Cycle back into History

Although Walkers are Welcome are committed to promoting walking, we also support the Brampton Travel Action Group in their drive to make sustainable transport prominent in the community.

Brampton has many excellent cycling routes with Nation Cycle Route 78, Hadrian’s Cycleway passing through the town and for anyone looking for a half day circular bike ride from Brampton, the following route takes in ancient history, quiet country lanes and some quality refreshments.

Moot Hall, Brampton

The Moot Hall is the focal point of Brampton and our route begins and ends here. This route is 18 miles (just under 30 km) and expect to take two to three hours cycling time to complete.

Begin by cycling down Front Street from the Moot Hall towards the squat tower of St Michaels church, itself a building well worth exploring, especially the pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows. Turn left onto Main Street and immediately right onto the A 6071 Longtown Road past William Howard School.

After 3 km take the first left after the light-controlled bridge signposted to Walton. Note the imposing building of Castlesteads on your left and its connection with Arthurian legend. Beyond Castlesteads the road gently climbs to Walton.

20150606_065226_HDR-2The newly refurbished Walton Reading Room cafe is now open seven days a week from 10:00 to 16:30. They do cater for groups but call in advance on 07867 868763 or email

Return the main road through Walton and follow this north-east to Nicky’s Hill. Fork left onto the B 6318 towards Gilsland. For a cyclist, this section of the B 6318 is a beautifully quiet road, undulating, winding but always with extensive views towards the North Pennines.

At Triermain Farm, note the only remains of Triermain Castle which stand as a bookmark to Sir Walter Scott’s novel inspired here: The Bride of Triermain.

Just before you turn right at Kiln Hill towards Birdoswald, stop at Slack House Farm (bunk and camping barn) to try some of their famous Birdoswald Cheese and home made cakes in the Scypen Cafe & Farm shop.

Birdoswald was one of the most important forts on Hadrian’s Wall and Time Team excavations have unearthed a large civilian settlement or ‘Vicus’ adjacent to its west gate. English Heritage now manage the site and provide a museum, shop and the ubiquitous tearoom if Slack House Farm happens to be closed.

Hadrian's Wall at Birdoswald

From Birdoswald we are now following the line of Hadrian’s wall west towards Banks and the steep descent to Lanercost Priory. This sector of the Roman Wall has plenty to see with Fort-let and Mile castle to explore as well as the Pike Hill signal station and the excavated Banks Turret.

At this point the Red Rock Fault brings a geological end to the limestone section of Hadrian’s Wall and from here onwards, sandstone became the predominant building material. However, little of the red wall remains apart from a short stretch buried under soil near Walton to preserve it. Most of the sandstone bricks were used in the building of Lanercost Priory.

Lanercost Priory

The short steep descent to Lanercost should clock your top speed of the trip and brings you down off the wall ridge to the fertile valley floor of the River Irthing and Lanercost Priory, the best preserved of the Cumbrian monasteries.

The route to Brampton now climbs steadily up the easy graded Lanercost Bank before a long gentle descent down to The Sands area of Brampton with its unique stone shelter. Keep right following Main Street into town and take the first left after the CO-OP (High Cross Street) back to the Moot Hall.

Route Details

Map My Ride Details (includes links to GPX and KML files)

Total distance: 28.76 km | Total ascent: 251 metres

One rating 5 (easy) climb of 60 metres in 2.3 km