Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sunday mornings are not to be rushed! However this November Sunday, the weather was improving from a rather misty start at Wetheral Cottages and it looked set to be a bright afternoon. November is also the time of year when the light starts to fade - so a short walk is perhaps all that light will allow.

Picking up a guide book “Walking in Cumbria’s Eden Valley” by Vivienne Crow, I thumbed through and found a walk “Quarry Beck and Ridgewood”. Reading through the description, it appeared our best option was to start the walk halfway, as the most appropriate tearoom was at the start of the suggested route.

Parking was found, adjacent to the lovely open green on the outskirts of Brampton. The signpost here, guides you up to the ridge (this is the only significant bit of uphill). The name is obvious as from the ridge great views towards the Southern Scottish Mountains, but on this occasion the day had not improved to give the perfect picture but it was impressive enough to want to return. The ridge path soon veered into a wood with a wide woodland path lined with huge beech trees. The path along the ridge was also dotted with differing benches, just great for entertaining the youngsters – see who can run on and find the next seat first!

The path then dropped away from the ridge down onto a quiet road which eventually joined the Brampton to Lanercost Road, the latter being our destination and teashop. A good clean airy tearoom with an excellent selection of calorie replacing cakes – another plus point for repeating this walk. (in fact we have enjoyed this walk again with friends the Soup was good and warming as it was a cooler January day).

Lanercost Priory founded in 1169 by Robert deVaux, is open to the public April to October. As with most iconic properties in this part of Cumbria, they have transferred from Scottish to English ownership and back often in turbulent times. Records show the first raid on Lanercost took place in 1280, when the priory had just been visited by King Edward 1st. But Lanercost had its day when Edward returned in 1306 a dying king and ruled the Kingdom from Lanercost. Lanercost effectively became the capital of England as Edward summoned Parliament to Carlisle and brought all the seals of the crown with him.

In 1346 the Priory suffered a damaging attack by King David II of Scotland who desecrated the monastic and priory buildings as well as the land around. Sir Thomas Dacre was granted the site during the Dissolution of the monasteries (1536) who converted part of the site into his residence, a great deal of restoration has taken place over recent years also.

The return route was by the side of Quarry Beck, which runs through a secluded gorge, which at a more appropriate time of year will be alive with birds, nesting or feeding their young. Joining the road again a footpath along the side soon becomes evident and the route follows this back to Brampton.

The route was extremely dry, considering the recent weather, so a walk well considering, perhaps, after a night of heavy rain, even the path adjacent to Quarry Beck was not muddy at all – though we did find a few muddy bits on our second expedition.

Sorry no images for this blog but can’t wait to return on a clear day as I look forward to enjoying what I think must be great views from the Ridge.

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At February 7, 2012 at 5:16 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Hello John,

Glad to see you were up in our part of the world. When you were at Lanercost did you actually get into the Priory? There are some great bits n pieces including this crusaders cross.

You are welcome to use any of the pictures from the Lanercost blog

Dark Sea Web


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