Dovenby is on the A594 road and is 2 miles northwest of the town of Cockermouth. The most attractive part of the village is off the main road down a quiet road which has the advantage of not being a through road.
Dovenby Hall is an imposing Grade II listed building with a varied history. It has served as a private residence (1154 - 1930), a mental institution (1930–1997), and, most recently, as the headquarters for M-Sport - Ford Motor Company's World Rally Championship team.
There is information on the history of Dovenby Hall available on the M Sport website here
On the main A594 road is a pub, The Dovenby Ship, which serves meals and has accommodation.
A variety of accommodation is available in Cockermouth.
Historically the house and estate were owned and occupied by the Ballantyne Dykes family. It is said that a ghost named the Grey Lady still occupies the premises. She is said to be a girl who many years ago lived at the hall and wished to marry someone who was considered unsuitable. She committed suicide when this was forbidden, and still appears to haunt the place.
The house and estate were sold by Colonel Hubert Trechville Ballantyne Dykes in 1928, and became a home for the mentally handicapped, which closed in 1997. The estate was bought by Malcolm Wilson, of rally sport fame, and converted into premises for M-Sport.
Dovenby village had a post office and shop run by Mr and Mrs Benn which closed some time ago. There was also a blacksmith's shop last run by Mr Jonty Carr.
As in the other villages there has been considerable new house building in in the village during the last few decades.
More information on the history of Dovenby Hall is available on the M-Sport websitehere
Budget cuts have led to bus services being largely withdrawn in the whole area. Some published timetables cannot be relied on. More information is available here