Dark mornings and a long journey are not fun. I set off this morning at 04:40, and immediately was made to divert my route because of night road closures, my next choice road was closed because of a burst water main, this meant a 5 minute trip to the bus stop took 20, and I literally managed to jump on the bus as it was departing.
I’ve been a bit silly in stopping previous walks in odd places. I learned to check railway stations for stops which are not fully served by the train, but it was a mistake to give up in Mawbray last time, I should have continued to Silloth. Hence arriving at Carlisle, I had to wait 45 minutes for a train, then again wait 45 minutes in Maryport for a bus onwards.
Still, it gave me a chance to look at Maryport, which had looked so promising from the seafront and harbour, unfortunately it does not retain its charm for the main town and is rather dowdy. I was treated to the unlikely sight of a barber removing his trousers in the shop window, baring your bum in Burton’s window springs to mind. I didn’t inquire further. Like any good NOTW journalists, I made my excuses and moved on.
After the long journey however, starting a walk is always exciting. The sheer joy of a coastal walk is you get to go to the seaside nearly every time (except when estuaries have to be navigated) and it’s a different seaside each time. The ride to Mawbray from Maryport was a quick recap of my last walk (it’s odd how little things stick in your mind – the Codfather chippy at Allonby, the golf course just outside it.
Oh and I also remembered the sign on the bus of which I heartily approve, there’s also one about eating , they are strict in Cumbria.
As a nice addition to last week’s Pilgrim walk, Mawbray is in the Parish of Holme St Cuthbert. It’s almost as if I plan these things.
Last time, Scotland was visible across the water, today although still in this glorious Indian Summer, the clouds were low and angry and I could not see it, the beach was empty, and the path welcoming
The wind was also behind me , which meant I got to Silloth, 5 miles away in an hour and a half. I really like the town, it is charming. It was built as a port and railhead in the 1850s, and used in the second world war as an airfield – still outside the town, but inhabited by a cement works.
Turner came here and painted the view to the Solway Firth. It still is a busy town, but somewhat cut off from the rest of the country as the railway is long gone, and it is only served by a few buses a day.
The town buildings are grand and streets wide and cobbled. I like it.
It does boast somewhat about its toilets though, they aren’t Edwardian by any stretch of the imagination, more 2018 vintage.
Past Silloth , there is a long promenade to Skinburness, and a long headland beach beyond that. I walked to Skinburness, but no further as it would involve doubling back on myself and I wanted to get to Abbeytown to catch the afternoon bus.
The sea which had been gently lapping the shore down the beach was now rough, I dont know if the weather had changed , or it was just the form of the coast here, but I would love to see this bit when it was really stormy.
Back into Silloth to take the road out towards Abbeytown, passing the airfield cement factory. The afternoon really warmed up now, and the sun was blazing as I walked up to the top of the estuary (the rivers Waver and Warmpool) along long empty roads (bar the odd Cement truck)
Despite the late start, I managed about 12 miles today. Arriving in time for the bus, I had an hour to wait, but there was not much to see apart from a rather unwelcoming Premier store. I tried wandering far, but was afraid the bus would be early (I’ve been caught out by that trick) However, further down the road I think is the eponymous Abbey, that’s for next time though
Copyright 2018 Allan P Russell