Day 9 Richmond to Ingleby Cross

“It May Be Flat, But It’s A Bloody Long Way!”

Yesterday’s little stroll had been the flattest so far; today’s was flat, flat, flat (according to my GPS over 2/3 of the route was that way) but also seemed to be never ending. Here are the Day 09 stats:

Left Richmond: 09:00 Arrived Ingleby Cross: 16:50
Distance (kms): 38.3 Distance (mls): 23.93
Moving Time: 7:14 Minimum Altitude (m): 37.6
Stopped Time: 0:42 Maximum Altitude (m): 159.7
Moving Average (kph): 5.3 Total Ascent (m): 337.4
Overall Average (kph): 4.8 Total Descent (m): 361

Day 9 GPX file: c2c09 (right mouse click and “Save link as…”) – with both the planned and actual routes. This was such a straightforward walk that even I couldn’t go wrong!

Thank %^&* For The Oasis!

Today’s walk was a bloody long way – the longest of the whole C2C route but the flattest too. Despite that and also despite there being quite a bit of walking on roads it was nonetheless a lovely day in excellent weather.

Knowing that today was to be long we breakfasted early, despite waking a bit later than planned. Judith, our landlady, had a migraine so Rod, her husband, served us an excellent breakfast clad in full army uniform. For a change I eschewed the traditional “bacon and eggs”, opting for fresh strawberries followed by simple scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes. It was delicious. The weather seemed a bit uncertain and Judith, who by now had made an appearance, told me that it would rain. So I kept my long walking trousers, long sleeved tee shirt and sweatshirt on; this was to prove a bit of a mistake, to say the least, as the day turned out to be one of the best and warmest so far!

I had a touch of the “Delhi belly” for the second time during the walk but I was pretty sure that it wasn’t anything to do with the Bangladeshi meal we’d had the night before. Nevertheless, I took a detour to Boots for more Immodium (today was to be 23 miles and I wasn’t taking any chances!) before wandering around a bit in an attempt to find the bridge over the Swale.

Once heading in the proper direction I meandered along the meandering Swale, under the impressive ruined ramparts of Richmond Castle, past the sewage works, which were duly photographed (of course) and then from field to field. Just before Brompton-on-Swale I met The Family and determined that one of the boys wasn’t their’s but their son’s best mate. The husband, whose real name I never discovered but he turned out to be an orthopaedic surgeon, was intrigued with my GPS. So I demonstrated just how useful it was at keeping me “on course” only to immediately stray off course, necessitating a scramble over a barbed wire fence and a detour across a field. It could have been worse, I suppose!

Shortly after leaving The Family I met up with a guy for whom I had a lot of respect – the first person I know who’s walked the whole of the SW Coastal Path (he did it in four two week stints), camping all the way. We crossed another landmark, the A1M, and then passed Catterick Racecourse before each returning to our own pace. After Bolton-on-Swale I followed the rather pretty Bolton Beck before hitting the tarmac, which was to last for more than 5½km. However, even this had some interest. Just by Hodber Hill Plantation I caught up with an Irish guy called Michael (what else?) and together we watched an incredible machine tear a tree out of the ground, remove all the branches and cut it up into convenient sized pieces, all without the guy in charge of the machine getting out of his cab. It was very impressive. Michael, it turned out, was walking the C2C in stages, doing a few legs each year. He didn’t seem to have any definite plan at all and was just ambling along in a very contented way. I left him ambling and carried on, eventually leaving the road, crossing more fields and returning to the tarmac just west of Danby Whiske.

The pretty little village is, for some C2Cers, an overnight stop but I was continuing through to Ingleby Cross, 16km further on. So I walked along the road into the village and there “Up ahead in the distance I saw a shimmering light” (no prizes if you know the origin of that line!; in fact, shame on you if you don’t), an oasis called The White Swan. On a hot day, half way through a long walk, at lunch time, what in the world could have been better? Better and better, they even served Black Sheep Bitter, my favourite. So I was forced to partake and sit outside in the sun, supping the Black Sheep and tucking into my butties. Whilst at this heavenly place I met up with another group of C2Cers that I hadn’t seen before and wasn’t to see after. They were another group of Sheepshaggers being guided along by some English friends. So we relaxed for a bit, chatted and enjoyed the whole ambience before I reluctantly moved on, noting that the pub sign bears the subscript of one side, “Robin Hood’s Bay 60 miles” and on the other “St Bees 130 Miles”. It made me realise just how far I’d come and just how close I was to the finish; something I had very mixed feelings about.

After Danby Whiske there was a mixture of fields and roads, across a couple of railway lines, including the East Coast Main Line. I crossed a stile into one field close to a farm and bizarrely and inexplicably there were two plastic rats nailed to a plank attached to the stile. Maybe it was the farmer’s comment on the people crossing his land or maybe Roland Rat has also done the C2C!

Towards the end of the day’s walk the C2C crosses the horribly busy and quite dangerous A19 along which a mixture a huge lorries and cars thundered in a seemingly never ending stream. Near the crossing I met a Kiwi couple who were working in England for a year and making the best use of their time to do some long distance walking. They crossed whilst I phoned The Boss and found that she was already at our B&B, just a few hundred metres south down the A19 and right beside the road itself! After 23 or so miles it was a bit of an effort to race across the main road and avoid getting “squidged” as many of the rabbits and other creatures I’d seen from time to time, but I made it, although some of my rechargeable batteries and a few coins fell out of my bum bag (that’s a “fanny pack” to you folks on the wrong side of the Atlantic). They did get squidged by the lorries and there was no way I was going to rescue them.

I walked along the verge of the A19 and met The Boss at the B&B, re-walking the last 20 or so metres for her to take the action photo of me! Somerset House Farm is a terrific B&B, run by a couple of young guys, one of whom my good lady had been ogling as he sat on a digging machine stripped to the waist and displaying what she described as a “beautiful body”. Huh!

Anyway, we sat in their lovely garden, drank tea while I cleaned and Nikwaxed my boots, then had a wonderfully relaxing shower before doing my other “chores” of the day. In the evening we drove to Osmotherley and had dinner at the Golden Lion where we met the NW Walkers. They hadn’t walked as far as me today but, nevertheless, were in a chipper mood and we had a good old natter. The food and beer there were both excellent and, tired but well satisfied, we “took our leave” and headed back to the B&B. Despite its proximity to the A19 I heard nothing and had a good night’s sleep, even with the windows open. Now there’s a surprise!

AccommodationBeverages & Comestibles
Somerset House Farm
Ingleby Arncliffe
North Yorkshire

01609 882555
Scallops (starter)
Pork tenderloin with mustard sauce
Mashed spuds
Apple, prune and walnut cake with cream

(Very good 9/10)

Timothy Taylors Landlord, John Smiths Magnet Bitters
(both excellent)

Some Day 09 Photos