Food, Glorious Food…
Woo-hoo! Not only are we just 5 days away from reaching Robin Hood’s Bay, the end of our Coast to Coast walk – but today we finally finished our giant bag of porridge! We seriously don’t want to see another oat for a VERY LONG TIME!
I know it must seem like we’re always talking about food, but after 39 days together, there’s really not much else to talk about! (Just kidding!) Continuing with the ‘food’ theme, you might be surprised to know that during this time and despite our complaining, instant noodles are not top of the list when it comes to what we have eaten the most of. In fact, we surprised ourselves when totting up the numbers. After 92 flour tortilla wraps, 68 eggs and 55 cuppa-soups, we have certainly realised why a tin of Spam had so much appeal!
Our first visit to the North Yorkshire Moors takes our mind off food for a while
Day 15 – Richmond to Danby Wiske. (12.5 miles) – Saturday 2nd August 2014 – ‘In God’s Hands’
Fortunately the rain had finally stopped in Richmond just a couple of hours before we were due to leave, so we were able to wipe the tent down and dry it out a bit before we set off. Today was not a particularly scenic route as it involved a lot of road walking and the rain eventually caught up with us during the afternoon, so we were soaked by the time we reached Danby Wiske. But all the same, it proved memorable because of who we met along the way. After leaving Brompton on Swale we chanced upon a group of ‘friars’ who were also walking the Coast to Coast. They had stayed the night at Catterick Garrison Chapel and were making their way to Ingleby Cross, a much further distance than what we had given ourselves. It seemed quite bizarre seeing these 4 men walking in white robes, complete with hiking boots and Osprey packs. We chatted and walked a section of the way with them, but they ended up overtaking us as they had a much faster pace (particularly as they were only carrying day packs).
In full waterproofs. Preparing to get wet today!
Having to take an alternative route…
On reaching Bolton on Swale we decided to make use of the village bench to sit down and eat lunch. It was a good one today – wraps with chilli cheese and pepperoni. It was here that we met another couple hiking the Coast to Coast who stopped for a chat. We instantly recognised the Nottinghamshire accent and discovered that the husband was originally from Mansfield, a town we are very familiar with. It really is a small world! We found out that we were all planning to camp at Danby Wiske that night around the back of the White Swan, so we agreed to meet up later in the pub!
Before we could even think about having a beer though, we still had around 7 miles to go! Along the roadside and through farmer’s fields we went, not happy that our footwear was getting muddy because of the rain. The track today was certainly putting Wayne’s new trail runners to the test!
Fields of golden wheat.
We had a clear footpath through it.
We arrived at the White Swan around 3:30pm right in the middle of a heavy thunderstorm. We’d taken shelter under some trees at first, then when we saw the lightning we had to make a run for it and get to the pub as quickly as possible. We were soaked through by the time we got to the front door and both agreed this had been the wettest day we had experienced so far. Even our waterproof jackets seemed to have reached their saturation point, so it was good to get our wet gear off and warm up in the pub with a pot of tea.
We were glad to take refuge in the White Swan Pub.
It was here while we were waiting for the rain to subside before we could pitch our tent around the back that we met a third interesting couple of the day! The couple, in their seventies, came into the pub for a coffee and explained to us that they were re-living their earlier experience of the Coast to Coast (having walked it in the days of Wainwright himself), by re-visiting places along the route by car. Helen explained that her husband had signed the White Swan’s ‘Visitor Book’ just above Alfred Wainwright’s name when Wainwright was making a BBC documentary about the walk. They wanted to look back through the book as a piece of history, but after making enquiries with the landlord they discovered that the visitor book is no longer there. It was such a shame as we were really interested in their travel stories and wanted to read through the book and sign it ourselves!
We stayed in the pub for a while and chatted to other C2Cers who had now also taken shelter in there, before finally managing to get outside to pitch the tent.
Pitching the tent at the back of the White Swan pub and trying to dry all of our wet gear.
We managed to get the tent up, then had to hunker down inside for a while as the heavens opened and the rain poured down once more. We were praying this wasn’t going to be a continual cycle for the last few days of our Coast to Coast walk. Nothing dampens the spirits so much as continuous rain and we didn’t want this to be our lasting memory of what started off as a fabulous hike through some of England’s best landscapes. We put the disappointing weather out of our minds for the time being and instead re-focussed on what we would have for dinner! Tonight was something different and something new in terms of our camp food. We had bought some egg-fried rice and a frozen bag of ‘Chinese chip shop curry’ that had conveniently defrosted by the time we were ready to cook it. It made a nice change, although we were sadly missing some meat!
Egg-fried rice and Chinese chip-shop curry.
Day 16 – Danby Wiske to Lord Stones. (17.2 miles) – Sunday 3rd August 2014 – ‘Missing The Moors’
We were awake at 7:00am today with our first mission – to wipe over the tent and dry it out once more after more heavy rain during the night. We also had soggy trail runners after forgetting to put them inside the tent. Note to selves – always make sure shoes are put inside the porch before going to sleep or contend with a day of wet, pickled feet!
As there was only one toilet/ shower at the back of the pub, we found ourselves queueing for both. Thankfully having used up all of our porridge oats we had a ‘new’ breakfast to try. We decided to see what muesli is like with powdered milk. Actually it’s not too bad – as long as you choose a sweetened type of muesli such as ‘clusters’, which is more like eating crushed biscuits as opposed to bird seed!
With no cooking and minimal washing up, we were ready to go. I don’t know how we managed it – but we actually set off before all of the other Coast to Coasters camping at the back of the pub and took the lead today!
Passing some cows who were pre-occupied with eating. (Rather like us!)
We set a fast pace during the morning, averaging over 3 miles an hour (definitely our fastest speed yet), as it was straightforward flat walking along roads and through more farmland, which made it quite boring as there was no real scenery as such. We passed a couple of well-placed ‘Honesty’ boxes on route – but as we didn’t actually need anything we resisted the temptation of over-indulging!
An ‘Honesty’ box next to the farm.
Farmers were busy making silage for the winter feed.
An interesting stile with remnants from Halloween! (Either that or the farmer is just weird!)
First highlight of the day – We had to cross a train line.
A clear trail – but not particularly interesting.
More golden fields.
We are missing the mountainous scenery of the Lake District.
The second highlight of the day was reaching the Shell Garage on the A19. Having seen a petrol station symbol on our map we started getting excited at the possibility of there being a McDonalds next door to it. A Big Mac and fries would have been the perfect treat to brighten up a dull walking day – But no such luck. We should have known better! Instead, Wayne made do with a Costa coffee while I indulged in a diet coke as we put off the worst part of the day – having to cross the A19. With no underpass or footbridge across, we were quite nervous about having to cross 6 lanes of fast moving traffic to reach the turn-off to Ingleby Arncliffe. This could quite possibly be the worst bit on the entire Coast to Coast path. We literally just had to make a run for it when we thought it looked safe enough!
Preparing to cross 6 lanes of traffic!
As soon as we headed through Ingleby Arncliffe to Arncliffe Woods, the scenery improved and we seemed to enjoy today’s walk a great deal more as we stepped onto the North Yorkshire Moors for the first time. It was a complete change of scenery as we made our way through Clain Wood and then up onto Live Moor. Being higher up certainly offers better views. We could see Teeside in the distance and the moor was swathed in a beautiful purple heather. After so much road walking and flat farmland, it really did feel good to be back on the moors!
Finally saying goodbye to flat farmland.
Not the best way to get over!
Heading into the woods.
Coming out of the woods the other side and looking back.
Did I mention that we like eggs?
Only half a dozen left!
Stepping onto the North Yorkshire Moors for the first time.
We loved the beautiful purple heather.
Walking across Live Moor.
Looking across to Middlesborough and Teeside.
Blowing a gale up there!
We reached the trig point at 408 metres, then it was all downhill as we headed to ‘Lord Stones’, a newly renovated ‘glamping’ site. It is actually a ‘Country Park’ complete with shop, restaurant and campsite, with fantastic shower/ toilet facilities. At £17 per pitch we paid a slightly higher rate than the usual C2C walkers price, but it was a lovely place to camp. The best part was picking up some Bilsdale ‘Beltie’ Beef from the deli counter in the well-stocked Country Park Shop. we were told that Belted Galloway Cattle is a native breed around here and the burgers were fresh from the farm. They more than made up for the McDonalds we were pining for earlier!
The high point of the day at 408 metres.
A great selection of products at the Lord Stones Country Park Shop.
Bilsdale Beltie Beef – who needs McDonalds?!
Our sheltered spot in the Lord Stones campsite.
Real home-made beef burgers!
After our mouth-watering dinner, Wayne headed off to the ‘stones’ to take some sunset pictures whilst I did the washing up. Not quite a romantic end to the evening, but on the plus side, only 3 more days to go until we’re back to sleeping in our own bed!
Day 17 – Lord Stones to Blakey Ridge. (13 miles) – Monday 4th August 2014 – ‘Looking For The Lion’
We didn’t rush to leave Lord Stones, instead we made the most of the lovely new showers and dried the tent out in the morning sun. We were planning on camping at the back of the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge tonight, so being a pub, we weren’t sure whether having a shower there would be an option.
It was a lovely, sunny day so we set off over the moors in high spirits admiring the views across to Teeside and taking photographs in all directions as there was so much of interest. We visited the 3 historic ‘stones’ that signify the boundary of where three Lord’s lands join – hence the name ‘Lord Stones’. But what really caught my eye was the placement of two benches looking out on the perfect scene. Now that really could be a romantic spot!
Finally ready to leave Lord Stones.
A panorama looking across to Teeside from Lord Stones.
The famous ‘Stones’.
Perfectly placed benches for enjoying the view!
We then set off over the moors – walking across Cringle Moor, Cold Moor and Urra Moor to Round Hill where there is a trig point at 545 metres.
Leaving Lord Stones.
Heading over Cringle Moor.
Another view looking towards Middlesborough and Teeside.
Fantastic weather and great scenery today.
This is the scenery we missed between Richmond and Danby Wiske.
Loving the North Yorkshire Moors.
Man on a rock!
Bagging another trig point. Round Hill at 454 metres.
After stopping for lunch at Round Hill, we then crossed Greenhow Moor and Farndale Moor. After a lot of up to get to Round Hill, beyond this it was an easy sandy track to follow that was generally flat. However it did seem a long way as you are simply following a track that looks like it goes on for miles and miles through much of the same scenery. We were happy when the Lion Inn came into view, although we underestimated how far off it still really was. When we finally arrived we pitched straight away knowing that other C2Cers would soon be here as it is the only place to camp on this section unless you attempt a wild camp. As it was very windy on the moors and the availability of water was scarce we didn’t even consider this an option.
Crossing Farndale Moor.
Finally reaching the Lion Inn, another pub in the middle of nowhere.
The pub reminded us of the Tan Hill Inn that we visited whilst walking the Pennine Way. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, yet it is full of people dining. We’re never sure where all these people come from, particularly on a weekday, during working hours. But needless to say, The Lion Inn (which coincidentally is the 4th highest pub in England) looked like it was doing a roaring trade. All the better for us ‘walkers’ as camping around the back is only charged at £2.50 per person – the cheapest place we’ve experienced yet!
We arrived before lots of the other C2Cers so we got a good spot!
Having looked at the food menu and drooled over the various options we didn’t eat in the pub as we found it to be very over-priced, despite all the meals served looking great. When you’re on a budget, buying a steak for £20 and comparing it with how many packets of super noodles you can buy for multiple nights prevents you from having a spontaneous splurge! Plus we had some eggs to use up!
Instant noodles with our daily egg fix!
So it was back to our usual cuppa-soup starter, super noodle main (with an added twist of a fried egg on top), then our daily hot chocolate as desert.
We’re almost there! The last few days were tougher than what we expected. Not in terms of mileage or elevation change, but because the scenery between certain sections was not particularly jaw-dropping. We’ve got so used to these ‘wow’ moments that we now expect them every day! Farmland and road walking doesn’t really cut it any more. We were definitely glad to get back on the moors where the views are much more spectacular.
Robin Hood’s Bay is another step closer. Keep an eye out for our final Coast to Coast installment coming soon!