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The attractive small town and market centre of COCKERMOUTH is one of several stations on the Wordsworth trail. The Wordsworth House on Main Street (Easter– Oct Mon– Sat 11am–4.30pm; £4.90; www.nationaltrust.org.uk) is where William and Dorothy were born and spent their first few years. The building is presented as a functioning eighteenth-century home – with a costumed cook willing to share recipes in the kitchen and a clerk completing the ledger with quill and ink. Afterwards, follow your nose and you're likely to stumble upon Jennings Brewery, on Brewery Lane near the river. At Cumbria's best-known beer-maker, the hour-and-a-half-long tour (£4.95; booking advisable; Tel:0845/129 7190; Web: www.jenningsbrewery.co.uk ) culminates in a real-ale tasting session.
There's stylish accommodation in town at Six Castlegate, 6 Castlegate (Tel:01900/826749, Web: www.sixcastlegate.co.uk ; Price: 61-70), or out of town (two miles southeast) at the Old Homestead at Byresteads Farm, Hundrith Hill Rd, off the B5292 (Tel:01900/822223, Web: www.byresteads.co.uk ; Price: 61-70), a beautifully restored seventeenth-century farmhouse offering quality B&B. Meriendacafé, 7A Station St (Tel:01900/822790, Web: www.merienda.co.uk ; daytime only, though open Fri night for tapas and music), is the best place for breakfasts, sandwiches and light meals. Vegetarians meanwhile come from far and wide for the fine-dining experience that is the Quince and Medlar, 13 Castlegate (Tel:01900/823579, Web: www.quinceandmedlar.co.uk ; dinner only, closed Sun & Mon), while the top pub is The Bitter End on Kirkgate, housing Cumbria's smallest brewery.