Day Ten

Reeth to Richmond (10 miles)

Got to say that breakfast was very nice at Hilary House but there was a sense of relief when we’d finally done up our boots and said our farewells. Tony was waiting for us in the main square and after lots of handshaking we each bought sandwiches from the local newsagent and set off on this relatively short stage. Personally I was finding these shorter flatter stages more difficult. I knew where I stood when the distance was longer and the terrain tougher – I just had to put my head down and walk pretty much flat out disregarding pain and fatigue. With these ‘easy’ days I felt a bit detached wondering if I should be doing more than strolling effortlessly at half speed.

I hadn’t seen Tony for about 25 years (he was more Niges mate) but even so we had some history of going for beers and to concerts during our late teenage years so the first couple of hours was taken up reminiscing about ‘the good old days’.

We passed Marrick Priory without really seeing much of it and followed the tarmac track into Marrick. After the village the walk opened out into wide walled fields and haymeadows with barns.

Sadly, Elaines Tea room wasn’t open so we ambled on through field and farm until we reached the road leading to Marske. We weren’t too worried about getting to Richmond early as we knew there would be plenty of ways to pass time in such a busy place. Even so, we tried to walk slowly but before we knew it we were climbing the one true ascent of the day up a hill to reach a path running beneath Applegarth Scar. We stopped here to have lunch and look down the valley that would lead us into Richmond. Whilst eating, Tony told us of his walk along the West Highland Way the previous year with Sue, his wife, and I could see Nige making a mental note that this was something that may need looking into in some detail in the near future !

We lingered here for as long as possible until someone mentioned something about a cold pint of lager and we found our feet again and strolled on. The best part of this days walking turned up pretty soon after in the form of Whitecliffe Wood. It really was, as described in Steadman, enchanting, made all the better by the midday sun forcing it’s way though the thickly covered trees. After this came a pretty standard path down to the town giving occasional glimpses of the impressive castle which along with a certain sign, cried out to be photographed.

The busyness of the town was a bit of a shock after the relative isolation we’d experienced over the last 10 days but we knuckled down and found a pub with a beer garden in which to kick off our boots and relax. We had to have another drink as the first one only lasted about 5 minutes so it was with a bit of a sway and daft smiles all ‘round that we wandered down to the river for an ice cream to kill time before turning up at our digs for the night, Willance House.

Although still early we knocked on the door and were shown in to an extremely ‘posh’ reception room. We removed our boots and felt a bit conspicuous in such a smart establishment. Tony felt even worse as he wasn’t even staying but that didn’t stop him accepting a cup of tea and waiting whilst Nige and I quickly showered and changed in record time. We had a few drinks in the local Weatherspoons then met up with Tonys wife, Sue, for a Thai meal. It was a good night all round but at the back of both mine and Niges minds was the fact that we had the longest walk of the trip ahead of us the next morning – 24 miles to Ingleby Cross!

Next Day >>>