Recently paid a very short visit to the count of Cumbria in Northern England which is most famous for the tourist area of the Lake District and has to be said one of the “jewels in the crown” of all English beauty spots.
On this occasion I did not venture into “the lakes” but spent some time in the Eden valley. The River Eden meanders North through picturesque villages of red sandstone, such as Langwathby, Lazonby and Armathwaite, eventually reaching the historic Border City of Carlisle and the river enters the Solway Firth near the mouth of the River Esk after a total distance of 90 miles (145 km).
First came a walk along the rivers edge at Armathwaite to get a view of the imposing bridge over the river, then an encounter with what I thought was a herd of cows but which turned out to be bulls (about fifteen of them) as I traversed a field at the side of the river. The flora and fauna along the river bank was verdant and the river was beautifully calm with wonderful reflections of the trees and shrubs along the river bank
A drive north next heading towards Brampton and taking in some stunning countryside and numerous encounters with farm tractors driven by what appeared to be twelve year old boys!
It was during this drive that I came across the best village sign I have ever seen, it simply said “Castle Carrock” and underneath “Please Dance”…………if that doesn’t make you smile, nothing will. There does not seem to be any definitive explanation as to why the sign says, “please dance” instead of the usual “welcome to.”
Day two and a drive to the west coast and the old industrial port of Maryport, delayed by someone driving a car at 25mph no matter what the speed limit indicated! Maryport is an attractive coastal town on the Solway estuary, with sweeping views, shoreline walks, coastal sailing, lively pubs and memorable summer festivals.
Maryport was the site of a Roman port, built to complement the harbor at Ravenglass to the south. A nearby fort, dating from the 5th century, was one of a series of fortifications constructed by the Romans in this area.
The modern town of Maryport was the creation of the Senhouse family in the 18th century, who developed the small fishing village into a coal port with employment centering on coal mining and ship building.
A walk along the harbor in glorious sunshine and an encounter with a couple of fishermen handling five rods between them was a delight, and the view across the Solway Firth into Scotland reminded me that we must build a big wall across Northern England to keep the marauding SNP out!
So a nice day out to a part of England that I have never visited, I can tick that off my list of places to visit.