Distance 10 miles
We woke well rested but with sore shins from all the road walking of the last two days. Frank and Doreen pulled out all the stops for us, laying on a full buffet breakfast, hotel style just for the two of us. We felt obliged to eat a lot!
Frank had ignored our protestations and had washed and dried all of our kit, as well as cleaned and dried our boots. He said that as we hadn’t let them look after us the night before they were determined that we’d get our money’s worth. What absolutely lovely people.
As we stepped out the door, he slipped a cereal bar into each of our pockets as a ‘little treat for the road’. Honestly, they just don’t make people like that anymore.
This day was always going to be a slightly weird one. Much like the day before, it was simply about marking off miles. No remarkable features were promised. Fields, more fields, the odd weird farm with plastic rats and owls decorating the stiles that hooted at you as you clambered over, and lots of road walking. We did however, pass several honesty boxes on the roadside, where people had bottles of water and treats for weary walkers. I love the micro economy that grows around walking routes. And we had sunshine! So that's always a good thing and despite the scenery being one of arable farming more than grand vistas, it was still a reminder of what a beautiful country the UK is.
This stretch is obviously the day you have to dice with death, as we had to cross a railway line and dart across the busy A19. There is no over or underpass for walkers and it is for this reason that the Coast to Coast is not a designated national path. There is a long running petition to get some kind of path for walkers to cross the road safely, but I don’t think anything has been done yet.
After just 3.5 hours of walking we were there. Annoying. Before we started this walk, if you’d said you had to walk 10 miles we would have thought that was a hefty walk, but now it seemed like we had barely got started before having to stop again. Our guide book told us that if we had time, we should visit Mount Grace Priory, but according to the book, it wasn't opened on a Wednesday, so we had to skip it.
Once again we frequented a pub (The Bluebell) to pass the time. After eeking out our pints, we retraced our steps back up the hill to our home for the night, a little annex room in the beautiful garden of a home. While not quite as attentive as the lovely Frank, our host had placed fresh scones and jam in our room, just in case we hadn’t eaten enough.
We returned to the pub for dinner – another pie – hoorah – and back again to bed. (In case you're wondering, we wouldn't recommend the C2C as a weight loss programme.....)
The next day was going to be the biggest and toughest yet.
In hindsight, I might have done this section differently, either walking on to Osmotherley - but that would have meant a 20 minute walk in the wrong direction but still would have put us further along our path than where we were. Or I might have walked from Danby Wiske through to Clay Bank Top and had a big day, but splitting up the mega distance and hill combo that was awaiting us. It gets tricky knowing how to split the trip up but bare in mind that the bit coming up is a series of hills that take no prisoners, so combining it with distance perhaps isn't the smartest move. Most of the other C2C folks didn't stop in Ingleby Arncliffe but soldiered on, making day 12 less arduous than the one we were about to have.