With over 250 listed buildings, Whitehaven's rich heritage is never far from view. This picturesque Georgian town was once the third-biggest port in the country and while those days are long gone, clear reminders remain. Learn all about the history of the harbour and shipbuilding in the area at the Beacon museum, while the waterfront underwent a successful regeneration over a decade ago and now plays host to a popular bi-annual Maritime Festival, which usually takes place at the end of June. The pieces of art and sculptures down by the harbour are well worth a look and if you're in luck there may just be a tall ship in port for you to marvel at. It has been claimed by some historians that the street layout in Whitehaven proved the inspiration behind New York's grid system, although any other similarities between the two places admittedly begin and end there. What the town does have, though, is a museum dedicated to the rum trade as the spirit used to be imported and exported from the harbour. Cottages in Whitehaven give you the time and space to explore properly and the freedom to see the likes of splendid gardens at St Nicholas' Church and the 18th century battery overlooking the harbour whenever you like. For any keen cyclists, Whitehaven is also the starting point of the popular 140-mile long C2C Cycle Route, which finishes in Sunderland.
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