A secret world of wildlife - River Kent gorge walk

Season:Any
Duration:2 hours or less
Activity:Walking

On the eastern edge of Sizergh estate, the River Kent gorge cuts through beds of white limestone. Overhung by trees and tucked away from view, this secret world is a delight to explore. Thanks to the old gunpowder works, there is a constructed path that takes you easily through the best part of the gorge. If you visit between early summer and autumn when there is a spate, there is a good chance you could see the silver flashes of salmon or sea trout running the falls on their way up stream to spawn. If you miss this don't worry as there are always dippers and kingfishers busily skipping from rock to rock in search of their next meal, or if you are very lucky you might even catch sight of an otter!

Directions: (starting from Sizergh Castle car park)

  1. From the car park, head back along the parkland drive to the main entrance gate. Turn L and head through the underpass to join Nannypie Lane. Head down the lane to a T-junction. Turn L and follow the lane beside the River Kent to the entrance to the caravan park.

  2. Enter the caravan park and follow the tarmac drive beside the river for about 250m until it turns and climbs slightly. Just off to the R a path leaves the drive; turn onto it and follow it down onto the constructed path between the river and the leat. Follow the leat for its entire length to the footbridge at its end.

  3. Cross the footbridge and then double back along the footpath on the other side. This leads back through the trees to the caravan park.

  4. Regain the entrance to the caravan park, then retrace your steps beside the River Kent and along Nannypie Lane back to Sizergh Castle.

Note: An Alternative parking can be found in pull-ins along the small lane leading to the caravan park, if you want a shorter walk.

Further Information

Start/Finish: Grid Reference: SD 497878

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.7km)

Height gain: 80m

By Robert Pocklington

I am a Ranger at Sizergh Castle. I have been with the Trust for 5 years and my job consists of a wide range of things from woodland management and coppicing, walling, general estate work and visitor engagement. There is lots of great wildlife on the Estate, which is my main passion. So, for instance sometimes I get to help people spot Hawfinches...as a "twitcher" myself this is a real bonus: a hobby I get paid for! It's not just birds though - with over 100 species now on my Sizergh list I am starting to develop a keen interest in butterflies and scarce flora when times are quiet for birds in the summer months.

Robert Pocklington's Profile Picture

How to get here

Sizergh Car Park, Kendal

Ashbank Lane
Kendal LA8 8

SD 496 878

Get Directions

By foot: Many footpaths and bridleways head towards the estate and castle from Kendal and the surrounding area.
By cycle: RCR20 passes main gate.
Bus: Regular services 555/556 from Kendal
Train: West Coast mainline station Oxenholme Lake District 3 miles away. Also regular services to Kendal train station where can connect with bus services.
Traveline: 0871 200 22 33

Bus Timetable: http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/roads-transport/public-transport-road-safety/transport/publictransport/busserv/timetables/keswickcentrallakes.asp