Thursday 17th September, 2015
Shap to Orton - 14 kms, plus 2 km to our accommodation.
4 hours 30 mins walking time.
We discovered frost covering the ground when we opened our curtains this morning. We felt sorry for the hikers, who were camping in the field near by.
With a shorter hiking day ahead, we were able to leisurely enjoy our full English breakfast, before heading off at 8.45am.
Before setting off, we had rugged up for the cold, but our brisk walking pace soon had us stripping off most of the layers. Blue skies with dancing clouds, escorted us down the very long, central street of Shap and out into the rolling countryside of the County of Westmoreland.
It was a gentle climb up onto Hardendale Nab after first passing under a railway line and crossing the surprisingly quiet M6, via the pedestrian overpass.
The Nab provided our last views back to Cumbria and its high fells. With my camera lens I was able to see Kidsty Pike, which had been too daunting for us to hike the previous day. Looking at the terrain, I was again glad we had opted for the lower route.
Taking a rest - Hardendale Nab
Spot Kidsty Pike
As the day progressed we strolled through green fields of grazing, sometimes lazy and sometimes inquisitive cows.
Nearing lunchtime, we gradually climbed to the moorland expanse of Crosby Ravensworth Fell and a vast vista of heather covered fields, bordered by farmland.
Here we had our 1st encounter with the limestone outcrops, that we would constantly see for the remainder of our hike. We made use of some to rest on, while we ate lunch and watched sheep
clambering over and using them as a purchase, to graze from the few trees in the area.
Margot, Gail and Joc bravely halted the downward path of an ancient glacial boulder, as we descended to Lyvennet Beck.
The later part of today's hike was spent following rock walls, ascending and descending to shallow gorges and gullies and finally by road to the crest of Orton Scar.
Our notes suggested that Robin Hood's grave is somewhere to the right, but we had no success finding it.
As we climbed Orton Scar, the jet fighters, did their daily check on us. Can you spot them?
Views from Orton Scar.
Gail and Joc are chilling out, while I yet again release my feet from their boot prison. On this occasion, the protests of my feet had me in tears. I find it amazing that within 15 mins of having my boots off, I can then comfortably hike for another hour and a half to 2 hours.
Dropping down into the Lune Valley, we were delighted by the grassy path that made its way through a farmyard, beside a small gurgling stream, along an avenue of trees and into the picturesque village of Orton. The time was just past 1pm and the day still a tad chilly, so like a number of other hikers, we entered the coffee shop on the edge of town for a snack and hot chocolate, before exploring this quaint village at our leisure. The chocolate shop was number one on everyones list of things to see.
Finding the chocolate shop.
At about 2.30 we made our through the town to our accommodation at The Barnhouse. We were relieved that the owners weren't out walking and that we didn't have to hang around until 4pm. Instead, we were shown to our lovely, comfortable rooms, the relaxing, cosy lounge with foot massage and where to make coffee to go with the scones, jam and cream, that were waiting for us.
Early evening we headed back into the village for our darts match with the Brisgang and dinner at the pub. Lots of laughter and fun with the girls loosing by one point.
Learning how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.