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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

Long Distance Walks

Long Distance Walks

I have had a whole week off work!  Seven days of leisure and pleasure.  Why then has there been no time to tick things off that long list of ‘things to do on wet winter days’?  There have been plenty of those for sure.  But today is the first I have managed to sit down for any length and write.  Admittedly, on three of the seven I have managed to put my boots on and head up a hill.

Wondering which of these three walks to write about first, wondering if there was a connection.  Could I write one blog on three walks?  One was in Warwickshire  and two in west Cumbria, could there be a link.  West Cumbria – yes, plausible.  Warwickshire, tenuous.  Then I remembered a moment on Christmas day when I had yet again noticed we were on the Pennine Way.  And that was it.  The connection.  Long distance walks.   So I have spent an age of time ploughing through the Long Distance Walkers Association www. finding out a myriad of interesting and not so interesting, facts.  Such as:  there are 117 long distance walks which pass through Cumbria (if I have counted correctly).  The shortest listed is a mere 6 miles, the Kirkby Stephen Link, and oddly part of one of the two Cumbria walks.  870 miles is the Northwest Coastal Trail which is, apparently, still under construction and runs from Chester to Carlisle.  From reading acorn way marks and other signs, I knew of the: Cumbria Way, Pennine Way, Cumbria Coastal Way, Coast to Coast, Dales Way and the Limestone Link, because I almost live on top of it.   Checking the routes, all shown on interactive maps on LDWA, my hikes this year, have covered quite significant stretches of some of these, now appropriately tagged.  Others I have hardly stepped on, and none have I completed.  So  there’s a challenge for 2013.  The most of any LDW I have plodded over is the Cotswold Way, and even that we did not do the last bit to Bath.  Must say something about me,  am I just not a ‘completer/finisher’?

Looking further afield I do wonder if may be all footpaths are part of long distance paths.  In Devon at the start of 2012, it transpires one wet, miserable walk was part of the South West Coastal Way, and my trips to Yorkshire have encompassed bits of the Dales Way and the Nidderdale Way and finally, that tenuous link to Warwickshire and the MacMillan Way.  This route was set up to raise money for the cancer charity and is a total of 290 miles.    The short stretch along Edge Hill in Warwickshire used to be part of my daily dog walk.

So now, the walks:

Part one – Pub walk from Ratley, read on,  – Part two, here


How thoughtful of my friend to plan a walk from the Rose and Crown, Ratley, a lovely pub which was almost my local.  It has an interesting array of ‘Real Ale’, well at least the names are interesting.



As a visitor I was looking at Warwickshire with completely different eyes.


The sandstone villages with chocolate box thatches, duck ponds and winding lanes are actually very picturesque, not just somewhere to be dashed through as quickly as possible on the way to work. Granted, there are not many hills about but I did live at the bottom of one. The whole 215m height of Edge Hill dominated the view from my kitchen window for 13 years.


Not such a bad view.  Walks two and three to follow.

If you have walked any, or part of the Long Distance Walks mentioned, or not mentioned for that matter, please add a link, click below, to enter.

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  1. Interesting connection… I know very little about long distance walks other than the South Downs Way and Cumbria Way but have only walked parts of either. Perhaps something for the future…

    • I don’t know much either. When I moved back to Cumbria my friend who walked the Cotswolds Way with me (or most of it) bought me Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, but it’s still on the list….

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