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Thread: TR: Not the Cumbrian Coastal Way

  1. #1
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    A walk round parts of the Cumbria coastal way, with some well diversions involved at times. Mostly after spending long enough staring out to sea it seemed worth seeing what it was like reversing it.

    The answer is definitely interesting in places, although I'm not sure how well it all links together into a walk. Now if you had a portable boat....

    Day 1: Carlisle to Bowness. A nice, simple, short (~25k) walk along the Hadrians wall path in nice weather. Some intriguing signs regarding the road flooding and things and some long range views of Skiddaw which didn't photograph well.

    The Solway looking nice too. By far the most impressive thing though was the 'high cup' style moment I got on the beach. I'd been wondering where the Galloway hills were hiding and they do basically hide right until you get to Bowness. In fact I do wonder slightly how many people on Hadrians wall go down to get this view. It's worth it!




    Day 2: Bowness to Siloth. Just over 40k as I did it via the Cardurnock peninsula.

    This day is sort of where the minor problems start to show. The walk round the Cardurnock peninsula should be very nice in reasonable weather. Since I didn't get that I had to amuse myself staring at the quite amazing collection of radio masts:




    Then there's a bit round the edge of Moricambe bay which has its own scenery. Then the problems start. Basically you've got to get to Skinburness and it isn't easy (except as noted by boat!). You've got some rather aimless minor road walking into Abbey town and then two 'amusing' options.

    One is to tackle this:




    Now, I'm happy with pathless hills and all but this? It makes the pennines look attractive, with some added potential 'fun' from being so coastal. The guidebook has some pretty clear warnings in it.

    The other option is some pretty aimless walking besides some more major roads. Oh well Resorting to buses would be rather reasonable.

    Skinburness/especially Grune point are however really nice places. Especially Grune point where you do fell right out in the estuary. The light in these places is so nice when the sun is shining. The Solway of course has the added benefit of quite a few nice hills to look at on the other side.




    And then there's Siloth. An interesting town and some outrageous views. Very good ones of Skiddaw out the back, and some rather nice ones over the Solway.


  2. #2
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    Nice one, Martin - thanks for posting.

    Looks like an interesting section of coast. It's not an area I've visited but some of it looks rather reminiscent of the saltmarsh scenery further south on Morecambe Bay.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    Truncated it seems. Well here's a sea view from Siloth:




    I don't think this is especially exceptional lightwise actually. Karmik pay back for surviving some of the earlier bits of the day

    Day 3: Siloth to Cockermouth. (35k ish)

    The coastal walk down to Maryport should I think have nice views of Skiddaw and other various nice bits. As it was I got a nasty headwind which eventually got joined by some rain for the sort of experience you generally have to a climb a hill for

    Then a nice bit by the Ellen and some aimless back roads through small places into Cockermouth. Not sure how nice this would have been with views. Maybe quite.

    Cockermouth is of course not on the coast but I'd decided that it would be a bit peverse to turn down the chance to cut inland a little here. A nice town to wander round, with some very scary plaques marking the flood level!

    Day 4: Cockermouth to Ennerdale Bridge (~40k)

    I won't bother with photos for this as a bit well known. Just a straight out and back down Lorton, along Crummock water (in glorious sunshine), then along, up and over into Ennerdale and along the valley/lake.

    A bit windy to really go for the high fells. Very interesting valley Ennerdale of course. TGO weren't kidding when they mentioned the Liza being allowed to meander. It's going all over the place. Oxbow lake formation.

    Day 5: Ennerdale Bridge to ~Eskdale green (~45k as done)

    It obviously isn't hard to dream up all sorts of fell strewn routes for this. As it happened I was intrigued by Lank rigg due to its seeming utter obscurity. Sadly(?) the weather had heard me and decided to lay on some 'true' pennine way weather.




    A nice, thick sea fog for a little over half the day. So I wandered the very minor road to Calder bridge. That might actually be quite a pleasant walk if you can see anything much. As it was a bit of something to be endured.

    A good selective memory is very useful for long distance walking! It was clearing up by Wasdale head and even Scafell was totally clear as I wandered down Miterdale. So I had some nice bits too

    Day 6: ~Eskdale green to Milom (~40k but it took longer than than the previous day.).

    Surely you'd think hills now? Not really. Heavy rain/low cloud AM so I trolled around a bit, had a look at Stanley gyhll/Birker force (from underneath) then found the route going round the side of Harter fell.

    A good choice as no navigation worries, although the Dunnerdale side of that really had dissolved into almost a lake. It's something of a foresty track at the best of times I suspect.

    Wallowbarrow gorge was entertainingly angry anyway:





  4. #4
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    Is it just me who gets spooked by walking under that massive boulder scree? Worth it. A shame the woods weren't starting to come into leaf but such has been the year.

    Anyway from there it'd be nice to go over some of the fells. As it happens there wasn't really time so it was down the road. Luckily there's still a very nice view from the bridleway out by Penn. Rather unfairly nice actually....










    In some ways I suspect Dunnderdale looks best from a slight distance as it all sort of makes sense.

    Anyhow the ultimate for zero effort views is from just by low bog house on the minor road towards Milom. It's very nice, even if the photo isn't quite sharp.




    Day 7: Milom to Ulveston(~35k)

    The main point of this was to walk round the Duddon Estuary. That really is stunning. Views like the one above (but changing at various moments) into Dunnerdale, the whole black combe group to one side and Furness to the other. Lovely really.

    From near Dunnerholme:







    Nothing wrong with the final bit out over that moor and over the Ulverston either. There is one minor flaw in this days walking mind. It's Duddon bridge. A busy, single file, main road.

    It's the only way over though. At leats the traffic lights give you half a chance. The year in the life of the Duddon valley book I picked up in Ambleside reckons it's best seen from a shallow draft longboat. He may well be right

    It might be true for a lot of this coast....

  5. #5
    Mini Goon
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    I love the Siloth-Bowness part of the Solway coast. There's a real sense of remoteness about it. There's a good bird sanctuary near Bowness where I watched a barn owl hunting once. There's a nice pub in the Bowness side of Silith but I can't remember what it's called. The Farriers Arms possibly?

    Good views of Cirffel too (which I finally climbed last autumn having wanted to for years).

  6. #6
    Widdler Sleepless's Avatar
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    you passed by us South of Muncaster. out of curiosity, how did you manage the stretch from Ravenglass to Waberthwaite? was the tide in?

  7. #7
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    Ah, you may want to check my route description above It'd take a very scary tide to swallow Esk/Dunnerdale!

    To be honest, while you could argue that I pulled inland a bit too early, I can't really see why you wouldn't do it at some stage around Ravenglass.It's very easy to pull a little into Eskdale from there and then down Dunnerdale/black combe and friends. Or maybe, given Sellafield!, cut inland from St. Bees.

    What is much more arguable is whether it was really 'fair'/representative to cut out Muncaster fell and black combe. They're the two really coastal fells of course but as it turned out I missed both of them. As it happened I wanted to walk the length of the valleys concerned more.

    Criffel does defintely look a good hill to climb at some stage. A bit tricky to get at though, except maybe by that dreamt of boat

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  9. #9
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    An interesting take on a 'coastal' walk!

    Back in an earlier millennium I walked what was to become the Cumbria Coastal Way at the rate of 30+ miles per day. None of it is particularly arduous. I did include some inter-tidal stuff, including an enormous crossing of Morecambe Bay from Hest Bank to Ulverston, as well as wading the Esk and crossing that curious little bay called Moricambe, up near Silloth. (I know, the name is easily confused with Morecambe!)

    My trouble was... I just couldn't stop walking... and included the southern coast of Scotland to Stranraer, then the Irish coast between Larne and Dublin, the northern coast of Wales, and the Merseyside/Lancashire coast to make a full circuit. Even then... I found it didn't feel complete without a walk around the Isle of Man in the middle!

  10. #10
    Widdler Sleepless's Avatar
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    Paddy:

    have you actually walked the Irish Sea circuit Paddy? seriously? blimin' eck!!

  11. #11
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Seriously... yes... at the rate of 30-odd miles per day... without a tent... just bivvying... a long, long time ago.

  12. #12
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    Impressive I can believe the distances - I finished some of the more coastal days a little earlier than usual - but I'm really not sure if I'd want to keep going round the coast for that long.

    As I suppose what I did with this walk sort of shows!

    I suppose that crossing the bays direct would help add some fun to things - and it'd definitely link it together rather better - but I'd be plain terrified. Even Moricambe bay doesn't seem at all trivial:






    The N Wales coast round the side of Snowdonia does seem like it should be very interesting though.

  13. #13
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    'king hell, Paddy! That's impressive!

  14. #14
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    The little bay of Moricambe is a lot more tricky than it looks on the map. I prefer to draw a veil over what happened on one of my crossings. Let's just say that I survived, and no-one witnessed my folly, and I understand a lot more about what the old saying means...

    "Time and tide wait for no man!"

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