WHITEHAVEN is one of Cumbria's most popular towns, and it is a feature of the coast-to-coast route which means many people visit the town each year.

Whitehaven holds lots of history. It was a fishing village until the 17th century, the old quay at the Harbour dates from the 1630s, built by Sir Christopher Lowther after he purchased the estate and decided to use Whitehaven as a port for exporting coal.

In 1778, during the American War of Independence John Paul Jones led a naval raid upon our town. Some theorists state this was the last invasion of England. The town has links to many distinguished people including Jonathan Swift, George Washington, Mildred Gale and William Wordsworth.

Many of Whitehaven's riches lay in the coal mining industry also. 

However, one charming online reviewer believes that Whitehaven is a "dump".

The complaint about the town mentions the number of boarded up shops, as well as dirty pavements with overflowing bins.

'Some of the locals look like they need a good wash'

Writing on TripAdvisor, a user called Barry wrote about his day visit to Whitehaven saying: "A bit of a dump to be honest, boarded up shops dirty pavements with bins over flowing. Some of the locals look like they need a good wash"

Another user wrote: "We visited here last night for the sunset, and was shocked how much litter was everywhere and how much sewerage was in the harbour, and generally in a dilapidated state... this area has a lot of potential but the run down look of the town and sea front lets the area down"

'How WRONG could I be!'

However, not all users on the site had complaints about the town. One person said: "I will admit that prior to visiting Whitehaven I did not have great expectations of finding it an interesting place - how WRONG could I be!

"The town has been transformed by the local authority and it should be commended! The quay side and harbour, together with the marina, is very interesting and it's history and places of interest are spelt out on information boards.

"There are very interesting sculptures and monuments with artistic canopies along the quays called Lime Tongue and Sugar Tongue.

"There is also a local museum located in the harbour Beacon as well as The Jonathan Swift House (think Gulliver's Travels) which, some say, was visited by the author in his early years."