Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Kendal Sewage Works.

As you'll have notice from many of my other blogs, I'm very keen to promote all that Cumbria has to offer.  I love fell walking but am aware that the fells aren't for everyone and anyway there are loads of other amazing places to visit in Cumbria, like Kendal Sewage Works for instance. I promise I haven't taken leave of my senses (well no more so than usual) and that this really is a lovely family walk, even if it doesn't have the most auspicious of beginnings

On Sunday we found ourselves with a couple of hours to kill in Kendal and, as we're expecting family visitors over the summer we thought we'd check out a pleasant stroll along the River Kent to see if it was suitable for all ages. Turns out it was so I thought I'd pass it on for those looking for a pleasant stroll away from the fells. As I've already mentioned, the walk doesn't start with the most picturesque of views but it's certainly worth persevering. Begin by picking up the river path near the Museum of Lakeland Life and head south west (follow the flow of the river). The path winds along the edge of a housing estate to Romney Bridge; cross the road (with care, it's pretty busy) and continue along the road opposite.  The path soon drops down to the riverbank and at this stage it's quite narrow and, I should imagine,a little muddy after rain; but nothing too bad.
River Kent

As the path winds around the edge of the Sewage Works look across to the field on the other side and you'll see what remains of Watercrook Fort.  The first thing you'll notice is that there's not a lot there apart from the  grass mounds, but then it does date back to the late first century.  There's some really fascinating stuff about it here - including some old maps.

As you exit the trees at Scroggs Wood don't follow the road, follow the footpath which is clearly signed through the field opposite.  At this point the landscape opens up with lovely views of the gentle rolling hills around the south of Kendal.  Granted there is some road noise away in the distance, but the views are lovely.

View from Hawes Bridge.
The route couldn't be more straightforward from here; simply follow the river until you reach the road at Hawes Bridge, then turn left to cross the bridge, stopping to admire the views as you cross over.  It's a shame there doesn't appear to be a route down to the river's edge at this point as there are some really interesting rock formations down there.  But that's probably just the geologist in me talking.  It is a little tricky picking up the path back from here as it's not marked.  Follow the road for 50 yards or so until you find a small private car park on your left.  The path starts on the far side of the car park and drops you back down to the water's edge again.  It was late in the day as we were making our way along here and back into Kendal and the Housemartins were swooping and diving overhead (the birds not the band) making a welcome addition to the scenery.

View from Romney Bridge.
As you pass Watercrook Farm you get slightly better views down over the remains of the Roman Fort, but the land is private unless you're a member of the local angling society.  From here the route becomes rather more urban again passing by a warehouse and joining Natland Road before returning you to Romney Bridge.  From here you can keep to the East Side of the river and cross back at one of the many other bridges in town, or retrace your steps back to the museum.  All told it's a little over 5 miles of easy walking, so a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon next time you're visiting Kendal.