The Carlisle to Bowness on Solway part of Hadrian’s Wall Path is the last 13 miles of the path if you are walking it from East to West. You can enjoy long walks along country lanes and through country fields as well as the sights and sounds of nature, the River Eden and the Solway estuary marshes all offering peace and solitude.
Lady Lynne and myself took a trip down to the historic North of England city of Carlisle last weekend, where we walked that last 13 miles I mentioned above.
I’ve done the whole path previously myself, all 84 miles coast to coast from Wallsend near Newcastle to Bowness on Solway, three years ago. I enjoyed it so much and really wanted Lynne to experience part of it and to see if she might be persuaded one day to tackle the whole thing, together. 🙂
The only thing majorly different this time around was that due to the recent terrible floods that Storm Desmond brought to Carlisle, a large part of the start of the path at Bitts park was missing. This necessitated a longer detour through some of the city to eventually reach the path(above) which then rejoined with the original path.
Anyone reading this and considering doing this last part of the wall path should take note that this detour (if it’s still there) will add an extra 20 minutes or so onto the estimated four hours 10 minutes walk.
So, back on the original path and finally on our way, above Lady Lynne starts the actual Hadrian’s Wall walk as it leaves the outskirts of Carlisle.
We started the walk at 8am. last Saturday. We’d had our porridge pots in our hotel room earlier and I’d had my obligatory run to the local Starbucks for my grande Americano. We were completely fuelled up and ready for the day.
We also had my new rucksack packed full of our waterproofs (you never know) and our hotel room prepared sandwiches for lunch!
Walking along the banks of the River Eden, where the original Hadrian’s Wall was built along, there isn’t much of it left in any way at all. The odd raised part of ground, or steps leading upwards are all that remain of the 120AD structure built to keep the Picts, who lived in Scotland out of the Roman Empire!
Over the years much of the wall has been taken down to make farm buildings or flattened for farmland purposes. Nowadays, but perhaps too late in certain places, with the wall being designated a Unesco World Heritage Status that wouldn’t be so easy.
Certainly on earlier parts of the whole walk. Which I did in 5 days in 2013 there is much more of the original wall to see. So, it’s certainly worth doing the whole thing!
The wall path is signposted all the way and as you travel through lots of working farmland, there’s plenty of styles and gates to keep the farm animals in. There were plenty of lambs to be seen – fiercely guarded by their mothers.
Reaching about a quarter of the way there was another landslip on part of the Wall Path which meant another detour from the original path and through some rather attractive country lanes.
Those country lanes in question had beautiful houses (obviously I couldn’t photograph for privacy reasons) of which Lynne could see herself living there as Lady of the manner.
To be honest, neither Lynne nor I were complaining in any way at all about the detours. The sun was out (albeit under a hazy sky) and the whole way was really quiet, where we only met walkers coming from the other direction.
The detours just made for more adventures and seeing scenery which you wouldn’t normally see from a car or sitting at your desk job on a daily basis. It was just good to be out and about enjoying the free pleasures that nature has to offer. And keeping fit and active too.
The cows seemed pretty pleased to see us (NOT!). I suppose they’re used to seeing humans wander through their fields. One thing you do have to take care of though, is to watch where you’re walking! 😉
We’re just a quarter of a mile from our final destination here (above). Another thing that’s great about the Hadrian’s Wall Walk, all the way along the route, and not just on the Carlisle to Bowness on Solway part, is that there are boards giving historical facts and artists pictures of what the wall would have looked like and where it was placed in the landscape, so that you are able to visualise what it looked like.
So, just over 4 and a half hours from starting we arrive at our destination. Bowness on Solway.
Bowness on Solway is really just a small “hamlet”. A pub and a few houses, nothing else. It’s hard to believe that it really once was the end of such a huge Roman fortification, designed to protect their empire from the Scots (the Picts) whom they never manager to defeat!!
Of course, it’s perfectly possible to walk the 13 miles back to Carlisle, but we’d planned it so that we could get the 14.10 bus back. At least that’s what we’d planned.
When actually checking the bus times in the bus stop at Bowness on Solway, the bus was 13.37, not 14.10! I must have been looking at the winter bus times when I planned this part of our trip. Just as well I’d built in a “safety hour” or I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy that pint in the local pub (above), the Kings Arms!
So after all that, it looks as if though I may have been successful in my persuasion of Lynne to do the whole 84 mile coast to coast walk. We’ve talked through some plans to do that potentially in 2018.
So if it’s going to be 2018, then I say bring it on! Because now that means plenty of training and long walks similar to this one to prepare us for that foray!
Thanks for reading an keeping up with us in our adventures. I’ll be back next week with a new no bake healthy snack recipe for you. One that if I’d thought about it should have been taken on this trip, but we’d eaten it all previously. It was that good! 😀
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And thanks Amanda for our usual Thursday thinking out loud blog post sharing opportunity!