Day 11 …. May 18 …. Caldbeck To Carlisle To Manchester …. 15 miles

Breakfast was in the main house at 7:30. I requested an early breakfast so I would have time to meet a fellow walker in Carlisle at 2 pm and catch my train to Manchester at 3:30 pm. More on that later. Meanwhile at breakfast, the dining room was quite entertaining; lots of knick-knacks, stuffed animals, a small table set up with large teddy bears and a dog in chairs along with their own dishes, silverware and napkins. I sat at a different table.

I was off by 8:10, my last walking day. A special path to Caldbeck village follows the River Caldew starting just over Whelpo Bridge. The path goes through a gorgeous limestone gorge called The Hock, a popular tourist site. The stone shapes and low waterfalls were interesting to look at but, with the early morning shadows, I couldn’t get a decent photo.

The Howk, A limestone Gorge Near Caldbeck 

I crossed through town and followed the river east, eventually turning north still along the river. My guidebook directions, like they have been often, were hazy and I strayed from the CW path, caught myself, backtracked and spotted another walker where I figured I should be. Otherwise, the path was easy to follow.

Black And Whites Lounging Near The River Caldew 

At 12:30, I came onto a main road in Dalston and spied a telephone booth across the road. I had arranged to call Lonewalker (Stuart), the webmaster of, at 12:30 to set up a meeting in Carlisle. Right on time! He was walking the Pennine Way and happened to be taking a half rest day at Half Brewed on Hadrian’s Wall the same day I would arrive in Carlisle. He needed to resupply in Carlisle, so planned a bus trip there and back. We found that we would have about an hour window of opportunity to meet each other. I called Stuart, he was on the bus, and we agreed to meet outside the train station at 2:15 pm. That would be just the amount of time I needed to walk there.

Lovely Tulips At Dalston Near Carlisle 

From Dalston, the CW shares the cycle/walking path to Carlisle so it’s a fairly fast, straight forward walk. From Cummersdale, the path veered left and supposedly follows an old RR bed all the way into Carlisle although the RR bed is not apparent.

Greetings By Carlisle Ambassadors At End Of Walk 

In the city, the cycle path ended at a lumber yard by the river. I climbed stairs onto a traffic bridge, crossed the river and followed the road around to the RR station. It was 2:20 pm; Stuart recognized me right away and crossed the street to meet me. We sat at an outdoor cafe and talked about the weather on our walk, our experiences so far, and how our walks this year differ from the Coast To Coast walk which we each did last year. We also talked about journal writing (we both have walk journals published on his website), how writing styles differ and how we all learn from each other. We only had 35-40 minutes to talk before he had to catch the bus back to Half Brewed. It was an enjoyable and productive meeting.

After meeting Stuart, I browsed a bookstore and got a pasty at a Gregg’s Bakery, then went over to the train station to pick up my Fast Ticket to Manchester for the 2 hour ride (two and a half with train stoppage). I arrived at 6 pm, just in time to get my ticket to East Didsbury where I checked into a Travelodge. This was a convenient, inexpensive, no drama location for easy access to the airport in the morning For dinner, I had Lamb Biryani and beer at a Bangladeshi restaurant just down the street, a satisfying last meal for this year’s walking trip.

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