May 22, 2008
(13.7 km; 4 hrs 10 min; 361 m ascent; 385 m descent)
This morning breakfast was not until 8 am, so promptly at 8 am we headed downstairs. Both of us had requested porridge, and besides that we had toast, tea, and orange juice. Once we were done we went up to pack up our bags, then settled our bill (₤64) before heading out for the next leg of our journey. Today we had planned a short day, which was a good thing as yesterday had been surprisingly strenuous.
We started out down the main street of Shap (also known as the A6) before 9 am. We went down a side street and out of town along some foot paths through fields with the inevitable sheep. Very soon we crossed the footbridge over the M6, after which the path ran parallel to it for a bit. After a minor navigation error, we turned back and followed the real path diagonally up the hill under some power lines. The wind was blowing into our faces as we climbed through fields punctuated by clumps of eroded limestone.
Along our route we passed a large quarry just before the walled town of Oddendale. Just past there and slightly off the route was a stone circle. We walked over to see them, but they certainly weren’t Stonehenge. There was an outer circle, too, but it looked as if the builders had run out of stones while building it.
Next we started across Crosby Ravensworth Fell. Today the path was marked with posts labelled “C-C”, so it was easy to follow. The weather was good, although the wind was still quite cold and gusted heavily from time to time. Besides the usual fell birds like Skylarks, we saw a few Wheatears here. Both of us decided that we would wait until Orton to have lunch, so we carried on. We met up with John (the solo walker from last night) for a bit, but he was going into Orton by a different route so we parted ways at Robin Hood’s Grave. This was the second “RH” on the path and (of course) it is not a grave and Robin Hood is not buried there.
Our route headed uphill a bit more, into our first true moorland, then dropped down from Orton Scar, past a lime kiln and through fields into the village of Orton. It was about 1:30 pm when we checked into the George Hotel, our home for tonight.
We checked in and unpacked our bags, then went out to find lunch. At the top of the village was the Tea Room, where we stopped in for soup and a bun, with tea. Paul had curried parsnip soup and Rosemary had carrot and lemon. Once done we went over to the little shop and bought some ham and crisps for our lunch tomorrow, then went back to our room to do a bit of laundry. It took a bit of fiddling to get our radiator turned on, after which we left our wet things to dry and went out again.
It didn’t take very long at all to walk around the village, as it was not very large. But right in the centre was Kennedy’s chocolate factory, which was one reason why we had chosen to stop at Orton. We each had a mug of their excellent hot chocolate, and Paul had a biscotti and Rosemary had a toasted fruit cake with butter and strawberry jam. We also bought some chocolate bars for future use.
We went for dinner in the hotel restaurant at about 6:30 pm. Rosemary had blackcurrant juice and the lamb and apricot pie, which was very good, and Paul had Cumberland ale with a sweet potato casserole. As we were finished, some other walkers who we recognized came in. It was still early, so we went out for one more walk around the village in hopes of finding hedgehogs. Unfortunately we didn’t find any, and as it was cold we went back to the room and made tea. Bedtime was about 10 pm.