It’s a lovely final morning – the sun is shining and it’s warm. Typical.
We don’t rush. We get our things together, do the final Van ablutions and then around 10am, start heading south. We’re going the slow way home and avoiding the motorway, following the maps instead. Trying to miss out narrow roads too, as best we can, which isn’t easy. We initially take the road to Boreland, but though it’s a lovely road, it starts to get a bit narrow and we hope we don’t meet a combine harvester. At Boreland, we pick up a B road to Eskdalemuir, a broad strip of tarmac, snaking its way up into the fells, green pastures on either side, little farms dotted along the wayside. It’s a lovely road to drive on, gentle bends – a great road trip road. We continue to gradually gain height, before dropping into Eskdalemuir, a small cluster of houses gathered together – more of a hamlet. We continue onto Langholm, driving down a stunning valley of lush meadows, fells and large tree plantations. In the glorious sunshine, the colours really stand out – the vivid greens of the fields, the gorgeous stone of the buildings, with the backdrop of darker greens and browns of the pine woods. What a hidden gem!
We pass through Langholm and continue towards Longtown, the land flatten out now as we drop towards the Solway Firth estuary. Just before Longtown, we cross over the border back into England and bear inland more into the Eden Valley. We follow the road to Brampton, through gentle rolling countryside, slowly but perceptively climbing again. It is along this road where we’re overtaken by a motorcyclist, only to find him sprawled on the road outside a house, some two miles down the road. How he has come off, goodness knows, but what little traffic there is has stopped and people are helping him and his motorcycle off the road. Two chaps appear armed with dustpans and brooms and sweep away the many bits of motorcycle debris and within five minutes, we’re all away again as if nothing has happened. All done very efficiently and calmly and not a copper in sight.
We pass through Newtown, another vivid memory of our Hadrian’s Wall Walk last year. We had staggered out of a footpath after a 10 mile day, looking forward to sustenance. However, we needed to get transport to nearby Brampton for our overnight stay, which was 2 miles away, down a relatively busy country road with no pavements. So we spent a considerable amount of time calling local taxi firms who were either on the school runs or wanted to extract £25.00 from us for the pleasure. There was no choice but to walk to Brampton. We tried hitching a lift, but to no avail, so we put our heads down and bit the bullet. Not the most pleasant of walks, burying yourself into hedges as cars bore down on you, the drivers giving you hard stares. Now in the motorhome, safe and secure and taking only minutes, we looked back on this particular folly with quiet amazement.
We didn’t stop at Brampton, but picked up the B6413 instead. We were starting to get a bit peckish and our earlier nibbling of our last few cheesy sticks was starting to wane. We were on the look out for refreshments in some form or other. During this contemplation, we lost concentration and made a wrong turn, but it turns out to be a fortuitous error, as it took us through the village of Langworthy with its large handsome village green, on the end of which was a converted horsebox serving coffee and cake. Something that you would of never expected, but in our world was perfect in location and timing.
We screeched to a halt and galloped over. Upturned crates became impromptu tables, surrounded by little garden chairs and it was here where we sat, sipping coffee and devouring cake, while admiring the Green and the surrounding village. It was very pleasant and a welcomed little break. We had a little wander around afterwards and discovered a pub that was open and serving. We had passed a few since Brampton, all firmly shut at this time of day because of restricted Covid hours. It would of been nice to have a proper lunch, but with cake already consumed, our needs were sufficiently met.
We left Langworthy and carried on, picking up the A66. Despite being a horrible trunk road (always having accidents and incidents) it goes through some spectacular Pennine countryside and the Howgills. We pulled off at Warcop and cut a corner off to Kirkby Stephen, noting the reddish/pinkish stone of the area. The weather is improving all the time and and as we came up to Sedbergh, there’s hardly a cloud in the sky! It would of been the perfect afternoon of sipping wine under the awning!
We finally arrive home and unpack. We decide to get an Indian takeaway, but with opening times all over the place, we are thwarted. Another couple of aborted attempts at a pub meal, we finally find the local Chinese open and feast on chow mien and prawn crackers to celebrate a rather successful motorhome holiday.
The Dog slunks to her bed under the stairs, thankful for space and not to have to sleep in that shower any more.