2/6/15 Borrowdale to Grasmere. Steep climb at the start of the day walking up to Lingining Crag, lovely panoramic view especially satisfying seeing where we come from in Borrowdale . Similar landscape to yesterday, but with even more sheep and even boggier in the valley. Hence, I spent much of the day jumping steams or finding the best area to cross the really boggy areas. Camera has stopped working. Still really windy but not as wet as yesterday. No hostels or cafe's along the way, ansd not many places to take shelter but thankfuly it did not rain. Stayed at Ambleside again and went for a run along Lake Windermere which the hostel overlooks.
3/6/15 Grasmere to Patterdale. Only 9 miles (15k ) easy day today were finished by 2PM.Worked out my camera stopped working because of the damp, so I wrapped my IWCA T-shirt around it today and it started working! I did not take part in the group's traditional "Grisedale Dash" due to safety concerns about falling head first in the stream. We had a dead heat in first place for the timed dash and one casualty who tripped on a stone. He was more embarrassed about having to explain to some hikers who were walking by at the time, that he was our navigator and it was his idea to run across a stream. We passed Ruthwaite Lodge where we had a break. First day of fairly dry feet as it was mainly rocky path. William Wordsworth lived in Grasmere and is buried there. Rolling hills towards the end of the day.
4/6/15 Patterdale to Shap. Rocky undulating track most of the way so no real obstacles. Ullswater is stunning even for Lake District standards. Nice sunny weather; had to put on suntan lotion and air my feet as it was sunny. Lots of RAF fighters flew above us. Starting to get to know other hikers doing the walk; people come from around the world to do the walk. Stopped at Crown and Mitre Inn for tea before heading on towards the ruins of Shap Abby look lovely. Last day of Lake District.
5/6/15 Shap to Kirby Stephen. Crossed the M6 on footbridge at start of walk, noisy start of the walk as it follows the M6. In theory it should have been a easy day as 20 mile flat, since there was a fair amount of roadside walking in other places it was almost park like, but found the repetitiveness very hard at times. Walked past Smardale Gill Viaduct and the dismantled railway-line which was the highlight of the day. RAF Eurofighter Typhoon flew above us. Appleby Horse Fair, the largest in Europe, (the travelercommunity's answer to Royal Ascot,) taking place nearby to Kirby Stephen; witnessed the surreal experience horse and cart races through Kerby Stephen high street. Walker from our group: "I am not looking forward to Nine Standards Bog". Me: "Why". Walker : Look what happened to Peat Bog (Lindow) Man? Me:"He looks good for someone who's dead!" Stayed in a strange ex-Methodist Church at Kirby Stephen, a bit worse for wear more than made up for it with its character and the owner was really friendly; one of the most enjoyable places I stayed at on the route.
6/6/15 Kirby Stephen to Keld. Mountain, moor, bog, and hidden streams. Nine Standards Rigg was unusually dry. It can be waist height at the wrong time of year, and ironically my feet were the driest yet at the end of the day. On top of Nine Standards Rigg the main Pennine watershed is crossed and Yorkshire entered; the rivers and streams, previously flowing west to join the Irish Sea now flow east to the North Sea and we effectively now walk with the watercourses. We had to take shelter in the safety shelter to have brakes and layer up, but we skipped most of the breaks when we could because of the biting wind. Had a much needed Stopped off for tea on a ever so remote hill farm deep in the Yorkshire Dales called Ravenseat. One is welcomed to the farm by a sign saying: "Slow down free range children on the loss". The family balances 2000 thousand acre farm with 1000 sheep with 7 children, and found time to start up a tea shop for walkers. From the day their children learn to walk they help out on the farm; if they are not serving one tea, they are feeding animals, or collecting firewood. The family are a Coast to Coast institution now.; they have written books about life on the farm and been on TV shows, and had a few about the national newspaper articles on the shepherdess with 7 children.
7/6/15 Keld to Reeth. Yorkshire Dales. Sunniest day yet; got a bit sunburnt. Nice river walk. Past somewhere called crackpot!!! The Hostel looks like a castle, apparently it was hunting lodge. Former lead mines now shooting and army training areas. Green pastures, crumbling stone walls, abandoned farm buildings. Past lots of shooting butts for grouse shooting and crossed Pennine Way. Conversations I overhead in hostel include miners strike to even little old ladies discussing how the renovating their retirement homes. Apparently the sheep which look like they are wearing balaclavas are called Swaledale sheep.
8/6/15 Reeth to Richmond (Brompton-on-Swale). Back to civilisation. Another good day weather-wise cannot quite get over how different the past few days of the Yorkshire Dales have been compared to Lake District. Passed Marrick Priory at the start of the walk. Followed the lovely River Swale and its wooded valley throughout. Saw lapwings. The rolling hills of the Dales were like walking through the windows XP background at times. Some lovely meadows. Tried to count every stiles the past few days, they had narrow little gaps in the dry stone walls with the annoying spring-loaded wooden gates attached. but I gave up. Applegarth Scar was one of the highlights of the day, lovely views from the top. Had tea at Richmond-on-Swale Market Square; before the final 5k along former railway-line continuing to Brompton, past the caravan park, where we were picked up at the Crown Pub.
9/6/15 Richmond to Ingleby Cross. More like walking through Thames Valley. Imagine walking to Leys, Gasington to Marsh Baldon training route about five or so times; it felt something like that. Cows as well as sheep now. Even Wainwright readily admits this section is to be endured rather than enjoyed. Found it a struggle motivating myself during the walk. Bumped into a French guy on his way to Scotland from France by push bike!!! Had to cross the A19, Green Cross Code went out of the window. I think most people who do the walk, add a bit to the walk and take the much safer underpass near Catterick. Stayed in hotel with gym, Jacuzzi, and swimming pool but did not have time to use it and I felt really tired.
10/6/15 Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank. Nice woodland walk at start, past Mount Grace Priory, BT’s communication center with lots of microwave dishes, Lord Stones ancient boundary stones (which sits atop of a Bronze Age mound), soon changed to hilly heather-moorland. Less pretty than the Dales and less dramatic than the Lake District, but views make up for that. One of the most interesting days so far. Follows the Cleveland Way. Climbed Live Moor before Lord Stones Country Park (which has a nice tea room)and after Cringle Moor, Cold Moor, and White Hill. Passed along Lyke Wake Walk. Saw people rock climbing on Wainstones which we scrambled around. Could see Middlesbrough, Stockton-On-Tees, Darlington and the North Sea. And even just about make out ships at sea in sight. Starting to get tired, I won't lie about wanting to cut the walk short and walking to Middlesbrough at the end of the day. If it did not involve going through the ICI chemical works I probably would have. Hard days walk but ones of my favourite so far.
11/6/15 Clay Bank to Blakey Rig. Walking along mostly flat moors of the North York Moors. Short walk so felt like almost a rest day. We were done by 2PM, so we started some of tomorrow's walk as we were ahead of schedule and have a long walk tomorrow, but not before sunbathing in the Lion Inn (one of the most fascinating pubs I have ever been inside; one has to have a pint here) The Pub is one of the highest points in the North York Moores. Walking through heather is horrible as it whips one's legs. I am getting addicted to sticky toffee pudding. Saw a curlew stood on rock. Stayed in a echo-hostal.
12/6/15 Blakey Rigg to Grosmont. Carried on through the desolate moorland mixed with short road stages. Numerous ascents and descents. Follows the Cleveland Way for a good part of the day. Airing my feet every hour seems to be working still no blisters. Saw steam trains at Grosmont. Found out Grosmont has the oldest independent co-operative in England. Good workout running up the hills but it was probably the easiest day so far.
13/6/15 Grosmont to Robin Hood Bay. Lot harder work walking than yesterday. We walked down off the moor and into the hidden gem of the woods at Littlebeck. Stopped in Hermitage, a cave carved from stone, to shelter from rain. Went to a tea garden set in the grounds of Midge Hall, a tiny cottage which overlooks the magnificent Falling Foss Waterfall and valley. Can see Whitby Abbey in the distance. Walked through a caravan site, before the final three miles of cliff-top walk to St Bees. I had mixed feelings realisation of achievement and the sadness I will not probably meet all the fellow walkers again. Stayed in Scarborough overnight. Colin presented us all with pen and pin badge at the end of the day for completing the walk; no quite an MBE, like he has, but much appreciated nevertheless. Final meal together at Scalby Manor.
14/6/15 Made our way back home by mini-bus. Regardless of the weather and conditions not limited to rain, bogs, hail and wind, I had a wonderful holiday which I shared with some really nice people along the way; from a couple of guys from Lincolnshire we saw regularly until Reeth where they had accommodation problems, the lone female walker who took a photo of our group at Wainwight's Passage and thundered ahead of us everyday until Grasmere where we saw her catch the bus in the morning (we never did work out if she was just walking the Lake District or had to gave up on the C2C). Thankfully, I did not get any blisters. The parts I enjoyed the most were the Lake District especially Ennerdale Water, Loft Beck, Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank day, and woods at Littlebeck. Worse part Richmond to Ingleby Cross. One of my proudest achievements, an experience I hope I never forget; highly recommend it.