Up early to carry on with our Coast to Coast walk. We caught the 108 bus from our lodging in Penrith and followed its picturesque route along the western edge of Ullswater down to Patterdale to recommence our walk with a steady climb heading south out of the village towards Angletarn Pikes.
The sky was clear and it wasn't long before we were high enough to enjoy commanding views back towards the Helvellyn and adventures past. Higher we climbed scouting around the tarn itself, following a dry stone wall past Satura Crag, through a peaty field to rest by a gate and share out some fruit pastilles in celebration at completing the first 50 miles of our journey from St Bees. Against every prediction we've had wonderful weather all the way
Another short climb took us around the Knott and onwards for a glorious view both of the old roman road leading up to High Street and down the Straights of Riggindale to Haweswater, a once gentle lake, now turned into a huge reservoir, capable of quenching Manchester. From here a short walk took us to Kidsty Pike - the last obstacle of Lakeland.
We lingered for a few moments taking stock of the brooding mountains to the West that somehow we'd found a way across before turning East to stare across the more gentle gradients of the Westmorland Plateau to come; the landscape rolling far away to the Pennines on the horizon.
We pressed on, descending through Kidsty Howes to Haweswater edge and followed the shoreline for several miles, noticing the fells fall away to be replaced by a gentler terrain before arriving at the village of Burbanks, built especially for the workers who helped flood Mardale some eighty years ago.
The light was fading now as we began to cross the fields towards our ambitious overnight stop in Shap. We made it to the charming Rosgill bridge which crosses the Lowther and here decided that rather than lose our way in the dark we should follow the road in, forsaking the ruins of the old Abbey. Beside hunger had begun to set in.
It didn't take long before we were offered a lift by pensioner Flo, who was concerned that Southerners might not be easily visible, and gratefully driven the final mile and a half to the comforting delight of a boots off, good dinner and a raging fire at the Greyhound Inn. .
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.