Barrow-in-Furness, England, United Kingdom

Barrow-in-Furness is a town in Cumbria in Northwest England, at the end of a peninsula on the Irish Sea. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Lakes District,’ it was at one time the largest iron- and steelworks in the world, dubbed the ‘English Chicago.’  It was and remains an important shipbuilding center, currently manufacturing oil tankers and nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Navy. Although the steel industry is much reduced, today this stretch of coastline is called the ‘Energy Coast,’ with both natural gas production and the world’s largest concentration of wind-powered turbines arrayed offshore. Learn about the town’s history at the Dock Museum, built in an old graving dock in the town’s reborn waterfront district.  The medieval ruins of Furness Abbey and Piel Castle recall earlier periods. Walney Island, curving protectively just across a bridge offshore, contains two quite famous nature reserves which are Areas of Special Scientific Interest.