Day 7 - Carlisle to Bowness on Solway

Thursday 19th June - 15.5 miles, 7 1/2 hours

After picking up some food for lunch in town we headed down to the river to rejoin the path at about 9:30.

The first couple of miles out of Carlisle follow the River Eden, initially past an industrial area where pylons and buildings intruded on the views. This was short lasting as the path soon headed into trees, following along the top of the steep riverbank.

From Grinsdale the path headed away from the river through fields to Kirkandrews-on-Eden. Here we briefly rejoined the riverside path.

This was a very pretty section of river with lots of wild flowers and grasses lining the banks. Once we reached Beaumont we left the river for the last time and followed a track along the line of the wall into the village of Burgh by Sands.

As we arrived there we felt a few spots of rain and so decided to stop in the pub for a drink, hoping it would pass by. This first shower did so, but we were caught out by a much heavier one as we set out again!

Just a few minutes later the sunshine returned as we reached the cattle grid on to Burgh Marsh. The path here follows the three mile straight line of the sea defence embankment, while the route of the Wall heads further out in the marshes.

There were nice views across the Solway to the north to the Southern Uplands of Scotland.

We had planned to stop for our packed lunch near Drumburgh, but it was very breezy on this open section. Instead we continued on and found a sheltered sunny spot in the fields on the approach to Glasson.

We headed out of Glasson on a track following initially the line of the Vallum and then onto a short section of disused railway line towards Port Carlisle. The path now came very close to the waters edge and the views extended along the Solway Firth.

At Port Carlisle there was remains of the breakwater which would have once have protected port and the entrance of the canal to Carlisle.

Very soon we were nearing the end of the walk. The road led us around to Bowness-on-Solway where we reached a short path down to the sea wall.

There were great views across the Solway Firth providing a stunning backdrop at the paths end. Here there is a pagoda to mark the end of the walk, complete with a latin inscription.

We checked the bus timetable and realised we had almost two hours before the next bus back to Carlisle, which gave us plenty of time to visit the Kings Arms for a celebratory drink and a meal. Here we also collected our certificate for completing the walk.


Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you don't mind...I'll link this to my site. I'd love to do the whole walk one day. It's always good to hear and see how it is done. Great photos and text!

MarkG said...

Thanks for linking from your site Hadriana. I hope you do walk the wall sometime, it's lovely to see the change in countryside along the way.

Kay said...

Great blog & pictures! We are now planning for oun walk in September 2009. Did you ever wish that you had cut some of the longer days in half?

MarkG said...

If we hadn't visited Vindolanda before (when walking the Pennine Way), then that is the one day we would alter to make sure to take that in.
So split the day from Wall to Burnhead into something like Wall to Once Brewed, and then the next day perhaps head to Greenhead (where there is the Roman Army museum also worth visiting).

Kay said...

Thanks for your answer. Although we will be using Sherpavan baggage service, we don't want to have to do so many miles per day that we don't have time to absorb the history of the wall. So did you feel "rushed" during your walk? Were you "seeing everything" or were you watching a clock during those long days?


MarkG said...

We felt we definately had time to look around everything properly. Splitting the first day helped here, we spent a good while at the museum in Wallsend, and then had a leisurely stroll back into Newcastle. The next day we could appreciate all the information boards along the river, and also divert along the railway line a little way to see Stephenson's house.

On other days we visited Chesters and Birdoswald forts. We could maybe have spent a little longer at Chesters - but that was the other day I recommend splitting. Then you could start the day looking round Chesters, and end with a trip to Vindolanda.

If you also stop near Greenhead then you will be in position to visit the army museum.

Definately we never clock watched. We enjoyed seeing it all, stopped many many times for photographs (the blog probably shows less than half of them!) and also had time to hunt for geocaches along the way.

Using the baggage service will allow you to travel nice and light so if you're practiced at walking around 15 miles then there shouldn't be a problem.

If you would like any other advice, please feel free to email me via my profile!

kevrich said...

the wooden remaims at port carlisle were not breakwaters. it is the remains of the old steamer pier, it housed a lighthouse and accepted steamers arriving from liverpool, annan etc,

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.