...in which we take a springtime stroll from Langwathby to Lazonby in the company of author Stan Abbot to track the route of the Carlisle-Settle line, one of Britain's most treasured railways. As we stroll, through sandstone villages immersed in birdsong, into age-old alder carr and over busy becks, we learn about the navvy construction of this most iconic of lines, and of the Blea Moor shantytowns in which drunkenness and disease ran rife; we relish the pastural loveliness of backwater Eden; we consider a perfect Lakeland day in Newlands; we discuss the six-year campaign that saved the railway – alongside Michael Portillo's ambiguous role in it; and, arriving at Long Meg and her Daughters, one of the UK's oldest stone circles, a poetic Mark ponders 'the enormity of time and our quiet little place in it'.
You can buy Stan's book Walking the Line from Saraband. His new book (out in April) is Ring of Stone Circles, also published by Saraband.
Long Meg and her Daughters.
Our guest for the day: Stan Abbott.
On Lazonby platform under blue skies.
Kissing gate with distinct stone.
Dave 'mongst the standing stones.
Sandstone loveliness in Winskill.