149. Abbeytown to Bowness-on-Solway

Todays walk would be solely along minor roads, as I complete the section around Moricambe Bay. This area of North Cumbria is quite quiet and I would have to get two buses from Bowness-on-Solway (my destination and parking spot) to Abbeytown (my start point). My first bus is the #93 into Carlisle, it costs £5.60! I then get the #400 service to Abbeytown at a cost of £6.90………………ouch!! At a total cost of £12.50 it is the most expensive journey I have undertaken on my journeys so far. I could have bought a Day Rover for £10.70, which would have still been very expensive OR I could have simply cycled between my start and end points and then walked back. Food for thought on my next trip up here.

The disused Carlisle/Silloth to Annan railway

Yet again there had been a severe overnight frost, so it was on with the thermal mitts when I got off the bus at Abbeytown and a bit of quick walking to un-freeze my toes which had got very cold waiting for the bus in Carlisle. I will be walking along the B5307 for most of the morning and hope that the ROAD CLOSED AHEAD signs will not affect me. I pass the red sandstone church, the site of the Cistercian Holme Cultram Abbey, another victim of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

St John Church Newtown Arlosh

The road is very quiet and I suspect the road closure has something to do about that. I turn off this b-road down a minor road and walk over a railway that spans the long disused Carlisle/Silloth to Annan line, that passed over the Solway by means of a viaduct the remnants of which can still be seen on either bank today. I pass the small hamlet of Saltcoats, with its over-sized pond and re-join the B5307.

Old mileage signpost Angerton

At this point I finally come to the point where the road is closed and the current work is taking place. The road is being widened and re-surfaced, not sure why as the bit about to be upgraded looks ok. I ask the workmen if its ok to walk through, they say yes, no probs, but I have to be ‘escorted’ for about 100m for ‘elf and safety reasons. I am now in the small village of Newton Arlosh, which has an interesting  church St. Johns, which although dating back to 12th Century was restored in the mid-19th century. I pass the pub and continue on.

Whitrigg bridge over the River Wampool
Radion mast and anchor points at Anthorn

This whole area is flat as a pancake and views are quite limited and with roads as straight as an arrow, the walking is not that interesting. I eventually come to Angerton and turn left and cross Whitrigg bridge which spans the other main River feeding into Moricambe Bay, The River Wampool. I continue on through the hamlet of Longcroft and into Anthorn. There are more houses here, but I finally get a view out across Moricambe Bay, which looks huge. I then see something I have not seen for quite a few years, coal lorry delivering sacks of coal. This used to be a common sight, but these days you just buy the stuff at a petrol station or garden centre. As I leave Anthorn behind I finally arrive at whats been dominating my view all morning, the 13 huge radio masts, interconnected like a spider’s web, they soar 745ft into the air. I am taken-in by their amazing symmetry.

Looking towards Annan across the Solway

As I approach the hamlet of Cardurnock, I say goodbye to Moricambe Bay and begin to continue to walk along the Solway Firth. The shoreline is out some distance and across a salt-marsh, but I have been walking north most of the day and am drawing very close to the Scottish coastline. I can now make out features of my walk along the Scottish side of the Solway which I did in May 2016, in particular the area around Annan.

Mileage post at Bowness-on-Solway

I have about four more miles of road walking until I eventually arrive at Bowness-on-Solway and the western extremity of the Hadrian’s Wall. Built on the site of a Roman Fort – Maia, it is also the start of the National Trail for Hadrian’s Wall. I have been pleasantly surprised today with how quiet this area has been. I have been on roads all day but probably had about 10 cars pass me and just a couple of people. I complete the walk in just 4.5 hours.


Distance today =   16 miles
Total distance =    2480 miles



2 thoughts on “149. Abbeytown to Bowness-on-Solway”

  1. Hi Ruth, did you mean to say Moricambe? The similarity and difference to its larger southern neighbour is just a single vowel and quite confusing.
    Before I started doing the WCP I bought the National Trail guide for Hadrians Wall with the intention of walking it. From Bowness, the Hadrians walk path follows virtually the identical path I would have walked anyway to Carlisle. In fact I’ve driven down it twice already!
    Hope to get to Gretna in a single day, hopefully this Saturday. Its about 19 to 20 miles and flat as a pancake, so if i kick off at 7:30 I should have easily enough light. That will mean a continuous completed section from Poole to Arrochar in the highlands.
    I reckon that if you get early start in the Spring, you will be well into the Scottish coastline over the summer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: