Cockermouth walk

Lancashire Telegraph: MAP Cockermouth walk MAP Cockermouth walk

Cockermouth has always been one of my favourite towns, and I was sad to see how it was devastated by the floods.

What is good to see is how the Cumbrian spirit has risen above the waves.

To get there from the A66, look out for a brown sign indicating the sheep and wool centre.

Follow the signs and look out for the pay and display car parks.

There is one close to a Sainsbury’s supermarket and others close to the information centre.

For those who love literature and history then Cockermouth cannot be missed.

It was here that William Wordsworth was born in 1770, while a more infamous son was Fletcher Christian (1764), leader of the mutinee on HMS Bounty.

From the car park near Sainsbury's approach the war memorial and then the fire station. This leads to the bridge over the River Cocker. Celtic in origin, it simply means crooked and it does meander at this point.

Cross this bridge and turn right and follow a sign indicating Double Mills, Southwaite.

Follow through a wooded area, which is of interest to bird watchers at this time as there are lots of wintering finches, including chaffinches and the occasional brambling.

Cross a small wooden footbridge into a field. Continue until you reach Double Mill footbridge.

Carry on straight ahead and follow the river bank with a youth hostel on the opposite bank.

Cross a field and approach close to the river bank. Bear left keeping the river on the right.

Go over a stile and under the A66 road. Keep close to the river and over a steep ladder stile. Continue to reach Simonscales Mill Cottages. Here there was once a paper mill dating to about 1770 but this has now long gone.

Cross a stile which leads on to a farm track. Cross this track and over another stile into a field. Once again the river is on the right and the route is obvious. Cross a small footbridge and continue ahead.

Cross two stiles over a field which is almost always damp and follow the line of a fence.

Just beyond the fence bear right and follow a path directly towards the river. Follow a series of stiles and down a set of wooden steps to approach a pretty little stone bridge.

Bear left away from the river to reach a step stile and on to a metalled road.

Turn right and cross over the bridge. Built in 1890, Southwaite bridge is one of the prettiest in the town. Pass Southwaite Mill, which is now homes.

At a sign for Eaglesfield bear right. Nearby is a Quaker burial ground but also birthplace of John Dalton, the founder of the atomic theory, in the 1800s.

Continue past the entrance to Low Hall on the left. Look for a sign indicating public bridleway. Here turn right through fields to reach a small stream.

Cross this stream and then a stile. Continue ahead to reach a road leading into the sheep and wool centre. Bear left to reach the A5086.

Turn right to reach a roundabout. Take care in crossing the busy A66 and descend into town.

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