven, our target place which we heard is a nice place to live. The meals were very much okay, my wife enjoyed the meals more than me The breakfasts are fantastic although I had smoked finnan haddock on the first morning which was rather on the dry side and not helped by the coffee which was cold (I did complain in person about this). The breakfast on the second morning was faultless.
The bar is well stocked with local bottled ales. The staff are extremely friendly and you will find absolutely no fault here. Its definitely a place I would be glad to return to.
The hotel is within walking distance of Oilys a restaurant catering for the people of Workington and surrounds out to celebrate a special occasion. No frills but they serve local fresh product cooked to perfection and it has a down to earth feel – what you see is what you get, and glad you are to get it.
So to Whitehaven, I’m afraid it brought out the snob in me and although it has a quite lovely harbour the rest of the place depressed me and it has fallen right off the "possible retirement list". Workington appeared even worse and we didn’t bother to stop there after driving through the town. Maryport was equally depressing – we went in a pub in the town centre and after the initial eyeball from the customers the pub across the road was recommended by the landlady as they served real ale there. That’s the first time I’ve been thrown out of a pub.
Now Cockermouth is a different story. Had this been on the coast, we would retire there tomorrow. Full of individual shops, lots of arts and crafts and the most friendly people. It has a great choice of Cafes and restaurants – I can’t praise the place enough, It has its own brewery (Jennings) and pubs galore ….. heaven.

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