Distance: 12 miles
Now very well rested and marvellously fed on boiled eggs and many other delights at what must have been our poshest breakfast yet, we headed out. First stop, the pie shop on the market square. We had been told that the pies were legendary so we felt we had to see what the fuss was about. With the smell of the warm pie wafting from our backpacks, we set off out of Richmond, past its imposing castle set on the river Swale. We followed woods and crossed the first of many roads, before more woods near Catterick Garrison.
After walking in glorious countryside it is always a shock to be faced with traffic, people and noise, so we weren’t too delighted with a diversion that took us past extensive roadworks crossing the A1. At last we left the noise behind and got to peaceful Bolton on Swale. We didn’t stop for tea at the church, which was on offer, but kept going through fields of waving wheat.
The sunny morning had given way to rain and it got increasingly wet. Deciding it was time for another wet lunch, we found an old tractor tire in a field and sat on it, munching our pies. They were everything they were cracked up to be (The Noted Pie Company, Richmond, should you be a pie aficionado). As always, the best lunches are those sitting outside with rain pelting your hood. However, we didn’t linger. We bid farewell to our field and followed a long and fairly dull road to the village of Danby Wiske.
I should say that this portion of the walk is something you just have to get across. You don’t have the glory of the lakes or the prettiness of the Dales or the starkness of the North Yorks Moors. It’s just the bit you have to walk across to carry on. It’s also really difficult knowing where to break up your journey. We could have walked on to Ingleby Cross instead of stopping at Danby Wiske, but that would have made for a 22 mile day. In hindsight, perhaps that would have been a better option, but then we would have missed out on meeting some of the nicest people on our journey.
So we stopped in Danby Wiske, but as we got there not long after lunchtime, we were a bit lost as to what to do with ourselves. The one and only pub wasn’t quite open as the owners were away. The person looking after the pub did let us in and served us a pint, but we couldn’t really over stay our welcome, so we shuffled off to our accommodation for the night.
Now when you book your accommodation for the C2C, you can book most of it online. But in Danby Wiske there is only one place to stay if the pub is closed, and that is in the home of Frank and Doreen. They don’t do the internet. To book I had to do it the old fashioned way and call and talk to them. Frank assured me on the phone that he would take good care of us.
And bless his cotton socks, he did. We arrived and he was so excited to see us, like going to see your grandparents. He fussed over us, insisting on taking our wet kit and promising to wash and dry it all. We were adamant that he shouldn’t trouble himself but he shushed us out and showed us our room, which was lovely.
He offered to drive us to the next village for an evening meal but we said we had stocked up on provisions the night before in Richmond and that all we really wanted was to lie in bed and watch some telly.
So he left us be and we had a lazy lie in – just what we needed as 10 days of walking was starting to make itself known.