The Government’s recent advice is that we can all drive as far as we want if we want some exercise. However, we showed some restraint and drove less than 10 miles to the Longlands Pub carpark at Tewitfield. I expect that the Lake District was packed with visitors, despite nothing being open and the local police and authority asking people to stay away.
Our plan was to run an out and back route along the Lancaster Canal, heading north. This is a section of the canal that neither of us have ever run along before, although we’ve cycled alongside it in places many times. Bonus is that it’s fairly flat and it’s safe for Nelly to be off the lead. This is also the end of the navigable part of the Lancaster Canal. Setting off and immediately we came across the Tewitfield set of 8 locks, the only locks on the whole 57 miles of Lancaster canal.
There are plans for this section of the canal to be re-opened, and although the canal used to go all the way to Kendal, at Stainton it has been completely filled in. A pair of locks have been kept as a feature next to the canal.
A bit further on and the canal ducks under the M6 and enters Cumbria.
We continued north, occasionally meeting people out for a walk, mostly with dogs. We all kept our distance, except for the three male runners, running together in a pack. The weather was nice and warm, without being too hot, almost perfect for running, although the lack of rain in the last month meant that the towpath was very hard under foot. Towards the village of Holme there was a book box for people to help themselves, as well as a sunflower box. We thought about taking a bag, but it might not have survived the run back to the car. There are a lot of great people out there.
Just north of Holme we decided to stop, having done about four and a half miles. Good spot for a selfie and a quick drink before retracing our footsteps.
Nelly was on the whole very good, returning when we called her and not deviating off the towpath, although she did have a good look at some chickens on the other side of the canal, and she was most interested in the family sat on a bench eating sausage butties. She can be a devil for food. As we continued, Helen picked up the pace a bit, and when we reached the locks again, I stopped to take a few photos and never manage to catch up with her. My amazing wife is a very fit runner, even if she insists that she isn’t. You can make out Nelly in full flight also trying to catch up.
Back at the car, and we’d done 9 miles in a moving time of one hour and 20 minutes. A very nice relaxed pace, and an amazing route. There are so many brilliant places to run without going all the way to the Lakes, the Dales or even the Howgills. We’ll be staying local for the next couple of months at least.
Bonus; when we were home we tucked into some homemade sourdough bread. Helen had been up at 5:20 am making it. Best bread ever, followed by a quick game of Azul which Helen won by a long way. Currently sat on the sofa with a beer. Helen has a glass of wine and Nelly is curled up in her bed. 8 tired legs between us. Another great little adventure.