Seascale is a small seaside town just to the south of Sellafield. The town has gone through two rather different phases. The first began in the 1850s when the railway arrived, and turned Seascale into a seaside resort. Hotels were built and the town gained two private schools. This phase was ended first by the outbreak of war in 1939, which closed down the holiday trade, and then by the arrival of the Windscale atomic power plant. The village doubled in size and was used to house many of the workers at the new plant.
For some time the atomic plant, the schools and the tourists lived alongside each other, but this began to change after the Windscale fire of 1957, the worst Nuclear disaster in Britain. This reduced the appeal of Seascale as a resort, and as a location for schools. The schools closed soon afterwards. In 1983 Sellafield discharged radioactive waste into the sea, and ten miles of beaches had to be closed. This rather killed off what was left of the tourist trade, and the rather nice beach is now rather more empty than the nearby beach at St. Bees. The town now has a useful beachside shop, a good butchers, a hardware shop, chemists (and green grocers) and a good collection of hotels, as well as a large free car park.
Directions: Seascale can be reached along the B 5344 which heads west from Gosforth
Grid Reference: NY 036 009