Day Eight

Day 8 – Wednesday 13th May
Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway

Awake at 5.30 and writing up my journal for yesterday. Tea and about an hour of yakking, a quick shower and hair wash and it was down to breakfast. Fresh fruit, cereal and a full English whether we wanted it or not! Brenda B had my sausage, Jenny had the bacon and with just two half slices of toast each, I was still a bit hungry as we left the table. The dining room was very well furnished, but the ‘take it or leave it’ attitude didn’t leave us inspired.

We paid our bill, packed the car and headed off for the start of the final days walking. It was a bright sunny morning with a light wind we set off heading for Beaumont, meeting up with the two ladies with the black Labrador dog. As they walk a lot faster than us, we were soon walking on our own again, with lovely views of the River Eden just after Sourmilk Bridge.

River Eden from Sourmilk bridge
River Eden from Sourmilk bridge

Our mid morning break was taken just before we reached Burgh-by-sands. This was at the start of the longest road walking of the whole trip. This was a bit of a boring walk which was broken by the odd cow roaming around us. The tide was just coming in and by the time we got to Bowness it was high tide. Fortunately we had an east wind to blow us along, normally the predominate wind blows from the west which would have made this a difficult walk. On arrival at Drumburgh, Brenda was waiting to join us in for lunch, which we ate at the Laal Bite Tuck shop. This is a help yourself and pay in the honesty box type of place. There was hot soup, crisps, cakes and ice cream tea and coffee available. There are also toilets here.

Laal Bite Tuckshop at Drumburgh
Laal Bite Tuckshop at Drumburgh

After about an hour we got our legs working again, and just as we were leaving a group of Americans arrived and wished us well, they did not look like walkers though.

Our walk continued in bright sunshine and strong winds that whipped up the dust from the path. We pass the Highland Laddie Inn at Glasson. Soon we found ourselves walking beside the estuary and with Port Carlisle appearing around the corner we pocketed the guide book and strolled into Bowness-on-solway.

Fortunately we found someone to take our photo of the village sign with us standing beside it we were a bit elated at having arrived.

Wind swept Heather, Brenda B and Jenny
Wind swept Heather, Brenda B and Jenny

Passing Maia Lodge our B&B we soon found the Gazebo and stamped our passports, one of the ladies with the dog arrived and took a group photo for us at the end of the walk.

The end!
The end!

Brenda M phoned and we joined her little further along the village by the edge of the water..... off with our boots and into the Solway to relieve our hot and tired feet.

Cooling off of feet in the Solway
Cooling off of feet in the Solway

We arrived to a very warm welcome at Maia Lodge, with Brenda M and Jenny ensconced in a downstairs room, Brenda B and the other old biddy climbed the stairs. A quick shower and we were off to the Kings arms to get a well earned drink and to collect our certificates. There were a number of people in the bar including the ladies with the Labrador dog, plus one other lady who had had to give up on the walk after a couple of days due to blisters.

Our evening meal was taken at the Highland Laddie Pub, fish and chips and a few more drinks.
We got talking to two locals who had recently been down to Essex to visit relatives who lived in the same road and Jenny and Brenda’s grandparents.

Back at Maia Lodge and an early(ish) night, with Brenda B watching the British Soap Awards and me writing my journal.

I was awake at 5 am to watch the beautiful sunrise over the Solway, a quick read of my journal to make sure it still made sense after a couple of drinks last night. A light rain started at around 7am, we were glad not to be walking today. After a good breakfast served by a delightful couple we were on the road home.

Note; This was a wonderful walk, albeit much less challenging than the coast to coast; the views and scenery were breathtaking; the welcome in all but one B&B was second to none. As a group we all got on well, all have a daft sense of humour and shared everything, including the aches and pains. I’m looking forward to doing the coast to coast again in 2010, and if they are as daft as they were this year, we should all have aching sides from laughing.