two clyclists on teh Keswick to Threlkeld railway path

Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail

Following the floods in December 2015, the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway trail suffered serious damage. Two of the old railway bridges that cross the River Greta and around 200 metres of the trail surface were washed away, and Rawsome Bridge was left at risk of collapse.

Timeline of the project from 2015 - 2020

Latest update:

Read a blog update from Richard Leafe, Chief Executive at the Lake District National Park, October 2019.

Work on the trail is progressing well!

Update: 6 December 2019

Part of route temporarily reopened

Cubby Construction have temporarily opened a short section of trail in Keswick between the Shell Garage, Penrith Road and Forge Lane, near Travis Perkins building merchants. The section is still within the construction area and therefore remains under their direct management. It is likely that this section will need to be closed again in the New Year to complete further works.

Hard Hat Tours

We are pleased to announce that we will be organising some hard hat tours of the trail in the New Year with our construction partner Cubby Construction. This will give people an opportunity to visit the trail as it is being rebuilt and get up close to the people involved in the project. Keep a look out for the dates.

Big "bobbin" tunnel

The western arch of the big tunnel or Bobbin tunnel sees light after 40 years of being buried during the construction of the Greta Bridge in the 1970s.

The opening of an old railway tunnel

Brundholme Bottoms
A temporary Bailey-style bridge has recently been erected over the river Greta to provide temporary access to complete the off-line section of the trail at Brundholme Bottoms. This will allow our construction partner Cubby to access the west side of the bridge with plant and equipment and will reduce  traffic through Threlkeld village. This section of the trail should be completed by September 2020.

Low Pearson’s Bridge
Work has begun on the structures that will support Low Pearson's bridge. Preparation of the metal framework and concrete to strengthen the top of the existing abutment.

We will continue to look for any opportunity to reopen sections of the route, where it is safe, practical and efficient to do so. We hope to be able to re-open the section between Keswick Leisure Centre and Forge Lane once the bridge refurbishment over Penrith Road and path maintenance and surfacing is complete.

The path closures are in place to ensure that the health and safety of the public as the area is now an active construction site, under the management and responsibility of our contractor - Cubby Construction. We will continue to update the webpage and our Facebook group and will send out regular updates throughout the project.

Construction timeline

Note: the programme below is current as of 4 October 2019. Completion dates may need to be revised during the project to reflect any changes to the schedule of work. All works will be completed and the site handed back to the management of the LDNPA by December 2020.


Big tunnel excavation: Sept 2019 – Nov 2020. All works to the tunnel including extension and stonework completed by April 2020. Expected to re-open August 2020.

Low Pearson’s Bridge: Bridge totally destroyed during floods. Structural work to abutments and revetments Sept 2019 – Nov 2019. Completed by April 2020. 

Brundholme Bridge. Replace the bridge lost in floods. The bridge was badly damaged and the river span increased by approximately 20m. Structural work to abutments and revetments Sept 2019 – Nov 2019. Completed by April 2020.

Brundholme Bottoms:Construction of a new section of path to replace 200m washed away during floods. Complete Sept 2020. Bank stabilisation and protection works.

Rawsome’s Bridge: Bridge damaged and weakened during floods.

Threlkeld zig zag path: Construction of a graded path to increase accessibility for all users. Sept – Dec 2019.

Additional works

  • Path maintenance and surfacing. This will be undertaken and completed in sections, between Oct 2019 and Dec 2020.
  • Bridge refurbishment and repair. Shot blasting, repairs to bridge structure and painting. Sept 2019 - Dec 2020. For the bridges requiring strengthening, spanning River Greta work has to be carried out during the Environment Agency’s statutory "in river" working period. The work will commence in June 2020 and is expected to be completed in August 2020.
  • Tree planting Autumn 2019 and Autumn 2020. The numbers of trees to be planted will exceed those removed or cut back during construction works (3:1 ratio). Total trees to be planted approximately 1500 (3:1 ratio). 

See our plan to reconnect the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway trail below.

Keswick to Threlkeld overview map

Our plan to reconnect the Keswick to Threlkeld railway multi-user route.
Click image for a larger version.

Keep up to date:

Keswick to Threlkeld overview map

Alternative route maps and plans

Latest maps showing alternative routes, Keswick town centre routes and plans for works.

You will find information panels near the trail indicating where alternative routes are available.

Latest maps and plans
European Union - European Regional Development Fund

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Watch our Rawsome Bridge film

Rawsome Bridge was left severely damaged and remains risk of collapse, it is important people do not attempt to cross this bridge for their own safety.

About the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail

We are committed to working with the community, landowners, businesses and other local organisations to reconnect the route between Keswick and Threlkeld for the enjoyment of walkers, cyclists and those with limited mobility. Due to the extensive scale of the damage it is estimated that this could take up to two years. In the interest of public safety we have closed off all damaged and missing bridges and we ask everyone to take note of the warning signs and not to remove any of the safety fencing or notices. 

We are now working to develop plans for reconnecting the route at locations where the bridges are missing or damaged. We will keep the public updated by sharing project information, including the information presented at the public meetings held by Capita in January 2017.

Sign up to keep informed

If you would like to be notified of any significant updates regarding the Keswick to Threlkeld trail developments.