Today was the sort of day that makes you happy to be alive. This is what life is all about!
We woke after a sound nights sleep feeling refreshed and headed down for breakfast. We had massive bowls of cereal, followed by a big fry up and toast with home made jam. Our host had also kindly washed our clothes and they were folded on the chair waiting for us. We finished breakfast, thanked the landlady, discovered that the bird with the strange call we have been seeing on the moors was a Lapwing and headed out into the morning.
The weather was perfect, sunny without a cloud in the sky but cool with a following breeze. The walk was easy, following the Swale through pasture after pasture filled with ewes and their young lambs before skirting the river edge in the sun dappled shade of the trees. All around was silent, only the sound of the occasional lamb, lapwings circling the fields and the water of the Swale rushing toward the sea.
As we approached Reeth, a familiar black Labrador was spotted on the path and as it ran barking toward us we realised it was Merlin, followed shortly by Jason and Rachel. We walked together into Reeth chatting about the previous nights accommodation before going our separate ways again.
At Reeth, we rejoined the route described in Wainwright's book. We followed it to the remains of Marrick Priory and over the hill to the picturesque Marske where we stopped for lunch next to Marske Beck. Opening our packed lunches of cheese and tomato sandwiches we spiced them up with a few leaves of wild garlic from the riverside.
Refueled, we headed for the Applegarth Farms, West, Low and East before climbing down the hill to Richmond. Richmond is a beautiful old town with loads of character... But no campsites, so our visit here was a short one. Somewhere to explore later though I think. Being back in civilisation I had phone signal and was able to locate a pub in Colburn, 3 miles from
Richmond which served ale and would let us camp in the garden for free. We need no further invitation, so after a stop next to a waterfall to refuel we headed off.
We arrived at the Hildyard Arms at around 6:45 to find it didn't open until 7, luckily the barmans daughter arrived at the same time and told us to set up camp in the beer garden. We pitched the tent and set about cooking up some well earned Beanfeast and rice while we watched three spaniels from the pub madly charged around the garden, paying no attention to the girl shouting at them. One finally cocking his leg and spraying the ground sheet we were trying to dry on the bench.
We eventually entered the pub to find it empty but for a few locals. The beer on tap was a John Smith's Cask which hit the spot nicely as we chatted to one of the clientele about his Beddlington Whippet, Jack, and his prowess at Rabbiting and falling asleep on pool tables. We explained that our own dog was better at the latter...
The night was windy and very chilly but after battening down the hatches we eventually warmed up and we slept through til 6.
Matt & Kim Enjoyable reading so far. Hope all is going well. Sorry i haven't posted earlier, only got back from my course last night. But really pleased that its going so well. Wish i was doing it again. Keep the pace up and your heads down, enjoy every minute and every view. It'll last you a life time. Robinshood bay (or whitby) should be in site realy soon, then your there!! Good luck, Matt and Kim
Apr 30, 2011