Day 7 .... May 3 .... Shap to Pooley Bridge .... 14 miles

Breakfast at 7:30, cereal, scrambled eggs and sausage with toast, all very good. Saw all the guys from last night. Everyone survived. I took an apple from the hall table and stopped at the co-op for a candy bar. That will be lunch. Off on the path to Keld (near Shap) at 9 am. I passed the Gogglesby Stone, an ancient standing stone most probably a glacial boulder. It stands alone in a field as farmers work around it.

The Ancient Gogglesby Stone In Field West of Shap

Lovely Houses Of Keld

Keld is a small village of older, well preserved houses. A path leads across pastures to Shap Abbey and passes above it. I like the view looking down on the Abbey tower. The path continued through pastures, many pastures, high above the River Lowther. Across the river, I could see the C2C path as it makes its way to Shap Abbey. On my path, I met several C2C couples who had stayed overnight in Bampton and are taking the alternate path to Shap.

Shap Abbey - Now A Lone Sentinel

Overlooking River Lowther And C2C Path To Shap Abbey

I passed through the picturesque village of Bampton Grange, then followed the River Lowther until I reached a suspension foot bridge. It was a true suspension bridge that bounced up and down as you walked. Crossing the bridge, I joined a lane leading to Whale, a village adjacent to the huge Lowther Estate.

Suspension Foot Bridge Over River Lowther

Clapper Bridge Over Whale Beck Leading To Whale Village

House Next To Path In Whale Village

From Whale, I followed the Lowther Estate track all the way to Askham. A very attractive village, Askham has two pubs, a shop and a PO. I took lunch on a park bench in the center of town. It was another lane walk and several pastures to Barton Church. A local parishioner was tending the cemetary and let me into the church for a look see but it was too dark to see anything, no lights. The church was built on the site of a ruined St. Augustine Abbey using the original square Norman tower and nave. There is also a sundial mounted on the church wall similar to one I saw a few years ago in Eyam.

Barton Church

Norman Tower And Sundial On Barton Church

The final walk to Pooley Bridge was a little frustrating. Like many of the directions in Hannon’s Cumberland and Westmorland guidebooks, tracks, paths and other manmade features have changed so that, often, I have to, god forbid, rely on my wits, my compass and my instincts. This can be hit and miss but the experience does keep the mind sharp.

I arrived in Pooley Bridge at 3:30 pm. The village is at the northern end of Ullswater and is a popular access point for the ferry cruise up and down the lake. Ullswater B&B looked quite plain next to the Sun Inn but my room was large, comfortable and nicely updated. The village was bustling with tourists. I got an ice cream, walked around to see the famous bridge, then cleaned up and adjusted my toe bandages. My left little toe was getting mauled and needed the blood cleaned off.

Sun Inn At Pooley Bridge

The Sun Inn had the same Jennings beer I’ve seen everywhere so I went over to the Crown Inn and got a pint of Speckled Hen and a vegetable curry with rice. I first found Speckled Hen ale in Wales several years ago and like it very much. There were not many customers in the pub. After the last ferry leaves, the village becomes quiet as a mouse so I went back to the B&B to delve into my book again.

<<< Previous                              Next >>>