Important note: The Sebergham - Bell Bridge collapsed at the end of Jan 2016 due to damage sustained during flooding in previous month during Storm Desmond. As a result south of Sebergham you need to stay on the west side of the River Caldew between Browtop and Bell Bridge, taking the minor road past Greenfoot and New House, to Bell Bridge where you can rejoin the Cumbria Way.
The fifth and final section of the Cumbria Way is quite long but is easy walking. It starts at the lovely village of Caldbeck on the edge of the northern fells. Walking through fields and woods alongside Cald Beck, and then our old friend the River Caldew that featured in the previous section is an uncomplicated delight. The walk changes once the outskirts of Dalston are reached at Bridge End. Tarmac, industry and then the city of Carlisle give the end of the Cumbria Way a distinctly different feel.
Escape from the route may be made at Sebergham only on Wednesdays! Otherwise a regular bus service operates from Dalston to Carlisle. Carlisle railway station is on the west coast main line for onward travel and the Cumbrian Coastal line to return to Ulverston via the scenic route. It is also a major bus hub.
If you need accommodation we have details of 12 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the centre of Caldbeck at the road junction take the B5299 signposted Wigton and Carlisle, and also to the free car park. After 100m (110 yards), just across the bridge over Cald Beck, turn right into Friars Row. Follow the tarmac lane with houses and the doctors surgery to the left, and the beck on the right. Continue onwards when the tarmac road ends. Keep right of the water treatment works and then bear slightly left to a gate. Go through onto the track and on along the edge of the woodland. When the track splits bear left to climb steadily, then keep ahead on the track and latterly path. Climb steeply to the edge of the woods and go through a gate into a field. Cross the field gently descending, aiming initially for a field gate. When within about 150m (165 yards) of the field gate bear left to go through the pedestrian gate to the left.
Cross the next field keeping right of the woodland to go through a gate into the woods beyond. Follow the path through the woods for about 300m (330 yards) and turn right down a short steep bit with a quite loose covering of gravel. At the bottom keep left to stay on the northern bank of the beck. Continue another 600m (660 yards) to the edge of the woodland. Bear left through a gate, keep to the left edge of the fields beside woodland, through a succession of gates to join the track, following it to the road at Sebergham.
Reaching the road at Sebergham, pronounced 'sebram', turn right over the bridge and then in a few metres left into another field. Bear right and climb steeply along the right hand edge as much as the rough and overgrown hedge allows. Go through the gate at the top of the field into the lane beside buildings. This leads to the pretty St Mary's Church, Sebergham.
Turn left outside the church heading north along the hedge lined lane. At the end bear right on a track towards Sebergham Hall. Keep to the track past the hall and along the edge of fields to the road at Bell Bridge.
Turn left and then immediately over the bridge go through a stone gap stile and drop down the other side. Beware it's a steep drop with the guard rail something of a necessity. Follow the path alongside the river through successive fields eventually to Rose Bridge.
Rose Castle can be seen across the fields, an information board beside the bridge details some of its history.
Cross the road at Rose Bridge, go through the metal kissing gate and continue along the river bank. In the second field leave the riverside to keep left of Willowclose Wood to go through a gate. Cross the next two fields to approach Lime House School, go through a kissing gate into a lane. Turn left, cross the school driveway and go through a gate opposite into the field. Follow the track to Holmhill Farm.
Nearing the farm buildings, go through the right of two gates about 20m (22 yards) apart, then bear left on the tarmac drive. Keep right to continue on tarmac and in 300m (330 yards) as the lane turns left to Hawksdale Hall turn right through a gate into the field, swing left on the track. Keep right of the gate, keeping to the track to climb gently to the farther gate. Through another field, and to another gate beside woodland. Turn left as directed along the field edge to the back of Bridge End. Reaching the road turn right to Bridge End.
Keep right to cross Hawksdale Bridge which crosses the River Caldew. Follow the road round to the right, and then in 200m (220 yards) bear left at the junction and cross the road to the entrance to the 'Cowens' industrial area at Ellers Mill. Follow the road through the mill and out the other side. Reaching a lane bear left, over White Bridge and on to the junction with the B5299 Carlisle Road in Dalston.
Bear right along the road. Immediately past St Michael's Church of England Primary School turn right into a narrow pedestrian alleyway shared with the Caldew Cycleway, NCN's 10 and 7. It is also signposted public footpath.
In 500m (550 yards) behind the Nestle works you have to do a little left - right to stay on the cycleway. Follow alongside the river which burbles mostly unseen to your right. Faced with a set of concrete steps, look for the footpath sign avoiding both the steps and ramp on the right through an overgrown pathway.
Keep to the river bank into Carlisle, and with the cathedral higher on your right the cycleway crosses the river at an angle dropping you into an industrial estate. Go right and then left onto the road. Keep right to go up to the A595 dual carriageway. Turn right along the road to the castle, turn right the other side of Tullie House Gallery and Museum into Castle Street. Go past Carlisle Cathedral to the market square.
The Cumbria Way finishes at the Market Cross.
Well done: you have walked the Cumbria Way!
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Faulds Brow and The Howk from Caldbeck||102m (112 yards) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011