Hadrian’s Coastal Route 2: Country roads and Clifftops

12.96 miles 6h 15m 430m ascent

Beckermet-St Bees-Whitehaven

But like not unto any one of these
Is that tall crag, that northward guards the bay,
And stands, a watchful sentry, night and day
Above the pleasant downs of old St. Bee’s.

Thomas Edward Brown

 

This proved to be a slightly longer walk than expected. (I had originally ended that sentence with the word predicted rather than expected, but suspect my walking companion does not expect that which I have predict). This was no great burden the excess being but a few minutes stroll but such was the delay we found the ice cream shop at the Beacon closed. But it was a glorious day nevertheless. Continue reading

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Hadrian’s Coastal Route 1: Where the dirt is clean

12.3 miles 5h 4m 114m ascent

Ravenglass-Beckermet

Having completed our walk along the Hadrian’s Wall route last year we have spent the last few months thinking about our next walk and the book Hadrian’s Coastal Route: Ravenglass to Bowness-on-Solway: Walker’s Guide by Clifford Jones served up our challenge. The Roman Coastal defences once stretched from the end of the Wall at Bowness-on-Solway down to Ravenglass, which was once an important Roman naval port. So the route ties in with our Hadrian’s Wall walk from last year. The book contains a wealth of historical detail, but only a basic description of the route, and with hand drawn maps. My copy was published over a decade ago and we are aware that paths and access may have changed since then. There was once a Cumbrian Coastal Way, but the council decided not to continue maintaining it after 2010 and it no longer appears on OS maps, so we might still find old signs but would not be able to rely on waymarkers to guide us. More fun, eh? Continue reading

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Freezing winds on Great Sca Fell

5.8 miles 3h 14m 457m ascent

Longhands-Little Sca Fell-Great Sca Fell-Meal Fell-Trusmadoor

A day may come when we are warmed by the shining sun, when we forsake our jackets, and don our sunhats and shades. But it is not this day.

with apologies to Tolkien, ROTK)

The last day of March the sun had shone in a sky empty of clouds. The land had warmed and with that warm my spirits had soared. The day following our walk saw the sun casting well defined shadows and the wind blowing without a chill (at least in the morning). But the day of our outing to the Uldale Fells saw a weather front arriving hours before it was forecast bringing with it winds cold enough to numb gloved fingers, and strong enough to snatch the breath from our mouths. Were I the superstitious type I might wonder if the recent switch to BST was to blame.

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