Holiday 2010: Cumbria (part 2)


Here's the pictures from the rest of the holiday, which wasn't as exciting (there were no more docks and the really big chemical plants were only visible from a very long distance). Still, I managed to take a few pictures I liked.


The weather was grey and miserable, so we walked into Wigton (about three miles) to investigate the town.

Stream with yellow pipe.
1/90 at f8, 12mm, ISO200 54°49′3″N 3°10′4″W
Town sign. That's a thrush, which they call a 'throstle' specifically in order to confuse Southerners.
1/250 at f8, 109mm, ISO200 54°49′18″N 3°10′6″W

The town's actually very nice, with lots of picturesque buildings (and I seem to remember we managed to find a tea shop first to eat cake in while it rained some more).

Think this is the bike shop. Awesome building and paintwork, looks almost French.
1/350 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 54°49′26″N 3°9′45″W
Closeup of the door.
1/60 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 54°49′26″N 3°9′45″W
A small door on what might possibly be some kind of coal-chute or something? There were a row of these high on the backyard walls of some terraces.
1/60 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 54°49′21″N 3°9′43″W

Wigton's church is extraordinarily fancy and well-maintained, nowadays due to Melvyn 'moneybags' Bragg.

Nice lights, fancy painting.
1/10 at f4.5, 22mm, ISO400 54°49′25″N 3°9′33″W
Looking toward the exit.
1/90 at f4.5, 116mm, ISO800 54°49′25″N 3°9′34″W

Rest of the town centre has lots of fairly old buildings including plenty which are boarded up (mostly ex-pubs).

Passage to courtyard. Bin day.
1/20 at f8, 15mm, ISO400 54°49′24″N 3°9′34″W
Ex (?) engineering firm.
1/90 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 54°49′25″N 3°9′30″W
The café is a lie - well, probably, that particular one. There's several still left though.
1/15 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 54°49′30″N 3°9′38″W

On our way back we went past the plastics factory - which, amazingly, is still operational.

Wind-shredded, rain-sodden flag in front of factory steam and that big chimney.
1/350 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 54°49′38″N 3°9′44″W
View of chimney from a distance over the hill in the rain.
1/1000 at f5.6, 250mm, ISO400 54°48′58″N 3°9′57″W


We walked to Aspatria, another small town which is the next stop on the railway. The weather was a bit nicer.

Looking across woods and farmland to the Lake District hills under cloud.
1/1000 at f8, 146mm, ISO200 54°46′50″N 3°15′20″W
Allhallows church; it's in the middle of nowhere. (I mean, it's not even particularly near Allhallows, and there's nothing there either.)
1/180 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 54°46′15″N 3°14′56″W
Another view.
1/350 at f8, 21mm, ISO200 54°46′15″N 3°14′56″W
Nearby farm.
1/350 at f8, 16mm, ISO200 54°46′3″N 3°14′50″W
The right-of-way passed somebody's barn, with this in it.
1/60 at f6.7, 15mm, ISO400 54°45′40″N 3°15′16″W

Bizarrely, we then encountered what looks like a medieval tower (a pele tower, according to Wikipedia). It's part of somebody's private house/farm. I'm guessing they don't actually live in the tower bit, but it's pretty awesome.

Tower where it joins into a more conventional building.
1/180 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 54°45′43″N 3°15′22″W

The next village, Blennerhasset, had a combination of well-maintained, fancy-looking historical cottages, and those which were less so.

Well-maintained, fancy-looking historical cottage.
1/500 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 54°45′44″N 3°16′34″W
Less so. (This is the window of the building that used to be the Post Office. Mum's reflected on the right.)
1/250 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 54°45′43″N 3°16′42″W

After that we followed the route of an old railway to Aspatria, entering its outskirts in the form of a village/housing estate called Harriston: their sign read 'Please die carefully'.

Appropriately, my GPS unit stopped working at this point, so from here on nothing is geotagged; sorry.

Bridge over the current railway - and yes, that's more working industry (I think it was a mattress factory or something odd like that).
1/500 at f8, 250mm, ISO200
The Fox and Hounds in Aspatria.
1/250 at f8, 19mm, ISO200

Having taken the bus back, we still had some distance to walk to the house. Initially we tried to follow a public footpath to do that, but found out (after quite some distance) that it had been entirely blocked by fields of maize. So we had to go back and by the road.

View under railway bridge toward the path that goes to a dead end.
1/125 at f8, 22mm, ISO200

We did make it back in the end. Later that evening we went for a quick stroll toward the point which was supposed to be the other end of that missing path, but it had got a bit too dark to see much by then.

Roadside trees in the evening.
1/15 at f4, 10mm, ISO800


Wednesday's trip was to the Lake District proper.

A warning for those of a nervous disposition: there are a lot of pretty pictures in this section (four, by my count). If that sort of thing disturbs you, get ready to scroll past them quickly. Don't say I didn't warn you.

We got a lift there, starting our walk by a hill where, supposedly, some large bird or other (an osprey, maybe) was hanging out. We saw no sign of it but the path through the woods was very pleasant anyway.

Part of a tree by the path.
1/30 at f8, 16mm, ISO400

Descending, we followed the river (Derwent, I guess) toward the lake (Derwentwater) and the town of Keswick.

Bridge; looking along the river toward a hill quite a long way up.
1/250 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
Tree on flood plain, distant hills in background.
1/750 at f8, 12mm, ISO200
River and the near hills, patched with sunlight.
1/350 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
The old railway line; new road bridge behind.
1/125 at f8, 100mm, ISO200

Entering Keswick after having lunch by the river, pretty much the first thing we found was the pencil museum. For those who haven't come across this before, yes, really, there is a pencil museum. (We didn't feel we had time to go in, so I can't tell you if it's worth a visit. It does however contain the world's largest coloured pencil.)

The museum itself is housed in a bunch of prefabs next to the massive old three-storey pencil factory, which has 'The home of Cumberland pencils' written all across its top. It's not in bad shape but there are a few smashed windows; their website does appear to suggest that they might still make pencils there, but I'm not sure. The company is now owned by an American conglomerate.

Part of a fire escape on the side of the pencil factory.
1/1000 at f8, 22mm, ISO200

After that we took a walk down to see the actual lake, which was much as you would expect; very pretty, also crowded.

Derwentwater, looking toward an island.
1/750 at f8, 22mm, ISO200

We had a look in the church then returned to the town centre where we managed to meet with Jenny and Frank who gave us a lift back. (Incidentally, I took the opportunity of being in a town in the Lake District to buy a ginormous bar of Kendal Mint Cake, just because. I have since eaten it with the help of people at work.)


We'd done 'pretty', now it was time for more 'bleak' with the Cumbria Coastal Way, specifically from Allonby to Maryport.

Actually it was another sunny day and it wasn't as un-pretty as all that. To start with, Allonby had an interesting selection of buildings.

Allonby Congregational Chapel (now a private house).
1/1500 at f8, 15mm, ISO200
Looking out to sea and the distant wind farm.
1/1000 at f8, 250mm, ISO200
This crazy building is also a private house.
1/1500 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
Here it is again, reflected in the slightly-less-ridiculous house opposite.
1/250 at f8, 22mm, ISO200

Along the way we took a sidetrack uphill to see the Roman milefort (not a lot of fort left, just some lumps in the grass and a few wall foundations) and look down at what supposedly used to be saltpans, trying to figure out how that ever worked. Then back down to the coast.

We sat for lunch on stones right by the sea, presumably dumped there to protect the road and/or golf course from erosion.
1/1000 at f8, 10mm, ISO200

After that we approached Maryport, which is a slightly larger town.

Pier looking gloomy (no, it wasn't really that dark).
1/2000 at f8, 96mm, ISO200
View from inside shelter on the clifftop.
1/1500 at f8, 22mm, ISO200

Maryport had an ex-naval-somethingorother which had been turned into a Roman museum. We went into this one. It had the country's largest collection of some kind of shrine markers - I forget the exact detail, but the Romans used to make a new one each year for some reason. They also gave an interesting tour of their field, which doesn't have anything much visible except grass, lumps in the ground, and sheep, but used to be a genuine full-size fort.

Some of the shrine marker thingies that I forgot about. (Aren't holidays educational?)
1/15 at f3.5, 10mm, ISO800

The actual town's a port town, as the name might possibly hint. It definitely had a maritime feel, although that might have been partly because we did walk out a fair distance on the harbour wall...

Dealer in teas.
1/750 at f8, 171mm, ISO200
Sign, peeling paint, shadow, rust.
1/1500 at f8, 135mm, ISO200


We headed home, but had some time to wait at Wigton station, so I took a few last pics.

Station footbridge.
1/180 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
View from footbridge (the plastic factory's chimney looks a lot more cheerful in this weather).
1/750 at f8, 13mm, ISO200
Footbridge again, and greenery opposite. There was some on the actual station too; while we were there, several volunteers were tending the flowerbeds.
1/500 at f8, 14mm, ISO200

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.