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Deborah and Gwen's
Coast to Coast Diary
DAY 10 – Twelfth Century footsteps, wild herbs and a castle
Wednesday 26th July
Reeth to Richmond – 11 miles
Breakfast was at 8.00 in the highly decorated but comfortable dining room. Heather may be a creative person but her talents don’t lie in the kitchen. The scrambled eggs were grey but the bread was good and we toasted it ourselves at the table. Mum had mentioned that she used to be a textiles teacher and so after breakfast Heather was keen to show us her workshop in the garden. This is where her real expertise lies – hundreds of hookie rugs, all exquisite, were displayed around the room. She tours all over America demonstrating her skills and must be commended on her use of recycled materials to produce her works of art.
We left at 9.30 and bought bread and bananas for lunch at the village post office. We were hoping for a gentle 11 mile stroll to Richmond today. The map suggested a meandering route through farmland and the villages of Grinton, Marrick and Marske. Although a little cooler today it was still very humid and the shade afforded by the woods just past Marrick priory was very welcome. Our path through the aptly named Steps Wood used a paved way known as the ‘Nuns Causeway’ apparently used as a path in the twelfth century for the nuns between the Priory and the village of Marrick. If the nuns had laid the path themselves they must have been pretty strong as some of the slabs were enormous. At the top of the steps we were reacquainted with Tracy, obviously not in Richmond already. She now had 3 guys tagging along – maybe as insurance against getting lost again. Soon after Marrick we opted for a coffee stop at a remote farmhouse at Nun Cote Nook. We paid £7.90 for two coffees a piece of apple pie and a slice of raspberry sponge cake – a bit pricey, but hey – no competition!
As the humidity increased Mum found the going a bit tough, on reflection I’m not sure she was drinking enough. Her ladylike sips of water contrasted with my glugging technique. Lunch today was under the shade of a tree beneath the limestone cliffs at Applegarth and from there it was a gentle descent into Richmond. We arrived at 4 p.m. and did some essential shopping in the market square. I downloaded 180 photos from my camera’s memory card onto a CD. It took ages, the computer software Boots is obviously designed for reliability rather than speed. Yesterday Mum had contacted her nephew, Peter, who lived locally, telling him that we would be in Richmond tonight. As we were waiting for the photos to be written to CD who should walk past but Peter and his wife Adele with their 4 year old granddaughter Nicole. We all went for a cuppa in a nearby tea room and chatted until closing time. I think Peter thinks his Aunty Gwen is a bit mad but was suitable impressed with her achievements so far. We said our goodbyes and went to find our digs for the night. This meant a steep descent towards Richmond Castle to The Old Brewery Guesthouse on ‘The Green’. Our main concern being that we may have to climb back up the hill to find somewhere to eat. We were met by Mary and her husband who also run the Coast to Coast Sherpa van business. The Old Brewery is a lovely old building but the décor is a bit dated and our bathroom could have done with some refurbishment. The beds were comfy though and we fell asleep for an hour after our showers. At 8.00 we went in search of food and did indeed have to re-ascend that hill. We ate at ‘29 Frenchgate’ a super little bistro serving imaginatively prepared local produce. I tried a Moroccan style veggie stew and Mum had the herb encrusted Cod, both served with fresh vegetables. The whole meal was excellent and very reasonably priced.
Thought for the day:
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