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  • Silloth-on-Solway
Criffel Street, Silloth.jpg
Criffel Street, Silloth
Population 2,906 (2011)
OS grid reference NY113536
Civil parish
  • Silloth on Solway
  • Allerdale
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WIGTON
Postcode district CA7
Dialling code 016973
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Workington
List of places
CumbriaCoordinates: 54°52′08″N 3°22′52″W / 54.869°N 3.381°W / 54.869; -3.381

Silloth (sometimes known as Silloth-on-Solway) is a port town and civil parish in Cumbria, England. It sits on the shoreline of the Solway Firth, 22 miles (35 km) west of Carlisle. The town of Maryport lies 12 miles (19 km) miles to the south, down the B5300 coast road which also passes through the villages of Blitterlees, Beckfoot, Mawbray, and Allonby. Wigton is twelve miles to the east, along the B5302 road, which also passes through the village of Abbeytown, 5.5 miles (8.9 km) miles to the south-east. Silloth has a population of 2,932, reducing slightly to 2,906 at the 2011 Census.

Historically a part of Cumberland, the town is one of the finest examples of a Victorian seaside resort in the North of England. Silloth developed in the 1860s onwards around the terminus of the railway from Carlisle and associated docks which had begun construction in 1855 to replace Port Carlisle as the deep-water port for Carlisle.

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.


'Silloth' means "'sea barn(s)', v. 'sǣ hlaða'." (The first word is Old English, the second is Old Norse).


Silloth has long been a popular tourist destination.

Tourism is a major economic player in Silloth, with dozens of large and small static and touring caravan parks located within a ten-mile (16 km) 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. Silloth also plays host to several small annual events held on the town green. These include a beer festival held in September, its steam rally, kite and food festivals.

By far the area's largest annual event is Solfest. The Solway Music Festival (Solfest) is Cumbria's biggest four-day live music festival with a maximum attendance in 2008. Located at Tarns, approximately five miles away, 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 Cumbrian festival ever to win an award). Solfest has also been credited by Cumbria 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, several hotels and bed and breakfasts, public houses, tea rooms and eateries. There is a local 'free' newspaper published monthly entitled 'The Solway Buzz' - distributed to households in the area by a team of volunteers - which covers news and events in Silloth and the surrounding area.

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 (32 km) 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 (13 km) from Silloth town centre.

Airfield Project

In 2014, Silloth Tourism Action Group (STAG) received a grant of £9,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to help fund research into both the history of Silloth Airfield and community memories from the war. The airfield opened in June 1939, just before the start of the Second World War, and closed on 31 December 1960. Originally designed to be used by RAF Maintenance Command, 22MU, the airfield was handed over to Coastal Command during November 1939. No 1 Operational Training Unit (OTU) was then responsible for training pilots and crews from the UK and Allied Countries. Therefore, the aerodrome had twin responsibilities, the maintenance and repair of planes for use in the war effort and the training of crews from allied countries to fly planes and help win the war. The HLF project ended in April 2015 with a celebratory evening and the launch of a short documentary film which traced the development of the airfield and its role during the War Years.

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