Cumbria’s Gentle West Coast

While towns and cities struggle with social distancing we've always preferred less crowded places. Last Saturday we set off for a tour of Cumbria's West Coast, stopping off at a few historic churches as we went. We hardly met another person the whole day!

Most of the churches were locked - normally unheard of in these remote parishes - so we'll have to return another day to enjoy the historic features inside. These include a number of William Morris windows designed by Burne-Jones as well as ancient artefacts such a Viking tombs and, in one case, a font made from a repurposed Roman pillar.

But, during the pandemic, we can still enjoy the exteriors.
St John's church, Waberthwaite is 12th century
The shaft of a Viking cross is in the church yard
The church is in a peaceful setting on the banks of the River Esk
St Michael & All Angels, Muncaster is 16th century and is in the grounds of Muncaster Castle
St Paul's church at Irton is Victorian but is in a stunning location
The view from the church towards the Lakeland hills is one of the best
In the churchyard is a 9th century Pre-Viking cross, standing at 10 feet
Even in this remote place, a reminder that the deadly virus is everywhere
St Mary's church, Gosforth, has England's tallest Viking cross in its churchyard - 10th century and 14 feet high
You can imagine the Vikings using the cross to reach towards heaven
We had a good and relatively normal day and didn't come across many people. Now we're looking forward to other heritage sites reopening fully.