Posted by: kljolly | May 16, 2013

Cumbria Day 1 PLAN

Update:  I am planning my itinerary for a later summer visit. Right now I am still half way across the planet with a stack of OS maps and GoogleEarth!

For my first day of three perambulating around tenth-century Cumbria, I am considering a westward route from my base in Penrith, along the A66.

I definitely want to see the Penrith St. Andrew’s cross and hogback, the so-called Giant’s Thumb and Giant’s Grave, if I am not able to catch sight of them on my way in the day before.


St. Andrew’s Church, Penrith

Next or first stop, Dacre (Bede’s Dacore, HE iv.32) to see the cross monuments there as well as “bear” hogbacks (thanks, Senchus, for this lead).

From there, I will pretty much head for Workington, but may do a drive by of the Roman ruins just past Troutbeck, and maybe go over the Derwent bridge at Keswick just for the fun of it.

Otherwise, my lunchtime goal is Workington, specifically St. Michael’s church and the launch site for St. Cuthbert and crew on their aborted attempt to take his body to Ireland.

The afternoon is a southward journey toward Furness and Morecambe Bay, the alternate destination of the drenched but not waterlogged Lindisfarne Gospels, as proposed by Dan Elsworth.  I will be going on land, though, not via water!

Gosforth Cross

Gosforth Cross

Along the way, I may stop at St. Bee’s, but definitely at Gosforth to see this cross.

How long I spend in and around Ulverston and Consishead will determine how much more I can do in one day.

I do intend to visit Heversham and Kendal, doable on a less direct route back to Penrith, but if it is too late in the day, I may save one or both for a day two circuit of the Kent and Eden valleys.

Any advice?


  1. Hello Karen – you made it! I’ve only just got the notification, so you’ve probably already done all this, but I was going to suggest you might drop in at the tiny – tiny! – St Bega’s church at Bassenthwaite (grounds of Mirehouse). I gather there is no link to St Bees per se so it’s a bit of a mystery. Locals would like to think she’s buried there, but there’s no evidence. Still intriguing, though!

    • I’ve just been reading about that church in the back of Melvyn Bragg’s novel Credo. He says that church inspired him as a child, and and subsequently in later life to write Credo, about the life of St Bega. I’ve told myself I must visit there myself, and it’s a great book too!

  2. My Cumbrian friends all assumed I was presently on your island, not still on mine half a world away, so I updated the post to explain I am in the planning stages for a later summer visit (I am not posting exact dates on the web for security reasons).
    Thanks for recommending Bassenthwaite, which I saw on the map but wasn’t sure if there was something to stop and see.
    Credo is on my Amazon wish list, so I should get a hold of it to read before I come over.

  3. Lol, Karen – that’s exactly what I thought! You can get to St Bega’s at Bassenthwaite via the grounds of Mirehouse, a ‘stately home’ with literary connections, a beautiful garden and a tea room. Check on line for opening times, as it’s not open all the time. If there’s anything I can help with, just ask.

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