Threkeld Railway Walk
Exploring the River Greta from Threkeld to Keswick, in the Lake District
Our walking route begins in the popular Lake District village of Threlkeld and joins the recently reopened multi-use track along the disused Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway. Following the floods in December 2015, in which 178.4 mm of rain fell in Keswick, the Threlkeld to Keswick Railway path suffered serious damage. Two of the old railway bridges that crossed the River Greta and around 200 metres of the path surface were washed away, and Rawsome Bridge was left at risk of collapse making this once well-used route between Keswick and Threlkeld unusable.
The reopening of the trail in December 2020 marked five years since Storm Desmond. The bridges have been repaired and the former board walk has been replaced by a tunnel. The new and improved route offers a 5km traffic free tarmacked track and is very popular with people of all abilities who enjoy getting outdoors. The walk is steeped in history and it is a haven for folk who love wildlife.
The River Greta is roughly aligned with the railway track and there are eight bridges along the route that cross over the river. The River Greta begins its life near Threlkeld and flows west through Keswick before joining the Derwent just after the latter flows out of Derwentwater.
From the carpark in Threlkeld, head out of the village onto the cycleway which runs alongside the right hand side of the A66 towards Keswick. Within 200m of leaving the village the track zigzags down onto what was the railway line. From here you get the first glimpse of the river.
As part of the Woodland Management Plan a variety of species including willow, alder and oak have been planted along the way, as well as other shrubs, such as Guelder Rose, which provides food for bees and other pollinators. The tree lined path is home to much wildlife, whilst on the river heron and dippers can be spotted.
With stunning scenery all around it is easy to image being in the Swiss Alps. The views are pretty awesome.
Having crossed over the river several times the route continues through the new Bobbin Mill Tunnel. The tunnel had been buried following the construction of the Greta Bridge in the mid-1970s but as part of the renovations the tunnel was dug out, making this an added attraction to this section of the walk.
The routes come to an end at the old railway station. From here you can follow the quiet road down into Keswick. At the bottom of the steep road go through the gate on the left hand side which leads into Fitz Park. Split into two areas covering 28 acres, Fitz Park is home to the local football, cricket, athletics, tennis and bowling clubs and has public tennis, bowling, putting and croquet available. There is also a sensory garden within the park.
Follow the path through the park and out through the gate to the top end of Keswick.
Keswick is a bustling market town and is home to the famous Cumberland Pencil Museum. There is a Museum & Art Gallery in the town which has an impressive displays local artefacts. On the south of the town is Derwent Water, where it is possible to take a boat tour around the lake. The Theatre By The Lake is also worth a visit.
There is a bus service which runs from Keswick back to Threlkeld, or alternatively you can retrace your steps.
Disabled toilets are available at the railway station carpark, in Keswick and in Threlkeld.
There are many pubs and cafes in Keswick which are wheelchair accessible and the Horse and Farrier Pub, as well as the community café in Threlkeld is accessible.