Day 1: St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

We walked 22km today (egads!) plus another kilometre or so because we were staying slightly off route. Lovely countryside and challenging walking but delightful dinner and accommodation at the Shepherd Arm’s Hotel. A memorable moment (of many that will be recorded when the internet is more reliable) is the image of (as we called him) Heathcliff emerging from the mists. A young man, tall and well built with wild black hair, walked past us. We had been climbing up a fell for over an hour (through bog and low lying cloud) when Heathcliff emerged from the mists. He had no bag or hat. He was wearing a cotton shirt, rolled up to the elbows, jeans and leather shoes. He gave us a smile (unHeathcliff like, admittedly) so we assumed he was en route to see Cathy in the early stages of their relationship…..

 Over the fells

Over the fells

Some thoughts from writers of the region are:

Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean!) Attended St Bees School. He said,

 The older you get, the more you realise how happenstance... has helped to determine your path through life.

We left the Irish Sea behind at Saint Bees’ Head. Here is an extract from William Wordsworth’s ‘Stanzas Suggested in a Steamboat off Saint Bees.’

…no one plucks the rose, 
Whose proffered beauty in safe shelter blows
'Mid a trim garden's summer luxuries, 
With joy like his who climbs, on hands and knees, 
For some rare plant, yon Headland of St. Bees. 

…Up, Spirit of the storm! 
That Courage may find something to perform; 
That Fortitude, whose blood disdains to freeze
At Danger's bidding, may confront the seas, 
Firm as the towering Headlands of St. Bees. 

 At the base of the rise to the top of the fell

At the base of the rise to the top of the fell

Shire horses in Ennerdale