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Sunken lane in winter

© Countryside Agency/Charlie Hedley 03 3695

The Solway Villages Trail (6.2 miles/10km)

Solway Coast RamblesThe Solway Villages Trail takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside on the Solway Plain and traces the history of ancient transport routes and the management of water courses for flour milling. The walker will visit both ancient woodlands and long-established settlements. Some were the product of much wealth, but others were purely the place where people made their living in an unforgiving countryside.

THRUSTENFIELD LOUGH was used as the header tank for the water courses which run toward the Solway. These streams powered corn mills, with different mills working on different days of the week to maintain the flow of water. The establishment of the Lough and its sluice, which still survives today, provided water to the mills even in times of low rainfall. This water management allowed each settlement down stream to run its own mill. Today, the Lough serves as one of the Solway's precious wetlands, and a valuable refuge for coots, great-crested grebe and teal. Please keep to the Right of Way and do not disturb the private areas surrounding the Lough.

One of the Solway villages you will visit is MOORHOUSE, a small settlement with an illustrious past. The large, imposing building is Moorhouse Hall, built c. 1780 by a Carlisle solicitor whose father farmed in Moorhouse. This partnership between father and son created one of the largest estates on the Solway Plain.

Along the banks of the SUNKEN LANES of the Solway Villages Trail, wildflowers flourish undisturbed. In April and May, bluebells and primroses emerge, followed by the nodding heads of water avens in the damper places. Later, in summer, the tall, pink spires of the foxglove emerge, backed by the cream flower heads of the aromatic meadowsweet.

THE HADRIAN'S WALL PATH National Trail follows the 73 miles of the Wall between Wallsend and the village of Bowness on Solway in the west. The path opened in the summer of 2002, and this Trail is one of a series of walks discovering the countryside around Hadrian's Wall.

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