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" A Ravenglass Walk with Jo "

Date & start time: Saturday  21st April 2016,  2.30 pm start. ( SD 096 967 )

Location of Start : The Muncaster Castle car park, Ravenglass, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : Walls Plantation, Walls Castle, Walls House and back through the woodland.

Walk details :    2.5 mls,  250 feet of descent, 1hour 35 mins.

Highest point : The start at 255 feet above sea level.

Walked with : Ann and Jo, plus our dogs, Amber, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Sunshine and blue skies but hazy.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


Something old . . . something new . . .

always nice if you can walk somewhere different and explore new finds, today we do both over at Ravenglass. 

A few other local pictures complete the set today as we walk and talk with friends.

The start point for this walk is at the top of the rise above the village of Ravenglass.

We park at the car park outside Muncaster Castle entrance for a slightly different local walk.

Down the road a short distance, past Home Farm

and then we turn off the road onto a rough track heading down to the coast . . .

Something borrowed (the car parking space)

and something blue complete the day (sadly the bluebells have past their best now despite their woodland habitat).

The short woodland path emerges into Walls Plantation, a large open area surrounded by a large dry stone wall on the upper side.

Those are the walls of the Muncaster Castle grounds but that's not the reason for the name.

Following the footpath diagonally across to Walls Castle,

the old Roman Fort known as "Glannoventa", at the edge of the sea.

There's not much to see at this classic Roman site compared to places such as Hardknott Fort or Hadrian's Wall.

However there are a few indentations in the field and the general shape can be imagined, but there's little is left to see.

Even the West Coast railway line cuts its way through the grounds on the far side of the fort.

There is one bit left, and a significant structure too . . . it is part of the Bath house which was built just outside the walls of the fort.

The remains of this Roman bath house date back to AD 130

 and are among the tallest Roman structures surviving in northern Britain today. The walls stand almost 4 metres (13 feet) high.

An artist's impression and historian's interpretation of the site at the time of the Roman occupation.

The walls still retain door arches and ancient rendering . . .
. . . plus windows and niches that once held statues.

Harry adds an element of scale to the proceedings.


The small print is enlarged for your convenience !

Despite walking in this area it turns out that

Jo had never seen this Roman site

so we were delighted to be able to offer her

the chance of viewing something new . . .

. . . or old . . . well you know what I mean !

If you want to read more, check out the English heritage or the Lake District National Park web sites.

- - - o o o - - -

We continued the walk by first taking the lane down to the river estuary . . .

Possible Roman mosaics on the track . . .
. . . no, someone just filling in a pothole.

Under the railway arch and we were out onto the coast . . . this would have been the site of the Roman harbour.

It was an important safe haven for import and export of produce and landing troops on the southern (Roman) side of Hadrian's Wall.

Looking across to the modern Ravenglass Village.

Looking the other way . . . the ladies and the River Esk.

The tiny hamlet of Walls is more or less represented by this one rather fine house.

[ I wonder how much Roman dressed stone went into the building of the house all those years ago ? ]

The small stream that passes through its ground has no name on the map

but the warm, damp environment it produces provides a haven for plant growth.

We follow the new Esk Trail back up the hill.
Wild Garlic ( Allium ursinum ) in profusion.

Fresh flowers and consequently rich garlic odours.

A Yellow Archangel (the nettle looking one)and Globe Flowers (like buttercups) growing by the side of the track.

Jo has some of these yellow Leopard's Bane in her garden . . . they are growing wild here.

[ Many thanks to Rachel B and Jo for putting me right on several of these plant names.]

The valley is full of trees

including this rather fine specimen

towering above us as we walk on.


- - - o o o - - -


Half way up the lane

the map shows a 'Decoy pond'.

Intrigued, we divert

to try and find it.


- - - o o o - - -


Dylan leads the way.


An artificial pond, the surface part covered in tiny green water plants . . . a delightful if rather abandoned place.

On up the lane and through a fine stone gateway that lead out to the fields of Home Farm.

Three of many inquisitive and bouncy young lambs.

You could take the public footpath to the left and regain the main road at the farm

but is a much better option to walk the short distance up to the inner gates of the Muncaster Castle Estate.

There's a colourful display inside the entrance of azaleas and rhododendrons.

A colourful entrance to the grounds of the castle.

Such rich flowers at this time of year.

Some more delicate and ornate Bistort (Persicaria Bistorta 'Superba') in the flower borders.

I love the contrast between the soft flowers and the bold waxed leaves.

Beautiful and delicate Primula . . .
. . . as we reach the main exit back onto the road.

Our thanks to Muncaster for use of the car park . . . sorry we didn't have time to visit the castle today.

- - - o o o - - -

Have we time to search out a cream tea ?

We head down to the village of Ravenglass . . . it's touch and go . . . five minutes to five by the time we get there.

After a quick but fruitless search we seemed to miss out today.

The tearoom was shut, the hotel closed for a private booking, the Inn didn't serve cream teas

though it has changed into what looks like a really nice seafood restaurant (in the evenings)

and the Ratti Arms was now serving from its evening meals menu . . . coffee but no cakes ;o(

- - - o o o - - -

Oh well . . . time for a little extra stroll around the village instead . . . there's lemon drizzle cake waiting back home after all.


Across the sea wall and around the outside of the houses.

One or two of the properties have tried to brighten the area but it needs a concerted effort to really tidy the place up.

Low tide over the extensive estuary and the rather muddy, stony beach.

An old anchor tells of busier times . . .
. . . an old boat lies upturned and terminally damaged.

We walked back through the houses past some lovely garden displays but the area had a definite quietness about it today.

Let's not be too dismal . . . There was activity on a working fishing boat out on the sands and lots of cars parked

so presumably all the people were inside . . . possibly making their own cream teas or eating their own drizzle cake.

Time to get home.

- - - o o o - - -

Talking of home . . . it has been a busy week in the garden.

The first of many tomato plants are planted and growing well.

The Loweswater Wine Crop is full of potential this year.

Last Sunday evening we had an invitation for a meal and a natter with Rachel, Jeff and Joan

at Joan's house, just a short walk away across the fields behind our cottage. 

'Pims' outside was followed by a lovely meal in the evening and it was just a gentle stroll home  in the moonlight afterwards.

- - - o o o - - -

This weekend Ian and Nicky were over with their dog Baz.

This (Bank Holiday) Saturday they suggested a local walk

along the coffin route from Fangs Brow, via High Nook Tarn and back to Loweswater.

A leisurely picnic was the order of the day, taken at the old chair part way along the walk.

The start was deliberately timed for this to happen rather than walking later in the afternoon.

With the best weather in the country today we were able to take advantage

of the superb lunchtime views from the seat across Holme Wood and Loweswater to Fellbarrow in the distance.

A link to Ian's pictures can be found here

- - - o o o - - -

Bank Holiday Sunday

Before we head off for a walk and a cream tea at the village hall . . . (is this becoming a habit ?)

Morning coffee and a chat in the garden with Pat, Mike and Ian.


. . . introducing Ian's new dog TADA.


[ Hardly any need for the walk

as the dogs have exercised themselves already !]

We haven't been rushing around the garden so the walk is still on.

Ian, Mike and Tada on the path above the Mosser Road.

Ann and Pat likewise.

Dylan, Harry and Tada . . . the Cockapoo (cocker spaniel / poodle cross) . . . a delightful character.

On the slopes of Darling Fell overlooking Loweswater.

. . . and the promised tea at the village hall afterwards . . . delightful.

- - - o o o - - -

Finally, in appreciation of the parking last weekend perhaps we could publicise . . .

It's a great time to visit Muncaster, the flowers are beautiful and they have their Bank Holiday Festival this weekend.

Go along and watch the Jester's tournament and afterwards visit the Owl Sanctuary.

Why a Jester's tournament ?

Well Muncaster was the home of Tom Fool, the Castle's jester, who gave rise to the popular expression Tom Foolery !

The event runs from Sunday to Tuesday and the weather forecast is fine.   A great weekend is in prospect.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . something borrowed, something blue.

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Previous walk - 14th May 2016 - Rannerdale Bluebells - 2 -

A previous time up here - 22nd March 2014 - ( the end of) Muncaster Fell with Neil

Next walk - 24th May 2016 - Loweswater Farmers 2016