Leader, Andy writes:

On the morning of 25/10/20 due to Covid, a restricted group of six met at Wetheral and started the walk at 08-30, it was figure of eight walk and we would do the Western loop first.

After approx half a mile we made the first crossing of the Newcastle to Carlisle railway, we would either cross, go over or under this railway a further eleven times!

After going under it for the third time near Scotby we headed across the Carlisle golf course towards Warwick on Eden then down to the B6263 where we were able to walk adjacent to the new road by walking along the course of the old one. This took us to a riverside path which was just passable due to water levels in the river Eden being higher than normal, this brought us out underneath the railway viaduct from where we ascended the “99” steps plus the overbridge over the railway to “waiting room” on the Newcastle platform where a coffee break was taken.

Following on from this was the walk across the 186 year old Wetheral viaduct with its normally stunning views, it was still a bit cloudy at this stage! Great Corby followed then Broadwath from where we followed a path alongside Cairn Beck to Heads Nook. We had an early socially distanced lunch here as the real time was an hour later as during the night the clocks had gone back to GMT, by this time the rain had stopped and the sun was out.

After lunch it was onto Faugh then to Cumwhitton via Lazencastle wood, this was a section that was new to everyone as it was to me until I done the recce for it. The way down to the river (Cairn Beck) was not obvious as it never seems to be walked and yet a good “bridge” with a chain to hang onto took us across it into a nice wooded section. Unfortunately this came to an abrupt end at the edge of the wood where a slight diversion was taken to avoid gluteneous mud, once around this the track was rejoined to the road which we followed to Cumwhitton.

At Cumwhitton it had been my intention to follow the path that runs behind the village via the church to come out next to the pub, but on my recce I could find no evidence or signposts indicating the existence of this path. As this path still appears on the latest OS maps and I have reported it to the parish council who said they will investigate.

So instead it was along the road through Cumwhitton but as we had time in hand we had a last short break at the bus shelter opposite the church, left there at 13-55. This was followed by a couple of fields then a minor road down to Brocklewath then up to Clinthead farm from where it was mostly tarmac to rejoin the outward route at Great Corby level crossing and again across the railway viaduct but with better views this time as the weather had cleared.

The twelfth crossing of the railway took us back to the start at approx 15-20 having done 16 ½ miles and 1,150 foot of ascent.

Attendees, Andy, (Leader), Martin, Jim, Pat, Clare & Barbara.