Tomorrow we’re planning a longer walk, so today we planned a more relaxed day of not walking.
Which meant that we didn’t walk as much, and also didn’t wear appropriate shoes for walking. Which may have been an error. At any rate we went to check out Ravenglass, where there stands the highest Roman wall in England. Part of what was once a Roman bathhouse, adjacent to what was a fort, although the evidence for that is mainly underground (and indeed under a railway line) – although a plaque conveniently tells of its existence and of the 1976-1978 excavation that revealed a little more of its secrets.
As it often is, it’s amazing to stand in these places that feel so human and so recognizable, and yet are so far distant in time from us. The stone arch way and block work making spaces that feel very relatable, despite the many centuries that have passed since it was constructed.
From there we headed up to Muncaster castle, a seemingly slightly tired attraction (well, some of the less popular bits). We watched them flying some birds of prey from their hawk and prey bird center, something I’ve never seen before which really drove home the beauty of these animals. They explained how poachers in various parts of Africa are poisoning corpses to posion the vultures, because the flocks of vultures reveal the poachers activity. That is a terrible side effect of poaching which is driving the vulchers to extinction — vultures, incidentally are incredibly beautiful. Anyhow, they explained about their breeding programs (hey, it’s okay that we’ve got animals in captivity! We’re doing good things! (Which was actually good to hear)).
The rest of the gardens were pleasant, but mostly seemed to be rewilding themselves. The old orchard looked like they’d put new trees in a few years back but now seemed to be unmaintained, and the gorgeous collections of Rhody’s are gradually disappearing into a more native woodland.
…except for the bamboo, which seems to be as per usual on a rampage.
Having meandered all over the grounds we headed to the church of St Mary’s in Gosforth. Home to a number of Norse artefacts (a Nordic cross with pagan imagery on the side, one free leaflet inside went to great lengths to explain how this was most deffo in celebration of the one true God — although several other leaflets in the church (which weren’t free and for which we sadly did not have money on hand) seemed to have a more measured tone that explored the presence of pagan and Norse religions.
Anyhow, that was a brief visit since the leaflets were something we only discovered after wandering around and looking at the objects which seemed to have little information attached, so we were just admiring them for their naieve beauty :)
Tomorrow is the day we’ve currently scheduled for our long walk. There’s been some debate, but we’re both tempted by one of Wainwright’s suggestions. Risky because we’re neither of us terribly fit. But it looks quite, quite stunning.
So we’ll see how that goes.