A bridge that is grade 2 listed? That’ll be Birks Bridge then. Built around the 1800′s, made of stone rubble, 2.5.metres in width and with drainage channels in the parapets with the voussoirs (drainage holes) being dressed. The gorge below has been smoothed by the constant river action, often very fierce when in full flow. The name comes from the Birch trees which can be found around here, hence Birch or ‘Birks’ Bridge. There is an old tale of a local who liked to frequent the Newfield Inn. On his return (and worse for drink) on a horse and cart, he would try and cross the bridge only to get stuck!
Planning your visit:
The nearest pub is The Newfield Inn at Seathwaite village. The Post Office at Ulpha sells sandwiches & drinks etc. too. In Broughton-in-Furness (about 5 miles away) there is a Tourist Information Centre, numerous pubs, two café’s, two petrol stations, a butcher, grocery store, outdoor shop and a post office. Although a little further away, the historic Blacksmiths Arms (GR SD 222 905) at Broughton Mills, sells local food and ale. You need to return from Birks Bridge and head towards Hall Dunnerdale, leaving the main valley road and continue up & over Kiln Bank to the other side of the hill, passing through a metal gate (continue 0.75 miles).
How to get here:
From Greenodd turn right onto A5092 towards Workington Follow this road for approx 11 miles passing the High Cross Inn on the right. At the Duddon Bridge, turn right at traffic lights signposted Seathwaite and Ulpha. Keep straight for 12 miles through Seathwaite towards Cockley Beck. There is a small off road car park just before the bridge with room for around five cars. There’s also a Forestry Commission car park.