When Wainwright devised his C2C route in 1972 he used neither compass or maps nor did he walk the 192-mile distance in one go. When walking he simply pointed himself in an easterly direction and began wandering. The trail is not “official” thus signage is scarce or nonexistent in many areas. Today, and for anyone attempting this trek since Wainwright’s day, it is acceptable, suggested and expected that walkers will create their own route to meander from sea to sea. So in true, authentic spirit Charlotte and I have done the same as those before us and those who will follow.
After dodging Dent Hill on Day 2, with its steep ascent and descent of 1158’, we thought the biggest climbing challenges were behind us. As you have read in our previous post, the next day found us climbing straight up Loft Beck, along a ridge, up some more to Grey Knotts, and down to Honister Slate Mine and Borrowdale. This was the LOW route! The summit was 2345’ … shrouded in cloud. This memory is stark in our minds as we push forward.
Today’s route begins from the beautiful Beech House B&B in Glenridding. Owned and operated by Lynn, the sole proprietor whose Grandmother operated a B&B just down the lane. Lynn worked at the hotel next door for years waiting for the right property to come on the market so she could make the move to ownership. The day came, Lynn bought the building next door and began renovating. This included raising the roof on the stone house behind it to turn one bedroom into four. Pride in ownership and service is evident in every detail. Lynn is a fiercely independent woman with no husband, children or other demands. She says, “When I decide to do something, I simply go forth and do it! I don’t need to consult anyone.” We were very pleased to be counted among her happy guests.
Check the different rocks in the foreground building … lifted roof …
Stinky boots and socks … Yuk!
The discription of this 15.5 mile leg put us on sharp attention. The guidebook clearly warned of 4400’ of ascent and descent that was so tough one would “curse the very name of Wainwright.” Hey! We’re two sharp CA women who understand the English language quite well.
An obvious diversion lay outside the door of the Beech House with a two minute walk to the Ullswater Steamer Dock.
Soon we were steaming up the lake under stunning conditions, gentle wind in our hair, unbelievable scenery, and the smugness of knowing that there was another way to reach our destination besides up then down. Later in the evening we would hear of people who had to abandon the trail due to sprained ankles and the need to scramble down steep slopes hanging on with their hands. Not us …
As prearranged, Chris the Lakeland Taxi driver, was waiting for us at Pooley Bridge, the end of our one-hour Lake cruise. In no time he maneuvered the back roads about 2 miles and reconnected us to the C2C trail. We lost no miles, simply went around instead of over! Brilliant!
Heading in the right direction
An Honesty Box on the trail … How brilliant!
Resting in the shade … great lunch spot
Shap Abbey … founded in 1199, last abbey to be founded in England Suddappeared in our path. How grand!
Our destination for the day. The Hermitage is over 300 years old and closely watched over by the astute eye of our host, Jean. Not a thing passed unnoticed by her.
No shoes, socks barely tolerated, don’t arrive early for breakfast … “We have a routine here you know” …
We did our best to be good guests but it wasn’t easy.