Monday, 23 June 2014

North of England Way Day 1 Sunday 22 June





Ravenglass to Spothow Gill GR204002
Miles walked 11.5
Miles left 188.5
Walking from 11.15am to 8.15pm
Today started sunny and warm and was going to stay that way. I didn't get off to an early start. The support vehicle (camper van) needed to be refuelled. Left Ravenglass at 11.15am. Passing by the Roman Bath House (what's left of it) the Way went up a vehicle track and up through a small conifer plantation, over a stile and then across open pasture to the grounds of Muncaster Castle.

Brand new Dirty Girl gaiters on their first outing
The walk directions in the book were clear but I lost the path a couple of times around Hooker Crag. The first five miles followed the Lakeland to Lindisfarne walk in 2008 but none of it seemed familiar. I didn't even recognise where we pitched the first night. We started walking late afternoon and pitched somewhere on Muncaster Fell. I'd marked on the map the point where the 2008 route diverted north but that didn't look familiar either. Oh well. Having said that, the hike to Lindisfarne is one I'd very much like to repeat although I could do without the 36 hours of continuous rain in Northumberland!

Passed by Ross's Camp, marked by a stone slab dated 1883. Seems he was an agent for the Muncaster estate. The slab was intended as a luncheon table.



On and off during the day, there was the sound of the steam engines of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway (known as Ratty). The walking for much of the day wasn't too strenuous and I'd thought how nice a pot of tea would be at the café at Dalegarth Station. However, even though it was in sight, I was waylaid by the Brooke House Inn just outside the village of Boot so I fell in and enjoyed a very good pint and some crisps.

After Boot, I faffed about a little trying to find a bit of the path. It was hiding behind a little gate and then went over a wall. Then a short road walk and over a high arched stone bridge and a track leading to Penny Hill Farm. After that, the path climbed and the one I wanted to Harter Fell wasn't easy to find.

I took a wrong one at first. There is actually a stubby wooden sign but I had to trace the words Harter Fell with my fingers to be sure. Even then, the path wasn't clear on the ground although it improved after a while. I crossed two becks and at 8.15 stopped by the second one (Spothow Gill) to pitch but there were midges. I'm a little higher up now. A few midges but there's a light breeze now and then which helps. Just me and the sheep tonight.

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1 comment:

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