Day 4, Gilsland to Carlisle, 35km

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  • Aug 16th, 2014
  • Carlisle: Howard Lodge, £70 (double room incl breakfast)

When we left the Gilsland spa hotel a little after 8:30am it felt like a winter’s day with a gale blowing! The forecast showed a high of 12 degrees… It was shockingly cold!

A little over an hour after leaving we came across a roman fort called Birdoswald and a lovely piece of wall with an interesting (phallic) carving amongst other slightly more standard carvings. We went into the museum and happily escaped the cold and wind whilst learning all about the fort.

After walking a few more hours and getting excited about our first meal break at a tearoom coming up in Walton, we were quite devastated to see a laminated notice attached to a kissing gate in a field advising that the tearoom was closed for the summer holidays. This meant that the only other food option in this 35km stretch was at a pub a few more hours away. It was going to be the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday… Of course the pub was going to be open… The guidebook even said it would be open… It wasn’t!

Lunch ended up being 3 packets of crisps and a chocolate bar from an honesty box in a field! We would have eaten 10 packets of crisps were it not for the fact there were only 3 packets in the box!

Overall it was a nice walk through lots of fields (though sometimes wet and always windy). First thing in the morning, just out of Gilsland we’d seen 2 young deer playing together in a field as well as 1000 or so more cows and sheep throughout the day.

We arrived in Carlisle famished and were greeted by one of the friendliest hosts I’ve ever met at our accommodation called Howard Lodge, 01228 529842. We thought about getting dinner delivered but when we realised there were restaurants within a 5 minute walk of the lodge, we forced our feet into shoes again and headed out for a delicious Italian dinner.

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