Wildlife, trees and plants at Miltonrigg Woods
Breeding birds previously recorded include willow tit, great spotted woodpecker, woodcock, sparrow hawk and wood warbler. Tawny owl, kestrel, redstart...Read more
Miltonrigg Woods is an extraordinary place. It’s got everything – wonderful woodland flowers, rare wildlife, fantastic trees, wetlands and a pond – and all-ability pathways to ensure that visits can be enjoyed by all.
Miltonrigg Woods is an outstanding feature of the Cumbrian landscape – a peaceful ancient woodland that’s at least 400 years old, where people have walked for centuries. There is also newer planting containing conifer and broadleaf trees in various sections of the wood. A network of paths leads through the wood, including a surfaced route which is suitable for wheelchair users and visitors with buggies.
The 157 acre site is dominated by wonderful beech and oak trees, many over 100 years old, and the conifers include Scots pine and Douglas fir. There are more than 200 species of flowering plant , including seven species of sedge and five of rush as well as wood sorrel, wood anemone, bluebell and early purple orchid along the path edges. Marsh cinquefoil, which takes its name from the five sharp purple petals of its bloom, can also be spotted by the keen eye in wetter sections of the wood.
The wood is also alive with birds including kestrel, sparrowhawk, tawny owl, great spotted woodpecker, redstart and coal tit among the more common of the woodland birds.
A pond at the heart of the wood provides a habitat for dragonflies, toads and newts, and visitors may even be lucky enough to spot the occasional roe deer.
With so much to see, excellent access facilities, and a number of benches at key points to provide a welcome rest, this woodland is ideal for walkers of all abilities and a beautiful spot for a picnic. It’s also just a few miles south of Hadrian’s Wall and other historical attractions, making it a great destination for an extended stay.
Miltonrigg lies to the east of Carlisle near the town of Brampton, just off the A69 - the main Carlisle-Newcastle trunk road which forms part of the northern boundary of the wood – and nine miles east of Carlisle if using the M6. It is situated in a rural setting, surrounded by stunning Cumbrian countryside, with the south-east corner of the site, known as Folly Wood, split from the main body of the wood by a railway line.
Maps: OS Explorer 315, Landranger 86; Grid reference: NY559612
Miltonrigg is large and mainly flat and the public access facilities are excellent with a large on-site car park in the north-east corner of the wood just off Hallbankgate Road. There are over two and a half miles of footpaths and the standard of the paths for less-abled users has been improved to provide short and medium walks to suit the interest and ability of different visitors.
From the car park there are two way-marked walks, one suitable for wheel chairs and buggies which takes visitors past the pond, and a second, longer, circular route through the woodland on mainly unsurfaced paths which includes a set of steps. There are a number of benches on which to rest, the most interesting location of which is adjacent to the pond in the middle of the wood. There are also other routes through the wood that link up with public footpaths to Milton across neighbouring land, providing an extensive network of paths for all users.
There are also bicycle locking facilities in the car park and information boards to give the visitor an insight into the management of the woodland. A RADAR accessible gate and a squeeze stile suitable for wheelchairs ensures access for all, and tap rails aid the visually impaired, especially where crossing ditches.
A PDF of a recommended walk (size 562.78 KB) through Miltonrigg Woods has been produced by the Cumbria County Council under their Miles Without Stiles scheme.
The nearest bus stop is in the village of Milton served by local bus service 680 between Brampton and Alston. Pick up the public footpath from Milton off the A689 which leads to the south-west corner of the wood.
Brampton railway station is on the Newcastle-Carlisle Tyne Valley Line, serving the town of Brampton. The station is located about a mile south-east of the town, near the village of Milton. Pick up the public footpath from Milton off the A689 to the south-west corner of the wood.
Exit the M6 at junction 44 on to the A689. At the roundabout take the second exit on to the A69, following the sign for Hexham. Miltonrigg is located on the right approximately three miles from the roundabout. Turn right at Naworth crossroads on to Hallbankgate Road (signposted Hallbankgate) and there is a car park with space for up to 15 cars on the right in the north-east corner of the wood.
There are public toilets in the car park between Main Street and Front Street in the centre of Brampton. There are also toilets with RADAR key at Talkin Tarn four miles away.
There is a wide range of pubs, cafes and restaurants in Brampton. Find out more at www.tripadvisor/brampton_cumbria
Accommodation and tourist information
For ideas on where to stay, visit TripAdvisor or contact the Brampton Tourist Information Centre on 01697 73433.