I Don’t Think We’re In England Anymore: Day 11: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

Blame it on the nice bed and hot tub. Blame it on my Little Special Pillow which helps ease my back. But Dallas Cowboy Fan and I look at each other this morning and say. “I don’t really feel like walking today.”  And then I tie the Little Pillow onto my suitcase like it’s a fat, reluctant hostage. Dallas Cowboy Fan puts on his boots, and we head for the trail, lest we think too long about going back to bed.

We do a bit of shopping around town. Richmond, unlike other villages we’ve passed through is open for business EARLY. Picking up some meat pies for lunch from Taylors Noted Pie Shop, we then buoy ourselves at Frenchgate Fudge & Chocolate Makers by loading up on thick hot chocolates and a good supply of chocolate-rum truffles to get us through the day.

Day 11: Richmond to Danby Wiske: 14 Miles

The heavens open and water pours like it’s coming out of  fire hoses. Straight down. No

Yep, his head is stuck in the fence and he can't figure out how to back out. No. He isn't still stuck there.

Yep, his head is stuck in the fence and he could’t figure out how to back out. No. He isn’t still stuck there.

slant. Hoo Boy. Happy July 30th. We don’t faff around. We are getting very good at whipping out our rain gear and suiting up. Even the sheep are clustered under the trees today—which, Dallas Cowboy Fan says, “Is the smartest thing I’ve seen any sheep do, so far.” He doesn’t consider them too bright.

We round a corner and are surprised to find Leslie, a British C2Cer. She is standing  still and straight like a little gnome under an oak tree because she has no rain jacket or brolly (umbrella–which some Euros hike with)She plans to wait a wee bit for the storm to pass.

We continue through barley and rapeseed fields. After 7 miles, we stop in Bolton-On-Swale at the lovely St. Mary’s church.  We’d hoped it would be open and it is, offering refreshments. We sit in the breaking sunshine among gravestones, sipping hot tea and trying to dry out. A gentle lady comes through the cemetery. She and another parishioner consider it their service to take turns, coming to the church each afternoon to make sure there are snacks and libations.   5 weary hikers (including Leslie and us) pass through to sip hot drinks and chat, soaking up the kindness. Again and again, I’m touched by the hospitality shown to strangers. We leave a donation and put a pin in the world map to mark our home. We are the first to mark Oregon.

In a few more miles, it doesn’t seem like we’re in the United Kingdom anymore, I learn once again, I must correct my images of what England looks like. We are passing through broad fields of wheat—like in Oklahoma or eastern Oregon.

It seems that across the whole of England, only several farmers don’t like hikers crossing their land. The guidebook tells hikers to TURN Right at the Blue Garage Doors in Streetlam.

I’m telling you to turn left and take the road the rest of the way to Danby Wisk.  You and your boots will miss a slip’n’slide experience through a horselot several inches deep in gooey muck, a boggy creek bottom with weeds up to your crotch, and carefully treading next to a wheat field in which a farmer has erected an electrified line a couple of feet high and just a few inches beside the trail to keep footfalls on the outer 6 inches of the field. I’m sure it’s tiring to have people passing through your land, and I’m not sure why the “official route,” does so, but I suggest taking to the road, and thoroughly enjoying the folks who love having you near their village.

And Danby Wisk is a great area. Jean at the Ashford House gives us a cuppa when we arrive and encourages lively discussions around her kitchen table.  She even joins us at the White Swan for a pint.  We’ve discovered the best places that we’ve stayed are because the owners sit down and visit with us…as though we were family. (An amazing gift of time in their busy schedules).

NEXT:  Another Shortcut. Another  Mistake for Marital Bliss: Day 12: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Change, Coast to Coast, England, Humor, Traveling and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to I Don’t Think We’re In England Anymore: Day 11: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

  1. Pingback: Party!! In the Middle of A Sheep Farm: Day 9 & 10: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast | Before Morning Breaks

  2. momaescriva says:

    C2C, this is such a fun read. It almost makes one to try it. Almost is the optimal word. I could certainly see a movie out of this…and far better than Strayed.


  3. Speaking of food (at the start of your post), how many calories DO you burn each day? I can’t imagine how much food would be required to feed this journey!


  4. Rose L. says:

    You are great at telling how it is! I was salivating over the talk of thick hot chocolates and chocolate- truffles. Mmmmm! I now have an urge!!


  5. A British person with no rain gear? Definitely no scouting genes in her family, and she doesn’t learn from experience. Or likes to live dangerously.
    Chocolate-rum truffels would improve any day.
    Loving walking with you, and seeing your new friends.


    • Barb says:

      But she did have gaiters, walked really fast, the best attitude, and more courage than I could muster because she was doing the whole hike alone. Her words…(with a smile)…. “I’ll just stand under this tree a wee bit until it passes.”
      And it did.
      I learned a lot from the Brits (Keep calm and carry on…after this shower passes).


  6. It isn’t as surprising to hear that some landowners there aren’t exactly welcoming to a bunch of strangers tromping through their fields as it is surprising how many more DO welcome those strangers with open arms. Such a fabulous experience for you!


    • Barb says:

      At first, I expected farmers to run us off their property, but OVERHWHELMINGLY they were gracious and hospitable…so it was strange to find a couple of crank-pusses. Sadly, so many of the tiny villages are dying–no jobs. So having tourists tromp through, stay the night ,and spend money bolsters their economy a wee bit


  7. Margie says:

    All your photos are wonderful! I love the basket of zucchini!
    This time of year friends lock their car doors when they visit us. They don’t want any zucchini to go home with them! Same thing last month, but it was because it was rhubarb season…


    • Barb says:

      Yes, I was surprised to learn that finding homes for vegetables is an international quest. Now…if you’d make a rhubarb pie and leave it in your visitors’ car, I bet they’d come back during zucchini season, too.


  8. Elyse says:



  9. Al says:

    Sorry that it rained on your parade. …er….uh… hike. Isn’t that what the truffles are for?


    • Barb says:

      I should’ve bought bigger truffles. But it did indeed, clear up and by the time we got to the church, hot tea and biscuits hit the spot. (I was out of truffles by then.)


  10. nrhatch says:

    Sounds like you’re enjoying the people you meet (more than the sheep).


    • Barb says:

      Honest to pete,. I’m now able to identify different kinds of sheep that are in a field just by looking at the different sizes and shapes of sheep poop lying around. I don’t know where I can use this skill in the future, but I’ve got it.


  11. Alice Lynn says:

    I trying to imagine that rain you describe. Like a spate from a fire hose. July 30th. I think we were baking here at home. Glad you put a pin in the map for Oregon. 🙂


  12. jmgoyder says:

    Vicarious enjoyment here!


  13. digipicsphotography says:

    I’m loving your C2C. The best part, to me, is the many new friends you are making on your journey. Such memories!


    • Barb says:

      You are so right!!! I’m so thrilled to hear their stories. Friday and Saturday nights in the pubs were the most crowded because so many of the farming families went out to dinner on the weekends. Seven o’clock was the favorite dining hour. If we got into a pub around 4 or 5pm, it would mostly be young folks dropping by for a pint before going home. Everyone knows everyone. Jokes and taunts fly across the room. We are soon included into conversations. It feels like home.

      Liked by 1 person

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