If you have seen the news about the December 2015 floods and googled the damage to the bridges on the C2C cycle route, you might think the C2C is closed at Keswick. It is not closed.
I know – I’ve just cycled from Keswick to Threlkeld on what has always been the ‘alternative’ C2C route. Even better, it goes directly past one of the most iconic places in the Lake District – the Castlerigg Stone Circle.
There were bridges destroyed on the old railway line route from Keswick to Threlkeld, and the boardwalk under the A66 has been affected by a landslide.
To take the ‘alternative’ C2C route, leave Keswick in the usual way along the old railway line route. In about half a mile you will come to a fork – see below. Take the right fork up a slight hill, rather than the left fork which is the standard C2C route.
If you have gone wrong, you will be able to tell, because instantly the standard C2C route becomes very rough and rubbly – almost as if it was part of the river.
If you have taken the correct route, you come very quickly to a small gate on to the main road. Go through and – VERY CAREFULLY – cross the road in order to cycle up the hill – or walk on the pavement if you prefer. It can be a very busy road.
You will see a sign on the right hand side of the road showing a small red 71 and ‘via Castlerigg Stone Circle‘, showing that you are on the alternative C2C route:
Take the left turn and almost immediately you will see a turn on the right. Take that and you are on your way to the Stone Circle, and the alternative route to Threlkeld:
You can find the ‘alternative C2C route’ either in your Sustrans C2C map or the Ultimate Guide to the C2C.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to visit the Stone Circle!