Grid Ref : NY 569337
The village of Langwathby is on the A686 running between Penrith, Alston and Hexham. Claimed to be one of the ten most scenic roads in the World. Langwathby is 5 miles from the M6 junction 40 and 1.5 hours spectacular drive from Newcastle.
A large village green occupies the centre of the village and is bordered by cottages, farmhouses and a pub, the Shepherd’s Inn.
Children still dance around the maypole on the village green on the third Saturday in May. Originally the maypole was a pagan phallic symbol representing fertility. It was decorated mostly with flowers and wild garlands. The May Dance itself was a festival in honour of Flora (the goddess of flowers), and celebrated the rite of spring. The plaiting of ribbons around the pole was not practiced in England until the Victorian philanthropist and art critic John Ruskin introduced it in 1881.
Beside the village green is St Peter’s Church, built in 1718, but with some parts inside dating from medieval times.
The Bailey bridge over the River Eden was built in 1968 to replace a sandstone bridge that had been swept away by floods. The bridge was meant to be a temporary measure and as such is listed in the Guinness book of Records as the longest lasting temporary bridge in the country.
Langwathby Station on the famous Carlisle to Settle Railway is now home to the Brief Encounter Cafe.
Little Salkeld lies 1 mile on from Langwathby and is situated in a delightful, rural setting boasting Long Meg stone circle and The Watermill.
Each year one July weekend the village is transformed as villagers compete to create the best scarecrow. See Scarecrow Festival 2008 pics.
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