There are a number of paths leading from the main route that will extend your walk. These include up Latrigg, to Castlerigg Stone Circle and even up Blencathra. It also forms part of the C2C cycleway.
Walking the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path
You can walk the full route from both Keswick and Threlkeld, either by heading one way and then retracing your path to the start or by catching a bus from either end. This is an easy route that takes in some of the best bits of the Lake District, with rippling rivers, towering mountains, and tranquil woodland.
Starting the path in Keswick
By foot: From Keswick Leisure Pool (now closed), follow the walkway around the right of the building and onto the edge of the car park, where you’ll turn right and onto the railway path.
By car: A car park behind Keswick Leisure Pool can be reached via Brundholme Road.
By public transport: The 555, X4 and X5 buses all stop by the junction of Penrith Road and Station Street. It’s then a short walk to the leisure centre along Station Street.
Starting the path in Threlkeld
By foot: From the Horse and Farrier pub in Threlkeld, follow the village’s main road west (please be aware that most of this road does not include a footpath). At the A66, follow the pavement to the right for about 20 metres to the start of the Threlkeld to Keswick walk.
By car: There is limited parking in Threlkeld, but some can be found at Threlkeld Old Station (900 metres from the route) or Threlkeld Cricket Club (2km).
By public transport: The X4 and X5 buses stop in Threlkeld, from where you can walk to the start of the route.
Sites of Interest
The whole of the Keswick railway line has lots to see and admire. Here are just some highlights:
Keswick Railway Station and Hotel
The remains of the old railway station now form part of the Keswick Country House Hotel. The hotel was originally owned by the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway Company and was built specifically for railway users! It has served guests such as the Queen, Kaiser Wilhelm, Lord Lonsdale, and even World War II evacuees.
Bobbin Mill Tunnel
Perhaps one of the most interesting sites on the route is the Bobbin Mill railway tunnel. After being buried for 40 years following the building of Greta Bridge, it was dug out and incorporated into the path. Its character remains, and you can still see enclaves in the wall that workers would crouch inside when trains shot through the tunnel!
Carrying the busy A66 bypass over the river, this imposing concrete structure is a spectacular achievement in engineering and was one of the longest bridges of its time when it was opened in the 70s. It was also voted as the Best Civil Engineering Structure of the Century in 1999.
Some of the numerous information boards along the route will highlight the interesting wildlife you might see on your walk. In particular, herons and dippers can often be spotted on the water, whilst the odd red squirrel leaps through the trees. If you’re very fortunate, roe deer can occasionally be spotted in the woodland near Threlkeld.
The Keswick railway path follows an old train route that stretched from Cockermouth to Penrith. This route took in the spectacular scenery of the North Lakes, even skimming the edges of Bassenthwaite Lake. The line was officially opened in 1865 and opened up locations like Keswick to more tourists and to locals living in more industrialised areas of the county.
The line was fully closed by 1973 and was eventually made into a footpath between Keswick and Threlkeld. But severe damage from Storm Desmond in 2015 made much of the path unusable for several years.
After a £7.9 million revamp, the newly resurfaced and repaired path reopened in December 2020, 5 years after the storms. It’s now a popular route for both walkers and cyclists.
For more information, Keswick Museum has a fascinating collection.
After you’ve finished walking in the Lake District, you’re going to want a cosy and welcoming cottage to come back to. Have a look through some of our self-catering cottages and get your walking holiday sorted today.
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