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" Longlands and Cleater Moor "

Date & start time:      19th March 2022.   1.45 pm start.

Location of Start :     Longlands Lake car park, Cleater Moor, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 012 129 )

Places visited :          The lake, the C-to-C path, Wath Bridge, then a Sustrans track back to the car.

Walk details :              8+ miles, 450 ft of undulating ascent, 3 hours 15 mins.

Highest point :           The railway track at Parkside (top right of map) 375ft - 115m above sea level.

Walked with :              Loes, Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies.


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


Loes suggested a walk out west to explore Longlands Lake near Cleator Moor.

After enjoying the lake we just kept on walking and ended up exploring the old railway tracks that encircled Cleator Moor.

[ The route included several minor sections of day-one of Wainwright's Coast to Coast as it passes through the town and heads for Dent Fell.]

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On the road from Cockermouth to the west coast

is a tourist sign pointing the way to

the car park for Longlands Lake.


I must have been past it a hundred times over the years

but today Loes suggested we make it a destination.



Little did either of us expect  to walk over 8 miles

on what was the minor walk we initially planned.


Loes has walked many of these paths before

as she lives close by at St Bees,

but I think even she was surprised

how far we ended up walking.


- - - - o o o - - -

The entrance to Longlands is via a fine suspension bridge . . .
. . . which crosses over the River Ehen to get to the lake.

The open water is an old drowned iron ore mining area that first produced ore in 1879.

The four pits in the area were closed by 1924 but it wasn't till the late 1930's that the old mine area started to collapse down

and as the workings started filling with water it created the basis of the lake and wildlife area that we see today. 

Several examples of old industrial constructions are still evident to see. 

This was probably the base of some heavy ore crushing machinery,

to break down the ore into smaller pieces and enable it to be transported and smelted.

The lake is now home to an abundance of wildlife.

Here we have mallard ducks, swans and two gulls on the jetty.

A young swan, yet to achieve full white colour . . .
. . . a centre of attraction for the adult (on the left) ?

Suddenly there was conflict and a second adult comes crashing in, chasing the first one away from the younger bird.

The chase is fast and furious . . . lots of noise but not actually leaving the surface of the lake.


- - - o o o - - -


After a few minutes peace reigned once again.


I'll leave you to fill in the rest of the back-story.

I don't talk "swan" but that body language

was pretty clear to me.


- - - o o o - - - -

We continue on around the lake, enjoying the sunshine as we walked.

A colourful artwork, presumably an NHS Rainbow, part way along the opposite side of the lake.

The three quarter of a mile round circuit was great . . . but it would hardly tax the dogs or our stamina.

Rather than cross back across the footbridge, we headed out on the path along the eastern side of the Ehen.

We passed Ehen Hall, hidden in the trees.

Ahead were some of the riverside properties of the village of Cleater itself.

We look to our right and there was a clear view of the summit of Dent Fell.

Just after Black How Bridge over the Ehen (which we didn't cross) we followed a track that would take us in the Dent direction.

A remarkably straight, stoney lane took us up towards Black How Farm.
Across the way was the old Kangol clothing factory.

Cleator had several cloth mills on the banks of the river, so it was logical to set up a clothing factory in the area.

It became famous for Kangol Fashion Wear and even a range of berets and hats.

Sadly closed now and the grounds are used as a park-and-ride for Sellafield workers who can get bussed down to the coast for their work.

Half way up the lane, an old building with a fine old red-sandstone arch.

This is probably "the forge" talked about in the local literature.  It was a part of the iron mine's support industries including making picks and shovels.

The stonework looks about the same vintage as the old mines and Ehen Hall itself.

[ To this day, a modern metal fabrication works and forge still exists close to the car park where we started the walk.]

The track leads up to Black How Farm, "home of the British Lop pigs" . . .
. . . however the public footpath through it was almost unusable due to mud.

We back-tracked and cut through the outer farmyard to get to the road.

Ancient pig sties, the original homes of the pedigree ?
The 'Coast to Coast' path heads off up Dent at this point.

We follow the minor road north east towards Wath Brow Bridge.

Along the way we got views of the large catholic Church down in the valley and the tower of the Phoenix Enterprise Centre on the hill beyond.

Cleator is famous for its catholic population and is often known by the name "Little Ireland".

A more rural aspect as we look across now to the houses of Cleater Moor, the upper part of Cleater.

This local gentleman with a fine 'horse in harness' has crossed the bridge and was heading in our direction.

Wath Bridge at Wath Brow, the area of Cleater Moor close to the River Ehen.

Loes walks over to the popular summer picnic area next to the river.

- - - o o o - - -



The area has several sculptured stone seats

inscribed with what looks like a Phoenix design.


The ducks might be pochard or teal of some sort.


- - - o o o - - -

No doubting the area we are approaching.

It's decision time, head back for the lake, or explore more but have a longer walk back ?

The weather was fine, the afternoon yet young, and more history awaits . . .

A short way up the road a path heads off through some private housing . . .
. . . along a narrow but much used footpath.

This was obviously the back entrance to one of the Cleater Moor rugby pitches.

The "white house" on the hill, originally a water board facility at one time by the look of the architectural design.

Over the roadside hedges we can see the Ennerdale side of the Buttermere fells.

The classic rising ridge walk can be seen from Herdus to Great Borne, Starling Dodd, Red Pike, to High Stile and beyond.

Some unpicked crops in the field, the dark leaves being due to frost.
Cabbage to the left, beet to the right.

Another unusual public footpath, which winds its way through the yards and driveways of the houses at Scalelands.

Our return half of the walk started as we reached the old railway track that skirts around the northern side of Cleater and Cleater Moor.

Strange how a railway bridge that I've driven under so many times before, looks so different when viewed from above !

This old railway has been adopted as a Sustrans Walk and cycle way . . .
. . . and supports artwork inspired by local schoolchildren.

That wall alongside the track belonged to the railway not a farm.

The area between it and ourselves must have been a old sidings area.

Maybe this next flooded field was another old iron mine or quarry which the railway supported.

It turns out that this part of the Sustrans network is known as "The tracks of the Iron Masters".

Old artifacts have been re-cycled into seats and artwork.

We walk under the bridge that carries the Frizington to Cleater Moor road.

The modern ironwork set into the ground is to discourage users other than walkers or cyclists, once the gate is shut.

More modern artwork . . . I love the worm !

The old railway turns south around the top of Cleater Moor and we pass under another road bridge,

this one carrying the main B 5295 road to to coastal town of Whitehaven.

The Phoenix is represented in the artwork on the bridge, the classic bird that 'rose out of the ashes'.

It seems to have been adopted by Cleater Moor which has being regenerated out of the ashes of the iron mining industry of the area.

- - - o o o - - -


Within the artwork and under the bridge

is a reference to  a local man

who achieved 110 marathons in 110 days .


The Marathon Man was running 26 miles each day before work

and raised money for charities along the way.

I had the privilege of meeting him last year

The West Cumbrian Cycle Path continues on . . . and we continue along it.

More poetry and a cold seat to rest upon if you wish.
An old rail junction at Moor Row now offers a choice of routes.

We continue our way south across a new footbridge over "Blind Lane" below.

The green notice advises horse riders to dismount . . . or risk banging your heads !

More old railway architecture, presumably the location of a track side hut.  Now another seat fills the alcove.

A redundant railway telegraph pole.
Loes has walked on ahead while I've been taking pictures !

Time to leave the rail network or we'll walk right past the lake where we started.

More equine landscapes as we walk down towards Cleater Village.

We must be on the Cost to Coast again as we stroll along "Wainwright's Passage".

The Cleator Cricket Club had the distinction of winning the National Village Cricket Cup Final at Lords in 2013.

Cleator, though famous for it's Irish immigrant workforce, its large Catholic Church and catholic background

also has a large Church of England influence, as seen in this rather fine red sandstone building.

- - - o o o - - -


The white sign to the side says

" St Leonard's welcomes Coast to Coasters"

"Have a great walk."


- - - o o o - - -

Blue skies, lenticular clouds . . . and the symmetrical backs of the Cleater's roadside housing.

Down at the posh end of the village, closer to Ehen Hall . . . the symmetrical housing here is of an older generation.

This one was dated 1845 and the one next door has the inscription of  'The Old Hall'.

A classic red sandstone arch in the roadside wall that surrounding Ehen Hall gardens.

The impressive hall was built by Mr John Lindow (1804 - 1878).

He was presumably the entrepreneur behind much of the local industry as owned at least 15 iron mines in the area.

The iron of West Cumberland made the area one of the most important steel-producing regions of England and, for a short time, the world.


- - - o o o - - -


A quick road walk, past the modern forge and metal fabricators once more

and we were back at the cars at the end of the walk.

A lovely outing in a walking area new to me.

Thanks Loes.


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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 18th March 2022 - The Sunshine Returns

A previous time up here - 6th Nov 2007 Cold, Flat and Dented

Next walk - 23rd March 2022 - High Nook with Jane