MW03 : Shap Wells to Shap Abbey
28th May 2013

It had been a long time coming but at last diaries matched up and we could continue our journey up the Millerís Way. Remarkably we now we had two consecutive days to make progress.  Well, a day and a half really as we couldn't escape until noon.  Ian & Cynthia were already at Bampton in their caravan..  We were to stay at the Crown & Mitre in the next hamlet, Bampton Grange.

The start point was, of course, Shap Wells.  And it was drizzling. First we checked that Queen Victoria was still on her obelisk and then went to the spa hoping to spot some red squirrels (as see by BOOTboys on BB1223).  Sadly, none were playing out today.

Queen Victoria's lion

The Squirrel Spa team picture

We climbed up through the spooky wood to emerge at a potential obstacle.  There was a sign saying "Footpath Closed due to the renewal of overhead power lines.  However, as we were not planning to go overhead, we pressed on.  

The haunted frightened trees

Shao summit

No steam trains to excite us at Shap summit so we dropped down to the quarry, which has diversified into new ventures, hippo washing, then across the A6.

Shap Quarry

.... and again

The Hippo Wash

The Way led through across a field in which the path was blocked by many cows with young calves.  They did not seem to like the look of us so a wide detour was made.

 

Margaret points The Way

Marsh marigolds, I am informed

Soon we came to a stream in spate.  Ian immediately danced across some treacherous stepping stones, dryly making the other side.  Cynthia was rather more tenuous but still gamely made it.

Cynthia on the Rocks

I thought Margaret might prefer wading so went through to check.  It was deeper than I expected.  So I did the gentlemanly thing and went back to carry her across singing "She ain't heavy, she's my wifey".

Old Don and the Wife

Sinbad and the Old Man

It would be unkind and untrue to liken the experience to that of Sinbad and the Old Man of the Sea (Arabian Nights).  In fact, I rather enjoyed it!

So, we all made it safely to the other side.  It was only then (and I haven't confessed this before) that I realised that the Way went upstream and not across the river.  Oops!

Thereafter it was a pleasant if uneventful stroll to Keld where we examined the ancient chapel before reaching Shap Abbey where Ian's car had been left.

Keld Chapel

Monks praying for our safe passage....

Shap Abbey comes into view

Inside the chapel

..... or Ian's safety on the wall

The Crown & Mitre

That night we dined at the Crown and Mitre which proved to be quite unlike the impression given on its website.  Much less posh and all the better for it.

Everyone else staying there seemed to be a Coast to Coaster which might explain why the bar was empty by 10 p.m..

Don, 29th May 2013

 

 

STATISTICS:

MW03

Tuesday 28th May 2013

Distance in miles:

6.2 (Garmin E-trex)

Height climbed in feet:

441 (Memory Map / OS)

Cumulative miles:

20.1

Cumulative feet:

2,526

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