Update 3 Feb 2023: Please note that the zig zags at the start of this route have a slope of 1:8 for a short distance. We are investigating whether this can be made more level.
A tranquil, riverside walk next to the stunning ruins of Calder Abbey, described as one of Britain’s most enchanting ecclesiastic relics - OS Explorer Map OL6
From the car park, head towards St. Bridget's Church and go through a metal gate on the left. There is a zig-zag path to bypass the steps but be aware that this is steep (1:8) and has a cross slope. The path then winds gently downhill, crossing a small stream and raised causeway to the wooded banks of the River Calder.
This is a particularly beautiful stretch of the river. The sandstone cliffs on the far banks are dramatic and the river alternates between deep pools and fast stretches. It is a popular spot for trout and salmon fishermen. Look out for dippers and wagtails, as well as herons and kingfishers.
After 1 km, you arrive at the boundary of Calder Abbey. There is no access to the ruins, as they are in private grounds, but you can get a sense of the grandeur and importance of the Abbey in medieval times. Founded in 1134 by Ranulph de Meschines, Lord of Copeland, for a colony of monks from Furness Abbey, it was originally a Benedictine monastery. The Abbey has been described as one of the most enchanting in the British Isles. You have to return to Calder Bridge the same way.
Small informal car park near the church at Calder Bridge
Postcode: CA20 1DH
Grid reference: NY 042061
Grid reference: NY 051063
None on route, but there is a pub in Calder Bridge.
No public transport to route start point. Car: A5086 and A595 from Cockermouth, or A5092 and A595 beyond Broughton in Furness.