May - July 2018
  • Day25

    Cream teas and sore knees

    June 22, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    But there was a lot more to our 300+ kilometre journey. Tomorrow we disperse to visit relatives, return home or continue our travels to Sardinia, Shetlands, Norway .......
    We had a rest day today, many of us took the opportunity of the local bus to Whitby. We’d seen it from up on the moors, now a look up close. Another ruined Abbey. Some of the buildings around the abbey were fine, a youth hostel in one.

    We’ve seen Fells and moors, becks and tarns, sheep, dry stonewalls, more sheep, narrow gates, stiles, muddy bogs, baby grouse and Nine Standards, St Sundays, Kidsty Pike. Three national parks, Lakes District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. We’ve seen ruined abbeys and quaint old local churches, stone way-markers and old barns and country pubs. We’ve squeezed into tiny rooms and little attics up steep steps.
    We’ve met fellow walkers and the locals. There were miracles along the way, a pole found, sun glasses replaced, new boots acquired just when needed.

    The views have been spectacular, the moors and fells wild.

    Our group was just the best, full of fun and good cheer. We coped with blisters, sore knees and feet, tired muscles, a thunder storm, not enough toast, and one day, no breakfast at all. We tried lots of local beers, had fish and chips and steak and ale pies.

    This is the last post, happy travels everyone.

    Group Two, Melbourne Womens Walking Club, C2C, 2018
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  • Day24

    Are we there yet?

    June 21, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Yes of course we are!!!
    Our last day was just perfect. We were a little daunted by the distance, about 28 kilometres, the longest yet, but it wasn’t so hard. The weather was sunny but cool, perfect for walking and the route varied.

    We started early and headed for Grosmont where the local station is a out of Harry Potter, old fashioned level crossing gates and a beautiful little station. They still run steam trains on the regular route from here to Whitby sometimes. Today the steam train was in for service so we missed it.
    Then it was up to the penultimate Moor. The route up was on a road but incredibly steep, a grade sign on the way up said 33%. Try riding up that Dianne.

    From Sleights Moor we could look down on Whitby. Then it was down to Little Beck and a walk through Little Beck Woods passing the Hermitage, a large hollowed-out rock, then Falling Foss, a little waterfall and coming out to Midge Hall. Midge Hall is an old game keepers cottage beside the Beck that now runs a little tea room. More cream tea anyone. Luckily the midges weren’t biting.

    Then onto Sneaton Low Moor. We had our lunch stop looking down to Whitby, the North Sea getting closer.

    Finally we were onto the cliff top path, for the last 5 kilometres into Robin Hood’s Bay. So we finished as we started, along a cliff top.

    Robin Hood’s Bay is tucked around a headland so we were almost there before we got a glimpse of it. The end in sight!

    The path brought us to the top of this little holiday village, right past our B&B, so had a quick pit stop, met our host, dropped our bags and headed down the steep narrow road to the “beach”. The tide was out so it wasn’t the most attractive beach but we duly performed the ritual of tossing our pebbles into the North Sea. On the way down we had tied a Coast to Coast tea towel to a walking pole. We lowered the flag on the beach, folded it and gave it to Allison our leader.

    The final ritual is a beer at the Bay Hotel and signing their book. The beer? A Wainwright’s of course.

    We had dinner with Group One and swapped stories about the trials and tribulations of walking the Coast to Coast.

    We now have a rest day before heading off tomorrow. Anyone like to go for a walk? Last post tomorrow.
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  • Day23

    Eagerly into Egton Bridge

    June 20, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We started the day high up on the moors so there was no big climb today. It was windy, cool with a bit of misty rain when we started off.

    Our first encounter was with “Fat Betty”. This is an old cross or way marker that has probably been there for hundreds of years. Other stone markers around here have names too, there’s Ralph and young Ralph. As we walked across Glaisdale Moor we could see the North Sea, and looked down on Great Fryup Dale. Then it was gently down to Glaisdale were we stopped for a break at the Arncliffe Arms. It looked like a storm brewing as we came down but it missed us.
    Then a beautiful walk through forest along the Esk River, such a contrast to being up on the wild moors. But there will be more Moor tomorrow. But more of that later.

    About 20 kilometres for the day.

    Then into Egton Bridge. Apparently the series “Heartbeat” was filmed around here. Who remembers that? I remember the little old police cars driving across the moors.

    A bit late of course, but when I was leaving our room this morning I read the notice on the door about what to do in case of fire. The “secondary exit” route from our room was to open the window and jump. A small window and a long drop, glad there was no fire.

    Tonight was the last night for just us and our guide, John. Tomorrow night we will be joining Group One for dinner. We have followed John up hill and down dale and he has been wonderful. Great, quirky sense of humour, does a very good Basil Fawlty, very knowledgeable about all sorts of amazing things and he looked after us so well. This was his 14th Coast to Coast so navigation was a breeze.

    We gave him the Order of the Koala and inducted him as an honorary member of the MWWC. We prepared a very detailed appraisal of his performance, thanks Julie, which can be published later.
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  • Day22

    More Moor

    June 19, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    And there will will be more moor tomorrow.

    We retraced our steps from Chop Gate back up to the moors, and headed up to the Wain Stones, then down again and up again to Urra Moor. We saw lots of grouse with little chicks as we crossed the moors today. We also passed old boundary markers, one with a hand carved on it and another with a face.
    We came up onto the former Rosedale Ironstone Railway, that used to serve iron mines 150 years ago. It’s now a level gravel track that we followed for about 7 kilometres. The track curves around the High Blakey Moor to the Lion Inn, our destination for the day. It suddenly appeared in front of us then disappeared as the track curved, then we took a little track up through a paddock and there it was again. And a road and cars in the car park, funny to see after a day on the moors

    The Lion Inn is the 4th highest Inn in Britain. It’s about 500 years old, all dark beams and low ceilings. Luckily the plumbing had been upgraded since then and our little attic room had a wonderful bath. No point in a shower, you’d hit your head on the ceiling.
    Only 2 days to go, the excitement is building!
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  • Day21

    Chipper in Chopgate

    June 18, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We’ve seen the North Sea! 3 days to go.

    A fabulous walk on the moors. We did some climbing of course, but the rewards were wonderful views.

    Our first stop was a small chapel on the ridge just above Osmotherly, the Mount Grace Chapel of Our Lady. It dates back to 1300 or so but was a ruin until rebuilt around 1960. It would have been a very tranquil spot to sit and admire the view, but for the sound of the ride-on mower and the whipper snipper.

    Then we rejoined the track and headed up onto the moors and into the wind. Actually the wind was behind us but very strong on top. We saw a couple of ancient burial mounds. On top of one peak we came across half the local primary school having lunch, not minding the wind one bit.

    We dropped down to a small cafe in the forest for lunch. Very nice, sitting at a table with a cup of tea with lunch.

    We’re in the North York Moors National Park, said to be one of the largest expanses of heather, but not flowering yet.

    We left the main path to go down to Chop Gate for the night, 20 kilometres for the day. We’ll go back up to the moors in the morning.

    Tonight we celebrated Julie’s official retirement. We had to express some interest in the soccer, England was playing Tunisia. Late up date, England won.
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  • Day20

    Roads to Osmotherly

    June 17, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Most of today’s walk was on roads, usually quiet, and not quite as exciting as climbing hills. We did have a sprint across the A19 freeway. Lucky it was Sunday or we might have had a long wait for a break in the traffic.

    Thanks to the White Swan Inn, Danby Wiske, for drying our boots and coats last night.

    We walked through some wheat fields, with a few tight squeezes through the hedges between the fields.

    At our “little lunch” stop we could look back to see the Pennines in the distance. Our lunch stop was at the Mount Grace Priory. A Priory dating back to 1398, it was dissolved in 1539, Henry VIII again, the ruin is now a National Trust Property. Nobody wanted to pay £8 entry fee so we picnicked in the field next to the car park and visited the shop (and of course the toilet).

    Then on to Osmotherly, about 17 kilometres for the day, and the beginning of the North York Moors National Park.

    Party night tonight, Allison Towner’s birthday. Thanks to John for carrying the cake in his pack, what else can he fit in there?
    What a great way to spend your birthday, thanks for inviting us Allison.
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  • Day19

    There is nothing to do in DW

    June 16, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Although we had 24 kilometres to walk today our guide was sure we didn’t need to leave Richmond until after 10 because “there is nothing to do in Danby Wiske” and the walk was generally flat farm land. There is only a pub and a church.

    Anyway leaving after 10 meant the rain had cleared. Our first stop was the ruin of Easby Abbey and St Agatha’s church. On the way to the Abbey there was a plaque about the sad story of a drummer boy. Read about in the photo. The abbey was one of many knocked over by Henry VIII. St Agatha’s church however is still the local parish church, and has a beautiful fresco dating back to 1250. The church was very welcoming with a jug and supplies laid out for tea at the back of the church.

    We stopped for lunch at St Mary’s church in Bolton-on-Swale. The church dates back to the 14th century. This church was even more welcoming, tea supplies, a note saying feel free to use the toilet, a big box of food supplies for any one in need, the back of the church was like a small community centre.

    The church is famous for its memorial to Henry Jenkins. Henry apparently lived to be 169 years old. Evidence of his age is found in court records because he was able to give evidence about who had owned what in land disputes after the civil war.

    About 4 miles from supposedly boring Danby Wiske we were caught in a thunder storm. A massive downpour, thunder and lightening. So we had plenty to do when we got to Danby Wiske, organising to get all our gear dry.

    The wide plain we are crossing, heading for the North York moors is the vale of Mowbray. Danby Wiske is the lowest point on our route.
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  • Day18

    Rocketing in to Richmond

    June 15, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Well, not really, but it wasn’t a long day and not much climbing. 18 kilometres. A few narrow gaps in stone walls, but eventually we came to a gate without a fence. We all dutifully went through the gate.

    There was a bit of a climb up to Marrick on a path known as the Nuns’ Steps. Apparently the nuns from the Marrick Priory constructed 375 steps up the hill. The old priory is now partly in ruins but is the site of an Outdoor Education Centre.

    We had a break in the tiny village of Marske, where there is an old church, St Edmund the Martyr. He was a Saxon king, knocked off by the Danes in 870. At the back of the church was a table of snacks for sale, money for the church maintenance funds.

    Richmond has an old castle on the top of a hill in the middle of town, with cute little houses in narrow streets backing the castle walls. I’m not sure about the roads here though, they seem a bit weak, lucky we’re walking not driving.

    Tonight was a good chance for a change from pub meals. Pasta at a Sicilian restaurant was great.
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  • Day17

    Gales on the Dales

    June 14, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 16 °C

    There were 2 options for today’s route, the high road and the low road. The choice was made for us by the weather, very high winds after a storm came through last night. Our guide thought we might be blown off the top if we tried the moors.

    Even on the low route we were blown about by very strong winds. Lots of branches blown down overnight.

    We set off, well rugged up in our wet weather gear, first down to the very small village of Keld to check out the little Heritage Centre, it’s focus is farming heritage, particularly the old stone cow barns that were used for cattle during winter, then up past a waterfall and on to our route which followed the Swale River all day. Swaledale is the northern most and wildest of the Yorkshire Dales.

    We had a break for “elevenses” in the village of Gunnerside. Mary Shaw’s cafe was doing a great service.

    Most of the day we were walking through fields, and to go from field to field we squeezed through gaps in the dry stone walls that mostly had gates on strong springs. I’m sure the gaps were getting smaller as the day went on, and the steps higher and higher. Anyway we all managed to squeeze through despite English breakfasts and cream teas.

    My phone says about 20 kilometres for the day.

    We are now in Reeth, apparently the unofficial capital of Swaledale. It was a centre for lead mining in the past. We would have seen the remnants of the lead mining if we’d taken the high route. The number of pubs in the village is probably due to its mining heritage. Now it thrives on tourism so there’s also a few tea shops. It’s a cute little village with a green common in the centre appropriately called The Green. There’s also a Yorkshire Dales National Park office. Apparently some episodes of All Creatures Great and Small were filmed here.

    I just got an update on the weather over dinner. Some one saw on the news that today was the windiest June day ever in England. The low road was a wise choice.
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  • Day16

    Nine Standards Rigg and a Cream Tea

    June 13, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    What are the Nine Standards? A serious of beautifully built cairns of different shapes and sizes lined up along the ridge of the Pennines, the climb up there was our first goal for the day. They are supposed to be old boundary markers, but there could be other theories. It was windy and cold at the top, 661metres, so we didn’t hang around. At this point we crossed into Yorkshire. There are 3 routes through this area depending on the season, we took the red route, which is the designated route for May to July. This is a way of trying to manage the erosion caused by all the walkers.

    Then the next highlight of the day, across the peat bogs! Actually we were lucky, the worst part has had some stones laid across it and it hasn’t been very wet lately. Our trusty guide found the route through for us and we came through with dry feet, although Julie’s new shoes are not as pristine any more. There were a lot of boggy patches all the way down.

    Then it was down to Ravenseat. This seems to be a bit of an institution on the C2C route. Amanda Owen and her husband breed sheep and have 9 or 10 children and sell tea and scones to passing walkers. She has written a couple of books about life as a Yorkshire farmer. Apparently she is quite a character. She wasn’t there today so the tea and scones were served by Mr Owen and the farm helper in their muddy gum boots and dirty jeans. Most of the kids were at school but there were a couple of little girls playing around. Great scones and a strong brew of tea.

    From there it was an easy stroll down to the valley of the Upper Swale River and into Keld. About 20 kilometres for the day.

    We have crossed the Pennines and we are now about half way!!

    Just a bit of information about cream teas. This is basically a Devonshire tea, but of course you can’t call it that in Yorkshire. Apparently Devon is having jam first with cream on top of your scone and Cornwall has cream first with jam on top. Yorkshire just has cream tea.
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