Monday, 30 May 2016

Some New Lanes Explored

Lucy & I planned a day heading up north from Carlisle this last weekend, so we packed up the bikes, dug out the paperwork for the re-survey of the Hierarchy of Trails that Cumbria TRF have undertaken and headed off along the A69.

Once parked up, we got the bikes out and set off into the sunshine and green land that beckoned up north!

SSSI Lime Kiln
The first lanes were beautiful and untouched, this is an area that sees little in the way of traffic and is an unspoilt little paradise. The lanes are quite spread out, so there are lots of lovely little windy tarmac lanes to link them. crisscrossing Hadrian's Wall and heading further north.

Storm damage to the river bank

An altered gateway

The top section,needs a little trim me thinks!

You see the constant cross over of the old Scottish crofters cottages to the more grand 'modern' English style houses, a legacy of the previous Scottish Border locations and of course the Reivers etc.

The farms are all working farms with livestock all over the place and a lot of the lanes pass through the working yards of these farms so these are not the lanes for the folk who like long sweeping lanes that they can fly along at great speed, no these are more for the connoisseur of green lanes, the seeker of hidden gems and lost lanes.

Our journey took us through a few lanes that have become overgrown and are in danger of being lost, they need some TLC, especially some of the river crossings. Land owners, nature and time have left their mark and in some cases, the lanes themselves have seen so little traffic that they have almost gone to the annuls of history!

Serious;y overgrown with downed trees too

Nailed up wire fence where the gate should be

Worn away banks at a ford
Despite the need to turn around on about 5 of the lanes due to the above, every lane we travelled had a charm and the views were constantly beautiful. I have a love for this area for some reason, it started on a visit years ago and has never really gone away. It's bleak in winter and freezing but in summer it's verdant and alive with huge skies, hardly any people and loads of history.

After each lane we made notes against the Hierarchy paperwork, then when we got home we finished them off. There are about a half dozen lanes still to check as one thing there is a lack of in this area is fuel refills, so with Lucy's 250 ever a permanent thirsty little beastie and a bit of a navigation cockup on my part meaning we missed a couple of lanes, we had to cut the trip short a bit.. still, that means a return visit in necessary!!