Keswick Armistice Walk

BWF PT No 281 - 11km

Walk Organisers.  Nick & Jacqui Wakelam, 4 Lamley Gardens, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 9LR   Tel: 01768 840978    Email:

Walk Fee. £1.00, Cheques made payable to Amesbury Walkers. Stamps may be obtained on the day if arranged with Organisers.

Start Venues.  (A) Public transport: Keswick Bus Station Postcode CA12 5EA  Grid ref: NY263235

(B) Car: Roadside parking free on Brundholme Postcode: CA12 4NN.  Grid ref: NY267241  If no free spaces available, head into the town and use a pay car park and start walk from the bus station (A).  

Route Directions

START (B) - Opposite number 13 Briar Rigg (Parkway), take the wide gravel track, signposted bridleway Skiddaw 4 miles.  Cross over road bridge and straight on through gate with Spooney Green cottage on left.  

Question 1:  On the large information board, Latrigg Woods have been owned by the Spedding family since when?

Straight on into woods on wide track, slightly uphill for 150m, then turn right next to large wooden gate, signposted Brundholme Woods.  After c275m, ignore footpath bearing off to right and 10m further on, at cross track junction, go straight on onto wide track with high verges.   Continue as track narrows to become enclosed path, note views to right over Keswick town, Derwent Water to Catbells and other North-Western Fells.  At the path fork, bear right downhill, then through wooden gate.  Bear left at junction when path meets track joining from the right.  Continue to tarmac lane and turn right over bridge.  

Follow lane past Calvert Trust Riding Centre on left. 10m after a green grit bin (number: AL152), turn left and follow gravel drive then fork right just before large oak tree and follow enclosed path downhill.  Just after wide track joining from right, and just before bridge with wooden barriers ahead, turn left on path down to gap in stone wall.  Turn left on gravel track crossing River Greta to reach main road through metal posts.  

Cross busy road with care to Shell petrol station and go to between the Spar shop and the gas bottle storage container towards the bridge with stone archway. Pass concrete bollard and before bridge turn right and up slope onto the old railway footpath.  Turn right on path, cross bridge back over the river and continue for 400m to reach the old rail station building on the left.  Just after the platform and before the Leisure Centre, turn left through metal bollards then after 35m turn left again through gap between two low stone walls and follow path to road.  

Turn left on pavement passing old Keswick station entrance on the left to reach the Keswick Hotel.  

Kaiser Wilhelm (Bill) stayed at this hotel as a guest of the local Lord Lonsdale in 1895.  During the war the Lord formed his own 11th Battalion Border Regiment (Lonsdale) to fight against his former friend.  Men who signed up departed from the adjacent rail station for their basic training at Blackwell Racecourse, Carlisle.

Retrace your steps on right hand side of hotel car park and continue along pavement around left hand bend to pass the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery.

Adjacent the stairs, at the back of the cafe on the lower ground floor (no charge to see) is a WW1 memorial window taken from the old Brigham School Keswick.   

Just after the big gates on right, turn right through small black gate and bear right on tarmac path past the Cafe West and continue around right hand side of children's playground. Continue past sports pavilion on left then after 140m, just after tree with large lump, follow main path as it bends left, ignoring other paths to right, to reach river.  Turn left and follow path with river on your right hand side.  

Question 2:  According to the plaque on the tree stump sculpture, what flowers did Pamela particularly like?

At path junction, just before road, bear right and go under stone bridge, then turn right to cross river via green metal footbridge. Turn right along pavement passing bus shelter, then turn right off pavement past bench on right and piles of boulders on left to reach road.  Turn left towards junction.

In the wall on the left is a plaque in memory of George Bell who was killed in action in 1916. His parents, the Wivell's of Keswick Hotel donated the adjacent land as an addition to Fitz Park] to reach the cenotaph. [The cenotaph was unveiled in 1922 to commemorate the 109 from Keswick who lost their lives in the Great War.  There is also a bronze panel to the men of the Cockermouth & Penrith Railway.  This panel was moved from the station when the railway finally closed in 1972.  

Cross Station Road via refuge, turn left, then cross main road at pedestrian crossing.  Turn left and cross carefully towards Cumbrian Cottages showroom and proceed along Southey Street.

Part way along, opposite the Methodist church, is Easedale House, formerly the Blencathra Temperance Hotel which had been one of a number of hostels that housed Belgium refugees in 1914.  

After 200m, turn right along Church Street to end and cross St John's Street to enter church yard through gate on left.

There are a number of memorials from the Great War both inside the church and in the graveyard.  Perhaps the most impressive is the stained glass window dedicated to Constance Highton who was a nurse in the Voluntary Aid Detachment. She survived the war, but sadly died of Spanish flu in 1918.

From church main entrance bear left and go down steps and through metal gate onto lane.  Turn left and follow lane down and round to left between metal fences to reach road.  Turn left along pavement and continue straight on at mini roundabout junction out of the town.

Question 3:  According to the road sign at the mini roundabout, how far is it to Grange?

When the pavement ends cross road and continue in same direction on path behind hedge parallel to the road.  At path junction turn right (signposted To The Lake) down steps and along enclosed path between fields to woods.  Immediately on entering woods turn left following path along edge of woods ignoring turnings to reach wooden gate.  Exit woods and continue on path in same direction crossing wooden bridge with no rails.  Continue on grass in same direction to meet gravel track and continue in same direction on track for 25m to reach path junction.  Turn right and continue on this path as it roughly follows the edge of lake Derwent Water around a bay to reach wooden gates.  Go through smaller gate and after 10m turn left on stepped path up into woods to Ruskin Memorial stone.

Question 4:  Who took Ruskin to the Brow of Friar's Crag for the first time?

Continue straight on, then turn left on gravel track to reach Friar's Crag viewpoint with bench.  Double back and follow gravel track with lake shore on left until reach tarmac section.  Either carry straight on, or bear left next to brick boathouse and continue past the ferry jetties, to the boat hire hut and National Trust gift shop. Continue on lane past Cafe by the Lake then the Theatre and opposite car park exit turn left through metal gates into Hope Park.  Turn first right and follow paths past the putting green to reach the cafe and return to the lane.  Go through underpass and turn right at Morrel's.  

At George Fisher shop turn right and immediately left up into Derwent Street.

At no.11 Derwent Street lived sisters Elizabeth & Alice Hogg who, along with many young women from Keswick, were amongst the 15 thousand women from the region who moved to work at the Gretna Munitions factory opened in 1915 to make cordite for shells.  

Continue to end of street with Alhambra Cinema on right.

The cinema opened in early 1914 and showed films throughout the 4 years of the War (and has continued to do so right up to the present day) Not everyone welcomed the cinema when it open, Canon Rawnsley (see other notes) believed that cinemas lead to "incitements to dissipation, grossness, illicit passions, theft, robbery, arson and homicide by the presentation of moving images dealing with sensational, sometimes erotic and criminal incidents."

Question 5:  On the old black and white iron road sign which road leads to Borrowdale?

Turn left, passing Woodstone Pizza on left hand side.  At The Royal Oak, where road bears right, continue straight on along pedestrianised street towards the market square.  Continue straight on past the old Moot Hall passing shops on both sides.  Ignore road turnings to left and road (Bank Street) joining from right and at mini roundabout by the Co-op continue straight on passing parish rooms on right. {For START (A) - from bus station take road to right hand side of Booths supermarket to mini roundabout with Co-op opposite, turn left passing parish rooms on right} Cross over bridge over river, then cross over Crosswaite Road (signposted Penrith etc) and continue straight on with Catholic church on your right.  

When the main road bends to the left,optional excursion here to carry straight on by minor road to reach Crossthwaite Church.   

At the outbreak of the Great War, Hardwicke Rawnsley was the canon at St Kentigern's church. As well as a founder member of the National Trust, he was chaplain to the Border Regiment of the Territorial Force and wrote a book of verse "The European War 1914-15" There is a large copper plaque and several other memorials from the Great war in the church and graveyard.

If this option to the church is taken, retrace steps past Keswick School and turn left up Vicarage Hill.

If not taking option, by Keswick School sign, turn right up Vicarage Hill.

Pass Lairbeck Country House Hotel on left and then past a post box in the wall on the right.

Question 6:  What is the time of the last collection on a Saturday from this post box?

Just after 30mph speed sign turn right onto path by post box on post and follow alongside main road to the Pheasant Inn.  Cross busy road with care to Filling Station Cafe and continue in same direction.  Turn left at road junction (signposted Leisure Pool) into Brundholme Road and cross over at end of the pavement.  Go through wooden gate and follow path behind hedge running parallel to the road.  When path bears right away from road, turn left through metal gate and continue along road in same direction.  Cross over Briar Rigg (6 to 12) side road and back to parking.

Route updated 2 July 2019. Amended route to take account of a footpath closure that is in effect until the end of 2019. It is important that old versions of the route are not used.

NB: Landslide has blocked part of route - ring organisers before starting for alternative route