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Criffel Street, Silloth.jpg
Criffel Street, Silloth
Grid reference: NY113536
Location: 54°52’8"N, 3°22’52"W
Population: 2,932  (2001)
Post town: Wigton
Postcode: CA7
Dialling code: 016973
Local Government
Council: Allerdale

Silloth (sometimes known as Silloth-on-Solway) is a port town in Cumberland. It sits on the shoreline of the Solway Firth, 22 miles west of Carlisle. It had a population of 2,932 at te 2001 census.

Silloth is one of the finest examples of a Victorian seaside resort in the Middle Shires. Silloth developed in the 1860s around the terminus of a railway from Carlisle which had begun construction in 1855. For the first time, workers from the factories of Carlisle were presented with affordable access to the seaside and the town flourished as a destination for day trippers. The town reached the peak of its popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Recent years have seen a great deal of development with many of the sea facing properties having received facelifts. The main central attraction is a large expansive green that is utilised throughout the year to host various events and activities.

In June 2012, it became clear that the Silloth (specifically the Solway Plain between Silloth, Abbeytown and Westnewton) has been identified as a potential site for a Geological Disposal Facility for the UK's high level nuclear waste. Two other sites have also been identified - Eskdale and the Ennerdale - both of these are within the Lake District National Park. The Solway Plain was not named by the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership, rather they referred to the 'Low permeability sedimentary rocks associated with the Mercia Mudstone Group (MMG)'.


Silloth's largest church is Christ Church, which is situated on Criffel Street and was completed in 1870. Several other churches and chapels of various denominations are also located within the town or its outskirts.


Port of Silloth

One of the busiest ports in Cumberland, Silloth is owned and operated by Associated British Ports. The main cargoes are wheat, fertiliser, molasses, forest products and general cargo.[1]

Carrs Flour Mill

An example of a Victorian flour mill, the building was constructed adjacent to the New Dock in 1887. Carr's flour mill is an operating mill which supplies flour to a number of food manufacturers such as United Biscuits,[2] Warburton's Bread and several other leading bakeries and confectioners.


Farming of livestock, mainly sheep, beef and dairy cattle, takes up most of the surrounding landscape.


Tourism is a major economic player in Silloth, with dozens of large and small static and touring caravan parks located within a ten-mile radius of the town centre. This is responsible for the tremendous growth in the population on most days throughout the summer months. Although a couple of these parks are somewhat self-contained they still rely heavily on the town for support and infrastructure such as post office, doctor's surgery, chemist, newsagent's, mini supermarkets, hardware, spares and consumables, cafes, chip shops, sandwich bars and pubs.

The town has a small brewery which produces traditional ales for the guest beer market. It recreates traditional ales brewed to the original recipes. A range of 20 beers are produced; some are available in the Albion and Silloth Social Club.

Many small businesses can also be found located on the former Second World War airfield and associated buildings.

Silloth also plays host to several small annual events held on the town green. These include a beer festival [3] held in September, its steam rally, kite and food festivals. By far the town's largest annual event is Solfest.[4] The Solway Music Festival (Solfest) is Cumberland's biggest four day live music festival with a maximum attendance in 2008. Situated just outside the town, Solfest has been running since 2004 and now regularly attracts crowds of over 10,000 every August bank holiday weekend, with its eclectic mix of music, site art and cabaret performers and the friendly atmosphere which resulted in it rocketing the town firmly back into national awareness by winning the "Best Family Friendly Festival" award in the 2007 UK Festival Awards (the only festival from the county ever to win an award). Solfest[5] has also been credited by the local tourist board for introducing a younger generation of tourists to Silloth and in doing so has greatly boosted the future of tourism in the town. Amenities include a championship golf course ranked amongst the country's top fifty courses,[6] several hotels and bed and breakfasts, public houses, tea rooms and eateries.

Silloth also prides itself in its coastline along the Solway Firth which has been described in one of the country's leading sea fishing publications, Total Sea Angling, as having the best flatfish fishing coastline in the country, with over 20 miles of beach and promenade to choose from. Bait and equipment are also available locally. Wind and kite surfing are also popular along the coast at Allonby, 8 miles from Silloth town centre.

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