Howk Bobbin Mill copyright LDNPA

Miles Without Stiles 28: The Howk, Caldbeck


Route type: For all. This is a short walk from the picturesque village centre to the old bobbin mill and the Howk limestone gorge - OS Explorer Map OL5

Distance: 1 km or 0.6 miles

Start point: Caldbeck village car park - grid ref. NY 323399

Turning point: Howk bobbin mill - grid ref. NY 319398

Facilities: None on route, but toilets and refreshments in Caldbeck

Getting there: Bus: Caldbeck Rambler 73 / 73A runs four times a day every Saturday from Keswick. Car: M6 from Penrith to junction 41 and B5305, signposted Wigton. After 10 km, take left lane for Caldbeck and Hesket Newmarket.


Caldbeck is named after the river Cold Beck, which provided water power for important industry in the 17th and 18th centuries. Mills producing flour, wool, bobbins and paper, along with a brewery, all used the river and its tributaries for energy. Many of these old buildings still exist in the village.

This pleasant walk goes from the village car park to the Howk, a limestone gorge with waterfalls and the picturesque ruins of the old bobbin mill. It had the largest waterwheel in the country, 3 feet wide and 42 feet diameter.

Follow the path at the back of the car park and go uphill for 30 metres. Turn left on the road and go down to another road junction. Cross the road and go through a gate, which has a high, swing-over catch. Follow the fine, well surfaced path to the ruins of the bobbin mill, where there is a bench and an information panel. Return the same way.


Map - The Howk, Caldbeck route