Bowness on Solway - Carlisle
This section of the Way is 15 miles (24 Km). The section is effectively
level all the way starting at 5 metres and concluding at 15 metres.
Bowness on Solway was the most northerly frontier of the Roman Empire after their withdrawal from Trimontium and the Antonine Wall. This frontier came down to the waters edge at "The Banks" at Rampart Head and was close to the Maia Fort.
The Way starts from the developed summerhouse with views north over to Scotland and the Annan Power Station and looking west over the Galloway hills.
The Banks leads onto the narrow road into Bowness, this village having now been built over the area where the Roman Fort of Maia was previously established.
Bowness on Solway is directly on the shore line and at time of high tide the shore and even the road to Burgh on Sands can be flooded from time to time. The way therefore is on occasions on the roadway rather then on the shore or the grassy marshes.
Port Carlisle to the east of Bowness was once a busy harbour for the City of Carlisle. First it was linked by canal and the canal exit onto the Firth is crossed by the path but is today heavily silted. The canal was replaced by a railway, no longer in existence, but it is on its line that parts of this section run.
The walk does not stick to the coastal edge or marshes all the time and at this point it heads inland to reach a small village of Glasson. From here it heads over fields to the next community of Drumburgh. This section of the route is also a part of the Cumbria Coast Way.
Drumburgh is again close to the marsh and this is built close to one of
the small forts that were associated with Hadrian's Wall. Some of the stones from the Roman time are to be seen in the grounds of Drumburgh Castle a fortified house that stands directly on the line of the Way.
The original canal, then the railway, and now the road define the line of the walk between Drumburgh and Dykesfield, this being a long straight walk by the side of the Marsh. To the south can be seen the start of the Lake District Mountains, and for the ornithologist there is plenty of interest with birds such as Oystercatchers.
Be aware however that on rare occasions of very high tides, this
section many be covered in water. Link to the
walker's details for information on tidal conditions.
Burgh on Sands is an attractive small community with some very
desirable housing. There is the village pub and an historic church that
has its tower dating back to the 14th century. The Roman Fort of Aballava was situated here and the line of Hadrian's Wall and Vallum passed by this community.
The Way has now passed east of the head of the Solway Firth, at the
point where the Rivers Esk and Eden enter. The Eden now becomes a
regular feature of the landscape for the rest of this section and a
part of the next. The walk however has to cross farmland to the attractive farming village of Beaumont before the Eden River is reached on a path high up in the wooded banks.
Another section of fields brings the Way to Grinsdale and again the
route comes close to the Eden River, sometimes right to the edge but
mainly in the wooded banks. This walk is close to Carlisle and as it
approaches it passes the first signs of industrial life, passes
under the west coast railway line then aloneside some recreational land
before crossing the River Caldew.
This section of the way is now close to its end as the River Walk
passes to the north of Carlisle Castle. This is close to the centre of
Carlisle with its Cathedral, Millennium Centre, Museum, Information
Centre and bustling retail area. Castle Street marks the site of the
Roman Fort of Stanegate, however most of the visible history of the
City related to the later times of King Henry I, King David I of
Scotland and the Normans.
Navigate to each section of the walk using this
link or the right hand section buttons.
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I-Net Support Latest update - October 2003