Coast to Coast Day 9: Kirkby Stephen to Keld

It was great that Dean rejoined us today. Even though his toe joint was still very painful, he really wanted to see the hills, and certainly wanted to avoid another day fighting the banks. 8 hours and 13.5 miles later, he might have felt different!

The day started well with the usual grand breakfast, even better this time with omelette options which were great. After a bit of meandering through Kirkby Stephen, we were soon climbing up past a very large quarry to the sound of bleating sheep. Our apps showed two different routes and we chose the road which suited us. The road turned to path and we kept going, with the occasional view of the Nine Standards. After a brief pause behind a wind shelter, we pushed on up to the top, arriving at about 11am after nearly five miles. The standards were great windbreaks for lunch. I managed to get some drone footage but the wind was strong, causing jumpy video and high windspeed warnings. Refreshed and rested, we were ready for the bog, and at first they seemed quite easy. With shoes ranging from waterproof boots to trainers due to various foot ailments, we were trying hard to keep everyone’s feet dry. The bogs got progressively worse. While we had a couple of minor falls and the trainers were wet, we made it through relatively unscathed through avoiding the wettest parts, though Tracy and Janet remained unimpressed! We were blessed with a dry and clear day and can only imagine what it would be like in rain or fog! While we had been mentally prepared for the bog, the difficulty in walking on the very uneven ground caught us by surprise, and the uneven ground continued after the bog. It was exhausting. After pushing on, we were very happy to make it to Ravenseat Farm where we could rest before the final leg into Keld. Our accommodation was Frith Lodge that we knew was about a mile up a valley, but it was a long mile and seemed like a lot of up! It was a grueling final mile, but the pain was quickly forgotten on arrival when greeted with tea and cake and the fantastic views. The relaxed vibe immediately kicked in, and after the best shower of the trip, we enjoyed our best dinner so far too! I managed to catch a bit of drone footage of the beautifully remote farmhouse before calling it a day. At least tomorrow starts with a downhill walk back towards Keld before heading to Reeth.

Check out the short overview video of today’s adventure at https://www.relive.cc/view/vr63BreAD8O

All of Team Sloth together again.
As we left Kirkby Stephen, this sign showed we were nearly halfway, a milestone we would reach today.
Initially it was a long steep climb around a very large quarry, accompanied by lamb bleating!
As we approached the top, we enjoyed a quick snack break, huddled behind a windbreak.
The Nine Standards were close, and the path remained dry and firm.
The Nine Standards were built by the Romans, with one theory that they represented soldiers.
For us, they provided a great windbreak for lunch.
A fun flyby shows off the Nine Standards which mark the watershed along the center of England. In one side, water flows to the Irish Sea, where we had started. On the other side, water flows to the North Sea where we are heading.
Kirkby Stephen lay behind us in the distance.
We were happily refreshed after lunch!
The moorland included plants that looked like cotton
With uncertainty about the bog, we took a “before” photo of shoes and legs!
We took the recommended “red route” which started off well but we knew it wouldn’t last.
Samuel led us on the best path through the bog.
It became more difficult to find a dry path.
Samuel conceded and got his trail runners wet, but the rest were still keen to stay dry. But in the end, the non-waterproof shoes got soaked, but the water was “clean.” Someone passed us, walking through the bog in bare feet, carrying their shoes!
Bailey enjoyed the comfort and style of her Hokas, while also keeping them clean!
Tracy and Janet were not impressed by the bog…
… but we all enjoyed chocolate hobnobs to celebrate getting through!
The valley opened up, with some strange farming patterns on the opposite side.
And we passed some “butts” used for grouse shooting.
The streams are brown due to tannins from the peat in the water.
We were very happy to see Ravenseat Farm up ahead, home of the Yorkshire Shepherdess.
After a brief rest, we were ready for the final stretch to our B&B, without appreciating the final slog yet!
The first sign to our B&B took us off the main approach to Keld, and also shows another type of Coast to Coast marker.
As we headed up the valley, we realized our destination was a climb up the other side of the valley!! It was fun watching a hay baler in action.
The pains of the day, especially the last mile’s climb, we’re quickly forgotten with tea and cake, and we were all smiling for today’s finisher’s photo.
We are in such a beautiful location. There won’t be any passing traffic keeping us awake tonight, but there might be lambs…
We will be heading back down the valley tomorrow for our next leg, after too short a stay at this idyllic location.

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.

4 thoughts on “Coast to Coast Day 9: Kirkby Stephen to Keld

  1. I am so enjoying your posts. The countryside is simply gorgeous. Thanks so much for making the effort of posting daily. I know what it is like when all you want to do is rest at the end of a long, hard day. Onwards and upwards! Mel

    Like

  2. Well done – tough day, especially when staying at the wonderful Frith Lodge! Don’t let Karen and Neil encourage you to go high initially and then joining the valley! We did this once and it was a LONG walk. Next time we went high route all the way. I think the valley the entire way would be the prettiest and easiest. Enjoy! (Great fan of Hokas. Tell your daughter they also make walking boots which are also great)

    Liked by 1 person

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