Cumbria Crack

New long distance brewery trail created through Cumbria

Cumbria is set to feature on a new long-distance walking trail celebrating the brewing heritage of the county.

Hot on the heels of the success of Gin, Cake and Rucksacks (released in October 2017 it charted all the distilleries in the region and has been shortlisted for Lakeland Book of the Year Award), Beth & Steve Pipe are embarking on a 138 mile hike around Cumbria carrying an empty beer cask. This time they plan to visit as many breweries and microbreweries as possible as well as raising funds for Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association.

Beth and Steve Pipe

Their route kicks off at The Bay Horse in Ulverston on Sunday 23rd June and will take them up to Newby Bridge where they will swap boots for boats and canoe along Windermere guided by Distant Horizons. From Bowness they will travel north by bike, courtesy of Grizedale Mountain Bikes, before hiking over Loughrigg with Tim Farron, then swimming along Rydal Water with the cask, this time guided by outdoor swimming supremo, Suzanna Cruikshank.

From there the route will see them carry the cask up and over Helvellyn before visiting Keswick, Cockermouth and Whitehaven and returning along the western coast, taking in Ennerdale Brewery and a trip on La’al Ratty.

As Beth explains “After Gin, Cake and Rucksacks was such a success we felt we needed to raise the bar (!) and breweries were the next obvious choice. Raising funds for LDSAMRA is important to us because, however careful we are, we never know when we might need their services.”

Having completed the first hike with a complete stranger, this time Beth will be walking with her photographer husband Steve. “Some people have suggested this will test the marriage” he said, “but we’re both really looking forward to it. We survived living in a camper van for three months when we first moved up here, so this should be a piece of cake.”

As well as visiting and speaking to local breweries the pair will walk with a variety of different companions, each throwing a different light on life in the Lake District. During their hike they will be accompanied by Debs and Andy North (accessibility champions for The Outdoor Guide), ‘Life of a Mountain’ maker Terry Abraham, and founder of Sally’s Cottages Sally Fielding, as well as a mountain rescue volunteer, local businesses, cancer survivors, and even Beth’s big sister, Ruth.

As Beth put it “This story really isn’t just about us, or even just about beer, it’s about all the amazing people who make this county tick although, let’s face it, the beer is a definite perk!”

The duo will share their exploits via their Cumbrian Rambler pages on social media and through their Cumbrian Rambler blog. They will collect donations for LDSAMRA via an online Just Giving page as well as carrying a collecting tin with them on their hike. The book, titled Brewers Loop, will be published by Carnegie Publishing and will be available Spring 2020, with 10% of the profits also going to Mountain Rescue.

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