Over Latrigg.

Start. Keswick (Brundholme Road Grid NY 267241).

Route. Spoonygreen Lane - Mallen Dodd - Latrigg - Brandholme - Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway (disused) - Briery - Keawick Station - Keswick (Brundholme Road).

Notes. Latrigg rising to the 1,207 contour north of Keswick, it's heavily wooded slopes guard what can only be described as sheep pasture, a wonderful grassy ridge sloping to the east, easy walking with stunning views across the Vale of Keswick and on down Borrowdale, the run of the Dodds carryies the eye south to Helvellyn and the heart of the Lake District, Skiddaw and it's lieutenants, Carl Side and Dodd rise to the north with the many ridges of Blencathra standing proud to the east, hold on lets not get carried away. I got a real kick in the teeth from the weather gods today, I swear I could here them laughing as I drove north, the views were zilch, I left the snow and ice of South Cumbria behind, imagine my disappointment driving into grey emulsion, no snow to brighten the day just wall to wall gloom, I was there so made the best of a bad decision.

My day started on Brundholme Road (Grid 267 241) at the junction with Spoonygreen Lane, there’s plenty of parking on the road side, beware the double yellows are slowly encroaching. Spooneygreen Lane cuts a path straight across the fields, I followed this over the A66 to a gate allowing access to the slopes of Latrigg. With the woods of Whinny Brow to my right and Ewe How the left I made my ascent. After passing through two more gates a wide grassy path ascended the steep slopes of Mallen Dodd, I ascended, the short sharp pull that followed soon saw me step onto the main path that leads to Latrigg summit. After the customary summit shots I let the main path carry me east passing through a field gate before descending the ridge, the path lead to another gate allowing access to a farm track, then yet another leading onto a narrow tarmac lane, with tarmac under foot I descended to the River Greta.

I'd planned my return route along the track bed of the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway, originally a mineral line carrying iron stone to the east coast, returning with coal and coke to power the blast furnaces of Workington and Barrow. Designed by Thomas Bouch this epic 30½ mile stretch of line crossed no less than 135 bridges, many of which survive today, which is more than can be said for his infamous Tay Bridge.

I stepped onto the track bed of the old railway line, easy walking back to Keswick through delightful woodland followed, coppice trees cloaked the hillsides, evidence of an industrial past, Bow String Bridges carried me across the River Greta passed the site of the once thriving Low Briary Bobbin Mill, 40 million bobbins a year left this tiny platform for export across the world. A delightful stretch of board walk avoided what was once a railway tunnel followed, then around the corner I passed between concrete pillars supporting the busy A66, a splendid bridge voted best concrete structure of the century. My homeward journey continued crossing the river yet again before reaching Keswick Station, from the station I accessed Brundholme Road to start the short walk back over tarmac to the patiently waiting car.

view route map.

home.

In the confines of Spoonygreen Lane looking to the summit of Latrigg.

Cocooned under slate grey sky the Skiddaw massif.

Above Birkett Wood the ridges of Skiddaw rise into a crown of cloud.

Seen over Whinny Brow the houses of Keswick and a hazy glimpse of Derwent Water.

Seen through the defused light of a Lakeland winters day, Millbeck and Applethwaite occupy the ground where mountain meets valley.

High on Latrigg viewing Derwent Water over Keswick.

A hazy view into the heart of Lakeland.

The summit Latrigg.

Walkers ascend the steep way, their presence adds perspective to the view of Keswick and Derwent Water.

Blease Fell a chip on the shoulder of mighty Blencathra.

I lost count of the "good mornings" uttered today, it's certainly a popular little hill.

From one of Lakeland's delectable lower heights to another, Great Rigg seen across the valley of the River Greta.

Rising from the valley of the Glenderaterra Beck the steep slopes of Blease Fell and Lonscale Fell.

Brundholme Wood clings to the southern slopes of Latrigg.

Standing the test of time, one of many Bow String Bridges on this stretch of line, designed by renounced railway engineer Sir Thomas Bouch, unfortunately Bouch will always be remembered for the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879, when the steel and cast iron girders of the first Tay Bridge collapsed in a storm taking a train laden with passengers to their doom.

Echoes of an industrial past, coppice woodland lines the banks of the River Greta.

The waters of St John's Beck and the River Glenderamackin combine to form the beautiful 14 miles of the River Greta.

Brundholme Wood tumbles to the waters edge.

Catching the whispers of a lost industry, once the busiest stop on the line, the platform that once serviced the Low Briary Bobbin Mill.....

.....then we have this splendid stretch of board walk avoiding a short tunnel.

Viewing the grey hills of Lakeland between the pillows of the Greta Bridge.

Keswick Station, waiting for the ghosts of a by-gone age, the last train left this platform on Saturday 4th March 1972, it stands proud just waiting for the next arrival, who knows, talks are under-way to re-open the line.

In Brundholme Road looking across the fields to Skiddaw.

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