Day 136: Silloth to Bowness-on-Solway

Distance: 25.5 miles

Ascent: 497 feet

Weather: Sunny

Accommodation: Camping Wallsend Campsite


I was already just awake, but I was given no time to slowly get up by the resident rascals Rusty & Bella (dogs) who decided my face was a good place to sit. Fortunately, they were cute otherwise I may have pushed them off quicker.

After sending the kids on their way to school, Vicky very kindly made me a cooked breakfast in the café (Fairydust Emporium), which set me up well for the day. The sun was shining and I was on my way about 9. The day started walking along the promenade out of Silloth, this town felt a little out of place and more reminiscent of some of the Victorian towns I had passed down South, though it definitely had a charm with its large green, pavilion and cobbled streets.

The promenade became a path as I passed Skinburness, before the 2 mile walk up and around Grune Point where I got my first glimpse of the giant rigged truss masts on the other side which I was intrigued to see later what they actually did.

The next part was a decision either across Calvo Marsh, or head inland on lanes and paths. The reason it was a decision was because strangely there was a track shown on the OS 1-50000 map, but nothing on the OS 1-25000 map which is normally more accurate. Having googled whether it was still walkable I did not get much with a couple of walkers saying they took the inland route in case and the last reference I found to someone walking it was from almost 20 years ago. But on getting to the edge the mystery was solved with a very old info board, this route had been part of the Cumbria Coastal Path so had been redacted in 2014, and obviously OS maps had forgotten to remove it from the 1-50000 map. It looked clear and I could still see the first few maker posts across the Marsh so I went for the route across it. This started very well heading from one post to another, and any little waterways were easily crossable with a step across and though I lost the posts a couple of times I got across the first mile and a half in quick time.  There was one river that worried me that was too wide to cross and then I noticed the bridge about 75m to my right, and then soon after a stile that had lost its stop step making it a little tricky to get over the barb wire fence but nothing to difficult. At this point the posts seemed to start going much wider (further onto the marsh) than my map showed and I followed for a while before deciding to ignore the posts and follow my phone map. This was fine though I had to climb one gate before finally getting near the road at East Border and I decided to join the lane at this point. On reflection I think the posts are probably correct and the map is probably slightly wrong and the path could actually be taken slightly further down to Brownrigg. I was very satisfied to get across this Marsh and it had been a good start to the day.

The rest of this diary won’t take long, as the final 18 miles or so of the day were all on country lanes, these were relatively quiet lanes, and not unscenic but did make for slightly monotonous walking. These took me first to Abbeytown where I grabbed a quick snack in the shop, before winding their through Newton Arlosh and onto Angerton. I grabbed a large baguette in the pub here an absolute bargain at £2.50, before setting of on the lanes once again. After crossing the bridge over the River Wampool, the lanes got even quieter as I headed around the Bowness Pensinsula. The temperature had really got up by now, but the scenery was beautiful and the intriguing giant masts were now right next to me. It turns out this is the Anthorn Radio Station which consists of 13 masts each 227m tall, and can transmit at different levels though seems primarily to be VLF.

From here it was not long till I reached Bowness-on-Solway. I really took to this little village, it just seemed so nice. I decided to camp in the campsite tonight at Wallsend. I have set a limit for campsite cost as many of them are ridiculously expensive some £30 just for my tiny tent and one said they could give me an offer of £22 which I politely declined. This one was exactly my limit and I would normally have just wild camped, but actually I must say this campsite is lovely in fact the best I have stayed on. Lovely shower, little room for food prep, flat well mowed area for tent and to my surprise and I only noticed this morning annoyingly Wi-fi actually in my tent.

So a sunny day, and to top it off my tent appears fine after yesterday’s mishap which is an absolute miracle after the outer sack was completely impaled on three jagged bits of metal.

charles compton