A Walton Double 10th December 2023

Led by Clare

Seven LDWA members (six from the Cumbria group and one from the Northumbria group) met at The Sands, Brampton on a cool morning with heavy showers forecast for later on and into the afternoon when the wind would increase. Leaving at 08:30 we walked the route in a clockwise direction so as to cross the more exposed part before mid-day.

Stopping at Brampton Old Church we paid our respects to Chris Hopkins who used to walk with the group and who tragically passed away on an LDWA social walk in Yorkshire (obituary in Strider magazine April 2020). Shortly after this we followed a short section of the Stanegate (Roman road) and the more recent A6071 Brampton to Longtown road, before crossing the river Irthing and taking a field path past Camboglanna Roman fort (unseen in the trees to our left) to Walton. 

The morning break was taken in this hilltop village which sits on the line of Hadrians Wall and is named after it. A light drizzle had started and waterproofs were donned. (Contrary to the weather forecast the rain would prove very intermittent and light, clearing by 2pm when a cold wind sprang up).

Heading north we followed a sequence of field paths, many of which were waterlogged, reaching the zenith of our journey at the farm appropriately named Spout Bank. Crossing a steep-sided valley we made our way down to White Hill farm whose entrance is guarded by a terracotta warrior (photo). We then took a section of field paths above King Water, returning to Walton where we had lunch and looked at the Church without going in.

A section of the Hadrians Wall national trail then followed before following a field path to Lanercost Bridge and a delightful path alongside Quarry Beck which felt very autumnal. The path is shown on Ordnance Survey mapping but it is not shown as a right of way. Public Footpath signs at each end show that it is.

The final section of the route took us along Brampton ridge, with far-reaching views, to the Howard statue followed by the short descent back to The Sands.