Cumbria Way 2019 – Day 1

Home to Ulverston

Monday morning of the 13th, it was the usual worries. Do I have enough wet weather clothes? Did I pack my toothbrush? Have I got all the travel documents? Have I left accommodation details with the wife? All these questions were running through my head when suddenly I looked outside to see the pre-arranged taxi had arrived to take me to Steve’s house to meet up with him & Derek and take us to the railway station in Wolverhampton.
As I arrived at Steve’s they were both waiting at the end of the drive, luggage at the ready, and we were soon on our way to catch the 10:30 train to Manchester.

Once we had arrived at the station, Steve (Head of Logistics) suggested we should get lunch for the journey to Ulverston so Derek (Head of Kitty) and I were designated to find meal deals at the nearby store. This we did successfully whilst Steve guarded our luggage.

Back at the station Derek went off to purchase newspapers. Within minutes of his return we were standing on the platform, watching the train pull in on time. We boarded and it was not too long before we were at Manchester Piccadilly Station where we had to change trains. Our connection to Ulverston was due in 45minutes so we had time to wander around, but first we had to find which platform we needed.

The platform was very busy with lunch time travellers. It partially cleared when a train came in and large crowds got on. Within 5 minutes our train arrived. We squeezed on board, were able to stow our luggage and luckily found seats.

Now we were on our way but the downside was that it was a local train, so it stopped at every station. We eventually arrived in Ulverston around 2:45 pm on a bright sunny day.

My information from Macs Adventure was that our first night’s accommodation was just outside the town. A pick-up service from the station would be provided if necessary so, before leaving Manchester, I had arranged for us to be met and transported to the B&B.

All went smoothly and after meeting our hosts we were shown to our rooms to settle in. Our landlady was most helpful and advised us of places to eat in the town, a 10 minute easy walk, and how to get there. Shortly afterwards we were off to explore Ulverston and find The Gill, the start point of tomorrow’s walk to Coniston.

The weather was warm and the sun shone. As we were walking past the local primary school we could see behind us the monument on Hoad Hill near where we were staying. This monument is a replica of the Eddystone Lighthouse built in1850, restored 2010. It celebrates the career of Sir John Barrow who was born in Ulveston in 1764 and later moved to London to become secretary to the Admiralty from 1804 to 1845.

Ulverston is an interesting historic town. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 and its market charter was granted by King Edward 1 in 1280. The opening of its canal in1796 brought prosperity to the town; many warehouses opened and its population doubled.

Another famous person born in Ulveston was Arthur Stanley Jefferson (1890-1965) otherwise known as Stan Laurel. He and his partner Oliver Hardy became well known for their slapstick comedy and featured in many black and white films. Their statues can be found outside the Coronation Hall .

We wandered around the town checking out where to eat later on. We visited the local indoor market, which was quiet, found a place for a refreshing cup of tea and had a chat with a local. After this we meandered around some more, trying to decide where to eat. Eventually we chose a place and booked a table before returning to the B&B at a very leisurely pace, conserving energy for the following day.

Early evening saw us back in the town, with the sun still shining. We enjoyed a very nice meal and a pint at The Rose & Crown pub. I can recommend it.

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