Whitehaven is a town and port on the west coast of Cumbria, near the Lake District National Park in England. Historically in Cumberland, it is the administrative seat of the Borough of Copeland, and has a town council for the parish of Whitehaven.
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.
Whitehaven was the site of a major chemical industry after World War II, but both that and the coal industry have disappeared, and today the major industry is the nearby Sellafield nuclear complex, which is the largest local employer of labour and has a significant administrative base in the town. Whitehaven includes a number of former villages, estates and suburbs, such as Mirehouse, Woodhouse, Kells and Hensingham, and is served by the Cumbrian coast railway line and the A595 road.
Whitehaven has a population of over 23,986 people.