Completing the Triangle

First view of Coniston I want this Garden! On the Tops The Intrepid Explorers
The Furness Way

Paul Hannon has several long distance paths to his name, this being one of three that follow (roughly) the old county boundaries of Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmorland.

This year Hilary, June, Ian and I decided to close the triangle by walking the shortest leg from Arnside to Ravenglass. All three walks have their merits and I cannot choose between them, but we all agreed on the train home from Ravenglass, that this was the most demanding and most diverse.

The weather forecast for day one, which was in fact the longest day, 19 miles, was horrendous. However, as is most often the case, the met office got it wrong and the monsoon type weather due for all day only made a brief appearance for an hour or so after our lunch stop in the porch of Helsington Church. If you have ever walked “That’s Lyth” then much of day one will be familiar.

Day 2 however, proved to be tricky navigation wise as the book is some 15 years old. So lunch in Cartmel, came about an hour later than anticipated. As it turned out the afternoon was much more straightforward, with more typical Lake District views than the previous day.

Day 3 and the weather was improving, so much so that Ian unzipped the legs from his trousers and treated us to some flesh. As it was not too hot he dispensed with sun cream and paid the penalty all the rest of the walk. Refreshments proved hard to come by as the pubs in Southern Lakeland are either closing altogether or opening only in the evening. Afternoon tea was available at Brantwood overlooking Coniston Water and the Old Man. Tea and cakes were ordered before reading the price list, be warned!

We bumped (almost literally) into Tony and Steve Clark in Coniston, they had just completed Day 1 of the Cumbria Way and we met up later for a drink in the Crown.

Day 4 saw us leave the prescribed route to go over rather than around Coniston Old Man. The views from the top made the effort worthwhile but the very strong, gusty wind, had us drop down to Goat Water rather than traverse the Dow Crag ridge. It was 4 hours into the day before we got back on route to find we had only completed two miles. We were still in the Woolpack in Eskdale before 6 even after a lunch stop by a waterfall and a coffee stop in Seathwaite.

Day 5 is by far the shortest at only 11 miles but with two trains to catch we couldn’t hang around. The top of Muncaster Fell was blasted by the wind but gave good views to the Isle of Man and the Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant at Seascale. We were in time for a quick lunch at Ravenglass before our train and were just on the platform as the rain started. Perfect timing.

Thanks to Ian and June for their company, and Hilary for the faultless organisation.

A bridge over troubled water??? Journey's end What a panorama! Will Ian make it?