Todays walk would be solely along minor roads, as I complete the section around Moricambe Bay. This area of North Cumbria is quite quiet and I would have to get two buses from Bowness-on-Solway (my destination and parking spot) to Abbeytown (my start point). My first bus is the #93 into Carlisle, it costs £5.60! I then get the #400 service to Abbeytown at a cost of £6.90………………ouch!! At a total cost of £12.50 it is the most expensive journey I have undertaken on my journeys so far. I could have bought a Day Rover for £10.70, which would have still been very expensive OR I could have simply cycled between my start and end points and then walked back. Food for thought on my next trip up here.
Yet again there had been a severe overnight frost, so it was on with the thermal mitts when I got off the bus at Abbeytown and a bit of quick walking to un-freeze my toes which had got very cold waiting for the bus in Carlisle. I will be walking along the B5307 for most of the morning and hope that the ROAD CLOSED AHEAD signs will not affect me. I pass the red sandstone church, the site of the Cistercian Holme Cultram Abbey, another victim of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The road is very quiet and I suspect the road closure has something to do about that. I turn off this b-road down a minor road and walk over a railway that spans the long disused Carlisle/Silloth to Annan line, that passed over the Solway by means of a viaduct the remnants of which can still be seen on either bank today. I pass the small hamlet of Saltcoats, with its over-sized pond and re-join the B5307.
At this point I finally come to the point where the road is closed and the current work is taking place. The road is being widened and re-surfaced, not sure why as the bit about to be upgraded looks ok. I ask the workmen if its ok to walk through, they say yes, no probs, but I have to be ‘escorted’ for about 100m for ‘elf and safety reasons. I am now in the small village of Newton Arlosh, which has an interesting church St. Johns, which although dating back to 12th Century was restored in the mid-19th century. I pass the pub and continue on.
This whole area is flat as a pancake and views are quite limited and with roads as straight as an arrow, the walking is not that interesting. I eventually come to Angerton and turn left and cross Whitrigg bridge which spans the other main River feeding into Moricambe Bay, The River Wampool. I continue on through the hamlet of Longcroft and into Anthorn. There are more houses here, but I finally get a view out across Moricambe Bay, which looks huge. I then see something I have not seen for quite a few years, coal lorry delivering sacks of coal. This used to be a common sight, but these days you just buy the stuff at a petrol station or garden centre. As I leave Anthorn behind I finally arrive at whats been dominating my view all morning, the 13 huge radio masts, interconnected like a spider’s web, they soar 745ft into the air. I am taken-in by their amazing symmetry.
As I approach the hamlet of Cardurnock, I say goodbye to Moricambe Bay and begin to continue to walk along the Solway Firth. The shoreline is out some distance and across a salt-marsh, but I have been walking north most of the day and am drawing very close to the Scottish coastline. I can now make out features of my walk along the Scottish side of the Solway which I did in May 2016, in particular the area around Annan.
I have about four more miles of road walking until I eventually arrive at Bowness-on-Solway and the western extremity of the Hadrian’s Wall. Built on the site of a Roman Fort – Maia, it is also the start of the National Trail for Hadrian’s Wall. I have been pleasantly surprised today with how quiet this area has been. I have been on roads all day but probably had about 10 cars pass me and just a couple of people. I complete the walk in just 4.5 hours.
Distance today = 16 miles
Total distance = 2480 miles