Day 8 saw us leave the very lovely Reeth and head to Richmond. Reeth had been lovely, it is such a perfect setting and it definitely needs another visit when there is time to explore and do it justice. It just captivated me from the moment of arrival and had something very magical about it.
Certainly one thing we’ve noticed on this trip is that (particularly doing it in 12 days) there just isn’t time for anything other than getting from place A to place B, eating and sleeping! By the time you have also of course packed and re-packed and tended to topping up water, supplies, arranged packed lunches and the like too. As an example of how margins are tight, when we were in Grasmere on the way through to Patterdale there wasn’t time for me to stop at Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop, and that is nothing short of sacrilege!
This day was however a shorter day (and in fact the shortest distance wise of the whole trip at just 10 miles) and so we afforded ourselves a slightly later breakfast at 8am and a later start. You still however have to get up and pack all of your bags by then ready to be collected by the Sherpa Van service, and so there’s still a lot of early morning faffing going on!
Setting out from Reeth we continued to follow the River Swale as we had done for the last few days, and headed along the river on a lovely (if slightly cool still) morning. There were no real hills for us to climb today, just undulating ups and downs each side of the Swale valley.
We passed a couple of lovely villages en route, one called Marrick, where there was a little old priory, and as total of 375 (no I didn’t count them!) steps to the village above through some lovely woods.
Then we also passed through Marske, where it looked like everyone had cut their lawns and hedges with nail scissors, this despite the remoteness and what must be bleakness of the place out of season. These villages have no amenities, like a shop for instance, but are just idyllic. And if I lived there I don’t think I’d ever want to leave.
Finally we reached the town of Richmond, a large and lovely place of around 8,000 people, with a big castle, and quite a few almost ‘high street’ shops. It felt weird, as we’d walked for a week without seeing anyone at all, quite literally on some days, and then getting into Richmond it felt like walking into New York City!
Also arriving early we thought we’d best stop for a drink before getting to the B&B, but discovered that Richmond isn’t blessed with great pubs, which was a shame. We also tried in vain to try to get a restaurant. Thinking the day before that it was a big place and that we wouldn’t struggle, but we did big time, although eventually found a very good Indian, called Amontola if I remember correctly.
We stayed at a little place called Willance House – a 17th century building which was very quaint (in a good way!). We opted before retiring for the earliest breakfast slot we could get, as the following day was going to be the longest day of the trip, a 24 mile slog to Ingleby Cross, which would take us through the Vale of Mowbray to the edge of the North York Moors. I couldn’t wait :).