This was the walk we did on our way up to Gretna Green to get married – it rained all day and I have precisely 4 photographs – 1 outdoors and three inside our hotel. It is also a very long time since I laced up my walking boots.Why? well Christmas, granddaughter in Denmark, work and last but not least a gammy leg (or knee to be precise) which I’m trying to get sorted.
So, strangely enough we arrive at the hotel right in the middle of a wedding trade fair and we take the opportunity to send off a few photos to friends – a juicy bit of fake news.
The next morning we wake to rain and an overcast sky – well it is November after all. Trying to convince myself that it will clear up we walk carefully up the slippery path towards St. Bees Head. From here I look back at the village which is dominated by a large caravan park.
From the head it’s an easy walk up to the lighthouse which is unmanned – we continue to walk along the top of the cliffs. At one point we walk past a quarry and stop to read an information board where we learn that the sandstone excavated here was used to build the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
And from now on there are no photographs, not even of Whitehaven which would look lovely in the sunshine with its newly refurbished harbour and beacon. One gory detail about the town was that in 2010 it was the scene of a shooting spree. After killing his twin brother and the family solicitor, taxi driver Derrick Bird began the spree in Whitehaven, shooting several people on the streets and at the taxi rank where he worked, killing one.
After Whitehaven it is an easy walk through Parton, which reminds me of towns in South Wales, with its grey terraced houses creeping up the hill. And on into Harrington where we end up in a small, neglected pub that seems to have escaped the no smoking rules – we drink quickly and leave.
Distance: 12 miles