WESTMORLAND WANDER 12/01/2020

ORTON SCAR

Seven Cumbria LDWA regulars (Allan, Andy, Barbara, Helen, Louise, Neil and Martyn) met up next to the bus shelter at Crosby Ravensworth (Grid Reference NY 620147) for an excellent walk in the historic county of Westmorland in good sunny relatively dry conditions. Westmorland formed an administrative county between 1889 and 1974, after which the whole county was administered by the new administrative county of Cumbria. In 2013, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Westmorland.  According to the 1971 census, Westmorland was the second least populated administrative county in England, after Rutland. The Crosby Ravensworth area has a long history of settlement, right back to prehistoric times. Crosby means ‘settlement by the cross’. Maybe the Vikings added the nickname of an important person called Hravnsvart (Raven Black).

The ‘Magnificent 7’ headed out from Crosby Ravensworth to reach Oddendale and join Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast route walking by Seal Howe and Hazel Moor to have a morning stop at Robin Hood’s Grave. We knew we were in the correct location because Martyn found Robin Hood’s arrow flight! On reaching the B6260 the group left the Coast-to-Coast and headed to Beacon Hill to inspect the monument erected by John Bland, born in Reagill, to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. Time now to explore the National Nature Reserve of Great Asby Scar in classic limestone country. On reaching the outskirts of Great Asby lunch was taken. The route then wound back on the Westmorland Way passing Gaythorne Hall, gliding up Bank Moor and drifting down to Crosby Ravensworth.

A splendid day out enjoyed by all involved. The vital statistics were 24.8 km (15.5 miles), 571 metres (1,875 feet) of ascent and a total time of 6 hours and 45 minutes.