Day 7 Keld to Reeth

“Moonscape And No Dr. Who!”

Today’s title relates to the well known landscape above Melbecks Moor – see below, as usual! Here are the Day 07 stats:

Left Keld: 10:15 Arrived Reeth: 16:45
Distance (kms): 19.53 Distance (mls): 12.21
Moving Time: 4:56 Minimum Altitude (m): 205.9
Stopped Time: 0:49 Maximum Altitude (m): 582.7
Moving Average (kph): 4.0 Total Ascent (m): 584.5
Overall Average (kph): 3.3 Total Descent (m): 724.4

Day 6 GPX file: c2c07 (right mouse click and “Save link as…”) – both the planned and actual routes. In places they were a bit different as we “wandered” somewhat!

Off To Cringley Bottom!

First thing this morning we took Goughie’s car to Reeth, today’s destination, as the poor old bugger has to go home this evening for work tomorrow. So we did that and returned to the Bridge House B&B where John and Anna presented us with the best breakfast of the walk so far – complete with the bread he makes himself and not with a machine, either. All in all Bridge House is the main contender so far for our “Best B&B of the C2C” award. In fact, none of the following B&B’s were better and with 10/10 for everything, including for dry boots for the first time in days, they did win our award! If you’re doing the C2C and have to stay away from the route itself there really is nowhere better.

Eventually The Boss drove Goughie and I back to Keld Lodge and the start of today’s relatively short walk to Reeth. Departing from there was strangely reminiscent of leaving the then Keld YHA Hostel eight years ago on the Pennine Way. Today’s weather was pretty good and I dared to bare my legs for only the second time (wolf whistles all round!).

For the first few hundred metres we followed the Pennine Way although, where the two routes leave each other just after the crossing of the River Swale, there were no signs of either the roundabout or traffic lights that Goughie had predicted. There was then a fair old climb, past the ruins of the wonderfully and appropriately named Crackpot Hall (two old ruined crackpots walking past old ruined Crackpot Hall!) and then a series of very old abandoned lead mines. The climb continued for a fair distance, first steeply and then more gently with the terrain changing from pasture to moorland and then industrial wasteland. Bizarrely, I saw a carton of milk left on a long abandoned piece of mining machinery. It looked fresh too, as if the milkman had only just delivered it.

It’s good walking with Goughie, even though, or maybe because, we don’t spend the time engaged in “deep and meaningful” discussion; we just get on with the walking. These days he walks and climbs at a similar pace to me and, well, it’s just good to have a friend with you to share the day’s experiences.

We lost our track a few times, but not seriously, and soon found our way again. However, just after the ruins of Blackenthwaite Lead Mine it took some climbing to do so. We saw the Odd Group again a couple of times but they’re not very talkative or, to be honest, not very interesting, unlike the NW Walkers who I always enjoy catching up. After Blackenthwaite they followed the lower route along the banks of the River Swale and we continued over the strangely attractive (to me, at least) industrial landscape, littered with bits of ancient mining machinery. This area looks just the sort of place where an episode of Dr Who would be made and you could imagine the Cybermen marching across across it, intent on Swaledale domination!

We stopped in the midst of it to lunch on the delicious pork and chutney pies that The Boss had bought us the day before plus the leftover butties from Kirkby Stephen and those which Goughie had bought with him. It was very pleasant, sitting there in the warmer weather, enjoying the almost lunar landscape surroundings. By the way, the weather so far today had continued to be pretty good – not gloriously hot and sunny as a July summer day should be, but one of the best days so far.

We continued past the former Old Gang Smelting Mill where we met a couple out for a Sunday afternoon stroll and then decided to wander around the moorland above Cringley Bottom for a while trying a number of different routes before meeting up with the official path again! Just afterwards there was a steep climb down to the wonderfully named Cringley Bottom itself and across a stream where we struggled to find an easy place to cross. I leaped gazelle like over it but Goughie was more cautious and I was convinced that he was going to fall in and, unsportingly, I had the camera at the ready, but he got over without mishap!

Not far after Cringley Beck the scenery changed again from moorland to pasture as we continued to descend. Below us we could see the considerably wider and faster River Swale and the road into Reeth. Somewhere along this stretch we “took an alternative route”, found another footpath and walked from field to field. At one of the last ones before rejoining the “official” route, we came across a sheep with its horns stuck in a metal gate. There was nowt we could do to release it and I was all for trying to find a nearby farm to let someone know. But Goughie was confident that the farmer would be around to check his stock and would be able to release the beast.

Just before Reeth we met up with the B6270 into the village and, shortly after, with the proper route. Then it was a short walk into Reeth itself, past the road on which is tonight’s B&B and to the very busy village green where we met The Boss. After hugs, kisses (take your fingers from down your throats!) and ice creams we checked in at Springfield House, our very nice B&B. The lady of the house gave us a warm welcome and brought all three of us tea and homemade scones which were delicious and very welcome. Then we bade au revoirto Goughie as he very reluctantly set off back home to Bolton. We were sorry to see him go and I’ll miss him on the short walk to Richmond tomorrow. ever mind, he and Julie will be back with us for the final day’s assault on Robin Hood’s Bay in a few days time.

Later I told Mrs Guy at Springfield House about the sheep with its horns stuck in the gate and asked her how often the farmers in these parts check their animals. It turns out that they do so very infrequently and therefore the poor beast that we’d seen would probably suffer a long and lingering death. I felt terrible that we hadn’t done something about it.

After doing my usual chores (clean boots, download and upload GPS routes, download photos) we headed for the bright lights of Reeth and The Kings Arms where we had a very simple and very delicious dinner and noticed a woman with two young lads (we presumed a mother and sons) who were obviously walkers – our first sight of “The Family”, although we didn’t get chatting to them. After dinner we walked back through the village which, without the day trippers, was even more attractive. Then back to the B&B to write up the days events in my journal and to have a very good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed.

AccommodationBeverages & Comestibles
Springfield House
Quaker Close
North Yorkshire
DL11 6UY

01748 884634
Mushy peas

½ The Boss's toffee and vanilla cheesecake
(Pretty good 8/10)

Black Sheep Bitter - two pints
(excellent, as always!)

Some Day 07 Photos