Port Carlisle

This small place, tucked away on the edges of the Solway Firth, has been on my motorcycle radar for some time.  At just over fifty miles from Hexham and on the coast, it is a comfortable riding distance on a good day and, today turned out to be just perfect – not much wind, no threat of rain and mild.  Huge skies, a wide open estuary and a flat landscape makes it photogenic in an Ansel Adams sort of way.

It was only when I returned home that I started to look for more information on the place, not the logical way of doing things.  Had I but known, it is right up my alley, having both canal and railway history.  This from the Visit Cumbria website:

The village of Port Carlisle, originally known as Fishers Cross, was developed as a port in 1819 to handle goods for Carlisle using the canal link built in 1823. The canal was 11¼ mile long, and had 8 locks which were all built 18 feet wide.

From a wooden jetty, through the entrance sea lock and one other, the canal ran level for nearly six miles. Then followed six locks in one and a quarter miles, with a level stretch to Carlisle Basin.

Sailing boats made their way by the canal from Port Carlisle (about one mile from Bowness-on-Solway) to the heart of the City of Carlisle. Boats were towed to the City (taking one hour 40 minutes) enabling Carlisle to be reached within a day by sea from Liverpool. Barges collected the grain and produce destined for Carlisle’s biscuit and feed mills. The canal built specially for this purpose ended in the canal basin behind the present Carrs (McVities) biscuit factory in Carlisle.

There is even the remains of a railway viaduct at Bowness-on-Solway – I am going to have to return!

Warning – don’t go for a paddle.

Port Carlisle in the distance

Dramatic skies, without the GS

Port Carlisle form the west

Strangers on the shore with a selfie stick.


  1. Simon Timperley · September 16, 2019

    It is an interesting place well worth a return visit. My brother used to live in the cottage beside the sea lock and I was disappointed when he moved, but waking to find the sea lapping at their front door sent them seeking higher ground!

    • northumbrianlight · September 16, 2019

      I can understand his desire to move – the regular signage indicating “one foot deep if the water has reached here” would be a constant reminder of peril 😉 I even managed not to spot the sea lock. I will be better prepared next time.

      • Simon Timperley · September 16, 2019

        At the west end of the village turn right back along the Hadrians Wall Path. The path/drive crosses the lock before the last two houses and on the right is the dried up canal basin that was essentially their rear garden.

  2. Pit · September 16, 2019

    Black & white is very well suited to these pictures.

    • northumbrianlight · September 16, 2019

      Thanks Pit – definitely not so dramatic in their original RAW colour.

      • Pit · September 16, 2019

        But good!

  3. Leya · September 16, 2019

    Gorgeous skies and beach!

  4. Su Leslie · September 16, 2019

    Those skies!!
    I love the bike shots. My OH’s various bike projects are getting to a stage of completion that we should be able to get out soon and shoot some photos. He’ll drool when I show him yours.

    • northumbrianlight · September 17, 2019

      That’s good news – your summer is coming, I am envious. There was a chill to the air yesterday – not quite heated grip weather but it’s coming 😦

      • Su Leslie · September 17, 2019

        Without trying to sound ungrateful, I dread our summers as the humidity is terrible. But Spring and autumn are good, so for most of the year I’m a happy camper.

  5. jelleybaby · September 16, 2019

    Another interesting ride, and stunning scenery the coast looks very open, and photos are great.

    • northumbrianlight · September 17, 2019

      Many thanks – there is much more of interest in that hidden corner. I will definitely go back again this year, weather permitting.

  6. restlessjo · September 16, 2019

    Fabulous skies, Robin! The black and white processing is brilliant. 🙂 🙂 I haven’t heard of Port Carlisle but it does look a place with a past.

    • northumbrianlight · September 17, 2019

      Thanks Jo – an interesting corner. There must be some great walks, you would just need to watch the tides!

  7. J.D. Riso · September 20, 2019

    Those skies…wow. The tint on these images is perfect. That is one helluva cool bike, too.

    • northumbrianlight · September 20, 2019

      Thanks Julie – you obviously recognise a good bike when you see one 😉

  8. Thom Hickey · September 25, 2019


    Makes me pine for those vistas.

    Regards Thom

  9. Pingback: Ghost Roads … | northumbrian : light

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