Saturday 13 November 2010

River Brathay

The River Brathay (Old Norse - Broad River), rises close to the top of Wrynose Pass, 1289 feet up in the English Lake District. From there, it descends 930 feet to Little Langdale Tarn and then drops a further 40 feet over Colwith Force before flowing into Elter Water. Continuing on, it heads east under Skelwith Bridge and towards Clappersgate, which is where we picked up its course.

It was flowing quite quickly and providing perfect water for a kayak.

At this point, it is near the end of its course, soon joining the River Rothay at Ambleside before feeding the northern end of Lake Windermere.

Interesting to note that this river once formed the boundary between Lancashire and Westmoreland. I hadn't realised that when county boundaries were adjusted in 1974 and Westmoreland and Cumberland merged to become Cumbria, a great chunk of Lancashire was also sacrificed to the new county. The whole of the Barrow in Furness Peninsula was once part of Lancashire, stretching up to include most of Windermere and encompassing Coniston Old Man. Nowadays Lancashire stops at the top side of Morecambe Bay, near Arnside, some 25 miles south of the Brathay.


  1. I didn't realise that governments in the old country were as cavalier as those in the new when it comes to adjusting traditional boundaries to create new districts - very annoying!

  2. The River Brathay looks to be flowing rapidly due to it's steady descent. It's very scenic.

  3. great river... would love to see it by my self, sometimes.