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.
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
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
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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
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
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I-Net Support Latest update - October 2003