Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path Walk holiday cottages

Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path Walk

Kim 07 January 2022

The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is a pleasant, accessible walk that, at its full length, is 6 miles long, though there are also options to shorten (or lengthen!) it. It’s a Miles Without Stiles route that has been designed to be suitable for all levels of mobility.

If you’re staying in one of our cottages in Keswick or Threlkeld and are looking for an easy low-level walk, then this Keswick to Threlkeld walk should be one of your top picks!

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The trail officially starts behind Keswick Leisure Pool, although you can also start from just outside the village of Threlkeld. Take a look at our directions from Keswick and Threlkeld below.

There is a good amount of parking at the Keswick end of the route. It’s also possible to park at the Threlkeld end, but it is less convenient and there is limited space.

Yes, buses stop close to both ends of the route. Take a look at the directions below.

There are toilets at either end of the route. In Keswick, there are toilets at Keswick railway station and in the town a short walk away. At Threlkeld, there are public toilets in the village hall and coffee shop.

There is a picnic area at the Bobbin Mill railway tunnel and seating along the route. You can buy a range of picnic items from the many excellent food shops in Keswick. Alternatively, Keswick town has a number of places to eat before or after your walk. In Threlkeld, you can eat and drink at one of the two pubs or at the cafe. There is nowhere on the route itself to buy food or drink.

Yes, the path is accessible for all levels of mobility.

Yes. The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is part of the C2C long-distance cycle route.

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.

People walking through a tunnel with their dogs on the railway path

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.

A long brick tunnel with shot with a long exposure

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!

Keswick Railway Footpath sign

Greta Bridge

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.

A heron in flight


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.

Self-catering cottages

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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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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