Monday, 15 July 2019

Land's End to John O'Groats - The Cumbria Way video

After diverting to Ulverston,  I set off on the Cumbria Way to Carlisle. Having lost so much time at the start of the hike because of the problem with my infected leg, I did not now have enough time available to complete my hike to John O'Groats. I therefore decided that Carlisle would be a good point to halt the walk and also to re-start the hike across Scotland at a later date. The Cumbria Way proved to be the most spectacular part of my hike to date.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

LEJOG 2019 - Mapping my Walk

During my walk, I used Viewranger app combined with OS mapping for navigating and recorded my location through the app as I walked. This photo shows a record of locations recorded on the walk between Hay on Wye and Carlisle. In all, I walked 391.77 miles.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

LEJOG 2019 - Finale

The day after finishing the walk, as I explored Carlisle's interesting and attractive historical centre, I made a point of asking in the Tourist Information Centre exactly where the Cumbria Way terminated as I couldn't find a terminus marker. I had noticed Cumbria Way markers on the way to the Castle and thought that this would make a great terminus to the walk. My guidebook didn't mention a finish point, unlike the southern end in Ulverston, so I thought the castle would be a great end to not only the Cumbria Way, but also this section of my trek. There was no marker visible when I reached the Castle so I asked in the Tourist Information Centre in the square in the town centre only to be told that it finished outside by the market cross. 'But there are signs pointing to the castle' I said. 'Oh yes, I think one guidebook finishes there' said the bored looking woman behind the desk. So there it is. The long distance walk without a definite finishing point. One thing I was sure of, my long distance walk was over, at least for now.

Carlisle Castle
Market Cross
The Citadel

Carlisle Cathedral

Thursday, 13 June 2019

LEJOG Day's 26 (47) - Caldbeck to Carlisle

I left the village of Caldbeck for my last day on the Cumbria Way and this particular section of my LEJOG hike in clear sunny weather. As I climbed above the village, I had panoramic views of High Pike, the hill I had climbed the previous afternoon and the highest hill on the Cumbria Way. The early part of the walk was a delightful mix of low hills, forest trails and riverside paths. The River Caldew was now sparkling and lively in the morning sun, unlike the more sombre mood it had presented as it had meandered through the previous days lonely hills. The first half of the walk continued in much the same way until the village of Dalston, where the way took on a more urban feel. Here, it became a surfaced cycle track and although it initially still passed through mostly open countryside, the joggers, dog- walkers and cyclists signalled that Carlisle and the end of my walk was now not too far off. Somewhere along the way, as the houses came into view, I lost the Cumbria Way markers but I wasn't too bothered as I knew that I only had to stay on the cycle track and I would arrive at my destination. Soon, I was crossing busy roads in the middle of the city as I made my way to my guesthouse where, with a sigh of relief, I took off my rucksack and shoes for the last time on this trip.

High Pike

River Caldew
Rose Bridge

Rose Castle

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

LEJOG Day 25 (46) - Keswick to Caldbeck

Today was the last day on the Cumbria Way in the Lake District and another superb day's walking. The first part of the walk involved climbing on the lower slopes of Skiddaw before veering off around Lonscale Fell to the remotely situated Skiddaw House youth hostel. This area is known as the 'Back o' Skidda' and marks a transition in the scenery as the rugged mountains give way to huge, rounded hills. Skiddaw House comes as a surprise as it is totally isolated, it's lonely position sheltered by a stand of trees. After a long track through the hills from the hostel, the Way climbs steeply on a very indistinct path alongside a stream to the highest point of the whole Cumbria Way at the summit of High Pike at 658 metres. The views from here were superb and included the Pennines, Blencathra, Skiddaw and across the Solway Firth to Scotland . After absorbing the view from the summit, I headed for Caldbeck where I am spending the last night on the Cumbria Way and also this current trip before completing the final fifteen miles along the River Caldew into Carlisle tomorrow .

Leaving Keswick
Contouring round Lonscale Fell
Skiddaw House
Climbing to High Pike
Summit of High Pike, highest and final hill on the Cumbria Way

LEJOG Day's 23 & 24 (44 & 45) - Coniston to Keswick

Day two started with low cloud and drizzle but after walking to Coniston village from the campsite and having breakfast in a cafe, the cloud lifted with the sun even putting in an appearance in the afternoon. The highlight of day two was the exquisitely beautiful Tarn Hows and the ever expanding view of the Coniston Fells. 

Coniston Village

Tarn Hows
The Langdale Pikes

Day three of the Cumbria Way was the most stunning day of the trail so far. Setting off from the village of Chapel Stile, I headed into Great Langdale as stunning views of the Langdale Pikes opened up ahead. After a thousand foot climb up to Stake Pass, I descended into Langstrath surrounded by awesome mountain scenery before reaching Rosthwaite and following the way to Keswick via Derwent Water with stunning views of the lake and the peaks of Skiddaw and Blencathra. A simply superb day on what is proving to be probably the most scenically stunning trail I've ever done.

The Langdale Pikes
Great Langdale

Mickleden from the Stake Pass path

Derwent Water scenes