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A Green Circuit of Cockermouth

As a stroll with children with a quiz, allow about an hour
As a route for jogging, allow about 25 minutes

Starts at the Tourist Information Office, goes along the River Cocker, through Harris Park, along the Greenway, into the Memorial Gardens and ends on Main Street

On hard surfaces with about 100 metres on a rough ground. Some steep climbs. Two sets of steps (alternative paths indicated)

A number of questions (and answers!) have been suggested. These are intended to familiarise children with some aspects of the environment and they could be reworded according to the ages of the children concerned.

From the Tourist Information Centre, go down to the steps to the right of the building towards the River Cocker and then turn left to the footbridge (alternatively to avoid the steps walk a shor distance away from the TIC, turn left and left again to pick up the path to the footbridge). Cross the bridge and turn left.

(Q. Name the birds you may see swimming along the bankside
A. Mallards-a familiar type of duck)

Continue along the riverside passing some pleasant properties on your right to go under a road bridge.

(Q. On the left of the bridge arch, look for a sign YHA-what does it stand for?
A. Youth Hostel Association)

You may hear and see some water rushing into the river on the opposite bank-this is the Tom Rudd Beck. Now pass beneath a second bridge, once a railway bridge. Continue along the rough track for a short distance until you reach a C2C 71 sign that points to the right. (Q. What does this sign stand for? A. (Irish) Sea to (North) Sea Cycle Route-National Cycleway Number 71)

Turn right and pass a metal gate. Follow the path as it climbs to a junction of paths. Bear left, continue climbing and then descend to pass an attractive garden on your left. At a fork go left to return to the riverside again where you will find some convenient seats. Note the danger sign!

(Q. The trees lining the river bank are called deciduous trees. What does this mean?
A. These trees shed their leaves in autumn)

Follow the path, cross over a junction of paths and turn right to climbs steeply away from the river. When you reach a fork in the path go left.

(Q. Before you turn at the fork, on your right you will see a different type of tree-not deciduous trees but ones that keep their leaves. How are these described?
A. They are called coniferous trees)

You are now in Harris Park and you will find a bench on your right with a helpful plaque on it.

(Q. When was the park first opened?
A. In 1895. The plague states that the centenary of the park was in 1995)

Walk ahead past the tennis courts, the bowling green and two exits on your left. (Unless you need to avoid some steep steps that lie ahead. In which case take the second exit, through the gates on your left, turn right and walk to the traffic lights and follow the instructions below*). Follow the path as it bears right to descend (unless you wish to visit the children’s play area off a path to your right). Continue until you reach a sign “Danger Steep Steps” and turn right to go down the steps to the Greenway.

(Q. How many steps are there?
A. We counted 61)

At the bottom of the steps turn left and follow the path to a junction near the old railway viaduct. Don't cross the viaduct but instead turn sharp left and walk ahead.towards the War Memorial.

(Q. On your left you pass a set of buildings and then come level with another building. These are both for important emergency services - which ones?
A. Fire Services and Mountain Rescue Team)

Follow the path as it bears left in front of the War Memorial and go through the gap in the wall. Follow the path to the traffic lights. *Use the traffic lights to cross over the road and proceed straight ahead through the car park.

(Q. What else can you leave in the car park apart from vehicles?
A. Bottles & cans etc in the recycling containers)

At the end of the car park turn left then bear right to follow the cycleway signs. Continue on the track as it winds down to a road. Go straight ahead to the end of the street (Horsman Street). Cross over the busy main road with care, turn right and then left to the bridge.Walk across the bridge over the river.

(Q. This river flows to the sea at Workington. What is its name?
A. The River Derwent)

At the end of the bridge, cross over with care to the other side of the road, walk a few yards along Wakefield Road and go through the metal gate to enter the Memorial Gardens. Now make your way along the path to the footbridge (unless you want to divert to the children's play area).

(Q. Name the famous poet who was born in a house on the other side of the river to the right of the footbridge.
A. Willliam Wordsworth born in 1850)

Go across the footbridge and proceed ahead to Main Street. From here you can retrace your steps back to the Tourist Information Centre (turn left) or have some refreshments in one of Cockermouth's many fine cafes and bars

Walk designed by Peter Donaghy. June 2004.