The River Eamont – Ullswater to Eden

by David Murray on 17 August 2012

in Bridges, Cumbria, Lake District General, Rivers

The Eamont is one of Northwest England’s shorter rivers, rising among the Lake District mountains at Ullswater and flowing northeast to join the Eden, which then flows north and west into the Solway Firth and the Irish Sea.

Ullswater from Pooley Bridge
Ullswater looking southwest from Pooley Bridge
River Eamont leaving Ullswater

Birth of the River Eamont – Ullswater and Lake District mountains behind

From where it leaves Ullswater at Pooley Bridge (the photo above was taken from the bridge) the river flows northeast, surrounded for several miles by trees and passes Dalemain. Dalemain is an historic house, home to the same family for around three and a half centuries), open to the public and often the venue for interesting events such as the annual “World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival”.

Dalemain, near Penrith, Cumbria

Dalemain – An historic house between Pooley Bridge and Penrith

From Dalemain the river continues for two or three miles before flowing under Eamont Bridge. For decades this was one of the great horrors of motoring between England and Scotland on the west of the country. This narrow bridge, day after day used to cause long tail-backs of traffic in both directions. Today it is still busy, but the bulk of the traffic now passes a few hundred yards to the west on the M6 motorway. Some environmentalists may object to motorways but the older residents round here remember what it was like without one.

Eamont Bridge near Penrith

Eamont Bridge near Penrith after several days (weeks!) of heavy rainfall in the mountains

There’s more to come. The Eamont will soon pass Brougham Castle on the way to join the Eden, and will collect the waters of the River Lowther en route. At ground level it’s not easy to get a good photograph of the confluence of the Lowther and the Eamont, but here is a shot of the river from the top of the 800-year-old keep at Brougham Castle, with the houses of Penrith just visible in the background.

River Eamont from the Keep of Brougham Castle

The River Eamont, looking upstream, seen from the Keep of Brougham Castle

The narrow, and sometimes, dark, circular stairs built into the wall of Brougham Castle’s keep are still usable and open to the public. The views from the top are splendid. In the previous picture we were looking upstream and now we look downstream from the other side of the keep to the ancient Castle Bridge, and behind it the modern road bridge carrying the busy A66 east-west major road.

Bridges over Eamont at Brougham

Bridges over the Eamont by Brougham Castle, seen from the top of the keep

Just a couple of miles to go now and the Eamont joins the River Eden. When I get some better photographs I’ll add them in here, but for now here’s the best I’ve managed so far by risking a walk across field with a “Beware of the Bull” sign. Visible through the trees ont the bank the two rivers (the Eden coming in from the left) merge quietly, and with no splendid scene, before continuing together down the beautiful lower Eden Valley past Lazonby and Carlisle to return their waters to the Irish Sea and beyond that the Atlantic.

Confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Eden

The Inconspicuous Confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Eden


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