During the night I heard assorted mooing and general stampeding from the next field, in the morning about 80 heifers were waiting to play.
I was pleased to see the track was fenced on both sides separating me from my hopeful playmates. Unfortunately after about sixty yards there was a gap in the fence. I did not fancy sharing a six foot wide path,with barbed wire on both sides, with eighty enthusiastic heifers. I moved into the open field and with my bovine escort in tow safely crossed the field.
Shortly after I came across a farmer, he didn’t own the heifers but explained that the England Coastal path was not popular with the local farmers as it crossed their fields rather than the beaches as before.
This was reinforced a few miles further where I came across another section of path fenced on both sides. When I reached the end in a farmyard the owner was there with her sheepdogs. I asked about the second fence. It turned out English Nature had paid towards it after a jogger taking a short cut across the field had panicked her horses sending them through two fences.
As you’ve seen in the photographs there is a section that has dogs totally prohibited again I suspect as a result of a farmer’s bad experience.
The walk itself though is scenic as you pass along a coast with low sandstone cliffs. I was heading to Ravenglass but had to divert as the ford across the Esk was too full to cross. The diversion was through marshes and farmland and was a pleasant change from the constant breeze across the coast.
Unfortunately the diversion involved a mile and a half of 1 in 10 hills which meant I was glad of a drink when I reached my hotel in Ravenglass.