Saturday, 30 March 2013

Day trip to Cumbria 6 - Castlerigg Stone Circle

Not a great deal is known about Castlerigg Stone Circle. It stands on a natural plateau and comprises 38 free-standing stones, some as tall as ten feet. It is thought that the circle was erected in the Neolithic Period (4000-5000 years ago) but the purpose is unknown.

Today, it is protected by the National Trust and open for all to visit. The location is superb, surrounded by fells, with snow-covered Helvellyn towering in the background.

The plaque shows the layout of the stones and the positions of the surrounding fells.

This is a place I have long wanted to see, so I was pleased at the opportunity to visit.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Day trip to Cumbria 5 - Meals on Wheels

After leaving the railway line, we climbed up and under the A66, which had curved round to track our progress. It was at this point, that we first encountered the quad bike riding shepherd.

Generally, sheep are running the other way or being driven by dogs. These sheep obviously *knew*...

'High protein feed delivered to your field' - I wonder if they order online.

A little further round the fell side, we once again came across our quad-biker, This time he was delivering hay to Herdwicks. The recipients seemed just as grateful and were quick to start tearing at the broken bales, pulling out great mouthfuls which dangled like uncut beards. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cumbria Day Trip 4 - 1 of 1,000

The old Cockermouth to Penrith railway line forms part of the Coast to Coast Cycle Path. This is just one of one thousand mileposts erected by the Royal Bank of Scotland to mark the creation of the National Cycle network, part of the Millennium Project.

It showed from whence we had come...

...but we are most definitely not walking as far as Sunderland!!

It also had a hole. I can't resist holes.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Cumbria Day Trip 3 - An award winning bridge, a winding wooden walkway and a disappearing railway line

Just outside Keswick, the old railway line and the River Greta go under the A66, carried by this bridge which, in September 1999, was voted the Best Concrete Engineering Structure of the Century.  

I can only assume that it won the award for its engineering qualities because, apart from a rather pleasing curve, it has very little going for it aesthetically. 

Much more pleasing to the eye was this wooden walkway which we followed around a series of bends, tracking the course of the river and gradually twisting away from the noise of the traffic speeding overhead. 

We were, however, a little puzzled about the absence of the railway line. Surely the train could not have negotiated bends like these. It would be akin to riding the Wild Mouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Puzzle solved!

I think it would be safe to describe this tunnel as being disused!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cumbria Day Trip 2 - River Greta

Having dropped off Mark at Newton Rigg, Dad and I headed for Keswick and a walk along the old Cockermouth to Penrith railway line, now part of the coast to coast cycle path.

For much of this stretch, the line follows the route of the River Greta, which rises in Threlkeld and runs into the Derwent, just south of where it exits Derwent Water.

The sun made a few brief appearances to brighten up our journey.

In total, the railway line crosses the Greta eight times between Keswick and Threlkeld, but we diverted before the end of the path and only crossed around five times.

This wonderful little stone bridge, basking in the sporadic sunlight, carried the country lane over a tributary of the Greta.

Cumbria Day Trip 1

On Monday, we made an early start for a round trip to Cumbria. For saying that it's March...

... I would not describe the day as either 'warm'or 'spring-like'