Maryport is a coastal town in the north west of Cumbria.  It was first established by the Romans, who used it as a port to service the coastal defenses south of Hadrian’s Wall, however the modern history of Maryport started with Humphrey Senhouse, a local landowner.  He established the present town in 1749, naming it after his wife.  The town became an important port for exporting coal from the Cumbrian coal fields and also developed an iron industry, however both industries suffered after the development of nearby Workington in the 1920s and gradually the coal and iron industries closed down and the port closed to cargo ships. The dock area has been extensively re-developed as a marina, and the area around the docks and lighthouse are the main attractions for the photographer.  As the town faces west, it is a good location for sunset pictures.

Location and Parking

Post Code: CA15 8BD

Maryport lies on the North-West Cumbrian coast, 8 miles from Cockermouth along the A594.  Once in Maryport, head down to the docks area, which is reached after crossing a small bridge over the River Ellen.  There is a Pay and Display car park in front of the Lakes Aquarium (Postcode CA15 8AE), however it is better to turn left immediately after crossing the bridge, drive down Irish Street before turning right onto Salmoor Way.  It is then possible to park for free  either by turning right again to park beside Elizabeth Dock, or continue along Salmoor Way, past the lighthouse to the beach, where there is space to park.

Maryport Lighthouse

Maryport Lighthouse was constructed in 1846, and is significant as it is the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the UK.  It is no longer operational, as it was replaced in 1996 by a new beacon at the end of the extended pier.

Maryport Lighthouse

Maryport Lighthouse

Maryport Pier

The pier at Maryport was extended in 1847 and a new lighthouse beacon added in 1996.  It is a simple concrete pier, but gives the opportunity for a symmetrical composition.

Maryport Beach

Just past the lighthouse, Maryport has a shingle beach looking across the Solway Firth towards Dumfries.  It is not particularly attractive, but as it faces west, it makes a good location for sunsets and the extended pier and new lighthouse beacon can be brought into the composition.  The pier is often used by fishermen, so they can also form part of the picture.

Strolling on Maryport Beach

Sunset at Maryport Beach and Pier

Fishermen on Maryport Pier

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