Carlisle - Bowness on Solway

This section of the Way is 15 miles (24 Km). The section is effectively level all the way starting at 15 metres and concluding at 5 metres.

Please note that some of the images were taken when walking in the reverse direction.

Carlisle Castle

This section of the way starts 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.
Starting on the banks of the River Eden at the A 7 road bridge it passes to the north of Carlisle Castle as it head west towards the Solway Firth.

River Eden at Grinsdale

This walk out of Carlisle crossing the River Caldew, passes under the west coast railway line then aloneside and industrialised area. Following this the river walk landscape again improves sometimes right to the edge but mainly in the wooded banks. This bring the route to Grinsdale, a small village on the banks of the Eden River,


The Way now heads over farmland to the attractive farming village of Beaumont. Just before this village on a path high up in the wooded banks of the River Eden the Way parts company with the river for the last time.
Beaumont is just to the east of the head of the Solway Firth, at the point where the Rivers Esk and Eden enter.
From here there is another section of farmland to walk before the next community is reached.

Burgh by Sands : 14th century tower

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.
This section of the route to its completion is also a part of the Cumbria Coast Way.

Way passing close to Boustead Hill

The original canal, then the railway, and now the road define the line of the walk between Dykesfield and Drumburgh, 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.

Drumburgh Castle

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.

Glasson Village

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 along the line of the dismantled railway then crosses the road to the sand flats before entering the next community of Port Carlisle.

Port Carlisle: old lock gates

Port Carlisle to the west of Carlisle was once a busy harbour for the City. 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 previous parts of this section ran.

Bowness on Solway at

A final short section of road by the Bowness Marsh leads into the start of the narrow roads of Bowness on Solway. This village was built over the area where the Roman Fort of Maia was previously established. On entering Bowness, look for the narrow entry off the road to the right, this is known as "The Banks". Passing between the house gables it quickly opens out into a developed area above the sea wall at Rampart Head.

Start or end point of Way at Rampart Head

Bowness on Solway was the most northerly frontier of the Roman Empire after their withdrawal from Trimontium and the Antonine Wall. This frontier came to the waters edge at "The Banks" and was to the north east of Maia Fort.
The Way ends at the summerhouse with views north over to Scotland and the Annan Power Station and looking west over the Galloway hills.

By returning to the narrow road and turning up the slight incline the walker will find the rest of Bowness on Solway and the change for refreshments at the end of the walk.

Navigate to each section of the walk using the right hand section buttons.

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