Long Meg

Long Meg

Eden Valley

Route: Long Meg and Lacy’s Caves

Area: Eden Valley

Date of walk: 10th March 2017

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 6.1 miles

Weather: mostly grey and overcast, light drizzle later on

I sourced this walk from an excellent guide book to the area ‘Walking in Cumbria’s Eden Valley’ by Vivienne Crow and published by Cicerone. After parking in the village of Little Salkeld, and following a short road section, I walked along a rough track and before long reached the first point of interest on this walk – Long Meg and Her Daughters. This is a huge stone circle consisting of 69 stones, the largest of which is Long Meg standing at 12 feet and weighing in at 9 tons. It’s a fascinating and atmospheric place and well worth a visit in its own right

After walking across the fields and along quiet lanes I reached the next point of interest, St Michael and All Angels Church, which stands on its own as the village which it once served was washed away by the River Eden in the 12th century

I then descended to Daleraven Bridge to be confronted by a sign erected by the council indicating that the path ahead was closed due to river erosion. A quick look at the map confirmed there was no alternative route, apart from returning the way I’d come and this would mean missing Lacy’s Caves – and so I decided to press on in the hope that a zealous health and safety official was being over cautious. This proved to be the case and although the path had fallen into the river at one point it was possible to climb over the adjoining barbed wire fence (exercising caution). Near here I chatted to one of the locals who wasn’t even aware of the so-called closure, and I also passed by several fellow walkers using the same route

I was glad to have persevered, since the riverside section was one of the highlights of the walk, especially Lacy’s Caves, a series of chambers in the red sandstone cliffs. Having explored the caves I followed a path beside the river through woodland which then emerged onto a wider track above the railway line and from there back into Little Salkeld

The weather was rather dull and insipid and didn’t show the countryside in its best light, but there was so much of interest along the way that I hardly noticed, and I can highly recommend this walk

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