Whitehaven is a town and port on the west coast of Cumbria, near the Lake District National Park in England. Historically in Cumberland, it lies by road 38 miles south-west of Carlisle and 45 miles to the north of Barrow-in-Furness. It is the administrative seat of the Borough of Copeland, and has a town council for the parish of Whitehaven. The population of the town was 23,986 at the 2011 census.
The town's growth was largely due to the exploitation of the extensive coal measures by the Lowther family, driving a growing export of coal through the harbour from the 17th century onwards. It was also a major port for trading with the American colonies, and was, after London, the second busiest port of England by tonnage from 1750 to 1772. This prosperity led to the creation of a Georgian planned town in the 18th century which has left an architectural legacy of over 170 listed buildings. Whitehaven has been designated a "gem town" by the Council for British Archaeology due to the historic quality of the town environment.