Low Level Cumbria
Cumbria is far more versatile for walking than most people imagine, and yet again I found myself over on the east side of the Lakes, in the Eden Valley, just before the landscape rises up again to the Pennines. The clouds were hanging low in the sky and driving over Shap from the south, windscreen wipers were on full, wind was pulling us about and the temperature pinged down to 4°. On the 28th April! But at least, my friend assured me, there were absolutely no ridges to fall off on this walk.
In fact it must be one of the flattest 9 miles in Cumbria. But it is ‘off the beaten track’ and so quiet that even though we walked on quite a few small roads, once out of Melmerby, the only moving vehicles we met were tractors, not all of them were full sized.
Parked neatly outside a farm door. Some one is clearly going to follow in dad’s footsteps, or should it be wheel tracks? We met only one other walker and that was a resident walking their dog.
The square, red buildings have the neatness of Lego and even the farms were devoid of the usual detritus of dying machinery. Neat straight walls and lanes have a likeness to the Dales, except the walls are more red than grey.
Addingham Church was as neat and square, and the porch was a good place to remove by now unnecessary waterproofs. Apparently it is a re-build as a previous church which was washed away by the Eden in flood in 1350.
Just over half way between Glassonby and Little Salkeld is the ancient stone circle, Long Meg and Her Daughters. The circle is supposedly endowed with magic, so that it is impossible to count the same number of stones twice, but if you do then the magic is broken. We didn’t try.
Pass Little Salkeld and Little Gill, provides a perfect picnic stop by a small stream, even better when the sun came out and blue sky appeared.
From here the route loops through Hunsonby back to Broadmeadows Farm (those tractors), and from there retraces back to Melmerby. Melmerby Bakery does good food and coffee and a great stock of organic bread flour. With a little bit of an extension this walk could be made into a railway walk starting from the Settle to Carlisle Railway at Lazonby.
Finally, just had to put in this picture of fun..