RING 2 - 17.3.13


Six guys and six gals plus leader Tony gave a pleasing symmetry to this walk and avoided the problem of an unlucky 13 starters! It was also good to welcome five visitors including David and Merrian from BBN who amazingly have walked with nearly every group in the LDWA. An early fall of snow proved to be an asset rather than a deterrent making the first hour or so a magical experience before the thaw set in.


It is always important to review each of our three ‘Rings’ early in the year and well before the June Event in case changes have to be made to the route description. Ring 2 has always been a bit of a beast especially in the muddy conditions that prevailed after the snow disappeared. Billed as 24 miles (probably a slight understatement!) its numerous stiles and heavy going invariably take their toll and few who complete it deny the toughness of its challenge.


With the roads clear of snow an early start was possible and Reagill was reached in good time as the snow disappeared. A short coffee break was taken by the River Lyvennet after Barnskew before battle with the muddy fields was resumed. The villages of Morland then Cliburn followed where a new route was followed through Great Strickland thus avoiding the unpleasant road section along Cliburn Ling.


Although the new halfway check point is proposed to be at the Strickland Arms we lunched before reaching it in a convenient barn out of the wind. After rejoining the original route through Hackthorpe a new footpath was found in Lowther Park which conveniently avoided a heavily ploughed area. Congratulations were short lived, however, as we slithered on through the mud past High Knipe to the self clip check point above the Lowther valley.


After a final quick break we descended to the suspension bridge over the River Lowther and enjoyed the final few miles river side back to Shap via Bampton Grange, Rosgill and Keld. No records were broken in our 9+ hour traverse of the Ring but a pleasant and fairly demanding day had been enjoyed by all participating.


Links to Merrian's pictures: