This time we set off from Arnside which is in Cumbria to drive a short distance to Halfpenny to walk the quiet byways in this forgotten area. Being a well-organised host he provided me with a map of our route, but I was still mystified most of the day as to our whereabouts in this backwater. However, it was stress-free being guided by the local expert.
Most of the hamlets named on the map are only 2 or 3 houses. Halfpenny was one of these by the delightful St. Sunday’s Beck. ‘Beck’ is an old Norse term for a swift flowing stream, I think only encountered in the north.
The bluebell woods were at their best and for a while the sun broke through, giving us some welcome warmth.
Also in the woods was a good crop of wild garlic, we had some debate on whether it was edible and if so the leaves or the bulbs? My answer came a few days later eating out at a rather expensive venue — ‘Jersey potatoes, wild garlic leaves and flowers with asparagus and a soft egg’ — a delicious starter.
Our first encounter with the locals was as we approached some farm buildings and first a light plane emerged followed by a powered hang-glider. Almost something out of a SciFi film. The farmer was preparing for a trip up in his lawnmower powered glider, and we saw him above us later. Great hobby, I once had a trip up as a passenger in a similar ‘plane’ — very exciting, sadly my pilot from that day died in a glider crash a few years later. I’ve not been up since.
Another unworldly sight was further on where they were using polythene strips to warm up some unidentified crop in the fields. Not sure of the environmental effect of this as last year’s strips were still in evidence littering the ground.
We wandered on, chatting about old times rock-climbing and stories of mutual friends, many now sadly departed. The next encounter with a local was a friendly ‘gentleman’ farmer who had transformed some of his fields into a natural-looking lake, I think enhancing the scenery. There was fishing there, but he preferred to keep it to himself, we suspect he has private means and breeds a few horses. One can only dream of such an existence.
We took a few photos on the way…
A few more delightful wandering paths over hills and over becks somehow brought us back to Halfpenny, satisfied with our part of the world.