Long Meg Walk I – Addingham Church

The pleasures of my walk on Blencathra had been simple and existential:

“the fresh air, the natural landscape, the sensation of sun or wind on face, the simple pleasure of limbs moving freely in the act of walking, the sense of liberation that results merely from being out of doors”

Mark Cocker from Crow Country (and yes I have quoted it before)

“reliance on my own efforts is what I, for a moment and in the midst of all the aids of civilisation, had been practising, and I believed, as I lay and relaxed, that the pleasure I was experiencing came from an attunement with an older form of nature, before there were roads or wheels or organised society or, above all, division of labour.

For a moment, then, I was back in a state of nature, where the body and the mind were in harmony, and the mind acknowledged the necessity of the body even as the body recognised the equal and opposite necessity of the mind.

Bernard Levin from Hannibal’s Footsteps

But frankly this isn’t usually sufficient for the kids – not that they don’t enjoy being out of doors, but it’s usually a good idea to have something intriguing to tempt them out with, and maybe some interesting destination to keep them going when they start to flag. This then was a short walk, but one chock full of diversions and entertainments. A slow walk – both literally and metaphorically. We savoured each of the places we visited and to do justice to that (and to avoid epic posts) I shall split the walk into several episodes much as I did for the slow-walks which Alan and Arthur and I did on Jersey.

The route for this walk was taken from a leaflet, one of series published by Discover Eden. We’d originally planned to try a walk from another one of the leaflets, along the River Eamont and taking in Brougham Castle, but finding that the castle would be shut we made a last minute decision to try this one instead. As an alternative to the suggested start in the village of Little Salkeld, we drove up the hill and found ample parking by the Church of St. Michael’s and All Angels, Addingham. In fact the church is close to the village of Glassonby, but of Addingham there is no sign. Apparently the Anglo-Saxon settlement was washed away in the 14th Century when the River Eden changed its course. The church is now about half a mile from the current course of the river, but also well above it, so a bit of a mystery there it seems to me.

Addingham Church

The route passes through the churchyard, where there is…

A with Anglo-Saxon cross

….a 10th Century Anglo-Saxon cross. (A is helping out by giving an idea of scale.)

Inside the porch of the small church there is some more carved stonework, including a Viking ‘hog’s-back’ tombstone and two pieces of a 14th Century Viking Cross…

Viking cross

Not that things have to be old to be interesting or noteworthy – this stained glass window, presumably depicting St. George and the Dragon, and dated 1973 caught my eye…

George and the Dragon window />

A footpath leaves the church…

Addingham Church from the south

…on the south side. From where it’s a only a short walk across the fields…


…with expansive views to the Pennines and the lake District fells, particularly…

Blencathra - free of cloud

..of Blencathra, now taunting me with its cloud-free status after denying me any views two days before, to the next point of interest…

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Here’s a slideshow with a few more photos of Addingham Church:

Long Meg Walk I – Addingham Church