Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Walk, Cumbria

by Veronica

When the Cockermouth to Penrith Railway line closed, the flat terrain provided a perfect walk about 7 miles there and back through lovely scenery.

In 1861, The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway, built a railway line connecting the town of Cockermouth on the West Coast of England with Penrith over 30 miles eastwards. There were several stops along the way including Keswick, Low Briery Bobbin Mill, and Threlkeld. When the railway closed down between 1966 and 1972, the land lay unused but was later turned into a 3.5 mile nature walk. Because it is a train line it is mainly very flat and so provides a popular and accessible walk for all.

One of the old railway bridges now a footpath

Old railway bridge over the River Greta
Old railway bridge over the River Greta

Cockermouth, Keswick, Threlkeld, Penrith

The start of Keswick to Threlkeld Walk

It is a good idea to use the land as a walk. It is also very poignant for us a family. Our parents gave us our love of the Lake District especially Keswick and my parents would have exited this very station door when they visited in autumn 1949 on a very delayed honeymoon after World War 2, which finished in 1945. I could visualise them walking out of this station that day nearly 70 years ago, imagine Dad carrying the suitcase and Mum strolling alongside. 

The walk starts at the back of the station on the platform. The station building is now owned by a hotel next door. 

 

The old Victorian station building at Keswick

Keswick station
Keswick station

The start of the walk is very straight and very flat as you would imagine a railway line to be. The trees hang in an avenue overhead. What a lovey railway journey this would be, many years ago. 

old lights along the way
old lights along the way
the line is very straight here
the line is very straight here

Soon though, the track has been replaced by a board walk as it must have become unsuitable and unsafe. I was interested to see it called a board walk as this is a very old word that is rarely used in England now. 

The boardwalk is high over a very steep drop to the River Greta below. 

a new boardwalk replaces part of the line on a sharp bend
a new boardwalk replaces part of the line on a sharp bend

Low Briery Bobbin Mill

I was delighted to find that this platform is still there after all this time. If anyone ever bought a bobbin of anything a hundred years ago, it probably came from here. The railway stop was just for the workers. 

 

Low Briery platform
Low Briery platform

Oh dear... oh no ....

We couldn't get much further.One of the bridges was damaged in the floods of 2015 and isn't yet fully repaired. We had to stop so in a change of plan we went down a path and explored the woods instead.

 

The Greta from the bridge
The Greta from the bridge

Brandlesholme Woods are very peaceful but the paths are a bit narrow and the drop down to the river is a bit steep at times. 

the woods
the woods
Through the woods
Through the woods

The sound of water is always close in The Lake District of course but I could not resits taking this photo of water gently dripping from stones. 

water dripping from the stones
water dripping from the stones

Victorian engineering

This though was one of my favourite things. Victorian engineering. On the top the path is like a boardwalk and we have no idea what is underneath. To an enquiring mind however, underneath is this railway bridge structure, a clear indication of its origins. How marvellous is this. I climbed down the bankside to check it out. 

Similarly Low Briery railway bridge . Excellent and still standing all these years later. How is that for quality work? 

Victorian engineering

railway bridge is easy to see.
railway bridge is easy to see.
Low Briery railway bridge
Low Briery railway bridge

Walk Over

We had walked for two hours so decided to head back along the same route. 

What a marvellous way to spend a morning and what a great use for a disused railway line. It is just part of the original railway line but I think it is the best part. 

There are several disused railway lines which have been turned into nature walks and trails. 

Updated: 05/30/2018, Veronica
 
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Veronica on 07/30/2018

and yes I am a crab

Veronica on 07/30/2018

yes one of them is just now this minute ha !

DerdriuMarriner on 07/30/2018

Veronica, Belated happy birthday! Does that mean that you're an astrological crab -- ;-D -- or lion? Will I soon see any of the trio of wonderful gifts photo'ed and written up as I "watch this space"?

Veronica on 07/27/2018

Thank you.What beautiful and positive words you say.

I am in Essex for a few days and have some amazing things to share with you all when I get home.

I am very blessed. I had my birthday this month and my gifts from my men have been;-
-a day's sketching by Lake Windermere ( from my husband )
-an open air theatre production of Sense and Sensibility in a local deer park ( youngest son )
-a trip to Ely ( oldest son )

Watch this space. :)

DerdriuMarriner on 07/27/2018

Veronica, Yes, and you're one of the best, most generous travel guides around (which is why I always vote up your articles, travel and otherwise)!

Veronica on 06/09/2018

Great question. The rest of the line has remained overgrown or been built upon since the closures. It isn't accessible. As you see the stretch which is the walk is just stunningly beautiful.

Derdriu ..isn't Wizzley great in how we " travel " with friends all around the world?

DerdriuMarriner on 06/09/2018

Veronica, Thank you for letting us do the Keswick-Threlkeld walk with you! What is being done with the rest of the (30-3.5=) 26.5-mile line?

Veronica on 05/31/2018

I think that " boardwalk " has an older usage in English. WE would say footpath..... pathway....

It is interesting that certain old English words which transferred across the Atlantic have survived in America but not in English. "Broadwalk" was one of them I think. Therefore it was very interesting to see its usage this week. "Fall " " sidewalk " "faucet " would be included in this category.

Veronica on 05/31/2018

BSG that's a good point. The boardwalks are only on the parts which straddle the gorge or river. TY for commenting.

dustytoes on 05/31/2018

Here in Florida we have a long bike trail which is fairly new, and I think uses at least part of an old railroad system. Too bad it's usually too hot here to make use of it! Looks like a wonderful walk you had. You don't use the word "boardwalk"? What would you call it then?


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