to Levens Bridge
it was because it was all a bit rushed that Margaret
was in a grump.
Or maybe it was due to my inefficiency.
Those of you following our progress (or lack of
it) along the Cumbria Way will remember that we have
been stuck in the Latrigg car park since 7th February
The next stage is logistically difficult and we
have been waiting for the right combination of weather
and diary availability of us and our support team. We
had hoped to go this weekend but low cloud and the Ladies Golf Championship
conspired against us.
B was to start a new long distance walk with fewer logistical
challenges for simpler days. The circuit of Windermere
seemed attractive but the buses we wanted didn't run on a Sunday
so very much as a last minute, Sunday afternoon idea, I suggested we start
the Cumbria Coastal Path.
to start is a bit of a puzzle. According to the
OS map, the start appears to be at Dallam Towers but
that doesn't seem right. Surely it ought to start
at the Lancashire border near Far Arnside? After
all, that is where the Lancashire Coastal Way ends.
The walk around the Arnside Knott headland is
well known to us and a delight but it would create more
logistical problems right at the outset. So, as
a compromise, I opted for the Pier at Arnside. Somehow
it seemed to have a logic to it.
however, logic or even common sense failed me on the
bus from Levens Hall, where we left the car in a lay-by. Despite
our bus ticket clearly saying Arnside Pier, I got us
off the bus a stop too early. This meant a quarter
of a mile walk to reach the start point over ground
that we would have to retrace. Margaret didn't
seem to understand the necessity of going to the pier
but to me, it was essential- sometimes I think I have
a mild form of Asperger's syndrome! What further
upset her was that it was blowing a gale. Consequently,
in our commerative photo to mark the beginning of another
long distance walk she looked a right Mrs Grump. Or
would have done had her face not been totally obscured
by her hair.
Grump on the pier
got even worse as we set off down the road to Carr Bank.
Margaret, understandably, wanted to be on the
old railway track that skirts the sea front but there
was no way onto it for quite some distance- Mrs Grump
was getting grumpier by the yard. Eventually we crossed
a wall, found a log bridging a dyke and were able to
climb up on the embankment. I asked her if her
normal sunny nature would now reappear and she promised
it would once we had had a coffee break.
the benefit of anyone who might seek to use these reports
as a guide to the walk (unlikely and dangerous though
that is) I think we should have crossed over the extant
railway at the station and picked up the defunct track
there. Indeed if anyone is using this as a sort
of guide, they would do much better to look at Visit
Cumbria's Coastal Way
where there is a far better description from someone
who did it properly and used the guide book. Incidentally,
I am using the term Cumbria Coastal Path rather
than Way because that is what the occasional
sign post said and to differentiate our meanderings
from anything official!
railway embankment panorama
the wind abated and we were just the right side of the
divide between good and poor weather so we did have
a coffee and scone stop at Sandside. Mrs Grump duly
metamorphosed back to the Merry Marge we know and love.
This process was helped by the fine vistas across
the Kent estuary to the distant hills.
estuary at Sandside
tide was starting to come in, covering the mudflats
and I quite expected to see the Arnside bore but maybe
we were a bit too early. Here are a couple of
photos of the bore coming up the estuary and hitting
the viaduct at Arnside.
© Copyright Arnold
Price and licensed for reuse under this Creative
nowhere near as the Severn bore, it is still surfable
in a canoe - see Liverpool
for a photo of canoes riding the bore through the viaduct.
confluence of the Rivers Kent and Bela
the confluence, the path skirts the River Bela to Dallam
Towers where we made a short diversion to see the deer
that we had spotted from the bus.
have been warned
picture by the River Bela
glimpse of Dallam Tower
steps, we headed across the salt marshes on the top
of a levee as far as we could before reverting to the
very straight roads across the very flat fields.
with Arnside Knott behind from the salt marsh
on the levee
long road not a-winding
was some washing at College Green but just as I was
about to photograph it, someone came out and it would
have seemed rather obvious and strange. Margaret,
however, wasn't bothered as the background was wrong
for it to make a good her painting. Mind you,
I thought that was the point of artistic licence, you
can change it however you like. Anyway, no washing
paintings or photos from this first stage.
reaching the A6, the official Path follows this very
busy road. We thought it much more interesting to cross
over and pass through Leasgill where we could have a
nosey at the houses and gardens before dropping back
down to the main road. Not much can be seen of
Hall from the
road and it was, by this time, closed. However
it is a fine old building with a unique topiary garden
and excellent café.
If you can't visit the house, at least visit its
website! As usual, Visit
Cumbria also has
a good feature on it.
Hall behind the wall
River Kent in Levens park
car was parked just up the road, by which time we had
complete an easy (i.e. no hills of which to speak) 7.0
miles, not including the bonus stretch from wrong bus
stop to the pier. And all grumps long dissipated!
2nd August 2009
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