After a wet night it was still pouring down this morning when I intended to pack away my tent and start walking. Using my iPhone to see the latest rainfall radar pictures on the Met Office website showed me the band of rain should pass quite soon, so I delayed my start by an hour. It was a good strategy, the rain stopped just at the right time and the sun came out as I started to walk. It's amazing the sort of things you can use smart phones for these days.
By the time I reached Kirkpatrick Fleming I could already see across the Solway Firth and the peaks of England on the horizon. A few miles further on I came to Gretna Green, of wedding fame. The Blacksmiths shop is a busy spot attracting lots of international tourists. A traditional Scottish piper does a very good trade playing tunes and posing for pictures. There were no weddings imminent, and I didn't want to pay to look inside so after hanging around for a while I walked a little further on into Gretna where I stopped for lunch.
A short distance out of town at 1-50pm as I crossed a bridge over the River Sark I proudly made a big landmark in my walk; I crossed the border and entered England. Scotland had been wonderful, the scenery had been amazing and the people ever so friendly, I'd even had good weather. In particular I will never forget my eight day off-road trek through the beautiful Highlands, but to make it into my home country was a big moment for me. My wonderful journey through Scotland had taken eighteen and a half days during which I walked four hundred and three miles.
The route to Carlisle was along an unpleasant road running next to the M6 with no pavement or cyclepath. The only thing I really noticed was a huge waste site.
I arrived my hotel in the centre of Carlisle ecstatic at reaching England, I will celebrate later with a pint of good English beer. I'm going to stop here for a day because I need to do a few things, not the least buy a new pair of boots. Then I will focus on walking to Wigan, when I get there I'm very much looking forward to my Milk & More depot visit and walking with a colleague for the first time on my journey.
GPS data click here
Mileage today; 20.48 miles, walking time 5 hrs 0 mins, average walking speed 4.1mph
Weather; sunny spells after early rain, max 19C
Cumulative mileage 412.63 miles
|The last house in Scotland|
|I spy with my little eye something beginning with E|
|The Old Blacksmith's Shop at Gretna Green|