Lesley on the Cumbria Way

We have built up a wonderful community across our various social media channels. Clients past and present as well as potential clients and simply lovers of the outdoors, coming together and sharing their tales and images. Friendships are formed as we share our enjoyment of walking, holidaying and the countryside around us, wherever that may be.

One of our regular Facebook contributors is Lesley Hensell Demond from Texas in the United States. Lesley had previously walked the Coast to Coast with us and this summer has walked the Cumbria Way. Along the way, Lesley called in for a chat and it was really nice to meet face to face.

Lesley kept us up to date with her progress via Facebook and we’ve collated Lesley’s updates here for you to enjoy.

Ulverston to Coniston on the Cumbria Way

Today was stage 1 of the 75-mile Cumbria Way, which travels through the heart of England’s Lake District from south to north. I started in Ulverston, an historic market town with a canal and a lighthouse.

Then it was on to the hills, through farms and parklands. Over the 15.7 miles, there was very little flat land. I admit the first two miles were brutal … Blame it on jet lag. But once I found my legs, all was well.

The best surprise was all the wildflowers lingering from a late summer; bluebells, peacock orchids, flowering yellow gorse and stunning orange-pink heather at the higher points.

There was heavy rain in the morning, followed by heavy cloud, then intermittent bursts of sunshine.

Lest it sound too idyllic, I inhaled a few midges puffing up a hill, lost balance in a swift beck and had water up to my knee, and got a bit tired the last 2 miles. But the views of the hills and gorgeous Coniston Water were worth it.

Coniston to Langdale on the Cumbria Way

Wifi here is sketchy. So I’ll simply say … Day 2 was a brilliant 11.7 miles. Perfect weather. Crystal-clear rivers, waterfalls and lakes. Gorgeous fells. The most beautiful day I’ve spent in the Lakes.

Langdale to Rosthwaite on the Cumbria Way

Merry sunshine accompanied me as I left Old Dungeon Ghyll this morning and jaunted along the valley floor. Then the clouds came in as I climbed (and panted a bit) up a long stone staircase, through some boggy bits and to the cairn marking the top of Stake Pass. The best part was yet to come. A few hundred yards ahead, the next valley opened up like a revelation. Though the clouds closed in, the weather was nice enough for the long walk through the valley to Rosthwaite. Only 7.2 miles today, but about 2 of those were steeply up or down. My easiest day comes tomorrow.

Rosthwaite to Keswick on the Cumbria Way

Perfect weather today for the 8 miles from Rosthwaite to Keswick (rhymes with the name of Andre the Giant’s character in The Princess Bride). This segment of the Cumbria Way undulates and curves along rivers, through farmland and forests, and next to the beautiful Derwent Water. I love all of the land, but my favourite part is the forest with its green-hued light, the dusky scent of leaves decomposing to form a springy path underfoot. Sounds are muted by the trees, and walking among them feels almost like a secret. I ended the day by meeting my Facebook friend Mark Wright IRL. He gave me a much-needed pep talk for tomorrow’s journey.

Keswick to Caldbeck on the Cumbria Way

Filthy, tired and joyful. Today was the 5th leg of the Cumbria Way and by far the most difficult, with two sizable climbs and 15 miles underfoot. Starting in Keswick, the path climbs steeply through Latrigg Wood, then round the Back ‘o Skiddaw. As the valley opened up before Skiddaw House, I was intoxicated by acres upon acres of purple blooming heather. Then came the harder climb up to High Pike, following a stream with questionable footing and deep, sucking boggy mud. The summit was breathtaking, with perfect blue-skied views in every direction. A steep downhill push took me to Caldbeck, where I expect to sleep like a baby at the Oddfellows Arms. I promise you, the pictures don’t do today’s walk justice. Not by a long shot.

Caldbeck to Carlisle on the Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is in the books for me! Today was a surprisingly easy, mostly downhill walk the 15.5 miles from Caldbeck to Carlisle, finishing off the 75-mile trek. The day presented yet another life lesson. Last year, it was walking with three very elderly, disabled English gents who put me through my paces. This time, I spent most of the day with a German named Peter. He hiked like a champ and held open every gate, despite missing an arm and collarbone. He had a smile on his face all day … The embodiment of perseverance and gratitude. Just as I am deeply grateful this moment for a beautiful six days of solitude in the Lake District.

 

Client Feedback

I wanted to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the amazing team at Mickledore Travel. We were very impressed with our Hadrian’s Wall walking experience, and by the outstanding service your company provided throughout our adventure. I cannot express how happy we were with how well this trip was planned for us.

As a travel company you should be very proud of the service you provided us, and I would like to thank you all for making our trip from the USA to experience Hadrian’s Wall a success!!

Thank you again for making our trip special.

Hadrian’s Wall Walk, September 2017
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We have travelled around the world many times over for business and pleasure. This was one of our best trips. It was so nice to know a great room, hot shower, comfy bed and good meal awaited us at the end of the day. Our daily mileage was perfect for us. The Wall was stunning. Thank you so much for the great service, see you next year!

Hadrian’s Wall Walk, September 2017
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My friend and I had a fabulous week walking Hadrian’s Wall and cannot fault your service at all. The luggage was collected and delivered without issue, packed lunches issued with no problems, and communications piror to the week with yourselves were easy and any queries answered quickly and in full. The fact that we did not have to contact you and had no issues with the service you provided speaks volumes. The cost we felt was also extremely reasonable for what was supplied/booked.

We can only thank you for ensuring that our holiday was stress free, smoothly run and meant we could concentrate on the walking. My friend is already planning her next walking holiday and has mentioned using you again without hesitation.

Hadrian’s Wall Walk, September 2017
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