2 friends and the coast to coast walk

Clay Bank Top to Glaisdale by gleavem
October 30, 2008, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

After a good nights sleep and a slightly awkward breakfast for 6, we packed up, had a quick chat about the best way back onto the path and headed outside.  Gerry and Wendy came out to see us off and point us in the right direction, which turned out to be steeply uphill!  The path back up to the ridge from Maltkiln had been somewhat disrupted by the logging on the hillside, but we managed to clamber up to rejoin the CW.

Setting off from Urra Moor

After reading a comment in our guide book about people rushing by too busy to show any respect, we made sure we visited the summit of Urra Moor: Round Hill.  Today was to be a day of interesting boundary stones, the first being the hand stone (below).  There were also several with interesting inscriptions or letters on, and of course the famous fat betty!  At Bloworth Crossing we left the Cleveland Way and joined a former railway which would take us all the way to our lunch stop.  It was a good wide track and the going was easy, but we soon bored of the scenery and unchallenging route.

The hand stone

We continued to trudge along, passing few others, the only ones of note being two young men carrying all their kit  who we slowly caught and passed, and would see again much later in the day.  The irritating gravelly track seemed to go on for ever, crunch, crunch, crunch, so we were very very pleased to reach the Lion Inn!  The pub is obviously very popular, especially a Saturday, but to be honest I felt it was a bit dark and dingy.  We refueled with some jacket pots, refreshed by downing several pints of pop and squash and set off for the Fryup dales.  Starting off on the road, we then headed back across the dales, passing a few more stones, but few walkers.   The path got more interesting around Great Fryup Head, and the sun even came out!  The day had not been navigationally challenging, but it was at times difficult to keep motivated on the long, broad tracks.  After Fryup we joined another broad track, which seemed to go on forever…the last 2-3 miles felt more like 10!

Fat Betty on the left We got to Glaisdale much later than we’d thought (I’m sure it was more than 19miles!), but happily the B&B was worth the wait.  Jean and her husband gave us a very warm welcome and showed us into their lovely home.  From here to thereAfter showers, some very welcome tea and biscuits and a nice sit down, we headed back out to Glaisdale to the only dinner venue available; the Arncliff Arms.  We were a little concerned that as there was only one option for food in Glaisdale, that it might not be the best, but we couldn’t have been more wring!  The Arncliff Arms was busy and it was clear why…the food was fabulous and it was a wonderfully varied menu.  We headed back to Beggar’s Bridge B&B to watch the end of the DVD we’d started watching in Reeth!  It seemed strange knowing that the next day would be our last, but we were looking forward to a more varied and interesting day, and hoping for sun!


Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top by gleavem
October 22, 2008, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Which way

Awoke today ready for the hills ahead; our legs and feet were still a little tired after yesterday’s slog, but nevertheless we couldn’t wait to get going again!  As we kitted up we were shocked to realise the state of Sid’s boots, he had holes in the top and the soles were very cracked…I guess the long hard miles took their toll!  The day started in the woods where we quickly joined the Cleveland Way which we were to follow until Clay Bank Top, so we weren’t anticipating too many navigational challenges!

The state of my boots

It was a very undulating route, with pleasant views, good stone paths and lovely weather!  We saw loads of other walkers, mostly those doing the Cleveland Way, but also some more casual walkers.  The only bad aspect of the day were the flies, or more accurately the flying ants!  All along the stone paths they were emerging from between the cracks, tempted out by the warm, muggy air.  There was a lot of arm flailing and a bit of moaning, but we survived.  We stopped for a drink and to nibble on some of our lunch in the busy cafe at Carlton Bank.  It was a really interesting walk, lots of little summits and heathery landscapes, the Wainstones (which I had great fine scrambling over), views of Middlesbrough and an interesting looking hill. We could see this interestingly shaped hill for much of the day, and it struck me as one I’d really like to climb, little did I know it’s already rather famous and is in fact Roseberry Topping; definitely one to add to the “to do” list.

The Summit near the gliding club Michelle atop the Wain Stones

We arrived at Maltkiln Houseto find it a lovely, cosy, quaint B&B with very accommodating hosts (more on them later).  After our usual showers we took to the lounge for tea, biscuits, a rest and to meet our fellow guests.  We had met Moira and Fred from Ireland on the path earlier on in the day, so were expecting to see them again.  Moira had had particular difficulty around the Wainstones as she had terrible vertigo and it took all of Fred’s encouragement to keep her heading onwards.  The other guests were Roberta and Peter from Canada; all four of them were doing the Cleveland Way, though in rather different ways.  Roberta and Peter were taking it day by day, not booking or planning much ahead, doing each stage but not necessarily in the normal order!  Fred and Moira were taking a more traditional approach.

Dinner was an interesting affair; there’s not much choice but to eat at Maltkiln as there’s not really another eatery around!  Wendy left us chatting in the lounge until dinner time and then we all went down to the dining room.  It was like a rather strange dinner party, with three couples who didn’t know each other at all!  Once we were seated, and drinks had been poured, Wendy said…

“And now Gerry’s going to give you a little talk about jet”

We all looked at each other and shrugged, more than a little puzzled.  Gerry then proceeded to give us a little lesson on the history of jet, jet mining, jet shaping, jet jewellery and Queen Victoria, whilst pieces of jet in various stages of manipulation were passed round…it was a very interesting talk and Gerry is obviously a very passionate and talkative man.  I think he felt his speech was cut short when Wendy returned with our starters (lentil soup); I asked if there would be more lessons between the other courses, but alas no.  Wendy’s home made fare (chicken stew followed by cheesecake) came as a pleasant relief from all the pub food we’d been eating on the walk, and we all chattered away over the dinner table until bedtime.  This was definitely one of our more interesting B&Bs, we retired well fed and satisfied with a good days walking, ready for the penultimate stage the following day.

Richmond to Ingleby Cross by theshed
October 12, 2008, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

The shortest post for the longest section fo walk!  Why?  Because it was dull, dull, dull.  Leaving Richmond we headed towards Danby Whiske.  I can’t really remember anything between Richmond and Danby Whisk apart from flatness.  In the end we just put down a pace to get to The White Swan as we were both gasping for a drink.  Unfortunately it was closed.

Apparently it’s been going through some tough times with the ownership and illness but what’s bad for one is good for another and we bumped into a fantastic little roadside cafe 50 meters down the road.  We had a sit down in the front garden and ate our lunches and grabbed a couple of drinks.  I think the landlady’s name was Jean and she was an absolute star.

After Danby Whisk it was more of the same.  Flat, flat, flat.  The most memorable part was the very scary crossing of the A19 towards the end of the walking day.

We arrived at Park House B&B to find it empty apart from us.  Our legs were aching from using the same muscle groups all day long so it was nice to eat, chill out, go to bed and look forward to getting onto the Cleveland Way the next day.

Rest Day in Richmond by gleavem
October 9, 2008, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

It made a lovely change today to get up at a more relaxed time and enjoy breakfast with Nathan & Clare; I still couldn’t believe they were there!  We started with a little mooch around Richmond, gradually getting used to civilisation whilst we awaited the arrival of Sid’s family … more visitors!  Unfortunately things didn’t start well when the car Sid’s mum, dad, niece and nephew arrived in (ours) had a flat tyre, so Sid and Nathan went off to get that fixed while the rest of us took the kids to the park for some fun.  I think Jack and Sian were trying to wear me and Clare out, getting us running back and forth with the zip wire and trying out every bit of kit!

Jack and Clare on the bendy things

Uncle Daniel by the river 1

After a nice lunch the family headed home and Nathan, Clare, Sid and I headed to the castle to explore.  It was quite interesting, and offered some good views of where we’d been and where we’d be heading the next day.

Chilling at the castle

We fancied using some different muscles and so headed to the swimming pool for a splash around and to work up a good appetite for dinner. Once again it was great to have an actual choice of restaurants and we chose a nice Italian which our B&B hosts recommended.  It was a delicious meal and great to have some familiar faces to share it with!

This was a lovely day, though a little more tiring than we’d expected, but we were ready and raring to get going again the following day!

Reeth to Richmond by gleavem
October 6, 2008, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Leaving Reeth on sepia day to mask the weather

After a good nights sleep, the day started with breakfast in the bookshop; a very novel experience.  We had a lovely chat with Liz before we set off towards Marrick.  We rejoined the Swale for a bit and although the weather was a bit miserable it was a rather nice walk.  Disappointingly, its no longer possible to go anywhere near Marrick PriorDown by the Swale 2y, but the path up through Steps Wood (Nun’s Causey) makes up for it.  A beautiful old stone path climbing up through the trees, its hard work but had an undeniable charm. We met a couple of lone walkers along the way; one chilled, determined bloke who was putting down some big days and another older chap who was meeting up with his wife at the end of each day. Skirting Applegarth Scar we then entered Whitcliffe Wood, emerging froCool path heading up and away from Marrick Priorym the wood we got our first view of Richmond. We’d put down a good  pace over the 11 relatively easy miles from Reeth to Richmond, and our walking was finished just 4 hours after we’d started.  Arriving in Richmond however, was rather a shock to our system; so many people, cars, shops and general hustle and bustle!  We had lunch in a little bistro with a miserable waitress after struggling to get a coke in a pub with a strange process for getting drinks.  However, things were soon on the up again as we found our B&B. What a little gem Willance House is!  Sandra made us feel very welcome in their delightful house, and even did some washing for us.  We we very excited to have a true choice of places to have dinner for once, and we opted for Thai.  It was busy (including confident Chris) and we thoroughly enjoyed the change of cuisine.  We headed back for some TV, unaware that the night was far from over…

An awesome surprise There we were quietly watching Secret Millionaire and contemplating bed, when there came a knock on the door…Sid opened it and I’m sure our jaws must have dropped ot the floor, for there stood Clare and Nathan!  I think it took me about 10 minutes to take it in, but eventually I pulled myself together enough to return to the pub for a couple to celebrate Nathan’s biirthday and the great surprise!  Turns out they were in cahoots with the B&B and staying there too!  We had a nice few bevvies in the pub and then headed home, looking  forward to the following day off even more.  Thanks Clare and Nathan for such a great surprise!

Keld to Reeth by theshed
October 2, 2008, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The reason we went along the valley floorThe first decision of the day was made pretty quickly.  Was it to be the low route along the valley floor or the high route over the moor tops.  LOW ROUTE!

The weather was pretty bad, the cloud was down over the tops and we didn’t fancy getting lost.  The decision was also helped along by the fact that it was windy in the valley so God only knows what it would’ve been like on the top.

We followed the Swale all the way down to Gunnerside and I must say it was picture perfect despite the weather.  The valley just seems to envelop you like a big warm cuddly blanket, shame the weather wasn’t playing ball.  Along the way we saw hundreds of birds which we thought were grouse.  Not that sure they were but not to worry.

Despite being an absolutely lovely walk it was kind of a bit dull.  I’m not sure why but it just doesn’t seem that memorable.  One thing that does stick in my mind was the relentless pace that Michelle was putting down.  Maybe that’s why I can’t remember much, I was concentrating so hard on not tripping over as I semi-walked and semi-jogged along behind her.  During one part of the walk you head along the top of a really wide boundary wall with about 6 feet worth of drop on either side.  She didn’t even slow down then.  Neither did she slow down when we raced past the rabbit poachers.  The only point she did slow down was when she happened to step in dog dirt towards the end.  Just deserts if you ask me, I was knackered after all.

Actually, as I write, the more I remember the more I think I had a really miserable day.  Bloody squeeze stiles with spring-loaded ankle-snapping gates.  That’s it, I’m skipping to the end!

Heading into Reeth was pretty cool.  As we wandered down into the square there was a little fun fair on and a few market stalls dotted around.  A cup of tea was beckoning though so we headed to the Ivy Cottage over in the corner and grabbed some drinks and a couple of scones.

That night we stayed at The Old Temperance above the Christian Bookshop.  Liz was a great host but it was slightly odd that reception was in the bookshop.  Not quite as quirky as when we were eating brakfast in the bookshop the next day.  The B&B, although it wasn’t the best decorated in the world, was really nice.  It’s a little worrying when you read the newspaper clippings about how it’s burned down twice in the last 10-15 years but I’d recomend it.

Wrapped up with the shivversThat night, after I had a little knap all wrapped up in a blanket we headed out to The Buck Hotel for food.  As we wandered round the green we bumped into Chris again and had a little chat.  Then it was food.  We’d been craving stuff like pasta and rice so it was a god send when there was spicy pasta and a curry on the menu.  They we’re quickly polished off after some nice pate on toast.  Then it was back to the B&B to sit and watch the Wainwright DVD for a little while and look forward to a short walk into Richmond and a rest day.