Coast to Coast Day 13: Richmond to Danby Wiske

Everyone seemed well refreshed at breakfast, which The Fleece had graciously arranged early for us. We grabbed our lunch from Gregg’s on the way through town and were soon heading out of Richmond. We chose to follow the old railway line out from the station which was a fantastic walk. The trail changed to a narrow path meandering through fields of various crops. This included crossing under the A1(M) which follows the path of the main North-South Roman Road, and symbolized the start of our final third of this adventure. We were making great progress, but I was sensing a combination of fatigue and pain in the team. We arrived at St. Mary’s Church in Bolton-on-Swale, where visitors were welcomed inside with drinks, and the essential toilet! This also allowed a close examination of Tracy’s feet which revealed a fresh large blister from her new shoes. Trying new shoes on a long hike without any wearing-in was always going to be a risk, and unfortunately this one did not pay off. Dean called it and they got a taxi to Danby Wiske, getting us checked in early, for which we were all thankful. The rest of us initially felt refreshed after the break, but the road walking got old, and started triggering more blisters! There were tons of little black gnats that came out of nowhere. At Streetlam, there is a path to Danby Wiske that is a bit shorter than the road, but it was very overgrown in parts, which made it difficult to avoid the stinging nettles and thistles when wearing shorts. When on the road, we were frequently passed by cyclists who were cycling their 150-mile C2C in a day from Seascale to Whitby. On our arrival at Danby Wiske, Dean helped us to our rooms, and I took Bailey and Samuel to an honesty “tuck shop” at the campsite which was a 2-minute walk away, where we enjoyed ice cream and sodas. It was next to an 11th century church, but this was not high on the interest list! We finished the day with a fine dinner in the pub, hoping the rooms would cool down sufficiently to allow sleep! We hiked the 13.4 miles in less than 6 hours, so perhaps we had hiked too fast for the heat.

Yesterday, when I was having my haircut, I was asked why I am doing this walk, and I have been pondering on that question since. I don’t have a simple answer. I must admit that today was not our favourite day. The easier walking was balanced with less scenery. While the farmland was at times interesting, it was also very smelly! Having to walk 12+ miles each day for 2-3 weeks gets old. Even Samuel is saying that 10 days is probably enough, similar to a conclusion we came to when we hiked Colorado last summer. However, this is where we are right now, with 5 days left, so we will soldier on as best as we can. It is causing Janet and I to think about what might be next. We had thought about a much longer walk of the length of Britain, but we are thinking that might not be for us. I’m starting to think that doing the C2C was something we had to do to get out of our system, but I don’t see us doing similar or longer walks in the future. At least, that is how I feel right now! I just hope we haven’t made Dean and Tracy never want hike again in their life 😎.

Check out the short overview video at https://www.relive.cc/view/v1vj72Qz7YO

Our starter’s photo, by a side entrance to The Fleece. This alley is called Friar’s Wynd, as it connected the main castle with an ancient friary, where the water springs were also located.
There was a great view of Richmond’s castle over the river Swale as we crossed the bridge on our way to the station.
The team enjoyed the smooth, flat path that followed the former railway line, and the trees formed a tunnel to remind us of the old use. Tracy is wearing her new shoes with her socks colour-coordinated with Bailey’s shorts.
After the railway, the path followed the Swale river.
Sometimes the path would take us into fields of sheep. This one has quite the crowd.
The crowd was quite vocal!
This one was not bothered by our presence!
Next, we headed across wheat fields. Bailey managed to pose for the arty stylish shot!
Future bread!…
… which is different from barley, which we also walked through.
Samuel found a weight that was holding down a roof! He was keen to do some working out that wasn’t just walking…
To cross the A1(M), we had to get down to river level …
… to go underneath the road. I was glad that I did not have to go through another quivering-wreck experience like on the bridge over the M6!
At times, the path took us through open fields.
Much of the stretch between the A1 and Bolton-on-Swale goes around gravel pits. I am sure a sign saying “quarries are not play areas” just encourages teenagers 😎.
We were happy to arrive at St. Mary’s and take a break.
It also allowed Dean to inspect the fresh blister, and it did not look good.
The kids still had plenty of energy.
Bailey was ready for some styling!
The next section involved a lot of road walking …
… so the kids found ways to amuse themselves!
Though we all had to watch out for countless bikes which zoomed past.
We were happy to see that Danby Wiske was close
and chose the footpath as it was a bit shorter.
The footpath was quite overgrown so it might not have been easier or quicker than the road.
Though we met a horse who did not want us to leave his field!
The dry stone walls of the Lakes and the Dales have definitely been replaced by hedges.
We were very happy to be welcomed by Dean in Danby Wiske, where Tracy was soundly asleep!
The kids were even happier to find soda and ice cream at the tuck shop!

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.

6 thoughts on “Coast to Coast Day 13: Richmond to Danby Wiske

  1. Sorry today was such a slog. After tomorrow’s walk it does pick up. The English heat seems hotter than the same temp in Oz – not sure why , but I find waking on the hit days unpleasant. Just for interest, you may want to look at Inntravel where they have great walks but some days spent at same place for a few nights. We do these now when we go to Uk. Easier to have days off if needed (ie don’t have to circular walks if feet sore) but still have the thrill of the linear walk. Hope you all get a good nights sleep.

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  2. Sorry today was such a slog. After tomorrow’s walk it does pick up. The English heat seems hotter than the same temp in Oz – not sure why , but I find waking on the hit days unpleasant. Just for interest, you may want to look at Inntravel where they have great walks but some days spent at same place for a few nights. We do these now when we go to Uk. Easier to have days off if needed (ie don’t have to circular walks if feet sore) but still have the thrill of the linear walk. Hope you all get a good nights sleep.

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  3. Don’t make any rash plans about no longer walking any more long distance paths…Maybe you need ones with more flexible distances where you can vary the distance each day. I can highly recommend the Camino Frances if you haven’t already done it. Beautiful scenery, fascinating people to talk to and you can walk really short days if the mood takes you. Onwards and upwards. Mel

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    1. How did you do the Camino? Did you prebook all accommodation so having to predecide distances, or could you be flexible and decide on the day? Did you use luggage transfer? Where is a good place to start looking/planning it? Did you blog it 😀. Sorry – lots of questions… thanks Mel!

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      1. Gosh there are so many resources on the Internet, it is mind boggling. We walked from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago in 2013, in 31 days from memory with 2 rest days. I set up ye olde Excel spreadsheet with target distances, but we varied these depending on how the legs were feeling. An excellent resource on the Camino Frances is a book by John Brierley. His guidebook maps out the entire route and gives a lot of background information too. Yes, I have blogged about caminos, but unfortunately only got into blogging after I had walked them (I have done 3 and heading back in May 2023 for another couple of paths). I would recommend you consider the Camino Frances first off (yes, you will get hooked) as it has the most infrastructure including regular hostels, bus/taxi services, cafes and luggage transfer. In 31 days we only booked for our rest days plus once when we were mistakenly told that beds were few in Logrono. There were tonnes. Covid has changed things quite a bit, but I am sure things will start cranking up again soon. On this path on some stages, you can walk 5km or 50km in a day. The towns and villages are so close you can make it up as you go along. There are companies out there who will do all the arrangements – bookings, luggage transfer etc or you can do the whole thing independently. We didn’t use luggage transfer, just carried our backpack, but the beauty of this path is that ‘everyone walks their own camino’. There are no rules. An absolutely life changing experience and we met so many wonderful people – making lifelong friendships. Happy trails.

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