In our increasingly busy and crowded lives many people are rediscovering the idea of pilgrimage. Each year crowds of people make the pilgrimage to Cleator around the time of Our Lady's birthday in early September, in recent years groups of young people have joined a walking pilgrimage from Borrowdale to Cleator organised by the Lancaster Diocese Youth Centre at Castlerigg. This magnificent pilgrimage walk links the Catholic Cathedral of St Peter in Lancaster with the shrine to Our Lady at Cleator. The 67 mile route takes in quiet canal side paths, the wide open views of Morcambe Bay, England's longest lake and a climb in the shadow of Lakeland’s highest mountains, finishing at the peaceful grotto built in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes in West Cumbria.
The complete route runs from Lancaster to Arnside, Grange-Over-Sands to Lakeside at Windermere, along the west side of Windermere to Elterwater then over to Rosthwaite then to Ennerdale Bridge and finally to Cleator. The route follows a number of well-established long distance walks including the Lancashire Coastal Way, the Windermere Way, the Cumbria Way and the Coast to Coast Walk. The walk can be done over six days with the following suggested itinerary:
Day 1 - Lancaster to Arnside 15 miles
Day 2 - Grange over Sands to Lakeside 9 miles
Day 3 - Lakeside to Elterwater 15 miles
Day 4 - Elterwater to Rosthwaite 10 miles
Day 5 - Rosthwaite to Ennerdale Bridge 13 miles
Day 6 - Ennerdale Bridge to Cleator 5 miles
The walk was first completed over the summer of 2018 by Peter, Benedict, Jacob and Tony Robinson. All Photographs were taken by Benedict Robinson.