Wonderful Way Markings!
A hurriedly arranged walk the night before sent my friend Anne and I to our dear friends Aileen and Brian! Where to go when we both wanted to be home by four, and somewhere we had not already walked. The dog eared look of my Cicerone Guide to South Lakelandshows how well used it is and we found a route neither of us had walked the last walk in the book. Nine miles starting from Cartmel.
The rather bland parking at the race course gave little indication of some of the lovely countryside we were about to hike over and the amusement we would have matching our surroundings to the descriptive text in the book.
The wet weather, yes it has rained for a few days here, made some of the tracks rather challenging. What was a stream and what was a track? At this point the book assured us there was a bridge. But where?
Thankfully it was there, despite the rather large log trapped beneath.
Beyond the bridge we were instructed to ‘pause and look around … the secluded vale’. The farm we passed through happened to sell eggs, which we couldn’t carry and be right underneath a small rain cloud. Naturally backpacks were dumped on the floor and raincoats were removed, only to be ditched a short while later.
The next challenge was the reptilian wild life. We had been warned previously not to ‘freeze on the spot’ at an adder sign, but that sign had disappeared.
The adders were no where to be seen and the woods were just starting to shed their leaves. A few weeks and the autumn colours will give a completely different tone and in spring I must quote ‘ … be enchanted by the sunlight dancing through the branches and surrounded by birdsong’.
Much of the route we took followed or crossed the Cumbrian Coastal Way, which was a little further away than I imagined the coast on a ‘coastal way’ to be?
Good views of Chapel Island none the less. And when the blue sky and sun appeared we weren’t the only ones enjoying it.
The Leven estuary was dappled with sunlight, but the wind made taking photos a little tricky – Rosie wasn’t too happy about waiting.
Dropping away from the coast towards Roundsea wood, we were prepared to be be ‘halted by the view’ unfortunately the cloud base was a little low to see the promised hills of Lakeland.
The detour passing Speel Bank farm though, was perfectly picturesque with its white washed walls and dog and pony posing as if they had stepped from a children’s story book.
Beyond the farm the route circles back and re-joins the coastal way. Though the coastal way is fairly well way marked, some signs are a little dilapidated, and one obviously resembled a dogs dinner.
There is a very short stretch of road behind Bigland Barrow, which can be incorporated to make the walk a bit longer, but both having done that walk previously, we refrained. Another wooded area is Great Allotment. Obviously a slightly differing meaning for the word. No veggies, but tree harvesting was taking place and the tarn was a useful drinking spot.
Our next highlight was to view the ‘fine, new way marked gate’, was there a hint of sarcasm creeping in here? The narrow stiles mentioned are much as illustrated. Probably stay that way for a few more hundred years too.
There is only though, a passing mention to the ‘graveyard of abandoned vehicle’s.
Now we felt that the gate entering this area was a little more fine, and a little more way marked.
The odd assortment of tractors, dump trucks and cars flying into trees, Harry Potter fashion regressed us to teenage posing and were a somewhat eclectic contrast to the neatness of Cartmel village only a few minutes away.
Another south lakes walk which proves that getting off the beaten track and away from the ‘Wainwrights’ can be just as satisfying.
Book for sale here