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EYES TO THE FELLS

THE COUNTRYSIDE OF CUMBRIA LAKE DISTRICT Your Guide to Cumbria’s off the beaten track walking adventures

SARAH RUSH-WILLIAMS


Eyes to the fells

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Solway firth

ocated in the North-West coast of Cumbria, the Solway Coast area of outstanding natural beauty stretches from the coastal town of Maryport, all the way up to the Scottish Borders of Rockcliffe Marsh. The Solway Coast stretch is rich in birdlife so incredibly popular for birdwatchers, who come from all around. If you came to visit Solway, you would experience a whole range of landscapes, including agricultural land, sand dunes, salt marsh, raised mires, sand and mud flats. Particular sites of interest include the ancient remains of salt works dating back to the Anglo Saxon period around Saltcotes and Newton Marsh. Great family walks feature at Crosscanonby Carr nature reserve including an access for all Taail. The reserve is a mixed landscape of wetland, woodland and meadow rich in wildlife. On Burgh marsh you can find the Edward I Monument. Erected in 1685 and rebuilt in 1803, the monument was built on the site where it is believed Edward (known as Hammer of the Scots) died on 7th July 1307. While camping there with his army ready to cross the Solway to attach Robert the Bruce, he allegedly died of dysentery before the attack commenced. Also, to the east and overlooking the Solway Firth, the frontier villages of Bowness-on-Solway, Drumburgh, Burgh-by-Sands, Beaumont, Kirkandrews-on-Eden and Grinsdale are all linked by the line of Hadrian’s Wall. So if you are a historian or have a general interest in the history of Cumbria and it’s surroundings, then this is the perfect place to go, reservation of old momunents and rich in history. So all in all, Solway Firth is an outstanding place to visit, full of reserved beauty and can satisfy a range of people’s interests.

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Eyes to the fells

Lacy’s Caves L

acy’s Caves is situated just outside of a small Cumbria village called Little Salkeld. These Caves can be found down a track along the famous Settle-Carlisle railway line, which has a lot of history on it’s on, seen as the some of the best engineering brought from the Victorians. These Caves were built from Sandstone cliffs which hang next to the River Eden, which is a spectacular sight on it’s own. You can find some beautiful wildlife on the River Eden, including otters, kingfishers and several types of birds. Long Meg, the second largest stone circle in the country can also be found very close to Lacy’s Caves. These Caves got their name from the late Colonel Lacy, who commisioned these caves to be dug in the 18th Century, to be used as a romantic folly for his guests. He would decorate the inside and surroundings with ornamental flower gardens, some of which still come out in the Spring months. This destination has become an incredibly popular spot for local families and young people to come in the summer months, as the river is always warm and it’s a great sight for BBQ’s etc. The walk from Long Meg stone circle, past the railway and even some old mining works, then through to Lacy’s Caves is a very pretty and rural walk, almost secret to most people who aren’t local or who do not know of the tales of these historical spots.

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“Once used as a romantic folly”


Dove Crag

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ove Crag is a mountain situated in the Eastern fells along the Kirkstone Pass, close to Glenridding, in Cumbria. The Crag itself is one of the most famous and popular crags for climbers in the country, although can be very dangerous in the winter months, as it is literally a scramble up to and past the Crag, so be sure to take the correct equipment with you on the day.

Once you have reached the Summit of Dove Crag, the views are utterly trendous, you can see far across the lake district, over other fells of beauty, inlcuding St Sunday, which is a marvellous fell within itself. What Dove Crag is probably most famous for is it’s hidden cave, Priest’s Hole, found two thirds up the crag, the view from inside the cave some what

resembles the shape of a shark’s mouth, whilst it overlooks Cumbria’s gorgeous mountainside. If you are to reach the summit, you are approximately 2500 feet off the ground you stood on not hours before. One of Dove Crag’s claims to fame is that it was the first chapter ever written by Alfred Wainwright for his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. This really is a gorgeous achivement, reaching the summit of Dove Crag, being one of Cumbria’s most beautiful spectaculs.


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Eyes to the fells


Caerlaverock

WWT Wetland Centre

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ne of the most beautiful Northern reserved wetland enviroments can be found at Caerlaverrock. WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre. This is a rugged and beautiful destination, where you will find birds, including Starlings, fly in incredibly large flocks, a sight rarely seen. Seeing a flock of thousands and thousands of starlings fly above your head, like a black sheet in the sky is one thing you should tick off your bucket list. If this excites you, make sure to stick around into the early evening and to drive along the water side slowly, to watch out for great murmirations in the distance. Witness year round wildlife spectacles from comfortable hides and secluded avenues. In spring and summer you can wander through wildflower meadows alive with orchids, butterflies and dragonflies. The range of wildlife here is spectacular and a great sight to see in one reserved area. The biggest tides of the month, if backed up by south westerly gales, can provide some of the most exciting birdwatching of all from the comfort of the Saltcot Merse Observatory. The gorgeous sights seen here have become very popular for photographers,

all around who can capture some of the best shots they’ll never find anywhere else in the country. This wetland centre have also set up an online webcam, in which you can look at live Badgers and Whooper swans. These Whooper swans are an incredible sight and Caerlaverock is one of the only places you will see these marvellous creatures, especially so close up. The keepers of WWT Wetland Centre give daily feedings and talks with these Whooper Swans and you are able to watch from the large wooden hides they have to offer which overlook the Swan pond. This really is a fantastic place to visit, with chance also to go adventuring into the wild in the surrounding countryside, to find some of your own wildlife.

“rugged and beautiful destination”


A detailed guide of Cumbria’s most spectular destinations you could find yourself in, including mountainside, lakeside and wetland areas.


Eyes to the Fells Magazine