The River Kent runs along the eastern boundary of the Sizergh estate. It is a deep river gorge, unique in Lakeland because the constantly running waters of the Kent here cut through beds of limestone. There are ledges, cliffs and curved rock formations; with fallen rocks on the river bed that alter the direction of the water creating fast moving races and slow moving smooth pools. Winter is definitely the time to see it: the water torrents and the gorge transforms into a spectacular winter wonderland with icicles and frozen waterfalls forming on the steep sides of the banks. A visit during a really cold spell in the depths of winter can be particularly rewarding...
Park alongside the road before you get to the Low Park Wood caravan park, and follow the river bank path upstream, on tarmac through the Caravan Park (which will be closed in winter anyway) and then on an earth path past the remains of the old Gunpowder Works.
To get there:
Leaving the Sizergh Estate main entrance gates, turn immediately left under the dual carriageway underpass and carry along Nannypie Lane, turning left when you get to the River Kent.
A trick for taking good photos of the ice formations would be to take as many photos as you can from different angles. This could give you different colour results as the light refracts through the frozen water. Be careful though as the rocks which you walk on could also be frozen which creates an ice rink and can be very dangerous. There is a path that runs along the edge of the river which gives good height for looking into the gorge and for most of it very close to the water’s edge. Icicles also form in the mill race so take advantage from the path to get close to these also.
I am a Ranger at Sizergh Castle. I have been with the Trust for 5 years and my job consists of a wide range of things from woodland management and coppicing, walling, general estate work and visitor engagement. There is lots of great wildlife on the Estate, which is my main passion. So, for instance sometimes I get to help people spot Hawfinches...as a "twitcher" myself this is a real bonus: a hobby I get paid for! It's not just birds though - with over 100 species now on my Sizergh list I am starting to develop a keen interest in butterflies and scarce flora when times are quiet for birds in the summer months.