Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Approaching Upper Keld

Given the challenges and uniqueness of the Lake District, I have devoted four postings to essentially the first half of my coast to coast hike across England. Today, I will cover the remainder of the trip, specifically, the section between Kirkby Stephen to Robin Hood's Bay.  In doing so, I will let the photos and captions speak for themselves.

Day 7:  Kirkby Stephen to Keld

Leaving Kirkby Stephen on Country Lanes
Flanked by Gorse and Hawthorn Trees in Bloom

Through the Pennine Moors

Approaching Nine Standards Rig
(Site of Nine Ancient Cairns)

Hikers Resting at Cairns at top of Nine Standards Rig

Descending from Nine Standards Rig

Moors and Bog Fields

Walking Through Moors and Bogs

Ravenseat Farm

Break at Ravenseat Farm
(Which Offers Hot Tea and Scones to Walkers)

Ravenseat Farmhouse

Ravenseat Bridge over Whitsundale Beck

Whitsundale Beck

Looking Back Towards Ravenseat 

Headed for Keld

Farmstead Between Ravenseat and Keld

River Swale Near Keld

Wain Wath Force on River Swale

Farmstead Near Keld

Village of Keld

Near Keld

Above Keld

Day 8:  Keld to Reeth

Kisdon Force on River Swale

River Swale Valley

Crackpot Hall
(ruins of a 17th century farmhouse)

On Precipice Above Ruins
of Blackethwaite Peat Store

Ruins of Blakethwaite Peat
Store on Gunnerside Gill

Surrender Bridge 

Another Steep Descent Before Getting to Reeth

Houses and Shops in Village of Reeth

Days 9 and 10:  Reeth -- Bolton-on-Swale -- Ingleby Cross

The Nuns' Causey
A Flagged Medieval Causeway Through Steps Wood
Connecting Marrick Village with the Marrick Priory

Path Along Stone Fence Toward Richmond

Across Wildflower Field Toward 
Crag Known as Applegarth Scar

Houses on Street in Richmond

River Swale Below Richmond Castle

Through Fields Toward Bolton-on-Swale

A Perfect Day for Walking

Typical Signpost for the C2C

 Charming Facade of Old Schoolhouse 

Day 11:  Ingleby Cross to Blakey Ridge

Valley Below Cleveland Way Path

On Section of Cleveland Way Path

Valley Beyond Moors

In North York Moors

Valley Below

On Cleveland Way Path
Seeing North Sea in Distance for First Time

On Top of Carlton Moor

Toward Cold Moor

Hasty Bank and the Wainstones

Trail Along Hasty Bank
Beneath the Wainstones

Climbing up the Wainstones

Days 12 and 13:  Blakey Ridge -- Grosmont -- Robin Hood's Bay

A Break in the Moors

 Walking Through Moors 
North York Moors National Park

Looking From Moors to Valley

Entering Little Beck Nature Preserve

In Little Beck Woods

Little Beck Woods

Little Beck Woods

Through Moors to Robin Hood's Bay

Coastal Path to Robin Hood's Bay

My Group Arrives at North Sea
With One Determined to Celebrate with a Swim

Robin Hood's Bay

Since completing the C2C, some have asked, "What's next?"  The best answer I can provide is to simply quote the lyrics of a walking song that was brought to my attention by my friend, Steve, who guided our group across England.  The song is sung by Bilbo Baggins in J.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."

     The Road goes ever on and on
     Down from the door where it began.
     Now far ahead the Road has gone,
     And I must follow, if I can,
     Pursuing it with eager feet,
     Until it joins some larger way
     Where many paths and errands meet.
     And wither then?  I cannot say.


  1. Am I correct in assuming that the hot tea and scones offered to you at Ravenseat were the best you've every had?

  2. My legs are very sore. But my eyes are full, and my heart is in those stones. Every shot is wonderful. The one that really got me was the laundry at the farmstead.

    Well even Bilbo stayed still for a few years between treks . . . but I imagine you'll know when the whither is clear.

  3. You'll be doing some more walking, then, I take it ;)

    A lovely trip, and what super photographs, George. I've enjoyed every minute along the way.

  4. To Ruth,

    Thanks for the lovely comments. I, too, like the farmstead with laundry near Keld. I'm quite sure i could be happy living there. If your heart is in the stones and your eyes are full, I must be doing something worthwhile.

  5. Glad you have enjoyed the journey with me, Robert. Yes, I will be doing more walking -- much more! I'm more inspired than ever. What I really enjoy are trips like the C2C that are physically challenging, but rich in natural beauty and history. Hopefully, I will be able to find more of those in the not too distant future.

  6. Just viewing these magnificent photos has me wanting to see more...I can imagine how the walk has inspired you. So much natural beauty in every single photo!

    My g/daughter is in Northern Ireland for 7 weeks, doing volunteer work at the Quaker Cottage in Belfast! Beautiful there too! She is blogging about her experience!

  7. WOW, such beautiful scenery, I so enjoyed seeing the photo's and watching all of you hike across England has inspired me to do a bit more walking myself. Thankk you for sharing this wonderful hike with all of us.
    I loved the farms, everything is so lush and green.......:-) Hugs

  8. To Wanda,

    Thanks for the nice comments, and it's great to hear that your daughter is doing volunteer work in Northern Ireland. That is where my paternal ancestors came from in 1729 (when it was just Ireland, not "Northern Ireland"), and I have visited the area several times. My yellow lab, Derry, is named after County Derry.

  9. To Bernie,

    Welcome back and I'm glad to learn that your internet woes have abated. I am delighted that you and others have been able to enjoy the C2C by seeing the photos of the scenery on my site. That doubles the pleasure for me.

  10. All your photographs awkaen some old inner yearning (perhaps knowing). While I adore vistas with mountains, seas, and water in any form, the green, green valleys are what tug at my heart in these documents of your trip. It has been a pleasure to travel with you in this virtual way. How blessed you are to have actually kissed the ground with every step.

    The word verification turns out to be 'blesse'. How appropriate!

    Thank you George!

  11. To Bonnie,

    My reactions to the landscape were much the same as yours. I loved the dramatic scenery such as one finds in the Lake District, but I was drawn in a primitive way to the emerald green valleys with their patchwork fields and meandering stone fences. Over and over again, I could hear this little voice in my head saying, "This is where you belong."

  12. What a great photographic account! I suppose I'll have to get round to walking it one day - it is on my doorstep, after all. (The houses in Richmond: a few feet to the right and you'd have taken a photo of my mate's old house).

    I dread spending the second half plodding along, wistfully longing for past glories of the Lake District. Perhaps I should do it East to West...

  13. Dominic,

    Yes, by all means, take some time and do the C2C. It's an incredible resource to have in one's own backyard. As for the second half, I found it no less glorious than the Lake District -- less dramatic, of course, but still glorious in its own quiet and gentle beauty. The second half also has some challenges, e.g., the high route across parts of the Cleveland Way.

    East to west could be interesting; it would certainly give one the chance to prepare physically for the steep climbs in the Lakeland Fells. On the other hand, one would always be walking with the weather and the sun in one's face. It's an individual choice. Either way, I'm sure, would provide a wonderful experience.

  14. George
    Lovely pictures. I have been to several of these places over the years but it's so interesting to see them linked together.
    Yes, over that next hill, round that next bend, over the horizon...Tramp

  15. HI GEORGE_

    I see you over at Bonnie's place so I thought I would come by. I am so glad I did. Your journey is so wonderful and and your pictures are stunning. My sister long to go to Ireland - she and her husband of 40+ years planned to go but he passed away last year - :-( She still hopes to find a travel partner and go. I wish it could be me - but my health wont allow such a trek. Gosh I sound so doom and gloom - I am mostly always upbeat, positive and neutral - my world is a bit shaken these days so I am "off" But I did so enjoy your journey and your pictures - :-)

    Nice to meet you
    Love Gail
    peace and hope.....

  16. Oh, how I love the pictures of the river and the farm houses. Wain Wath Force on River Swale is so beautiful. The bogs and valley shots are breathtaking. Actually, each picture is a gem. You are a fantastic photographer. The pictures look like gallery shots that should be framed.

    I was curious about the history of The Nuns' Causey, which is another of my favorite shots. The name intrigued me. So I looked it up online and saw a site about the original Benedictine nunnery. What fascinating history.

    Thank you so much for introducing me to this beautiful land! I'm adding it to my list of places I must experience while I'm on earth.

  17. Super photographs, George - the best I have seen of the walk - several of my friends have done it. I live on a farm about six miles from Richmond, so much of the journey is very familiar to me.

  18. To Tramp,

    Thanks for the comments, my friend. I hope you have been able to re-live some of your fine memories, and be inspired, of course, to continue your own adventures. I also hope I will soon see a posting on your E10 walks.

  19. To Gail,

    Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law's passing, Gail, and also sorry to hear that you have had some of your own challenges recently. If you are not able to do the Ireland trip with your sister, do not despair; just find another alternative, something lovely that you and your sister could share. When limitations come my way, I try to remember these lyrics from the Leonard Cohen song, "Anthem."

    "Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in."

    Good luck, and thanks for stopping by my site.

  20. To Julie,

    Thanks for the thoughtful and generous comments. I hope that you will, indeed, get a chance to experience this wonderful place at some point in your life.

    Glad you liked the photos, especially the ones of the farmhouses and rivers. Nothing can approach the sheer drama of the rugged terrain of the Lake District, but the scenes of ancient farmsteads, fertile valleys, stone-studded rivers, and wildflower fields seem to touch people the most. These are the places where we feel the deepest connection with the rhythms of life.

  21. To Weaver,

    Thanks so much for the compliments on the photographs. You are lucky to live in such a magnificent place. The next time I do the C2C -- and I still dream of doing it at least one more time -- you will have to let me treat you to tea and scones in Richmond.

  22. What an amazing documentary and journey, George...
    ancient, barren, historical, pastoral and so picturesque... everything looks like it has come from quite another time...

    and not many trees overall.. the ones that remain, must be precious..

  23. To Gwen,

    Thanks for the nice comments. I tried to publish them on my site, but they have failed to appear thus far. In any event, the landscape traversed by the coast to coast hike was stunningly beautiful at every point. At some point, I would love to do the entire walk again.

  24. OH those are marvelous photos and make me feel so home sick. Flamborough Head was my home. I do a little painting and I would be so glad if I could have permission to paint in watercolor the photo Farmstead near Keld. I don't sell my paintings usually, but I do collect them and then also post them on my blogs.

    That must have been a wonderful trek across country.

  25. To Chris,

    Thanks for the nice comments. Feel free to create paintings from any of my photos. Many of us are drawn to the Farmstead near Keld. It seems like such a perfect place to make one's life.

  26. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment on the Dartmoor walk. I see from these fabulous photos that you are a walker too. Our house is on the Offa's Dyke Path, a less well known long distance trail which runs the length of Wales from that country's south to north coast. It is very ancient and very beautiful. I walked it last year and you can find the blogs in my archives if you are interested.. If you are coming to the UK again I think you should come this way!

  27. These are remarkable photos. I'm most fond of the shot of the old schoolhouse. I remember walking from Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay one afternoon, feeling all perky after my few-mile jaunt, and watching exhausted hikers who had reached the end of the path soaking their sore feet in the sea. It looks like you were incredibly fortunate with the weather on your trip.

  28. To Elizabeth,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and bringing Offa's Dyke Path to my attention. I will check out the relevant postings on your site.

  29. To Fireweed Meadow,

    Thanks for the compliments on the photos, and I am especially happy to know that you liked the one of the old schoolhouse. It really caught my eye when we walked by it.

    The weather was by no means perfect -- we had a few days of rain -- but I thought we were lucky also. I read accounts of people who had rain for most of their C2C walk.

  30. This is England at its best! Thanks for your permission to paint one of your photos I couldn't wait and posted it on my blog Flamblogger tonight.
    This is one of those things which you wish you had done when you were younger and are now too old!!

  31. To Chris,

    You are never too old, Chris. I did this at sixty-seven and others have done it well into their seventies. Do what you love, whether it's painting or walking. Thanks again for the nice comments.

  32. Hi,
    I just got back last night! I LOVE your photos. I'm terrible at remembering to photograph everything...I could remember my own feelings and experiences at each particular spot through your photos! I want copies!! :) I wish I'd taken pictures of all the different types of sheep we saw, of how the stones in the village buildings differed as we went through different terrains...sigh. I went during a heat wave. We only had sprinkling rain on three different days (one day we had a down pour...the last bit right before descending into Grasmere...on those slippery rocks! eek!) anyway...Great, fabulous photos!!

  33. To Kristen,

    It sounds like you had a successful trip, Kirsten. Congratulations! Send me your mailing address and I will send you a CD of the photos, once I have edited them. I am doing this for a number of people on my trip and it would not be any trouble to burn an extra CD for you.

  34. How gorgeous these photos are, George! Now I must add the Coast-to-Coast to my "bucket list." It has taken me six weeks after my camino to get back in the groove of my life, but every day I am plotting to escape again! Thanks for aiding and abetting my daydreams.

  35. To Bev,

    Great to hear from you, Bev, and thanks for the nice comments. I'm glad to know that you are adding the Coast-to-Coast to your bucket list. You won't regret it, I assure you. Glad to aid and abet your daydreams, as you have mine with your camino.