Day 28 Carlisle to Newtown Farm
Try as we might we can’t find a sensible way directly north of Carlisle which will take us to Glasgow. I know that the sensible way is to buy a railway ticket and loll in the comfort of a Virgin Train West Coast express but that method is too effete for us. As a result we have thus set out eastward along the Hadrian’s Wall Path,
Thoughts of Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth popped into my head from time to time as we walked along. Much has changed since then as I am sure you will already know. I was surprised to learn that the purpose of the wall was as a means of controlling immigration, exacting custome duties and preventing smuggling rather than a defensive contruction. This suggests that Rosemary Sutcliff was a bit off the mark in her book.
The early section of the path takes the stroller through Carlisle towards the river, the cricket ground thence through a park where the rural evidence of grazing cattle is to be found everywhere by the unobservant feet of the passing stroller
We found a worrying official notice pinned to a fence, once away from the town. The notice told us that the path was closed and unsafe after the winter floods. A diversion was in operation in order to save the stroller from his/her folly in following the original path. Remembering our last path closure notice posted by the Cumbrian authorities we carried on. Coming in the other direction was another couple of strollers who had negotiated the dangerous path with impunity. On asking them about the danger they said that to continue would be just fine.
Once on the wall proper things became much more interesting. The stroll along the river was fine for those who needed somewhere to exercise themselves or their dogs, but it was only when we joined the wall proper and could see the various bits, the names of which Janet reminded me, that the stroll really came to life.
On passing the honesty box we found that the owner of this bit of land was also a lateral thinker. The field walls had become decrepit so he replaced the stones with baled tyres. At last a solution to all the tyres lying about at our place.
The Romans certainly liked straight lines. We have been almost geometric in our moves today. We strolled for ages in one direction then wiggled a bit then continued forward for ages again in a straight line. Tomorrow, more of the same.