Coast to Coast Day 17: Blakey Ridge to Grosmont

The day started similarly to yesterday with some fine easy moorland walking, and we covered the first 9 miles in 3 hours. Once again, the moorland cotton was special. A wildlife high point was watching a group of six baby grouse run to follow their mother. We also saw a small snake, which might be the first I have seen in England as I cannot remember seeing one in my youth. A low point was seeing a large number of dead animals: while some were road kill, there were also several that had been killed by another animal. Sad, but death of young animals is part of nature!

We planned to have lunch after 9 miles in Glaisdale, the first piece of civilization we would encounter. The village’s tea room and pub were closed, but we managed to find bread and cheese in the village store. After locating public toilets at the train station, we found a perfect patch of grass for lunch by the town’s sign. It was a good rest, but we have recognized that the feet and legs don’t do as well after the first 10 miles in a day. After lunch, the distance was compounded by a few unexpected hills, and an increase in temperature. We shared our displeasure with Samuel for not warning us of such undulations, but he just blamed me for the inadequacy of the map I had provided…. We marched on! While Egton Bridge had been described by the guidebook as one of the most charming towns of the whole walk, we seemed to have missed the charm, just noticing that some of the houses looked very expensive! We arrived at Grosmont just as a steam train was doing its thing, which was cool to see but it distracted us from taking our finisher’s photo! Dean and Tracy met us, once again having graciously checked us in and sorted out our luggage. They had had a relaxing day. We had fun comparing our days over dinner and planning our final day! While we completed today’s 13.5-mile hike in a little over 4.5 hours, tomorrow’s is our longest day of the trip at nearly 16 miles and starts with a long steep climb out of Grosmont, followed by some other significant undulations! We are aiming for an early start at 6am so as to hike when it’s cooler, and to give us plenty of time to throw our Irish Sea pebble into the North Sea and celebrate our completion. And then we will have walked from coast to coast 😎.

Check out today’s short overview video at: https://www.relive.cc/view/veqzm7kyZ76

The Lion Inn consists of many small rooms with thick stone walls and low ceilings.
Our team photo to start the day in front of the inn’s lion statue.
We start each hike with a short prayer in a circle. Normally it was “poles in.” Today, we were all starting with our poles stowed on our packs, so it was right foot instead!
Sheep graze very close to the main road that goes across the moor, and many cars go quickly. Some sheep wander into the road, and unfortunately some don’t make it 😞.
We were happy to get off the main road and onto a path, noting we were also following the Esk Valley Walk.
This fine snake was on our path, so we just gave him a wide berth. He did not move!
In the background is a stone known as “Fat Betty” where hikers are supposed to leave a snack and take a snack. I must admit that we found such an idea quite gross, so we kept our distance, but used the opportunity to capture Bailey’s stylish outfit of the day!
More cool cotton. It is ironic how I had clearly instructed everyone not to bring any cotton on the trip, yet we find it growing naturally!
While the image of the Lion Inn behind the billowing cotton was pretty, it was depressing to see the inn so close after walking 3 miles. We had walked around the head of a valley.
To get over the depression, you just look closely at the beautiful cotton plant. It was close to here that we saw 6 baby grouse chasing after their mother. It was a fine morning’s hike!
Back to the road walking, but the sign reminded me of the English tongue twister from my youth: “red lorry yellow lorry.” Perhaps Samuel’s theatre class should use that instead of “red leather yellow leather” when warming up for an English play next term. Cindy/Claire ?
A sign to the next destination is always welcomed. And we can see the sea!
We had great views of the valleys below.
It is good that Bailey and Samuel are still getting along. Well, they don’t have much option…
Another great valley opens up before us.
The path was an easy track following the top of the ridge.
The beautiful purple heather bloomed more here at a lower elevation.
Onwards we march, towards the sea and the lone cloud!
After nearly 10 miles, we found our lunch spot by the town’s sign.
Lunch is an opportunity to let the feet rest and breathe.
All rested and fed and ready to go again!
We take the footbridge rather than wading through a ford.
It was fun to pass by an old post box. The letters recognize the reigning monarch when it is installed. For the last 70 years, they have all said “ER” for “Elizabeth Regina” (Queen Elizabeth). This one is from her father with the letters standing for “George Rex” (King George).
Another great sign to see – only 1.5 miles to go. We are all getting weary.
Samuel reveals his secret snack stash. I thought we’d been sharing everything…
… but soon we come to a kid’s honesty snack booth with yummy chocolate flapjacks, which of course we had to sample!
Samuel couldn’t resist the rope swing, but I’m not sure how long it would hold his weight! Especially after eating his secret snack stashes!
We make it into Grosmont just as a steam train was doing her thing. This is the home of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express. Samuel is happy we are going back to Heathrow via Kings Cross station, though I doubt it will be via platform 9 3/4!
We look a bit cleaner in the finisher’s photo when we take it after showers! 😎

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.

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