We awoke this morning in Carlisle to the sound of gulls rather than the sound of sheep so we knew we were getting close to the finish of our coast to coast walk. One more day with a long 14.5 miles to go.
The walk through Carlisle was the best part of the day with clear skies, comfortable temperatures and level walking on well groomed trails. As we left the city the trails became wetter and muckier as we walked through farmer’s fields that have been rained on daily.
By noon it started sprinkling rain as we neared the coast. Hadrian’s Wall has pretty much vanished along this stretch so we followed the path determined by the occasional discovery of wall foundation. Small towns every 3 or 4 miles, most with no shops or tea rooms. We stopped in a small honesty tea shop for a brief rest (unstaffed, take what you want and leave money in the cash box, some benches and a public toilet) and then pushed on through the rain.
A young cow followed us down the road for about a 1/4 mile. She was bellowing at us and at every other cow along the road. We thought she was going to follow us right into Bowness-on-Solway but she left us for another cow.
We had a very English end to our very English walk. After walking for 4 hours in the rain with a cold wind blowing off of the Irish Sea we arrived at the Old Chapel, our B&B in Bowness-on-Solway. A warm greeting by innkeeper Maureen and a hot bath took off the chill. We got dressed in dry clothes and finished the walk, heading to the end of Hadrian’s Wall just a few hundred feet through the village. Eight days and close to 100 miles of cross-country walking was over. Time to celebrate! We stopped in at the Kings Arms for a bottle of wine and a few pints of local ales. We had a great afternoon chatting with some local women who were highly entertaining. We stayed for dinner and were joined by an English couple that we had met on the trail. A fine finish to a great adventure!
A tired Bob with one last pint….