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Published: September 6th 2011
Our Coast to Coast (C2C) hiking adventure continues -
PART TWO So we’re half way and very grateful that we’ve remained injury-free and blister-free. We have met quite a few walkers who are hobbling along the roads rather than trails due to their injuries.
By the way, England is currently suffering the coldest summer in 18 years. We can attest to that, bit chilly love.
We heard the funniest comment from Les in Reeth, who said ‘I like dry, can’t guarantee sun, last time we had 2 weeks of sun was in 1976’.
Sun 28 Aug
From Kirkby Stephen to Keld (22km)
So onward we go to ‘THE BOGS’ for our next walk. What are the ‘bogs’ you ask? This is the water table of where all the infant rivers into the River Swale and then stem from and flow eastwards into the North Sea, so it is wet and muddy. You have no choice but to negotiate the bogs, which contain peat which part of the development cycle of coal. The trail offers 3 routes just to try to cross the bogs – all will give you some adventure in the mud. There are no
9 standards 1
beginning of the boggy moors on another fine sunny UK day
steps or boards to cross, you just have to find the most solid spots and go for it, taking running jumps, using your pole, very ‘cirque de soleil’. We were lucky with a dry but windy day and we teamed up with Liz and Alison to help each other to pull ourselves or climb out of the deepest muddy trenches. It was so much fun but it was exhausting when coupled with more mud and slimy narrow paths to reach the Inn at Keld.
We had the most lovely meal there of roasted lamb shank and homemade rhubarb crumble.
There were quite few visitors at this spot as there are some shorter walks to do around this district.
Mon 29 Aug
Keld to Reeth (22 km)
Today we took the low road path after ‘flipping a coin’ to opt out of the high road path and views of the former lead mines versus the option to follow the River Swale and valley below. It was a lovely day with sun shining…. initially, before grey clouds set in again. We took a side trip to the little town of Murka, which is famous for their hardy wool from
their Swaledale sheep. I bought some wool and needles to start some knitting projects
(Oh yeah, Nanna is back!!). In fact the wool and their handcrafting woolen clothing items have saved the little village economically since the mining industry finished there was not much happening.
Arrived in Reeth pretty fatigued but felt better after our little pub meal at ‘The Buck’ hotel. Really sweet little town even had an ice-cream parlor but we’re not sure if they open anymore than 2 days each year (ha ha).
The highlight here was meeting ‘Les’ the owner of the B&B – he was a real character, hilarious and gave us some gems to brighten up our breakfast. Here are two of them:
- His comment when none of us wanted cooked breakfast items like eggs, sausages etc: ‘I need more guests like you, my food bill would be reduced by 60%’
- When a walker complained about the narrow stone stiles (barely a leg wide), Les replied with ‘The stile is not the problem, mate you need to drop about 3 stone’
Tues 30 Aug
From Reeth to Richmond (18km)
This was a lovely walk, similar to day
UK Summer - nothing like it !
doing the boggy moors on a blowing rainy cold day
before along the River Swale and loads of meadows. Nearly overcast the whole walk and thankfully the rain held off until we arrived in Richmond.
We hit a lovely little traditional teashop for some scones & cream and cuppa of tea for our lunch.
They even had the Shakespeare Globe Theatre company opening night of ‘As you like it’ – we didn’t go as Dave had seen this one at Sydney Opera House and we had our monster day of walking the next morning so we wanted to just chill out. The town is just lovely with loads of little shops, restaurants and hotels. We had a nice roast lamb rump at ‘The King’s Head’ hotel. We stayed in a historical B&B, the home of the 1st major of Richmond, Willance House – just gorgeous. Our breakfast-included toast was fresh out of the oven that morning – how good is that!!
Wed 31 Aug
From Richmond to Ingleby Cross (approx. 40km)
We are invincible (not) but we have now walked our longest day’s walk of 40km. The actual walk was miserable in terms in scenery but we knew that as C2C guide is very clear that is simply
like a ‘forced march’. To make the day go quicker we teamed up with Liz and Alison. Good move as Liz and Dave did the navigating and kept the pace on while Alison and I chatted away. It was overcast grey old day and we trudged through many miles of paddocks BUT we did it.
1. Having fun company with us, thanks Liz and Alison
2. Seeing two kingfishers
3. Dave asking the question: ‘what is that large bird?’ Response: ‘What bird, that’s a plane mate!’. Obviously some delirium had set in with Dave
4. Running for our lives across the A19 freeway, four lanes of traffic. This was a final test to see if we had ‘any go left’ as we had to sprint at the very end of the walk. It is amazing what you can do on pure adrenalin.
Dinner was a cheap and cheerful pub meal at The Blue Bell pub and a deep restful sleep at our B&B.
Thurs 1 Sept
From Ingleby Cross walk to Great Broughton (26km+)
This was the 1st day when the sun was out nearly for the whole day…..magic stuff. We had a great walk
Guiness on Tap
brown water from draining from the peat bogs
up through some woods, heading across moors covered in flowering purple and pink heather scrubs and even views of the North Sea via Middlesbrough, just fantastic to think we were getting close to the our destination.
I got sprung today ‘spending a penny’, the trail when I checked was all clear and not a soul around but I didn’t bank on a mountain bike rider coming down the trail…oh well, good lesson learnt.
We had a nice pot of tea and scones at the Lord Stones café before heading down a steep descent to village Great Broughton.
Today we had to stay at the B&B that was ‘cheap and nasty’. This trip we’d been so impressed with all of the B&Bs but this one was HORRIFIC.
If anyone is staying at Great Broughton, do not bother with the Newlands House B&B at all costs. One compensation for us was a lovely dinner at the Bay Horse pub and restaurant. The place was packed and food was fantastic.
Fri 2 Sept
Then from Great Broughton we head to Glaisdale in the Esk Valley (32km+)
Well today we saw the quintessential English hunting party shooting ‘grouse’ birds (similar to pheasants)
with their dogs. There was approx. 40+ shooters spread out in a line on a moor with their dogs so they were shooting rounds as they moved down the hill while holding the line formation. They had marshals’ using flags I assume to indicate that ‘walkers’ were on the course. As we approached the group we saw many 4WDs neatly lined up with drivers (cue high end Porsches and Range Rovers) and even some army trucks for the shooters and for all the dogs. They were all decked out in their traditional tweed shooting suits (cue tweed blazer, vest, cap, baggie plus four pants, boots and argyle long socks).
We took a break for tea and scones at the Lion Inn, a very old inn at Blakey Ridge, the original building estimated to have been built in 1554.
A long day of walking predominantly flat trails across many more Moors – our feet were pretty sore and tired at the end of this walk given the big days we have done thus far. We did arrive safe and sound at the most beautiful B&B so far, The Holmwood B&B. It was very modern and very reminiscent of the style
of interior and architecture we have on the Sunshine Coast / Noosa style beach homes. Just lovely after our night from hell in Great Broughton.
We had another cheap and cheerful pub meal at The Arncliffe Arms, in fact the only pub in town. We’ll be looking forward to a break from pub meals (I’m currently fantasizing about some sushi and sashimi so hope in Edinburgh we can find some) but they’ve hit the spot after a long day with walking.
** Majority of moors that we walked through either form part of the North York Moors National Park or are privately owned or but they allow public access limited to marked path / trails.
Sat 3 Sept
From Glaisdale to Littlebeck (13km)
Fantastic more leisurely walk today which included passing through village of Egton, often noted as the prettiest village on the C2C trail. We also stopped in another village, Grosmont for some tea & scones for Dave and saw their steam train coming through.
Then off to Littlebeck and the Intake Farm where Judith and Robert welcomed us. This place is fantastic, tea and cake on arrival and then that night we had a fantastic
roast dinner with all the trimmings followed by homemade pear upside down pudding with ice-cream. Lovely. Even had a fire going so I could do my knitting in the lounge. How great is that. Breakfast for our final big walk was equally as impressive.
Sun 4 Sept
From Littlebeck we set off for the final destination of Robin Hood’s Bay (18km plus few extra miles for some ‘detours’). We set off with Liz and Alison for the final march and that was what it felt like in parts as we again hit some boggy sections, some moors and the final never-ending section along the coastline down to Robin Hood’s Bay. It was starting to rain a little as we hugged the coastal cliff walk.
You what we notice that there was not a single sign to call out the finish of the C2C or welcome to C2C walkers with exception of Wainwright’s Pub which had a wooden sign on its wall…..oh well so bit of an anti-climax for moment or two only. We dropped our pebbles (collected at St Bees) into the North Sea, then hit the pub for some celebratory drinks with Liz and Alison.
Then off to
hunt down some late lunch and our B&Bs and a hot shower. Oh yeah baby, we did it !!!!!!
Mon 5 September – onward travel
Now we’re off to Edinburgh via train from England for 3 nights.
We really enjoyed the C2C, it was a fantastic experience.
We were grateful to be injury free and Dave only suffered a couple of blisters so really great.
We’ll have a couple of easy days on the tourist trails now in Edinburgh.
Ciao for now.
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