On its journey from the M6 to Barrow the A590 has to cross the River Leven. Although not the biggest river it has a significant flow since it drains Windermere (England's largest lake), Langdale, Grasmere, Troutbeck and many of the high fells. It can quickly rise after rain on the hills and in November 2009 the Lakes suffered torrential rain a lot of flooding occurred, including along the Leven. Video
Here at Backbarrow the river is constrained into a steep sided gorge. Now lined with lovely woods, the area was once a hive of industry and the power of the water was harnessed in making iron. The road uses the high sided gorge to cross the obstacle of the Leven and the graceful arched bridge was built in 1970 when much of the road was improved. The old road crossed in Backbarrow village, on the old stone bridge by the Whitewater Hotel.
Finding the cache. There are parking laybys at both ends of the bridge. If you're heading east and park on the north side, you will need to cross the road. It can be challenging when busy, so take care. The GPS signal is quite good on the bridge but degrades lower down. The cache is a screw top vial. Please avoid trampling the vegetation and re-hide well.
At the west end of the railings is a small path leading down to the river. You can go under the bridge on a purpose built 'walkway'. This gives you a great view of the graceful arch and the fast moving water in the gorge. Downstream of the bridge is a long, slower moving 'pool', enjoyed by fisher-folk. We hope you enjoy another hidden gem on the 590.