Bampton Grange - Orton (12.5 miles, 4-5 hours). Today we got wet - very wet ! It started raining just as we left our accommodation (Crown and Mitre) at Bampton Grange, and apart from some brief respite over Crosby Ravensworth Fell, it rained all the way into Orton. We could not really complain, as we had been really lucky with almost completely dry weather through the Lakes, so we were due some rain.
Bampton is strictly a diversion off the Wainwright route, as his Day 5 route was straight through from Patterdale to Shap - quite a long tough day, so the option of finishing at Bampton or Bampton Grange, and then stopping at Orton (thereby shortening the Shap-Kirkby Stephen stage) is a good one. We thoroughly recommend the Crown and Mitre at Bampton Grange - very comfortable accommodation, good beer and food, and very obliging and helpful staff.
To get back on the original Wainwright route, there is a path directly opposite the Crown and Mitre (through the churchyard) that leads to Rosgill and then on to re-join the C2C path at Shap Abbey. We encountered some stubborn herds of cows on this path, that did not want to move to let us through gates/stiles, so there were some minor diversions needed over stone walls to by-pass them. Now that you are outside the Lake District National Park, Coast-to-Coast signs start to re-appear (although only occasionally, so close attention to the map is still needed). We considered the brief diversion to look at Shap Abbey, but in view of the persistent rain, we pressed on past it, just glimpsing it through the gloom !
We were glad to walk into Shap, only about four miles into the day's walk, and for an early lunch break at the Abbey Coffee Shop (very good and recommended - they will make fresh sandwiches to take away).
There was no let up in the rain as we walked on - there is quite long walk down the main street (A6) in Shap before turning off down a side street to cross the West Coast main railway line, then across fields to cross the M6 motorway - not the most scenic part of the C2C, so in the rain, it was a case of getting the heads down and getting some miles under our boots. Things improve a little after Oddendale, where the path swings south across Crosby Ravensworth Fell - there are some impressive limestone pavements here, but the rain kept on, and we pushed on towards Orton.
Although there were now more waymarkers/signposts in evidence, some of these were broken, and weather-beaten, so the direction arrows were no longer visible. Careful attention to the map was needed to avoid going off course.
The path swings east eventually to lead you past Robin Hood's Grave, according to the map - one of many such graves in Northern England, and we could not spot it through the rain. You then swing south on a lane leading down towards Orton Scar, and carry on due south down a bridleway into Orton itself - we had some more encounters of the cow kind on this last stretch. We were very pleased to walk into the pleasant village of Orton, where we headed for Kennedy's chocolate factory - we 'squelched', dripping wet, into their tea rooms for much needed refreshment at the end of a very damp day. Fortunately, the walking is fairly easy between Bampton and Orton, so this was probably the best day to be caught in the rain.
Peter and Lorraine, owners of Ty Uchaf since 2011. We will post occasionally items that may be of interest to our guests, past, present and future !