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" Portinscale's Bog House Walk "

Date & start time:      27th August 2022.  11.15 am start.

Location of Start :     By the Suspension Bridge, Portinscale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 254 238 )

Places visited :          River Derwent path, Bog House, Braithwaite, Newlands Beck, Portinscale.

Walk details :              4.5 miles, negligible feet of ascent, 3 hours 15 mins including lunch.

Highest point :           Portinscale Village, 100 metres above sea level, 25 metres above the bog.

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

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies, a warm summer day.


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


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The walk today starts 12 miles from Cockermouth

and just one mile from Keswick,

but there's no point driving past this sign

as the road ends here.


I'm in Portinscale with Loes

and we've parked at the old road end,

where the suspension footbridge now crosses the Derwent

and a pedestrian path takes you on into Portinscale.


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Shown as Storm Water Bridge on the map, this footbridge presumably replaced an old road bridge that must have been lost in a storm (of old).

The main road now by-passes Portinscale with the 'new' road being part of the improvements to the A66 once the railway closed.

We were fortunate to find the last but one parking spot on the old road.

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Today's walk starts through the field

called "Squirrels Rest"

next to the river,


where there are

a few picnic tables available if you want.


The field gives you an excellent view of the bridge

and access to the river.


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On the opposite bank is a river level measuring hut.
Looking down river to the Keswick road bridge and the A66 beyond.

Rather than stone, this is a larger and more dramatic concrete bridge, as it carries the dual carriageway over the river.

The next bridge abutment has a far older history.

It dates from the 1860's when the Penrith / Keswick /Cockermouth railway line was built.

The bridge was removed some time back and some of the old embankment on the other side seems to be missing too.

A brief path diversion because the old structure was flood damaged.
It took us up the embankment where we could see the line of the old track.
Such a warm day that Dougal fancied a swim.
In fact I joined him and had a dip myself.

[ There was another picture of me swimming but modesty prevents me showing it here ]

Carlside, Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man looking colourful,

especially with the blue skies and a covering of purple heather on the lower slopes this month.

To our left as we followed the Allerdale Ramble path

were the North Western fells of Causey Pike, Crag Hill, Grisedale Pike and the Whinlatter Forest.

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The Allerdale Ramble continues on towards Mirehouse

and the eastern side of Bassenthwaite,

but we need to leave it now and venture west.



All the way down the river here 

were signs of river bank erosion and trees fallen into the river.


At this point we left the river and headed towards "The Bog"


There's a public right of way shown on the map,

but no guarantee of the state of the path from now on.


- - - o o o - - -

Fortunately with the recent dry weather and sunshine the vast majority of the path was dry.

However, the farm fields were left behind and we followed the meandering path through the tussocky grass.

A new footbridge gave us confidence that the path would go through . . . but it was not the easiest of walking in places.

Across the way was the property that gave its name to the walk today.

In the centre of the bog was "Bog House" !

Sitting on slightly higher ground, next to the canalised Newlands Beck was a nice looking house.

No road to it, just a farm track and footpath.
Dancing Gate is is the property next to Lyzzick Hall Hotel.

Portinscale is the track back via How Farm,  but we continue on over the next bridge towards Braithwaite.

A really nice summer day and our coats were not needed.

Here we are crossing over the bridge spanning the raised banks of Newlands Beck.

That high hedge in the last photo is in fact a plantation of Willow.
This has been planted as a bio-mass crop.

The dark nature of the close planting has kept the land damp and this was the muddiest part of the walk.

In a few years the trees would be coppiced and the tops converted to wood chip, only to re-grow and repeat the cycle.

The exit gate allowed us to clean our boots as we crossed the farm field

towards the small business park at Braithwaite Farm.

On the opposite side of the buildings we met the old railway track once again.

This was the old platform and station buildings of Braithwaite Station, now a private house.

We emerged onto the cause of its demise . . . the motor road at Braithwaite.

Saying that, the A66 itself was not developed to this extent until after the railway closed in the 1970's.

Being well past midday, thoughts moved towards some light refreshment

so we walked through the village to Jasper's Coffee House where we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch.

Time to head back to the car as we passed the field being prepared

for the forthcoming Keswick Show over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Using the old road we re-crossed Newlands Beck . . .
. . . close to which is a small hidden gate.
At the top of the path is a local War Memorial in the form of a Celtic Cross.
Just a short walk later and it was time to cross over to Portinscale.

The local road climbs the slight hill up into Portinscale Village, past the Farmer's Arms.

On the corner is a rather dry looking well . . . but then it has been a long hot summer.

- - - o o o - - -

The religious text says:

" He that drinketh of this water shall thirst again

but whosoever drinketh of the water I shall give him

shall never thirst."

A side road next to the old well

leads us to another small ginnel and the river once again.

- - - o o o - - -

The Water Monitoring Hut comes into view once again . . . so we must b e on the right track.

The gate back into "Squirrels Rest" and the view of the suspension bridge once more

means that we have completed the very interesting round walk we'll long remember as "The Bog House Walk".

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Hi Roger,

I think I can shed some light on your comments: I was coming up to the Lake from South Manchester and later from Marple Bridge near Stockport from the mid-1950’s onwards. I have memories of us driving along the road from Keswick and through Portinscale. Perhaps we had a gap of a few years, once I was at Grammar School from 1960 so that some years later, when in Portinscale, I was quite surprised by there being only a footbridge on the ‘road’ from the village towards Keswick.

A little research this morning has aided my memory: and the meat about the bridge is referenced to the writing by Bruce Thompson ‘Portinscale Bridge’ in 1969 ‘Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, New Series, Volume 69. Kendal: CWAAS’.

The page echoes what is written in Wikipedia. There is a lovely photo on the Wikipedia page of a postcard from 1880 of the double-arch road bridge.

‘Old Portinscale Bridge, c. 1880’

Best Regards, Chris W.

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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.

This site best viewed with . . . sunshine, blue skies and refreshment stops on the way around.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 17th August - History and a History Walk

A previous time up here - 17th January -  St Bega and Bassenthwaite Lake

Next walk - 31st August - Flying in for a Fell Walk

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