Only four members plus two guests arrived chez Derek & Stella for the start of this year’s mince pie walk. A mild and dry but cloudy day was welcomed after the recent tempests though underfoot conditions were decidedly ‘clarty’! The semi-urban nature of the walk did, however, help to minimise the mud gathering propensities on offer.
The first highlight was the relatively new Stone Circle Eden-side in Rickerby Park. A collection of attractive stones has been assembled including examples of local slate, limestone, sandstone, granite and millstone grit.
Perhaps our descendants will gaze at it in awe and wonder several millennia down the line! We then circumnavigated the Castle and discovered the Cursing Stone in an underpass. This highlights a 16th century curse by the then Archbishop of Glasgow against the Border Reivers…I curse their head and all the hairs of their head; I curse their face, their mouth, their nose etc etc.
The city was then left behind to follow the Cumbria Way and a swollen River Caldew as far as the Race Course. Muddy footpaths and minor roads lead past St Ninian’s Well eventually reaching the River Petteril. This was followed back into town until the Eden was again reached. It was then just a short step back to base and the usual welcome refreshments. Amazingly some 18 miles had been covered and unusually for this walk a daylight finish was enjoyed!
The LDWA organises many challenge and local group walks, as well as listing many more organised by other organisations. Challenge events are normally between 20 and 100 miles and must generally be completed within a defined time limit. Group walks are normally led walks of around 20 miles. Click here to go to the LDWA website.