Life in a Cumbrian Village


Fairy walk in Greenwell

A Truly Magical Walk, where childhood dreams become a reality.

The first time we completed this walk with our grandchildren we realised that we had come across something very special on the door step of our Parish. We were told that when the Swallows arrive each spring, they bring the Fairies with them, who in turn build their little houses in Greenwell. Hard to believe but very true! We spent the morning at home around the dining room table writing letters to the Fairies, making decorations for the Fairy houses as well as making very small furniture for each little house. Off we set full of anticipation. We parked under the railway viaduct at Middle Gelt Bridge. The easiest way to get there is to drive through Castle Carrock and, after a mile turn left off the main road to Brampton. Once parked with a picnic packed in a rucksack we set off up the road towards Greenwell. It was not long before we spotted our first Fairy cottage. The most beautiful ceramic door provided the entrance into the living room set between the roots of a large tree. Such excitement! After a good inspection of the contents and the messages left by earlier visitors we left our treasures and we set off looking for further houses. At the cattle grid we turned left down the track towards Greenwell and the River Gelt. Every few hundred meters we found another Fairy cottage, but you have to keep your eyes well peeled to spot some of them. No matter how quiet we were we could not spot a Fairy. Over the sty on the left and follow the sign down to the river. What a perfect picnic spot! Surrounded by fairy houses and a river bed to paddle in and explore. Less than two kilometres from start to finish this walk can take as long as you want it to. At the end of the walk you will have given children wonderful memories and you will feel so much better for the fresh air and an experience that does not involve any technology at all.
Do not leave the walk too late in the year as I have been told that the Fairies will pack up their belongings and take their houses with them when the Swallows fly south for the winter. We spotted twenty two Fairy homes!