Monday, 18 May 2009

Day 43 Sunday - Cotehill to Longtown

Walking 5.45am to 2.40pm
Distance walked today 17 miles
Total distance walked 621 miles
Distance left 431 miles

I spent a very peaceful night in the wood but was woken early by a loud dawn chorus. As today's mileage was quite long and as rain was forecast for this afternoon spreading from the south, I made a very early start.

The day started off fine, sun and clear blue sky - really quite perfect. I followed the road from outside the Caravan Club site towards Wetheral for just over two miles and then took a footpath in the direction of Wetheral but towards the River Eden. National Trust woodland bordered the steep slope above the river and it was very nice walking through it.

I went up into the village from below the railway viaduct via a footpath signed "99 steps" (I only counted 93). Wetheral had a nice feel to it but, apart from posting to this blog at a call box (success for the last two days!), I didn't stop. I then followed the B6263 to the bridge over the Eden and through Little Corby, then continuing on the minor road to Newby East and up to High Crosby just before the A689. Here, I found the Crosby Lodge Hotel, a rather grand looking country house. A sign indicated that walkers were welcome (it being on the Hadrian's Wall National Trail - my route just happening to cross the Trail at this point).

I went in and was made very welcome. I enjoyed a pot of coffee with toast and homemade marmalade in the comfortable room overlooking the garden. A really nice place.

Just across the road from Crosby Lodge Hotel were signs for Bluebell Camping Barn and basic refreshments at High Crosby Farm (no comfy chairs though).

The footpath from here was through a boggy field where cattle had been which was not easy going and then to the tiny village of Scaleby. A mile north of here is Smithfield. I didn't go there but whilst in the pub at Lazonby the other night, I was looking through a CAMRA Good Beer Guide and noticed that the entries for pubs indicates where a pub has camping facilities either on site or within a mile. I hadn't known this but it could be useful in planning camping trips such as mine. The pub at Smithfield has camping there or within a mile.

I then took a rather zigzaggy route to the A7 at Westlinton. I wouldn't normally use a trunk road as part of a walking route. In fact, I hadn't planned to do so today but it was more direct and, it being Sunday, the traffic wasn't bad.

After a mile of the A7, I arrived at the Camelot Caravan Park, just over a mile south of Longtown. Campers are also catered for. The facilities are good. I'm the only one here.

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