Having left the Coast to Coast route at Burnbanks yesterday I spent a bit of time retracing my steps. It was a bit unfortunate as I was walking towards grey cloud and signs of rain, while to the east it was looking bright and sunny.
Having rejoined the route I walked through a beautiful bluebell wood to the north of Naddle Bridge. After crossing the bridge and following the Haweswater Beck I rounded Rawhead with views back into Bampton Grange less than a mile away! There was no direct footpath to this point but it still seemed a cruel twist after walking a good 3 miles this morning to get here.
Passing by Shap Abbey the route took an upward turn towards the town of Shap, with the highest main road in England (the A6) passing through. After a quick refreshment stop in Shap I made it to the M6 a little further on – one third of the walk completed, just two-thirds to go (as the crow flies distance).
So far I was only just ahead of the weather, with a mixed bag of sunshine and showers, but walking over the M6 footbridge I could feel the wind was picking up as I was walking out of the shelter of the valley and approaching open moorland.
I was now in limestone country and passed by the big Hardendale Quarry, and just after that I saw my first small patch of natural limestone pavement.
The wind was strengthening but it was at my back and helped push me along. The clouds were building overhead and it started to rain, and then hailstones as I passed by Robin Hood’s Grave (cairn). While I was walking briskly it was not fast enough to keep up with the better weather.
Thankfully making it to Orton Scar the sun was out again and the views through the valley were beautiful. I did not have much more walking to do today as my digs were in Orton, a mile or so into the valley.
Emergency rations: None
Blisters: No more
Aching bits: None new, others subsiding
More photos (from all the days of walking) can be found in the photo gallery.