Coast to Coast Day 8: Orton to Kirkby Stephen

The weather forecast was great for this 12-mile day, so it was really disappointing when Dean reluctantly decided he needed a rest day as he had severe toe pain. He was able to get a lift with an Australian couple who were staying at the same pub. Unfortunately, the next B&B did not open for check in until 4pm. The market town of Kirkby (pronounced Kirby) Stephen beckoned. Dean saw the opportunity for a fine shave, hot towel, and ear waxing at a local barber, but did not realize that he could not pay as he had no pounds and they did not accept cards or dollars. The barber was very understanding and did not press it. Dean’s monetary adventure continued with a bank refusing to exchange his dollars, 2 ATMs not working, and then cash back not working at a grocery store. With lots of the afternoon to go, he found a park bench to sleep on… He was very happy he could return with some pounds after we met up, and I’ll be making sure he doesn’t go wondering off by himself again without some local cash!

Meanwhile, the rest of us embarked on our 12.4 miles which took us just less than 6 hours. The weather and the scenery made it a fantastic “grand day out” in the English countryside. There is a stone circle and some old settlements near the path, but we just enjoyed the scenery while getting the miles in. We had lunch by the remains of an old railway with a fantastic viaduct, and I was able to get a bit of drone flying in though it complained about the wind! Onwards we marched, and it is best described by the photos below. It was all so pleasantly scenic, with the tranquility disturbed only by bleating and mooing – indeed, sometimes an awful lot of it!

We met up with Dean at our B&B with an hour to kill, which was just enough time for a Costa coffee. On check in, we were welcomed with a fine cream tea. After freshening up, dinner was at a fine Indian restaurant in town. Having walked all day, we could eat without feeling overstuffed!

Tomorrow is a hike up to the “Nine Standards” on the Pennines. This marks the watershed between the Irish and North Seas and is close to the middle of the whole walk. Previous reports of this leg have described horrifically boggy conditions, but recent reports indicate that the dry weather has helped and it’s not too bad. We will find out tomorrow! The views from the top are said to be fantastic, and Dean is not going to miss it!

Check out the short overview video of today’s adventure at

A happy group, but we were sad to be without Dean today.
The chicken have nice houses around here!
Bailey is showing off her style, switching from hiking boots to her Hokas as the trail becomes smoother. On this road, we saw a farmer taking his young daughter to school in his tractor, which captured the town’s vibe well.
I love the view towards the horizon with the isolated trees.
There was a stone circle somewhere over there, but we were not interested!
How close does the path go to the sheep?… 😎
The footpath cut through the long grass across a field to a lone tree.
Sunbiggin Farm has a camping barn and an “honesty cafe.” Unfortunately, we had only walked 2 miles since breakfast so we weren’t hungry.
There was some road walking, which presented another opportunity to show off Hokas!
We were able to do a quick bit of drone flying…
… and buzzed Tracy and Janet
Later, we met Shaun who had just been shorn…
It is time to start worrying when a cow looks at you like that!
With babies around, we understood why the mummy cows were a bit skittish!
After 7 miles, we found a great place for lunch by an old railway line. The viaduct is in the distance.
The trail led us down to Smardale Bridge which provided the perfect view of an English valley.
The path here was well signposted, but it wasn’t in other places. Samuel used the FarOut app to reliably keep us on the right trail!
The view of the grand viaduct opened up.
The view back across the valley showing where we had walked and had lunch.
The view as we approach Kirkby Stephen
When you cross under the railway bridge, you know you are close.
There was a final obstacle. Suffice it to say that you needed to smell it to truly appreciate it…
Tomorrow’s Nine Standards could be seen on the hilltop.
This picture was particularly appropriate to send to Dean on the 4th July 😁🇬🇧 ❤️ 🇺🇸
It was great to meet up with Dean and reunite Team Sloth!
Tracy and Janet had been racing to get to Kirby Stephen before these two European gentlemen, and here they are sharing their success outside our guesthouse.
Dean was partially refreshed after his nap on a park bench …
… but it was his shave, hot towel, and ear waxing that really perked him up!
Tracy was ready to donate her blister-giving boots to the local outdoor shop as a pair of planters!
We were welcomed by the guesthouse with a delicious cream tea.

This page is linked to from my England’s Coast to Coast home page.

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Published by Peter Ireland

I am originally from England, and my wife Janet is from Louisiana. When we started Geocaching in 2002, we needed a name, and the Cajunlimeys were created, and that is the name I use for my blog. Even though Janet has no Cajun blood, her cooking is excellent! “Limeys” comes from the nickname for English sailors, who ate limes to prevent scurvy. We live in Houston, Texas, with Bailey and Samuel. We love adventures and want to share the experiences with others. When planning trips, I have found other people’s sites very useful, so I want to give back and add a different perspective.

5 thoughts on “Coast to Coast Day 8: Orton to Kirkby Stephen

  1. Sounds like a fabulous day. Scenery stunning. Hope the big is not too bad tomorrow. Tell your daughter to get her boots out and save the hokas till the next day! Really enjoy your blog.


  2. Thoroughly enjoying following along on your adventure from C2C! Thank you for staying up long enough to beautifully describe each days journey when you’d much rather be sawing logs. I love all the details you throw in and the photos are amazing. I’m ready to pack my bags! Two questions. #1-What are the red marks on the sheep? A “brand” of some sort? #2-What do ya’ll do when nature calls and you’re out in the middle of nowhere? Surely I’m not the only one who is curious about this and I’d like to know in case I ever do a walk like this. #3-I know I said 2 questions, but I thought of another one. Are you going to do another walk like this, and if you are, what is your destination? Again, thank you for being one of the highlights of my day. Oh, and don’t let Dean off the hook again!


    1. Ann: 1. Yes, the paint on the sheep identifies the farm. 2. We try to find a public toilet (loo) but there are not many. If unable to hold it, one finds the most private place possible. Also, You can Google “female urination device” or pee funnel, as that aspect is not my specialty! 3. Not sure. Janet and I are thinking about walking the length of Britain (Lands End to John O’Groats) which is 1000 miles so would be a much bigger undertaking!


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