The Howgills and Limestone Trail  


HALT STAGE 1 - Kirkby Stephen to Waitby


Starting point: Kirkby Stephen market place (NY 775087)
Distance: 4.25 miles
Ascent: 575'
Date: Saturday 30th July 2011

All of the photographs on these Gallery pages were taken by Derek Cockell when he and his wife Alison helped to test walk the route after it was devised by David and Heather Pitt. The test walk took place during the summer and autumn of 2011 and spring and summer 2012. Please note that all photos in this gallery are copyright of Derek Cockell and are not to be used without express permission.

Route: Leave Kirkby Stephen market place and cross the River Eden over Frank's Bridge. The Poetry Path is a circular path
on each side of the river, which is followed before crossing the A685 and the route then follows the Coast to Coast route
through Greenriggs before turning right at the Settle-Carlisle railway to find a quiet lane, which leads downhill into Waitby.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
The test walkers (centre and right David & Heather Pitt, who devised the HALT walk)


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
Kirkby Stephen market place - Kirkby Stephen is also a 'watering hole' on Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
Leaving the market place, the route crosses the River Eden via Frank's Bridge


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
Leaving the market place, the route crosses the River Eden via Frank's Bridge ...


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
... passing a farmer shearing a sheep


The first part of this walk follows the line of the Poetry Path devised by Dick Capel of the East Cumbria Countryside Project.
The Poetry Path depicts a year in the life of a hill farmer in verse and pictures and carved into twelve blocks of stone.
The poems were all written by Meg Peacocke and carved on to the stone by Pip Hall.


January
The sky's harsh crystal,
wind a blade,
trees stripped,
grass dull with cold.
Life is a kernel hidden in the stone of winter.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
February
Snowlight peers at the byre door.
Neither day nor night.
Four months ago we fetched the cattle in,
safe from reiving wind and rain,
months of standing and shifting, burdened
with patience. When will winter end?

Thin strakes of sun on the byre floor.
Fork a load of silage out,
straighten your back to watch them shove
their muzzles in, and wonder if they crave
the hazy nights when they can roam
among tall summer grasses,
sleek and sound and warm.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
March
From field
and fell
run cold
run small.
I am the rain
tear in the eye
blood in the vein
I am the sea.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
April
Coltsfoot, celandine, earliest daisies.
Twin lambs race to the mother, baby cries,
Mam! Mam! jolt out of them and now
they jostle the ragged ewe,
boosting each split hoof
high off the bitten turf.
Pinching jaws and hard curled coats
are braced against these April suns and sleets.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
The footpath we are following


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
May
Penned in a huddle, the great tups
are clints of panting stone. The shepherd lifts
a sideways glance from the labour
of dagging tails. His hands are seamed with muck
and the sweat runs into his eyes.
Above us, a silent plane has needled
the clear blue. paling behind it
a crimped double strand of wool unravels.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
June
Light drops like honey from branch to branch. Elders
balance their dishes of cream,
while fledgelings try small quivery leaps, testing
the bouyancy of the air.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
July
Silage. Tractor incises the first
green furrow. Skilful geometrician,
the driver judges an arc of weather.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
The trackbed of a disused railway that took coal from the Durham coalfields to Barrow-in-Furness in the 1850s


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
August
Crabapples tart on the tongue,
Hazelnuts milky,
Rosehips cool in the hand,
Thistledown silky.
Squirrel is speaking his mind.
Knapweed purples the banks.
For touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing
I give thanks.


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
September
Revetted banks, a concrete post.
Rabbits tunnel the cinder waste.
Angle iron, link of a broken chain.
Listen, and catch the hiss of steam again.


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
Natural sculptures on the riverbed of the Eden

HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
River Eden


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
October
Sandstone. A desert wind, grain by grain
laid down these rocks. How did we trace
a path through the ancient dunes?

Limestone. A million million
blanched and compacted shells. How did we swim
through the drift and not perish?



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
This is one of ten Eden Benchmarks: a series of sculptures set along the Eden from its source to the sea.
This sculpture carved from Ancaster limestone by Laura White is called 'Passage'.
The Eden Benchmarks were made to celebrate the Millennium.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
River Eden


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
November
Through hazels and alders, softly or in spate,
Eden moves in the valley it has hollowed
From Mallerstang to the shifting Solway sands.

Long may the dipper be regent here, piping
the full reach of his ground; the only monarch,
kingfisher, turquoise jewel, arrowy at the dusk.



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
December
There sails the heron
drawing behind him a long
wake of solitude



HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
the Eden at the end of the Poetry Path


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
Looking back along a dry valley that climbs out of Kirkby Stephen from Greenriggs Farm


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
Here there is a fine view to Wild Boar Fell


HALT Photo Gallery - photo copyright Derek Cockell
The track of the Settle-Carlisle railway
Our path turns right here to a quiet lane that leads into Waitby and the end of the first stage of the walk.





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