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St. Bees
Wast Water - Wander
Wast Water - Scafells
Wast Water
Patterdale - Helvellyn
Chapel and horses at Easby Abbey
Chapel ruin and horses at Easby Abbey
Kirkby Stephen
Danby Wiske
Ingleby Cross
Clay Bank
Lion Inn

The crossing of the Vale of Mowbray can be done in one long day covering 37 kilometres (23 miles). This is not as hard as it might appear since the walking is very flat and there are several sections of fast walking along country lanes. However I chose to break the journey into more manageable chunks by stopping in Danby Wiske. This days walk is best described as "pretty" - there are is no spectacular scenery but lots of green farmland with a couple of nice villages and one (optional) abbey ruin. The start of the Coast to Coast Walk today can be varied by following the north banks of the River Swale to the sizable ruins of Easby Abbey. This swaps the intricate navigation on the Coast to Coast Walk up to Brompton on Swale for the interesting ruins and a fairly dull road-walk. Since this is the way I went, it will be described.

Richmond Type Phone
Channel House B&B 01748 823844
Emmanuel Guest House B&B 01748 823584
58 Frenchgate B&B 01748 823227
66 Frenchgate B&B 01748 823421
8 Green Howards Road B&B 01748 824497
The Frenchgate Hotel Hotel 01748 822087
Nuns Cottage B&B 01748 822809
The Restaurant on the Green B&B 01748 826229

Leave Richmond's delights via the eastern side of Market Place and drop down to Station Bridge. Don't cross the bridge but follow the river side as it curves around to the south until a path forms through charming woods to Easby Abbey. The abbey was formed in 1152 by a group of White Canons of the Premonstratensions (what a wonderful name!) and occupied for 400 years. Next to the ruins is the church of St. Agatha which has excellent murals. Depart along the driveway to the carpark and turn left towards Easby, past the ruined chapel in the photo above. Ignore the first lane to your left and turn right at the next T-junction by Easby House. This nice lane soon turns sharply north and is abandoned for a farm access track. Immediately leave the track to cross fields and a couple of stiles to the B6271 road. This leads straight through Brompton on Swale (a boring 3 kilometres away) and onto Catterick Bridge with its two inns giving a choice of refreshment venues.

Rejoin the proper Coast to Coast Walk at a stile just before the bridge over the Swale and head along the northern river bank, soon passing through a scrubby area. The River Swale swings south as the path slants up a long field to come back to the B6271 road for a short time. Turn right at the next junction and then left along the rough Flat Lane to enter the tiny picturesque village of Bolton on Swale. Cross the B6271 (again!) and head for the church. This has an interesting memorial to Henry Jenkins who died in 1669 at the alleged astonishing age of 169. He could recall taking a cart-load of arrows to the Flodden Field battle (in Northumbria) in 1513 and also visiting the abbot at Fountains Abbey. The memorial was erected in 1743 by a mason who couldn't count - note the mistake on the inscription.

White Swan, Danby Wiske
White Swan, Danby Wiske

The lane past the church is left at a stile and the trail crosses fields beside Bolton Beck to a lane at Ellerton Hill (about 1.5 kilometres from Bolton). Along the way, the beck is crossed on a decaying stone bridge - a pleasant spot for a rest and snack. Turn left along this quiet lane, reaching a plantation in a kilometre. A junction is reached just after the plantation with an old-style North Yorkshire Riding signpost. Compare this elegant signpost with the nearby tasteless Richmondshire version.

Cross straight over the junction and head for the few houses at Whitwell but turn off onto the lane to Whitwell Moor just as they are reached. The tiny rise onto the "moor" is rewarded by the first glimpses of the far-off Cleveland Hills. Note that this moor and the nearby Fell Gill Moor are not the wild areas you might expect but are just more farmland. The village of Streetlam is a couple of kilometres over the moors where another road junction is reached.

The old route of the Coast to Coast Walk went along the road to Danby Wiske (boring but fast). However the new route crosses a stile on the junction corner for a gentler, slightly shorter walk through numerous fields (12 more stiles!). The road is rejoined a few minutes before Danby Wiske for an easy descent into the village. The village has a nice little rectangular green with the White Swan inn on the far side and an attractive church just down the lane to the right.

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