Showers are threatened today, but I wanted to finish my walk of the Cumbrian Coast by walking up and into Scotland. Perhaps one day I will attempt the leg to Stranraer, but I have enough on my plate with England and Wales now. Carlisle was as impressive as ever and I recognised many places from previous walks, including Ristorante Adriano where we stopped for sustenance before crashing out on the Bowness walk earlier this month.
Crossing the Eden, I was headed north west and chanced upon Cavendish Terrace, a very desirable street of Merchant Houses, including the one where Woodrow Wilson’s grandfather was born, and he visited on his journey to the UK at the beginning of the last century. It’s not on these pictures, but these houses sell for an amazingly low price, one that wouldn’t get you a flat in London.
Then across the M6 and through Kingmoor Nature reserve which is an old horseracing ground left to return to nature. That came out onto the old Waverley line railway, the route was closed in 1969, but part has been reopened as the Borders Railway. It connected. It was drizzling a bit at this point, hence the water on my lens.
Unfortunately this did not continue as long as I would have liked it to and the rest of the journey was along roads, which although quiet, had the distinct disadvantage of hugging the motorway to my right, so whilst I had few cars pass me, there was a constant buzz of traffic to my side to disturb the peace.
The path then optimistically diverted across the motorway to Todhills, which seemed a sad place as it is one street facing the motorway in the middle of nowhere (a bit like the picture above, but with houses) many of the houses seemed abandoned, although there were newbuilds. To add insult as I reached the end of the village, I had to turn round, and walk back as the path was closed off. At that point it started to pour and I donned my cagoule, only for the skies to dry up for the rest of the day, the gods having achieved their objective.
Back on the road, I crossed the river Esk, the second I have passed ( the other being near Ravenglass, which I forded). This river forms part of the border.
The village here is called Metal Bridge, after the Thomas Telford designed bridge that once crossed the river here. Behind me, the peaks of the Lake District were faintly visible, and ahead was Scotland.
It was a couple of miles still to the border, but thankfully after this, the road veered away from the motorway so I had a field dividing me from the constant roar, although the scenery did not improve.
Then it was over the Sark bridge, built again by Telford, into Gretna and Scotland
I will concede that the outlet village at Gretna is much like Runcorn, albeit lacking the charm, however in the centre, the Church, War Memorial and Hall were a pleasant place to sit whilst resting and refuelling
Then it was the train back to Carlisle, from a rather folorn and functional railway station to be greeted back at Carlisle by The Dalesman. There was a steam train at Filey last week, but I confess to being too lazy to walk to the end of the very long platform at Scarborough to take a picture then.
Twelve miles covered today, and ambition to walk between Wales and Scotland, via England achieved, also I note my century.
And here is an video of my walk by way of experiment on Relive
Copyright Allan Russell 2019