Saturday, August 31, 2013

Right time, right place, wrong speed

So said a line in John Peel's biography and that could be my epitaph as well.

Rummaging in the loft I can across my old primary school reports from Kenilworth Thorns County Junior and Infants School.

General report
1961 - Feb: Very good work. Mark is a conscientious and capable child.
1961 - Jul: Good work on the whole. Mark needs to work at a faster pace as this has hindered his progress.
1962 - Feb: Mark has worked well and has achieved quite a good mark.
1962 - Jul: Mark's work is generally of a good standard but he is slow at times.
1963 - Feb: Mark has made good progress, but he could do even better if he made a bigger effort. He is not working to the limit of his ability.
1963 - Jul: Mark's work is all done rather slowly and he is rather absent minded. With his intelligence he should be nearer the top of the class. However he has made good progress this term.
1964 - Jul: Mark is well-behaved and very helpful in class. He works well and has made excellent progress. He has succeeded in speeding up his rate of working quite considerably.

I think July 1963 (age 10) says it best "Mark's work is all done rather slowly and he is rather absent minded. With his intelligence he should be nearer the top of the class." The story of my life in a nutshell.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 14: Grosmont to Robin Hood's Bay

Wednesday 21-August-13. 

16.0 miles, 5:34 hours, 290 m highest point. 

Day 14 of the walk (the last day!). Grosmont to Robin Hoods Bay. 16 miles of climbs, moors and costal paths. Mostly sunshine with a couple of light showers. We made it - 195 miles in total!
Not what you want to see as you set off. 

Up over more moors then down to Littlebeck hamlet and into Little Beck Wood - utterly delightful woodland: deciduous trees, ferns, moss, stream. 
More moors and cross country till we hit the coast. The last few miles are cliff top walking into Robin Hood's Bay. 

Down to the sea to dip the toe of our boots in the sea and throw the pebble we have been carrying from St Bee's into the sea. 

A celebratory glass of champagne to celebrate the end and Lynn's birthday. 

That's all folks. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 13: Blakey to Grosmont

Tuesday 20-August-13. 

13.9 miles, 4:21 hours, downhill. 

Day 13 of the walk. Blakey Ridge to Grosmont. 14 miles of easy walking across moors, downhill almost all of the way. Another day of fine walking weather - we have been so lucky. Only one more day to go!

A view of Great Fryup Dale. 

Boundary stone - we saw a large number of these marking our way. 

A gentle descent to lunch at the Arncliffe Arms in Glaisdale. 

Beggars bridge in Glaisdale (Google for the full story). 

East Arncliff Wood - lovely deciduous walking. 

After a shower at the Lisvane B&B we went down to look at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. 

Usual beer and pub grub where else but the Station Tavern. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 12: Clay Bank Top to Blakey

Monday 19-August-13. 

8.9 miles, 3:00 hours, 454 m highest point. 

Day 12 of the walk. Clay Bank Top to Blakey Ridge across the N York moors. Easy 9 miles along old railway track with only one 200m climb at the start. Saw several grouse. Great walking weather again, cloudy but warm. Afternoon free to relax and read.

Classic moors and heather. 

Checking the information board and working out exactly where we are. 

Ever get that feeling you're being watched. 

We saw a number of grouse along the way. I have better pictures on my camera  - these posts are being done using low grade iPhone snaps. 

Most of the walk was along a dismantled railway line which made for easy walking. We found a suitable embankment for our mid morning coffee break. 

The view over Farndale for the last leg to the Lion Inn. The only accommodation for miles around. 

A lunchtime beer and an afternoon off. Supper in the pub - where else?  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 11: Ingleby to Clay Bank Top

Sunday 18-August-13. 

12.5 miles, 5:03 hours, 432 m highest point. 

Day 11 of the walk. Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top. 12.5 miles with lots of ups and downs as shown in contour profile. High point of 432m. Descents were very hard on the knees and toes. Fantastic weather, sunny for most of the day.

The usual 11:00 coffee break on a convenient path-side bench. 

Most of the walk was through the North York Moors national park on a very substantial path. 

The heather was in full bloom with the hill tops all purple. 

Lunch was just past Carlton Bank on the leeward slope as it was far too windy to stop up top. 

We had fine views past Middlesborough to the sea. 

The last stretch took us past the Wain Stones down to Clay Bank Top and the car park.  There our host for the night came to collect us as we are staying a little way off path. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 10: Richmond to Ingleby Cross

Saturday 17-August-13. 

22.7 miles, 7:02 hours

Day 10 of the walk. Richmond to Ingleby Cross. 22.7 miles of Mostly flat and uneventful walking. Weather was good for most of the day - cloudy but warm - and the forecasted rain only arrived late afternoon. Very welcome foot spa in the B&B.
Richmond has one on the few surviving Victorian hexagonal pillar boxes. 
View back towards Richmond Castle as we set off over the bridge. 
We have seen many unusual signs on our travels but these two caught my eye. 

This passed the spell checker but not the sense checker. We had visions of white wedding-dressed women struggling along the path. 

This next was just a lovely example of a traditional finger post. 

Lunch was on an old tree stump at a road junction, shame we didn't spot the bench hidden behind a nearby parked car. 

Most of the walk was the agricultural equivalent of Groundhog Day. 

Then the rain really set in as forecast for the last two hours. We were all pretty soggy by the time we arrived at the Elstavale B&B. Supper at the only pub in the village - The Blue Bell. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 09: Reeth to Richmond

Friday 16-August-13

10.9 miles, 3:54 hours, 332 m highest point. 

Day 9 of the walk. Reeth to Richmond. Very gentle 11.5 mile stroll in lovely sunshine. Lunch in a great spot overlooking the river Swale. Continuing our essential research into northern beers :-)

The Nun's Steps above Marrick Priory. 

The view down Swaledale from our lunch stop 

From there it was just a short post lunch walk into Richmond. 

Richmond is the largest town on the walk. We were early enough to wander round the market square and do a little shopping. 

Accommodation in Willance House and supper in the Italian restaurant just around the corner. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 08: Keld to Reeth

Thursday 15-August-13

13.3 miles, 4:46 hours, 367 m highest. 

Day 8 of the walk. Keld to Reeth down Swaledale. Leisurely 13 miles with only a few ups and downs, easy walking. Sunshine and showers. Feet are still whinging. One of the upsides of this walk is lots of different beers to try!

Looking back on Keld as we set off. 

Local taxi service had gone into decline. 

Coffee stop just past Ivelet - the showers had decided to ease off. 

Typical Swaledale path running parallel to the river. 

Accommodation in Hackney House. Beer and supper in The Buck Hotel. Getting the hang of these beers from Yorkshire. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 07: Kirkby Stephen to Keld

Wednesday 14-August-13

12.9 miles, 4:53 hours, 662 m highest point. 

Day 7 of the walk. Kirkby Stephen to Keld. Much easier day. 12 miles starting with a 300m climb up to Nine Standards and then a yomp across boggy moorland. Again perfect weather. Halfway and now in Yorkshire! Feet whinging a bit but not too bad.

Coffee break on Nine Standards Rigg at the high point of the day. 

A very boggy traverse of Nine Standards Moor. Fortunately nobody filled their boots with peaty water. 

Lunch at Ravenseat Farm. The cream teas were closed but the dog was open for scraps and tummy tickling. 

The peacock strutted around at a respectful distance. 

A last hour and and a half down into Keld for beer, supper and sleep at Butt House. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 06: Shap to Kirby Stephen

Tuesday 13-August-13

19.2 miles, 3.1 mph, 357 m highest. 

Day 6 of the walk. Shap to Kirby Stephen. 19.2 miles over the moors with only one small (100m) climb, unfortunately near the end. Fantastic walking weather - sunny, warm but not too hot and a nice breeze behind us for most of the way.

Typical moors - sheep country. 

Yomping at an average of 3.1 mph for over 6 hours!

On the way down. 

Lunch at Sunbiggin Tarn. 

The afternoon was a three hour steady walk into Kirby Stephen and The Jolly Farmers for a cup of tea and homemade cake. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Coast to Coast - Day 05: Patterdale to Shap

Monday 12-August-13

16.8 miles, 6:41 hours, 780 m highest point. 

Day 5 of the walk. Patterdale to Shap, 16.8 miles. Toughest day yet. Started with a climb up to 780m and then a steep descent on rough, wet stones. Then about another 10 miles to walk! Legs are very weary tonight

On the uphill to Angle Tarn - view back to Patterdale. 

Angle Tarn is a lovely tarn we all agreed. 

Onwards to the highest point of Kidsty Pike at 780 m. Then an equally  steep and tough descent to Haweswater. 

Lunch when we made it down to the waters edge. 

Then, with weary legs, we still had a long slog to Shap. A lovely country walk but on tired legs. 

Staying at The King's Arms where Mary's Uncle Ronnie and Avril came up from Kendal for a quick drink. Supper at The Greyhound and weary to bed.