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Solway Coast, Old railway Viaduct, Bowness-on-Solway, Solway Wetlands Centre, Cumbria.
[12.4 km]  Wed 01 Feb 2017

OS Grid ref: NY 20900 62031
Lat/Long: 54.946635, -03.236435

I had an easy drive north along the motorway in spite of the traffic website saying there had been a vehicle fire on the M6 at Shap. I reached Bowness-on-Solway to return to a previous walk I did in January with the intention of redoing part of it but also I wanted to visit the viaduct where the old railway used to cross the Solway estuary and into Scotland.

Remains of the viaduct.

Viaduct embankment stonework

Viaduct embankment stonework

The Solway Viaduct was opened 1869. The Engineer was Sir James Brunlees (1816–1892)
a Scottish civil engineer born in Kelso in the Scottish Borders.

Solway Viaduct Wed 01 Feb 2017
I parked in a lay-by to the west of the viaduct embankment and walked back to where it left the mainland. I crossed the grassy shore and then onto very wet sand which became quite deep mud as I approached the stone work. It was difficult climbing up the slippery sandstone but I managed to reach the last remaining section ironwork frame of the viaduct. It was cloudy and overcast so my view across into Scotland and the far side of the viaduct was quite hazy. I walked across the point where the sandstone is still intact at the waterline but most has been washed away by storms higher up. I continued along the east side of the viaduct embankment and returned via a very wet area back onto the road and into Bowness-on-Solway.Theres a lot more information about the viaduct via the link below:
abd more about the engineer James Brunlees below:
I was on part of the route as my last walk through the village and turned right along the lane which passes Glasson Moss on the left. I left the road to head off along the path which has a sign on it reading Bowness Common National Nature Reserve. The track continued to the west and was even wetter than the last time. A large tractor had been along which didn't help the going. I reached Rogerscuegh Crossing which is on the line of the abandoned railway and again looked over the gates at the house ruin which is just above foundation level.

Track to Rogerscuegh

Stone hide

Hedge cutting

Crossing the Moss

Rogerscuegh in the distance
Presumably this was the crossing keeper’s house when the railway was in use. I followed the track to the circular stone hide which is on a bend and gives excellent views across the marshes. Up ahead was a tractor with flail cutting the edges. I continued to the empty Rogersceugh Farm and stopped briefly in the adjacent barn which is an information centre with photos and information boards on the walls.
Crossing the Moss
Further along the muddy lane I left to follow a footpath across the marshes. The line of the path has been much improved and follows the field boundaries and not the original route shown on the 1:50k map. The path descended down to the wetlands and it crosses them using a succession of duckboards. Unfortunately only some of these had wire mesh on the top of them.
On the Moss

The hide

Inside the hide
Most didn’t and the surface is very wet and slippery. Eventually I reached an official path which went past the wetlands and at a track end there was a timber hide where two people were observing the wild-life. I then follow down a long narrow track to the buildings known as North Plain it is here that there is the Campfield Marsh Solway Wetlands Centre building.


'W' is for Wetlands

Clay Dabbin hut
In the ground there was an interesting building constructed of straw. It is a Clay Dabbin construction method particular to the Solway Coast and consist of a drystone wall plinth on which the clay dabbin walls are constructed.
Crocus near the Snowdrops
An oak frame roof structure is topped off with a heather thatch roof.
I left the centre and soon reached the road where I turned right and had a short walk back to the car.

Walking along the coast