Day 36

Burton-in-Kendal to Kendal – 12.4 miles (567.5 total)

I could have planned Lancaster to Kendal as one long day, but even at the planning stage, what seems like months ago now, it seemed sensible to split it in to two.

The Square, Burton-in-Kendal

I was waiting at The Square in Burton-in-Kendal for the 10.45 bus to deliver my latest travelling companions, cousin Sergio and Eddie. They had travelled south from Kilmarnock early this morning, left the car in Kendal, then caught the bus to meet me in Burton. All went according to plan and we set off immediately on the day’s walk.

Sergio & Eddie

It wasn’t long before we joined the Lancaster Canal for my very last time near Burtlands Farm. Again our route intersected the M6 at regular intervals. Each time canal and motorway met resulted in the canal losing out, restarting again on the other side of the motorway. The weather was dry and ever so slightly warmer today, only threatening rain as we neared our journey’s end.

The last towpath route

The towpath was in excellent condition, too. Newbiggin Crags dominated our view to the east, its barren appearance looking more like a man-made spoil heap than a natural phenomenon. We passed close to Holme, then Crooklands, until the canal came to a dead end, for the last time, after Stainton Bridge End. My long walk following canals, covering a long stretch of central England had finally reached its natural conclusion.

The end of the Lancaster Canal

From there, we walked along a succession of quiet minor roads, through Natland to Kendal. The day’s walk was as easy as it gets and sets us up for a longer and tougher trip tomorrow. Kendal is a lively little town, perfectly situated to provide a tourist link between the main feeder roads and the Lake District. Having lost track of the days of the week, the days of the month and national events, I was quite stunned to pass a polling station on the way to my Guest House, only realising then that local elections are taking place today.

Kendal