Ascent - 304 metres
Time - 7 hours including 2 hours 10 mins stops
So the t-shirt and shorts weather came as a mild surprise to us all.
Outside The Old Homestead, with Martin, Due1, Gary, Andrew (Notchy), Sue2 and David,
not forgetting Zen (below)
After photos outside the fine old building we set off to Cockermouth past signs to remind us of the establishments we had visited, then by a pleasant path beside the River Cocker.
Sue1 and Gary enhanced their sheeps wool collections, whilst the rest of us gawped at the medley of animals, including donkeys and peacocks, at Simonscales Mill.
Entering Cockermouth over a bridge lined with metallic roses, we soon found a café and sat for the best part of an hour watching the mundane activities of the residents of this pleasant market town.
Certain members of our group who couldn't cope well with the lack of newspapers over the past few days managed briefly to remedy this problem before realising that there wasn't really any news.
Exiting Cockermouth with lunch provisions replenished we soon found ourselves on the faint path that was represented on the map as the 'Allerdale Ramble'. Three of us did, anyway, as Notchy's sore feet dictated an even shorter, easier day, and Sue2 and David lingered in the town to look around a Wordsworth museum.
We enjoyed lovely views back to Cockermouth and yesterday's route as we stumbled on past pheasants and barley, and over ornate castellated stiles to a short section beside the main road.
Looking back towards Cockermouth from the ornate stile featured above
Park Hill proved an excellent venue for lunch (pictured in the header, and below).
A buzzard was being mobbed by crows.
Down at Redmain we found hedges full of birds, red hot pokers, and a garden with lots of flowers including alliums to die for.
Bee keepers fumbled with their hives.
Leafy lanes and lush meadows with myriads of wild flowers took us through Isel and past a huge pink castellated mansion.
BugleThe state of this signpost was a fair reflection of the state of the field paths. At Long Close Farm many tractors were engaged in processing freshly cut grass from Pepperholme Bank. Loads were arriving every few seconds, and a huge mountain of grass was being worked on as if it was sand or soil. This sweet scented grass was no doubt eventually destined to become noxious silage.
'Beware of Bull' signs as we approached Bassenthwaite Lake at the end of the day littered the fields we passed through. There was not a bull to be seen. Perhaps the farmers hereabouts just want to discourage walkers from the rarely used (but surprisingly well indicated) paths. The Lake District authorities have been busy installing new gates and signs around here.
Finally, via another nice woodland path past The Ruddings, we reached Link House B+B, and Keith's friendly welcome. Notchy had been here for an hour; S+D arrived at 7, more than two hours later.
We dodged a few showers this afternoon, and the weather looked a little ominous, so Keith's generous offer of a lift to The Wheatsheaf, a half hour walk away, was gratefully accepted. We all piled into his Discovery and enjoyed the pub's sumptuous bar meals. The price was reasonable (£50 for the 6 of us) and the portion sizes huge.
A mix up over payment had them chasing down the road after us. Whoops!!
Here's today's route.
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