Mark Walks LEJOG Day 39 – Carlisle to Annan

Hullo. How are you? I hope you are having a good day. I’m Mark and I’m walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats…

The walk from Carlisle to Annan is mostly a road walk, which started by walking along a B-Road separated from the M6 motorway by a small fence, giving a noisy and exciting start to the day as huge lorries pass within a couple of feet.

The motorway on the right is juxtaposed by views to the left of the Lake District mountains in the distance.

After around five miles of the road, I then dropped down on to the King Charles III coastal path and followed this all the way to the England-Scotland border.

A little way along the path, I came across a river crossing section with a missing bridge. The path was entirely closed and fenced off. The sensible walker would turn around at this point and walk back to join the road again, but I am not the sensible walker. I am the insouciant walker.

I climbed the fence and clambered down the very steep bank of the river, waded through the water and clambered back up the other side. All of this took about 20 minutes and meant fighting with a heck of a lot of very prickly brambles. It was a great laugh.

Rejoining the path, I set off again towards the Sark bridge.

Crossing the river Sark meant ticking off another county as I left Cumbria and entered Dumfries and Galloway. But it also meant ticking off a country as I left England and crossed the border into Scotland.

So, I have now walked the length of England. I’m quite chuffed about that.

It is tempting to think the trip is almost done now that I have made it to Scotland. And this certainly appeared to be the sentiment on Twitter when I posted an update as I arrived in Scotland. But Scotland is vast. Much more vast than the English seem to believe. There is still a long way to go and much of the most challenging terrain is yet to come.

Even as the crow flies Gretna is 360 miles from John O’Groats. The winding, rambling, exploring routes of the LEJOG walker add a lot of mileage on top. But still, I think making it to Scotland is an accomplishment and I was really happy to make it.

From Gretna, the rest of the day was a road walk. At Eastriggs, I stopped to visit the museum and have a drink in its surprisingly busy coffee shop before setting off along the road again.

I met a woman in Dornock who was waiting patiently for a bus to take her to some place with shops. We chatted a long while about this and that and she told me about a nicer footpath I could have taken from Gretna but one that isn’t marked on the map. She wished me all the best for the rest of my walk and I got on the move again. I love these brief dips into the lives of strangers and how they are invariably friendly and interesting.

The final stretch of road gave more excellent views of the Lake District across the Solway firth. Before long, I was wandering into the historic town of Annan, famed for Annandale and its most famous family, the de Brus’s. Most famous among them being Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots, of course.

I pottered around the town for a while before making for my hotel and heading out for food.

The Day 39 Vlog

Fundraising for MacMillan Cancer Support

As I walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, I am hoping to raise £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support, who do such a wonderful job of supporting families through the most difficult times. If you are able to spare any amount and would like to donate to MacMillan, please do so through my Just Giving Page.






4 responses to “Mark Walks LEJOG Day 39 – Carlisle to Annan”

  1. Alistair Carratt avatar
    Alistair Carratt

    Congratulations on the journey so far and welcome to Scotland again..🙂

  2. James Turnbull avatar

    It seems quite a coincidence that the day I found your blog was the day you were in Carlisle where I live. I will be interested to see how your route progresses up to Glasgow. I opted to go from Carlisle to Edinburgh.

    Congratulations on crossing the border. Good luck with the rest of your journey.

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