Sunday, 3 March 2013

No. 14 Limstone crags and sea cliffs

I'll admit that I was miffed as we drove up the M6 and the weather was not quite the wall to wall sunshine of yesterday but in the end by the time I ran it was fine, just the views were a bit hazy.
 The O club had an event at Hutton Roof so I helped with registration and had a chat before I set off. I also enjoyed some wonderful soup courtesy of the ladies in the village hall and took an egg roll with me that went down spuperbly later on. I was trying out some Salomon Speedcross 3s. Not sure yet- the jury is still out but the did have good grip on the few muddy bits I found.

I set off across Hutton Roof with no fixed route in mind. The paths that looked welcoming I took and headed roughly west over the limestone admiring the crags and limstone pavement as I went. After Hutton Roof I crossed the road and headed out for a loop on Newbiggin Fell and Farleton Knott.
Then it was a steep drop down to the road, canal and M6 before I could head through Holme and make my way across the fields to Hale. Here I was able to pick up woodland paths over the limestone again. It has been so dry for a fortnight now that the normally slippy paths were fine and even areas like Fairly Steps were safe to run down.
I nearly got damp feet crossing Arnside Moss but even here it was squishy rather than wet. Arnside Knott was quieter than I expected but the views across the estuary were good. I did take one of the railway viaduct but I must have rushed as it is not really in focus. The little path around Arnside headland was narrow and twisty with mini limestone cliffs below. The savory egg sandwich that I had grabbed to take with me was very welcome now!
Then I picked up the Lancashire coastal way and skirted round the edge of Silverdale and out to Jenny Brown's point. Here the cliffs are slightly bigger but there did not appear to be anyone climbing today. I took a bit of a detour over Warton Crag to avoid the busy road for a bit but had to drop back down to get over the Keer estuary. I ignored the tannoy from the stock car racing and headed south along the coast.  Marsh House farm get my prize for the farm that is the biggest dump. It is an absolute disgrace and that part of the coast path was not very runnable. Fortunately the tide was out and it improved when I headed out onto the salt grass flats. I got damp feet a couple of times but no serious soaking and made it to Hest Bank unscathed. I didn't really want to end up in Morecambe so I switched to the canal for a couple of miles to Beamont on the northern edge of Lancaster.

I had managed for food so far but had forgotten to put in water so I was very pleased to see the Spar. In fact I downed the bottle before I got to the front of the queue which caused some confusion. It was an easy run along the roads and across Rylands Park to the millenium bridge and where I hoped to finish.
However when I texted Bob was still at Hutton Roof so I set off along the river path and climbed up to admire the canal aqueduct over the Lune. I then debated where I should wait to make collecting me simple. Heading out to Denny Beck and all my little exploring loops meant I almost clocked 30 miles as my garmin died. I had failed to hear a text from Bob and was delighted to find I would only have to wait 15 minutes or so. Fantastic.

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