A little about me....

My photo
Hello, let me introduce myself a bit...I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a retired labor and delivery room nurse of 38 years. Since retiring, my days have become mostly calm and unstructured. My Fluid Days blog is part of that life, though not updated at this time. My Hadrian's Wall Blog is the journal of our 100 mile walk across England in 2009 and again in 2010. My Dales Way Journal is about another long-distance hike we did in September of 2014. Russ, my husband and best friend for 46 years is my walking companion. He keeps me laughing and makes every day a joy.
Come with Russ and me as we walk 84 miles coast-to-coast across northern England, following the remains of Emperor Hadrian's amazing fortress....Judy


Tuesday, May 26, Day 11

Burgh-by-Sands to Bowness-on-Solway -- 8.9 miles

Paula and David prepared a veritable feast for breakfast in the morning. It was great and the best one we'd had the whole trip.

Too bad we didn't come back here that night. Had we known about our next B&b, we would have probably been happy to walk the 8 miles back.

The route continued on down the street and had a pleasant mix of cottages and houses.

But, very quickly, the scenery made a drastic trans formation--as you can see by the picture.
The trail joined up with a 3-mile stretch of road in the middle of the huge Burgh Marsh.

If you click on the picture, you can see the signs warning about nesting birds, lambing season, and danger from fast-flowing tides.
This was the worst stretch of walking on the whole trail. Not the scenery, it was quite lovely, but we had 3 miles of a head wind that nearly blew us over. We had to walk on a straight stretch of highway with practically no shoulder. It didn't have a lot of traffic, but we felt like the trucks were way too close. It was a long three miles!

Bowness was the end of the trail, so we knew we didn't have far to go!

If it hadn't been for the wind, this would have enjoyed the scenery more.

There were huge pastures of sheep and cattle with the Solway Firth beyond.

The signs says "when," (not "if") the water reaches this point, it is 2 feet deep over the road. And this happens pretty often. One local man told us it never fails--that someone will attempt to drive through it and gets stranded.

We finally reached Drumburgh, a sort of wide spot in the road, where the path turned left and put us back in better walking conditions. Russ is standing in front of Drumburgh Castle, "A farmhouse with panache!" It is another building made of Wall stone, and way back in 1539 John Leland described it as a "pretty pyle for defense of the country!"

We had another stretch of road, this time dirt through a kind of orchard. The trees/bushes were in bloom and had a sweet smell.

It really was a beautiful morning for the last day of our hike. The wind wasn't nearly so bad here away from the water, the birds were singing, and the sky was so pretty with the scudding clouds.

Judy's going to miss these friendly kissing-gates with the acorn symbol.

Looking out across Drumburgh Moss and Whiteholme Common which are part of a National Nature Reserve. Part of it is one of the last remaining peat bogs in England. It was a bird watchers paradise.

What was this . . . who knows? But it was a place to sit for a few minutes and enjoy the peaceful scenery.

A landmark! Our last kissing-gate.

Well, this looked familiar. It took us the better part of the morning and there ahead was the pub where we'd had dinner the night before! Didn't seem so far by car...

Once again, the path led out to the Solway Firth. The wind was still strong as you can see by the blowing grass. We are headed into Port Carlisle.

This will be the only picture in this blog that I didn't take myself, but it gives you an idea of what the overall terrain was like on the Solway Firth. The village in the foreground is Port Carlisle and the one beyond is Bowness where the trail ends.

On the home stretch! The Solway Firth is an estuary of two great rivers, the Esk and the Eden, and supplemented by Annanwater and the Nith. From June to September (we were a little early) you can see men standing chest-deep at the turn of the tides--Haaf Netting--with wooden frames. This type of fishing was introduced hundreds of years ago by the Vikings and is still practiced to day. I wish we could have seen them!

Bowness used to be a major haunt for smugglers and has some very interesting history. But for us . . . Where have the days gone? We don't want it to end!

Walking through Bowness.

As soon as we arrived, dark clouds started rolling in. Maybe it was a good thing we were approaching the end of the trail. I couldn't help but admire these beautiful rhododendrons.

I found it interesting that St.Michael's church had its bells stolen by raiders in 1626 but they lost them in the Solway when returning to the Scottish shore. Bowness villagers retaliated by taking the church bells from Dornock and Middlebie, Scotland. Every new vicar of those churches continues to request the return of their bells. Their entreaties are always refused--nowadays politely! Nearly 400 years later, and it hasn't been forgotten!

In 1755 a young smuggler, Thomas Stowell, was shot and killed by the King's Boats while he was smuggling brandy and tobacco. I took this picture of his gravestone beneath a yew tree. Under the same tree are also the unmarked graves of six other smugglers who were drowned in the Solway in 1762.

Oh my, can it be? The END OF THE TRAIL!!

Russ made it,

Judy made it,

And we did it together!

An absolutely splendid vacation!

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