Posted by: natsevs | May 13, 2010

Allonby to Powfoot

It was another rainy night in Allonby and the morning brought a rather dull day. I started off along the road, but switched to the top of the beach after a while. When I got to Mawbray Bank, there was a path along the coast, which started off as a boardwalk, was then dirt road and soon disappeared into sand and grass.

The stretch to Silloth was all beach and seemed to take a very long time. Soon enough, though, I was coming in through the golf course to meet the road into town.  I bought myself a pretty tasty steak slice slab for lunch and carried on along the promenade to Skinburness. It was only during this stretch that I turned the map over to see that post-Skinburness was a spit called Grune Point I would have to go around. It was only two fields wide but quite long, nevertheless it didn’t too long at all and I was soon round and back in Skinburness where the coast path sign pointed in completely the wrong direction.

I ignored that and headed along the edge of the marsh then on the road to Abbeytown. It was all road for the rest of the day then. Through Newton Arlosh to Kirkbride. After Kirkbride, I crossed over a bridge and along the coast road. I had planned to camp in Anthorn having seen a copse on the map, but when I arrived there most of the copse had been cut down to allow chickens to live there in a caravan. Nice.

There were no alternative options except to stay there, but it wasn’t a very hidden spot and I wasn’t very keen on camping there. Not least because there was a farmer riding around on his quad bike metres away. I was glad when it finally got dark.

The following morning I started packing up at 7 and was walking by 7:40 to avoid being rumbled. It was raining on and off and I made what felt like very slow progress along the road past radio masts. I got to Bowness after about two hours and chatted to a group of nice people who had just completed the Hadrian’s Wall path.

Bowness is the start and finish of the path and I would be following it up to Carlisle. I was really tired and now hungry as I seemed to be in another shop free zone. As I passed a farm I acquired a cling on dog who followed me for a good half hour. I shut a gate on it and walked on before I heard a noise and there he was behind me. Again.

When I arrived in Burgh by Sands there was no shop still so ended up getting a pub lunch. Finally, I got off the road after there and onto a path across fields. In one of which the whole herd of cows ran up to the gate before I went in and followed me across the whole field. It was a little bit unsettling even though they were obviously just hungry. Walking along the river took me into Carlisle through the park. I was welcomed by a bakery smell and this part of Carlisle was quite pretty. The B&B I stayed in was through the town to the less pleasant part. I checked in and collapsed on the bed.

I slept very well and got up and ready fairly slowly. It was raining again when I left but it soon stopped. Immediately out of Carlisle there was a path, but I was on the roads again soon enough, which wasn’t very interesting apart from the small amount of risk of being run over. I got to the river around midday and thought it looked like there was a way over the railway bridge.

There wasn’t, and somewhere between climbing over the fences and going under the bridge I left my map and didn’t realise until too late. I went over on a road right next to the A274(m), which then went over the railway too. I then crossed the border to Scotland and into Gretna.

I took a few pics of me and the sign and the first and last house in Scotland. I walked on with a slightly stupid grin on my face as was quite pleased to have got here. The weather had been going from rain to sun all day. I was on roads all the way from Gretna. I got told to get off the road by one passing van, which was great. I got to Annan in good time and went to the supermarket to get supplies for the following day. Scottish supermarkets have loads of pancakes in.

The campsite in Powfoot was really good, Queensbury Holiday Park. The only other person camping was a Dutch guy who had passed me twice during the day on his bike. The site had a camper’s kitchen where I got chatting to him and he gave me a beer. He was a nice guy who’s cycling to Inverness along the coastal route.


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