Where were we ?
We’d just veered off The Path to have a pint and crisps in the Sally, ruining at a stroke the purism of our trail.
“I’m no purist” said Mrs RM, confirming what I’d known for 29 years*.
Over Wainwright (appropriately) she’d found a faster route to Walton that avoided the steep trek back to the path.
Under an hour, and the cows wouldn’t eat
us her !
90 minutes later we were still struggling uphill, jumping onto the verge to avoid traffic that seemingly was going nowhere as there is nothing above Hadrian’s Wall, surely. The sign said “Walton 1 mile“. It lied.
Walton is the first place on the path after Carlisle where you can actually spend any money, as the famous honesty box refreshment kiosks seem to have closed in case you fondle the energy bars and water bottles and cause a Covid spike.
The population chart on Wiki is illuminating, but sadly stops in 1911 when presumably 80% of the residents moved to Carlisle when the local Spoons opened, as the current number of souls is a mere 277 !
There’s a cafe that serves food when we’re not there, a Post Office open for a micro-friendly 4 hours a week, and a long-closed pub that Bill remembered. Oh, and an austere church.
And behind that church, the Old Vicarage offers the best B & B on the trail, and a brewery-cum-pub that opens JUST FOR US (and the locals on weekend evenings).
That cheers me immensely, as Duncan hasn’t been yet and it may make the Guide.
They have proper handpumps, a guest beer from Carlisle,
a few seats in the bar.
and an upstairs room where there’ll serve you lasagne and introduce you to their young lads and tell you about the Wall and life and how they’ve acquired tapestries and bench seating from grateful locals who’ve somewhere to meet up again..
Their beers were competent, cool and enjoyable homebrew (NBSS 3.5) and I mean that as a compliment. As an overnight stay, it really was hard to beat. There’s even one of those phone box-cum-libraries with the most highbrow collection of reading material outside Carluke Library.
And a pub cat as well. What more do you want ?
*Yes, she does read this rubbish.