My highlight of the day, after an exceptional cooked breakfast at Lanercost B&B, was the visit to Lanercost Priory. The lady at the ticket desk chatted at length, successfully selling me a book about birds and musing on the nature of the changing attitudes towards nationhood displayed from Roman times to model conflicts. The amount of Hadrian’s Wall that is now contained within the fabric of this 12th century edifice is staggering, but… why wouldn’t you use it, if you were building a priory in the 12th century?!
So, later than planned, I headed off westwards once more. On the way I stopped at a fantastic tea room, the Reading Room at Walton, where I got a great cup of tea and some excellent quiche. Also a very pleasant welcome.
Suitably refreshed I continued. There is not much to see on this leg of the journey – the turrets and milecastles are not even humps and bumps at this stage: more imagination is required.
There were some lovely woods, attractive bridges across becks and long walks across fields of sheep and cows, and a most enjoyable stop at a box full of goodies at Bleatarn farm, leaving money in the honesty box inside.
Before long it was time to cross the M6, the equal noisiest moment of the journey after crossing the A1 back at the start, and soon after I arrived at Carlisle.
So it’s just a day’s more walking to the end of the Wall (fingers crossed!) and lots of walking along the river and the marshes of the Solway. Bring it on!