Miles Without Stiles 18: Broughton Railway
Route type: For all. An easy walk along a disused railway line to Woodland valley, a peaceful and delightful corner of the Lake District - OS Explorer Map OL6
Distance: 4.5 km or 2.8 miles
Start point: Market Square, Broughton in Furness - grid ref. SD 213875
Turning point: 400 metres north of Mireside Farm - grid ref. SD 228889
Facilities: None on route, but car parking, toilets and refreshments in Broughton in Furness
Getting there: Bus: 511 service operates Monday to Saturday, from Ulverston to Broughton. Car: A590 from Kendal towards Barrow, turn right on to the A5092 at Greenodd and carry on for 15 km to Broughton in Furness
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 is the focus of the town and its obelisk marks the 1810 jubilee of King George III.
The walk starts in the market square. From the north eastern corner, follow Knott Lane past the toilets, round a tight right bend and down to the start of the old railway line. Wheelchair users should watch out for a stone water bar across the road, designed to drain rain and storm water away.
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.
There is a bench after 1 km, 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 gradient of 1:5.