Broughton on Furness is an often forgotten part of the Lake District, often bypassed on the way to the western fells or the Cumbrian coast. It is for that very reason why we feel it is perfect for our celebrations, after all there’s more to the Lake District than you see on the usual tourist trail. Starting in the picturesque town, this lesser visited area of the National Park is a hidden treasure. You’ll rarely see anyone along the route that follows the old railway line which originally went to Coniston to support the mining industry.
Broughton in Furness dates back to the 11th century. The oldest building is thought to be St. Mary's Church, first built in Saxon times. A picturesque Georgian market square and its obelisk is the focus of the town.
The old railway originally went to Coniston, but closed in 1958. The first 2 km have been improved and the track has a compacted, stone surface. It ascends gradually from Broughton but the gradients are not steep.
You can access the walk from two places:
Leave the north eastern corner of the market square, grid ref. SD 212876 and follow Knott Lane past the toilets. The footpath through Wilson Park is now wheelchair accessible. Continue through the woodland at the back of the park and alongside the Broughton Tower wall. There you will find a bench which gives pleasant views of the fields and trees, grid ref. SD 215879.
Take the very start of the railway line where it leaves the main road by the library, grid ref. SD 213875. There is a bench after 1 km or 0.6 miles, overlooking two small tarns on the Broughton Tower estate. Continue on past Mireside Farm, where the renovated section ends. A track down to the minor road is a potential pick-up and drop-off point in Woodland valley but has a hard gradient of 1:5, grid ref. SD 228889.
Market Square or at the railway start, Broughton in Furness
Postcode: LA20 6HX
Grid reference: SD 212876
Grid reference: SD 228889
None on route, but car parking, toilets and refreshments in Broughton in Furness.
Car: A590 from Kendal towards Barrow, turn right on to the A5092 at Greenodd and carry on for 15 km to Broughton in Furness.