C2C – Day 2: Sunday 3 April – SANDWITH to ENNERDALE BRIDGE (10 miles)
Tim is 20 months younger than I, and we grew up in Loughton, in south-west Essex. Sometime in the late 1960’s Rob’s family moved into the next-door house, although by that time we were already friends from Staples Road Infant School. And so, together with our other siblings, the three of us grew up together, and we have a friendship now going back well over 50 years – and counting! With that, of course, comes a mutual sense of humour, rooted in decades-old anecdotes and trivia. One of the rich spices of life!
Anyway, back to our C2C Walk. Having completed several miles of the ‘official’ Day 1 along the coast yesterday, we had a short-ish day today. First thing this morning Rob’s wife, Christa, drove us back the short distance to Sandwith, through which we had walked yesterday, and after saying our goodbyes she left the three of us, Rob, Tim and me, in the crisp sunshine of a perfect early spring morning.
Leaving the village we made our way along tracks, across fields, and through the villages of Moor Row and Cleator. All the while Dent Hill loomed in front of us, an outlier of the larger hills of the Lake District massif, brooding under slate-grey clouds in the background. A stiff climb took us up through stands of conifers to moorland as we reached the summit of Dent Hill. From this vantage point, in the cool clear air, we had some far-reaching views behind us across the Irish Sea to the hills of the Isle of Man and northwards to the coast of southern Scotland.
A similarly steep descent from Dent Hill saw us down into the steep-sided ‘secret valley’ of Nannycatch Beck, where we had our picnic lunch. Then a short afternoon walk along the valley and onto a minor road that took us down easily into Ennerdale Bridge, and to our overnight accommodation at the Fox and Hounds Inn.
A lovely day’s walking was followed, suitably, by a Sunday roast in the bar, and the prospect of a comfortable night’s rest. Tomorrow the real hills!