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Birks Road Circular - 4.8 miles

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This walk commenced at Keekle Viaduct, on a hardcore track to the right of the arched structure. With this being a circular route, you can start at any point.
  • This route is suitable for most abilities, but there are sections on the road.
A hundred yards into the walk, views open up to offer fantastic views of the viaduct, and Keekle just beyond. The Viaduct was opened in 1879, and consists of seven stone arches spanning the River Keekle.

Birks Road, Cleator Moor
Follow the track, adjacent to Keekle Viaduct
Follow the track, adjacent to Keekle Viaduct
Keekle Viaduct, with Keekle Beyond
Keekle Viaduct, with Keekle beyond
This route can be quite muddy in places
This route can be quite muddy in places
After taking in the views, continue along the track, passing by the Low Mill shooting range. A few hundred yards on, to the right, the old Mill Hill slag bank once stood. Over time, the slag bank had developed into a nature reserve of sorts, but it has now all gone, making away for residential housing.

Continue straight ahead
Continue straight ahead
Further along the track there is a fork to the left - ignore the fork and continue straight ahead. Soon, a gate will come into view. Pass through the gate and follow the winding track, past Bowthorn Farm, until you reach the B5294 (Bowthorn Road).

Pass through the gate, continue straight ahead
Pass through the gate, continue straight ahead
Continue past Bowthorn Farm, to the end of the farm track
Continue past Bowthorn Farm, to the end of the farm track
  • The B5294 is a fast road, with no footpath, so care should be taken on this section.
Cross the road, and turn left heading towards Rheda Terrace. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic- cross the road when corners prevent you from seeing ahead.

Walk along the B5294 - keep to the right
Walk along the B5294 - keep to the right
At Rheda Terrace take note of an archway among the trees - the arch led to the long gone Rheda Mansion. A short distance past the row of terraced houses, turn right at the junction and head along Birks Road towards Cleator Moor.

Head up, past Rheda Terrace - turn right at the junction
Head up, past Rheda Terrace - turn right at the junction
Old archway, leading to the long gone Rheda Mansion
As you head along Birks Road, views will open up of Dent Fell. In the distance you'll also be able to see the fells over Ennerdale Water. Looking towards Cleator Moor, the old Flour Mill rises above the town.

Take in the views along Birks Road
Continue along the road, keeping to the right. Soon, you will pass Birks Farm, and then the old Cleator Moor Brewery. Pass over the humped back bridge and continue along Birks Road until you come to its junction with High Street.

Birks Farm, Cleator Moor
Birks Farm
Continue past the old Cleator Moor Brewery
Continue past the old Cleator Moor Brewery
At the junction with High Street, cross the road, and head right down what is known as Clock Hill. Soon, an access point to the cycle path will come into view. Head onto the cycle path and walk in the direction of Moor Row.

Turn right at the Birks Road junction
Turn right at the Birks Road junction
Head onto the cycle path at the bottom of Clock Hill
Head onto the cycle path at the bottom of Clock Hill
Cycle Path, Cleator Moor
Cycle Path
A short distance along the cycle path you'll notice a stone cairn set among the trees. This marks the position of Pit No. 2. Continue along the path and soon a sandstone seat will come into view. Shortly after the seat, take the path to the right - a sign pointing to Keekle should lead the way.

Pit No. 2 Stone Cairn
Pit No. 2 Stone Cairn
Turn right, just after the sandstone seat
Turn right, just after the sandstone seat
Views towards the West Lakes Science Park and Galemire will now open up, with the River Keekle meandering in the fields below. Soon, the Great Rock Crusher will come into view - this contraption is a relic from the old Montreal Pit, where uniquely, Coal and Iron Ore were both brought up the same shaft.

Views open up over the landscape
Views open up over the landscape
The Great Rock Crusher
The Great Rock Crusher
Pass under the old viaduct and continue along the cycle path. Soon, the path will approach an exit to Bowthorn - at this point, leave the path and follow a single track, keeping the fields to your left.

Leave the Cycle Path and head left
Leave the Cycle Path and head left
Follow the meandering track
Follow the meandering track
If it feels as though you are being watched, you might be!
If it feels as though you are being watched, you might be!
A short distance along the track, you'll arrive at Whinney Hill. Head left and down the hill towards the River Keekle. Head left and cross the bridge, then up past Mill Hill Farm. This section of the road is quite steep, so you may have to breathe deep.

Head down the hill, past the sign
Head down the hill, past the sign
The Ford
The Ford
Head up the hill, past the old Mill Hill Farm
Head up the hill, past the old Mill Hill Farm
Head up the hill, and at the Summergrove crossroad, turn right and walk along Low Padstow to the Keekle junction with the B5295. Observe the stunning views towards Cleator Moor and the Ennerdale Fells in the distance.

At the crossroad, turn right
At the crossroad, turn right. Head down the hill
Take in the views of the Ennerdale Fells
Take in the views of the Ennerdale Fells
At the junction at the bottom of the hill, turn right and cross the road. Take in the views looking towards the Keekle Viaduct. At the end of the viaduct, turn left and return to your starting point.

Turn right at the Keekle junction
Turn right at the Keekle junction
Keekle Viaduct & Childrens Play Park
Keekle Viaduct & Childrens Play Park

Route Details:

  • Distance: 4.8 miles.
  • Time: 1 hour 35 minutes.
  • Height Climbed: 358 feet. 
  • Calories Spent: 545.
Birks Road Circular
Birks Road Circular

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Birks Road Circular - 4.8 miles
Birks Road Circular - 4.8 miles
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
https://www.littleireland.co.uk/2019/10/birks-road-circular-48-miles.html
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