Alston to Gamblesby
10 miles – 1,168ft of ascent
At breakfast AW’s plan for the day was to go over Cross Fell, the highest point of the Pennines, en route for the Eden valley and Appleby 23 miles away. However before reaching the town’s War Memorial the weather changed but undeterred he took the road towards Garrigill and the start of the ascent of Cross Fell.
By the time he had reached Leadgate increasing wind and rain soon made him realise ‘the madness of attempting the crossing into Westmorland by way of the fell‘. The only alternative was a 5 mile ascent to Hartside Cross at a height of nearly 2,000 feet.
In the lee of the hill the ascent by road was bearable but on reaching the top he was exposed to the full force of an increasing storm and was ‘astounded . . . to see a modern café loom out of the mist‘. He pressed on down the hill into the teeth of the gale and torrential rain heading for Melmerby 3 miles away. An enticing green lane took him to Gamblesby where he was greeted by a ‘hurricane‘ with a ‘deluge of icy rain’. ‘Powerless to go further‘ he sought shelter in the Red Lion.