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.
Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Walk, Cumbria
When the Cockermouth to Penrith Railway line closed, the flat terrain provided a perfect walk about 7 miles there and back through lovely scenery.
One of the old railway bridges now a footpath
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
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.
Soon though, the track has been replaced by a board walk as it must have become unsuitable and unsafe.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
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
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
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.
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
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?
railway bridge is easy to see.
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.