29th October 2012: Boot to Eskdale Green
marks to anyone who spots that FW12 does not
commence where FW11
left off. Even fuller marks for anybody who remembers
FW11 at all, as it has been well over a year
since that was undertaken.
delay was in part caused by the problem of logistics.
After much head scratching and soul searching, the realisation dawned that the next few
"official" legs would
be longer, more strenuous in terms of terrain and that
we would be doing them simply for the sake of doing
we asked ourselves, is the point of doing sections that
are unglamorous, not to mention inconvenient in terms
of access, just for the dubious merit of completeness?
is obsessive compulsive behaviour akin to Asberger's
syndrome. Or at least it is my excuse for the
fact that we have skipped the parts over Walna
Scar and Ulpha Fell in order to progress with the delights
of Eskdale and the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn.
further delight was that Margaret and I were able to
undertake the vast majority of the travelling by train.
I discovered that there is a direct train from Arnside
to Ravenglass, the plan fell into place. Ian and
Cynthia had loyally stood by waiting for the opportunity
for us to complete the Way together. It should
have happened a month ago but the horrendous rain that
Cumbria then experienced led to the expedition being
time we had a very pleasant morning riding around the
Cumbrian coast- a trip only spoilt somewhat by the filthy
state of the carriage windows- not exactly a sensible
way of attracting sightseeing customers to possibly
the most scenic part of the rail network.
Combe made blacker by dirty windows
view from the Rosegarth Guest House
checked in at the friendly and comfortable Rosegarth
Guest House in the centre of Ravenglass then set off
in search of Ian & Cynthia who had travelled independently
and were staying in their caravan. Having their car
there meant that we had transport up the Esk valley
as far as Eskdale Green where the plan was to catch
La'al Ratty- the small gauge train- up to Dalegarth,
the head of the line.
were somewhat worried that perhaps things had gone wrong
when the down-train, pulled by Northern Rock, arrived
before the up-train, something that was not supposed
to happen and was rather discouraging on a single track
down train pulled by Northern Rock
unbeknown to us, there was a passing section further
down the line and we did not have much longer to wait.
Indeed, we were rewarded with a steamer, River
Mite, rather than the scheduled, uggh, wash your mouth
out, diesel engine.
that a train coming?
up train arrives pulled by River Mite
was obviously essential that we started with a visit
to the Boot Inn which was unchanged from when BOOTboys
visited in BB1032
though rather developed from the inaugural 1973 visit
on which occasion Big Josie was encountered. In
the days it was the Burnmoor Inn.
Mite on the turntable
are afoot. Only a week ago, the pub was taken
over by Pennington Hotels and I fear for what might
become of it. Already, it was staffed by a Pennington
barman who would rather have been at the hotel. However,
it has to be recorded that we had probably the finest,
and certainly the largest, beefburger and chips that
I can recall.
and momma Belted Galloways
was mid afternoon by the time we emerged
and our itinerary looked like being threatened
by the much earlier dusk now that we are
in winter time.
further delay took place near Esk View Farm
as a Belted Galloway (I always want to call
them Melted Mowbrays) cow and her young
calf were being herded into a van that completely
blocked the track.
another, but this time not unexpected, delay
took place at St Catherine's small church.
its greatest claim to fame is the grave of Tommy Dobson,
Eskdale's equivalent of Troutbeck's John Peel or Mardale's
price of these delays was the decision not to undertake
the detour to Stanley Force. Instead, we continued along
the very pleasant trail through fields and light woodland
tracks close by the river until we reached Force Bridge.
farmhouse that Ian admired.....
the number of black bales
to our surprise, we were now ahead of schedule so decided
to undertake an extension that would reduce the morrow's
distance a little.
nearly went wrong. I had three maps with me. Harveys
1:25k, OS 1:25k and OS 1:50k, all blown up to 1:12.5k
for easy reading. For some unknown reason, the
one I had in my hand was the OS 1:50k, the others were
in my bag. I led the group across the field,
along what should have been the footpath that was clearly
marked on the map, only to discover that the gate that
was supposed to be on the left side of the little mound
was nowhere to be seen. Whilst I was hunting through
deep bog for where it might be, Cynthia used her initiative
and found the track on the other side of the hillock-
exactly, I later discovered, where the other two maps
said it would be.
to self- never use the 1:50k when you have larger scale
maps to hand.
was still a risk factor. Irrespective of which
map you consult, a stream had to be forded. With so
much water about, there was distinct danger of being
forced to turn back; a prospect not enticing when dusk
we were able to negotiate a way across and return to
the car without further problem.
night we ate at the Pennington Arms in Ravenglass.
refurbished extensively and now having a
very modern, clean, bright interior that
the others appreciated.
of nice pictures on the wall.
found it totally soulless.
Penningtonians, don't refurbish the Boot
Inn in similar fashion.
climbed in feet:
30th October 2012: Eskdale Green to Ravenglass
start today. First train out of Ravenglass (this
time it was a diesel).
weather had deteriorated and was threatening to turn
nasty. Perhaps that was the reason why there had been
only one other party aboard. So, given a long
and empty train, why would parents choose to sit themselves
and their children, who were obviously getting on mummy's
nerves, immediately behind us? Fortunately, we
shed them by alighting at Irton Road Halt
climbed up the bridle path to near the point where we
had the navigational quandary on the previous evening,
but then turned right to climb up Muncaster Fell. The
ground was very wet and slippery. At times it
might have been more accurate to say that the bog had
the odd bit of non-squelchy tufts. It was hard
and wet going.
deep in the mire
the sinking path
found Ross's Camp, a group of stones arranged to form
a luncheon table for Victorian gentlemen whilst out
shooting. The geese overhead were safe today.
skein of geese
the east we could see Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.....
& Crinkle Crags
while to the south-west was the lower Esk Valley.....
and north-west lay the beautiful sight of Sellafield!
didn't seem worth the detour to the top of Hooker Crag
(indeed we had been warned off it that morning by mine
host at the B&B for being too boggy). The
main reason, however, was that rain was threatening
and it seemed sensible to drop down to the road as quickly
as possible, passing on the way the tarn that they don't
want you to visit. But if you click on the picture.....!
on picture for more of Muncaster Tarn
castle and the witch
Castle had gone Halloween-mad with pumpkins everywhere
and a witch flying round the castle.
must be galling to the owners that a public footpath
runs right through the centre of their grounds so, without
entrance fee, we were able to look into their small
church (with the incongruous pair of high heels in the
doorway), past the gardens and cafe, across the lawns
in front of the hall and up into the woods before emerging
on an open hillside with a fine view across the Esk
and Irk estuary.
Esk and Irk estuary
Castle Roman Bath House
inspecting the substantial remains of the Roman baths,
it was only a short stroll back to Ravenglass (also
Halloweened) and yet another bar meal, this time in
the Ratty Arms where an unexpected Royal welcome awaited
to congratulate us on completing the Furness Way.
is defintiely amused
Ravenglass and the Ratty Arms
climbed in feet:
thanks go to Ian and Cynthia for accompanying and motivating
us on much of the Furness Way (plus contributing several
of the photos) and to help celebrate what we felt to
be its conclusion.
seems very keen to go back and complete the missing
sections. Maybe one day but until then we have
another cunning plan for a long distance walk. All
will be revealed n due course!
30th October 2012
climbed in feet:
E-mail addresses on this web site are protected
Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated
help fight spam e-mail!