The Irish Sea Cycle Route Blog Archive

Reflections of riding the Irish Sea Cycle Route.

England - Ulverston to Gretna

I left Ulverston on Sustrans cycle route 70, through Pennington, then rode my way over the fell from Marton to Ireleth with wonderful views across Duddon Sands.

Duddon Sands

Looking across the Duddon Sands

There’s a single track road before the hamlet of Chapels, it leads across the Moss to Foxfield. Then Broughton-in-Furness (don't miss the old fish-stones), a lovely village on the fringe of the South Lakeland Fells. A short stint on the busy A595 after Broughton, down the steep hill to cross the River Duddon. A left turn on the climb out of the river valley finds an excellent back road through Lady Hall, then onto Millom.

A turn northwards starts the route up the coast of the Western flank of the Lake District National Park. The mountain on the right is Black Combe, first visible from the coast road in Morecambe.

Bootle Village sign

Bootle Village, Cumbria (not to be cionfused with Bootle, Merseyside)

At Bootle, the route follows excellent lanes, kissing the Irish Sea coast by Eskmeals.



A turn inland is necessary to cross the Esk. Back on the busier road then to Ravenglass, this lovely village overlooks its green across the estuary. It is also home to the Ratti Railway, the Ravenglass-Eskdale Railway.



An excursion on the Ravenglass-Eskdale Railway will take you inland, with excellent views of the higher mountains of the Lake District.

There are some lovely coastal villages such as Drigg and Seascale.


just north of Seascale

At Seascale Railway station the route turns inland, traffic more busy around the Sellafield Nuclear Site (formerly known as Windscale!) I didn’t loiter and it’s not pretty.

Excellent B–roads soon see me in St Bees then by the harbour in Whitehaven.

Whitehaven Harbour

The harbour at Whitehaven

I follow cycle routes into Workington, then it’s the coast road, it was windy for me, the Wind Turbines were producing plenty of electricity, earning their keep. At Flimby there is a good cycleway amongst the dunes into Maryport.



After Maryport the cycle route hugs the coast before a quiet coast road through the far-flung Parishes of North West Cumbria.


cobbles at Silloth

After the cobbles of Silloth, there’s only Skinburness, where England runs into the Solway Firth, across the Solway is Scotland and on the far bank of the Solway is the ISCR between Annan and Dumfries.



But it’s a trek inland to cross the Solway after Carlisle before turning west for ultimately, the Mull of Galloway.

It’s nice riding these lanes, little traffic and extensive views across the coastal plains, and in the view is the enormous antenna farm. The ISCR circumnavigates the aerials to stay with the coast around this small peninsula to Bowness-on-Solway.

Bowness on Solway

just before Bowness on Solway village

It’s a simple run in to Carlisle, by the Castle and over the river, then the Irish Sea Cycle Route rolls over the border into Gretna and Scotland.


the Scotland-England border

Places of Interest along the way
Ravenglass Roman Bath House Ravenglass Eskdale Railway St Bees Head Hadrians Wall, Bowness on Solway Carlisle Castle Old Smithy, Gretna Green