Day 171 The Cumbria Coastal Way

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Drumburgh to Skinburness

15 miles

Ade and Jackie’s house

Today was to be the first time on my trip that I would be joined by friends for a whole day’s walk. I met Ade and Jackie when we were all camping opposite Holy Island, Northumberland. They are friends of Maggie, and now also of me. They are experienced walkers, climbers, mountaineers and expedition leaders, so I was in good company for the day that was to unfold. It was nice to have good company for the walk and to have someone else navigating.

We drove a couple of miles back to Drumburgh, from where we could pick up the Cumbria Coastal Way and we set out to follow this all the way to Skinburness. The main thing I want to point out is how pleased I was that someone as experienced, and qualified, as Ade had the same navigational problems as I’ve suffered and several times we lost the non-existent path. Hallelujah, it’s not just me!!! 

A stile but no paths!
 Things started off ok but it wasn’t long before the signposts disappeared, the path disappeared and we were fighting our way through, almost impenetrable, thick reeds and other vegetation. We saw a couple of deer, who seemed very surprised to see us. Jackie found a stile – it was buried in the head-high vegetation with no sign of a path either side, but it did have a CCW sign.  

A mini “Stone Henge” at Newton Arlosh
 We worked hard for our 15 miles today; it should have been shorter but crossing the Skinburness Marsh at the end was a wiggly affair. There were dykes crisscrossing the plain and finding places narrow enough to cross them was sometimes difficult.  

A random sculpture in the middle of the marsh
 We all got wet feet at some point. We also had cows to worry about (some are really inquisitive) and fences barring our way that needed to be crossed. I managed to rip my waterproof jacket in one fence that we had to climb through (fortunately Ade mended it later).  

Jackie making her way across the marsh (jumping from tuft to tuft)
 Walking with Ade and Jackie meant regular breaks with treats, sandwiches and hot chocolate. What a luxury. The route did take in New Abbey and we took a look in the magnificent building that was destroyed by fire in 2006 and has been rebuilt. It was worth a look.  

New Abbey
 By the time we reached the (second) car at Skinburness we were tired. It had been a long day fighting the lack of paths. We made it back home just before the rain came. It was nice to have an evening in front of the fire.  


One thought on “Day 171 The Cumbria Coastal Way

  1. Chris Frazer September 28, 2015 / 3:36 am

    Arghhhhhh!! Babies heads……nightmare. Those big tufts of grass which are too close to allow you to get into a stride and too far to join together……ankle sapping stuff always found in low lie ing marshy boggy areas…..yuk! Unfortunately I think your experiences of the paths in Cumbria is going to be indicative of the whole of the west coast of England…council cuts it will change as you get into Wales……on on Juice keep going…. I would leave the bogs and marshes well alone as you did for the inaccessible bits of a Scotland…..


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