Geotrails & Views

A selection of geotrails, interesting geological views and sites in Cumbria. Checkout the Geological Sites Map for publically accessible interesting geological sites.

WD banner geotrails

Three new geology walks in the Westmorland Dales for 2022. Produced by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme with grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Written by Elizabeth Pickett and designed by Marcus Byron with contributions from Cumbria Geoconservation.

Check out the Local Geological Sites that are on or near these walks, on our Public Map.

 


 

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Smardale geology walk.

CWT carpark at NY742 083

A beautiful walk through a local nature reserve with interesting geology features and history. Download the  guide here.

Orton Scar & Knott.

Start in Orton NY622 082

Lots of limestone features and glacial erratics on this spectacular geology walk, with stunning views. Download the guide here.

Kirkby Stephen & Stenkrith.

Start in Kirkby Stephen NY771 084

Find out about brockram, red sandstone and tufa! See the power of water in the River Eden. Download the guide here.

Storth Geotrail SD 478 807

This is a lovely 5km route with 18 waypoints (including several LGS sites) exploring landforms and geology around Storth and Sandside in the Arnside and & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Starting at the Ship Inn on the coast. Section from St John’s Cross to Throughs Lane showing the likely configuration of beds below ground level. Download a 16 page guide by Peter Standing here.

Storth: Vertical fold
Storth: Erosion of shale gives a natural cutting
Storth: Striations & fossils

Kendal Limestone Geotrail:

Selected rock exposures with grid references, accessible on walks from Kendal town centre. Download a 21 page full colour guide by Richard Wrigley from Westmorland Geological Society here.

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St. Bees Geotrail NX 961 118

This coastal route is part of Wainwrights Coast to Coast. But take your time to look at the fascinating rocks and features. There are several LGS sites along the way. Find out more from the geological sites map and search for Fleswick, Birkhams and St Bees Beach. Download a 12 page guide by Mike Dewey here.

St Bees: Cross bedding
St Bees: Info board at Birkhams Quarry
St Bees: Submerged forest

Eycott Hill Nature Reserve NY 394 301

Eycott Hill’s geological story goes back almost 500 million years. Ancient lava flows are sandwiched between older siltstones and mudstones and younger limestones. A leaflet can be downloaded here and links to educational resources here.  Eycott is an SSSI, a National Geological (GCR) site and a Local Geological Site and managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. OS map 90.

Eycott: Lava
Eycott: Jointing
Eycott: Sink hole

Some other interesting geological sites and views.

LGS Statue

Cockermouth Town Trail.

An interesting walk around Cockermouth, looking at the building stones. Download a leaflet here.

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Great Asby Scar SSSI

NY 584574 Orton

Some of the best and most extensive limestone pavement in the UK. Fine out more by looking at the geological sites map and searching for Great Asby. Great Limestone (GL)

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Iconic Rock – Shap Granite.

Shap granite is seen in many erratics across Cumbria and is a useful indicator of ice movement. The Quarry itself is still a working Quarry with no public access. Shap Granite.

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Donkey Rock.

SD 210 868 Broughton

This impressive 10m high quarry face, certainly has a wow factor! It is a little piece of the sea floor as it was some 425 million years ago. These 'bumps' are called flute casts. Windermere Super Group.

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The Bowder Stone.

NY 254 164 Borrowdale, Keswick

Its sheer size and how it balances on one corner, has long made this an iconic image of the Lake Ditsrict. A rock fall from Bowder Crag, 150 meters above, is its probable source. Borrowdale Volcanic Group

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Kendal Town Geotrail.

Leaflet "Kendal Building Stones" by  Geoff Brambles, available by post with other publications here and from Kendal Museum

This is a short mostly level walk around Kendal, pointing out the variety of features in the stones used to build Kendal.

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Sandscales Haws.

National Trust car park at SD 200756

The sand dunes here, have national and international conservation importance. Carboniferous limestone
bedrock is 60 metres beneath glacial drift, till (unsorted material carried by the glacier and dumped as it melted) and water sorted sands, gravels and clays. Investigate dune features and how they were formed in the attached leaflet.

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Rampside Ramble.

Start at The Concle Inn, Rampside.

The salt marsh is an important and complete record of modern sedimentation.  It built up after the Causeway to Roa Island was built in 1847; old maps before this time showed a water filled hollow known as Conck Hole.

The attached leaflet also describes some of the glacial deposit features.

Till cliffs

Walney West Shore.

Thorney Nook SD 184664 or Hare Hill SD 204628.

Walney is a unique feature of the
English coast, a barrier island, with recurved spits at either end, a type of
large offshore bar, exceptional in being the result of erosion and reworking of glacial sediments, in an environment with a large tidal range. Find out about the pebbles, the erratics and glacial sediments here.

Peperite at Honister
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Till cliffs

Honister Geotrail.

Starting Point: Honister Visitor Centre carpark at NY 2238 1357

The spectacular mountain scenery around Honister Pass is the backdrop to this two-hour Geotrail, which explores glacial landforms, slate quarries, and fascinating evidence of volcanic activity from 450 million years ago. See the attached leaflet.