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Walking the Papcastle Boundary

From Cockermouth through the pleasant village of Papcastle, then between hedgerows on the route of an old Roman road to Priestís Bridge. Along the side of the Broughton Beck, then upstream along the Derwent and back via Papcastle.

6.5 miles.

Short sections on pavements and quiet lanes, footpaths which can be muddy and overgrown in places, one steep descent.

None available en route.

Starting with you back to Wordsworth House, turn left and walk a short distance to turn left down Bridge Street. Immediately over the bridge, turn left down the steps and follow the path around the Memorial Gardens to the exit onto Wakefield road. Turn left to cross over the Carlisle Road with care. Turn right and continue for about 200 yards. As the main road bears right, just before the sign for the A5086, bear left to pick up a public footpath that runs along side of the neat garden and dwelling of St Leonards House(site of a medieval hospice).

At the road (Papcastle Road) turn left and proceed ahead, passing some interesting properties, through the village of Papcastle (a former Roman settlement which featured on BBCs Time Team with Tony Robinson). Ignore roads off. After climbing to Camp Farm, you descend to cross the road bridge over the A595 where immediately, on your right, a public footpath leads you over a stile. (Donít be tempted by the inviting farm track ahead-this is not a right of way).

Some steps take you down to a further stile and you are now on the route of the old Roman road from Papcastle (Derventio to Maryport (Alauna). This can be overgrown and muddy in parts and you need to watch your footing especially when you reach the stony section, but in the right conditions it is an attractive lonnen.

Further stiles take you along more open country with the field boundary on your left until a stile takes you to the other side and you turn right to continue ahead with the hedge/fence now on your right. You pass through the edge of a small plantation and then bear slightly left across a field to a metal gate with finger post directing walkers to Papcastle.

Leaving papcastle...The Old Roman Road

At the road turn left and follow it just past Station House (once the station for the Dykes of Dovenby Hall and the first of several traces of disused local railway lines you will encounter). Take the stile on the left at the far end of Priestsí Bridge and make your way along the side of the Broughton Beck, through a wooded area, through a railway viaduct and more woods until you reach a road. Turn left and walk the short distance to the T-junction where you bear left to the footpath sign for Broughton Bridge. Cross the wall by the projecting stone stile taking care of the drop on the far side.

Looking back to the Northern fellsReaching the road

Continue alongside the bank of the beck returning to a wooded area and crossing a helpful ramp over an area of slippage. Eventually just before the beck flows into the River Derwent, you arrive at a bridge (a relatively recent replacement for the previous bridge which collapsed due to the erosion of the bankside).

Passing the old StationThe River Derwent

You now follow the Derwent upstream passing through another railway viaduct. At one point the path climbs away from the river and a stile is immediately followed by a wire that you need to climb over or under. You descend back towards the river cross a short footbridge and then climb quite steeply for a short way over another stile. Now, again with the hedge on you right, take care after about 80 yards not to miss the turn to the stile on your right though the hedge. The path descends rather steeply back to the riverside at a delightful bend in the river and if you are there at the right time of year you will find a lovely glade of primroses.

Continue along the riverside as the grassy path gradually curves to the left and Papcastle comes clearly into view. A stony lane leads you back into the village and you turn right at the crossroads to follow the road back to Cockermouth and the end of the walk.

Papcastle in view