: Ulverston to Dalton-in-Furness
19th April 2014
Monks used to cross the Leven estuary on foot and this
is given as an option for the Cistercian Way. The
other option is to take the train from Cark to Ulverston.
Surprise, surprise, we opted to avoid a wet and
dangerous route partly as the dry bits we had already
covered on the Cumbria Coastal Way but we didn’t want
to experience sinking into unpleasant wetness. However,
whilst not exactly in the same league dangerwise, there
would be a particularly sinking into unpleasant wetness
to be endured on what was otherwise an interesting leg.
our train journey was from Dalton-in-Furness so that
we could walk back to the car. Whilst there was
a chill wind, it was a lovely day. It was also
Easter Saturday and, as expected, it proved to be a
far quieter outing than had we ventured into the Lakes.
wait at the train station was enlivened by several paintings
by village children that gave their interpretation of
portraits by George Romney, who had been born there.
alighted at Ulverston. After a short stretch through
fields we arrived at Swarthmore
Hall. I was looking
forward to looking round this ancient building with
its connections to the early Quaker, George Fox. However,
although the guide book says it opens on Mondays, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Saturdays, that is not now correct. Saturday
has been swapped to Sunday so we were unable to look
round. Another time perhaps.
is an old Quaker Meeting House, the key
to which, the book told us, is available
from 4 Rakehead Cottages. We peeped
through the window of the church but what
we could see did not inspire us to disturb
the cottagers, if indeed the key still resides
Way continues across fields and alongside
what might have been an ancient fort or
maybe the large limestone rocks naturally
formed the curved base to the mound.
knows? But they proved useful to sit on whilst
having a sandwich.
is Great Urswick. The Way takes the western side
of Urswick Tarn thereby avoiding the village. We
preferred the opposite and were glad that we did. There
are several interesting old buildings and a very welcoming
pub- the Derby
landlord cheerfully provided tea and biscuits for us
to consume whilst we sat outside in the sun. He proved
to be the first person we have met that had actually
heard of the Cistercian Way. Inside, there were several
friendly locals. Just how a village pub should
the pub is what used to be the Coot on the Tarn, a once
well regarded fine dining and wedding reception destination.
Now it stands empty and deserted, entrance blocked
and vegetation encroaching.
has a Right Move search result saying
“The site currently comprises a large tarmac parking
area and the building which was formerly the Coot on
the Tarn Restaurant. The building is to be dismantled
clicking the link, it seems that the page has been removed.
evening mail tells
the tale of brides having their wedding receptions cancelled
when the Coot closed.
good, one bad so far but the next building we entered
definitely fell in the first category- St
Mary and St Michael Church.
There were several friendly ladies preparing this
ancient building for Easter Sunday. They kindly gave
Margaret a chocolate egg.
agreed that we could happily live in Great Urswick were
it closer to Kendal.
of what lay ahead, we left Great Urswick watched curiously
by some pretty calves. Did they know that at Little
Urswick we would have to pass through the worst kept
farm we have seen in a long time.
after passing through a most unpleasant litter strewn
yard, we emerged by what could be a really attractive
dwelling but is currently an ivy covered near ruin,
right in the centre of the village, overlooking the
agreed that we could not live happily in Little Urswick
whilst in that state.
guide book says to cross over the green by the village
school and the Swan Inn but we saw neither, just some
modern houses presumably on the site of one or the other.
found the footpath, lost it then refound it only to
discover that the exit to another farm-litter-strewn
bridle path was through the largest and deepest pond
of cow plop I have ever seen other than in a midden.
Some of it looked deceptively dry but it was just
crust hiding more than a foot of you know what. I
emerged like a walking cess pit. Fortunately,
having seen my misfortune, Margaret was able to discover
a longer and illegitimate way round that preserved her
more field of cow was enough for us. We then took
a road detour which added some distance and took us
round the wrong side of Standing Tarn and by a strange
structure which looked as if someone had started to
build a bridge then the work halted.
brought us safely to Dalton. The east side of
town is a disappointment. Quite run down. Hopefully
the west end, with its church and castle will prove
rather more attractive on the next stage.
19th April 2014
8.1 miles (13.8 cumulative)
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