Monday, September 10, 2012

Walk 312 -- Millom to Foxfield

Ages:  Colin was 70 years and 125 days.  Rosemary was 67 years and 268 days.
Weather:  Dull and grey plus a torrential shower.
Location:  Millom to Foxfield.
Distance:  5 miles.
Total distance:  3185 miles.
Terrain:  Good straight path along a seabank.  Flat.
Tide:  Coming in.
Rivers: No.386, Black Beck.  No.387, Duddon Estuary (which the railway crossed and we pretended).
Ferries:  None.
Piers:  None.
Kissing gates:  None.
Pubs:  None.
‘English Heritage’ properties:  None.
Ferris wheels:  None.
Diversions:  None.
How we got there and back:  We were staying in our caravan in St Bees.  We had already done another Walk in the morning followed by a pub lunch.  We drove on to Millom where Colin left me with my puzzle book to while away an hour or so.  Meanwhile he drove on to the hamlet of Lady Hall where he parked, removed his bike from the boot of the car and cycled back.
At the end we got as near as we could to the railway viaduct across the Duddon Estuary with Foxfield Station directly on the other side.  We cut across fields to Lady Hall and our car.  After tea and biscuits, we drove back to Millom to pick up the bike, then back to our caravan in St Bees.
The next day we moved our caravan to Meathop Fell, near Grange-over-Sands.

We went straight on to the seabank along the Duddon Estuary to start this Walk.  It was a good path — Colin could have cycled it in the other direction which may have been easier than the road route which he took — but it was very straight and a bit boring.  At the beginning we were following a man with a dog, but they turned back after about half a mile.  We then met a spattering of other people which is unusual on our Walks.  There were two girl joggers amongst them, one of whom was over-weight and struggling.  But at least she was out there doing it — good luck to her.
We had marshes to the right of us and the railway to the left.  One or two trains went past, but nothing very exciting happened.  So we marched quickly on until we got to the road leading to Green Road Station.
We probably could have carried on the seabank from there, but the official Coastal Way went inland at this point.  We decided to follow it because it was less exposed to the elements — what prompted this decision was the fact that it began to rain, torrentially!  We sheltered under a tree for a while hoping that it would stop, but it didn’t.  So we carried on and got wet.
Before we reached the station we turned north on a farm track.  This took us across a small river, then up on the seabank again.  We could have stayed on it after all, but it didn’t really make any difference.  The rain eased, and eventually stopped.
We went round a bend and could see the railway bridge across the River Duddon.  Foxfield is just beyond the further end of the bridge, but there is no footway across.  We came up close to it and saw that it was blocked off by a fence and weeds.  For a moment we thought there was no way on, but then we noticed a stile into a field down at the bottom of the bank to our left.  The path from this stile led to a tunnel under the railway and away from the river.
It was a short climb up a couple of fields to the hamlet of Lady Hall where our car was parked.  Once again we pretended we had crossed the railway bridge, using our new additional rule no.20.  It saved us walking four or five miles extra to cross the river on a road bridge.

That ended Walk no.312, we shall pick up Walk no.313 next time at Foxfield Station.  It was half past six, so the Walk had taken us two hours.  After partaking of tea and biscuits, we drove back to Millom to pick up the bike, then back to our caravan in St Bees.
The next day we moved our caravan to Meathop Fell, near Grange-over-Sands, a much nicer and better run caravan site than either of the other two we have stayed at this session.

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