For logistical reasons most of our walks are based in County Durham or Northumberland; most of us live there and our walks are relatively easy to get to. A long drive home is often more tiring than the drive to the start point so we don’t often venture too far from civilisation. Therefore, this walk took us out of our usual stamping grounds and into Cumbria. But only just.
We met up just off the A69 near Brampton and into the wilds of Cumbria by a hair’s breadth on an OS map. It seemed to be a popular local spot as there were plenty of dog walkers about on what was a warm overcast morning in Low Geltbridge.
The first leg of the walk took us around the surreal landscape of a local sand quarry, the left-overs from the ice age when sea levels were a lot higher in these parts. The quarry looked like a set for Dr Who or even Blake’s 7 as we circled the perimeter before heading off into surrounding woodland.
The footpaths were well laid out and overhead the trees were just beginning to thin out with the end of September looming and Autumn setting in.
Our lunch stop was in the tiny hamlet of Greenwell on the postage stamp village green. It’s obviously a quiet place as the village post-box still has VR on it.
After lunch the walk took us back towards the river Gelt and past a small cluster of cottages (one dating back to 1741) at a three way junction that sat beneath a spectacular railway viaduct housing the Newcastle-Carlisle line. A great film location we thought. It certainly still seemed like an important local junction as many cars passed by as we stopped for a short break.
Heading off the roadside we soon dipped down into the steep sided valley of the river Gelt. What a spectacular place – thick ferns and dripping stone sides give this stretch of the valley a distinctly Jurassic Park feel. It was cool and still with only the sound of the gurgling river Gelt to break the spell. Just near the end of the footpath we started to see other walkers and then we came out to a spectacular circle of land, looped round by the river and dotted with enormous beech trees. A fabulous spot.
Before we knew it we were back at the car park after another fantastic Family Walk.