9.1 miles

On this day, for the first time in many days, there was glorious sunshine, which meant the rain gear could stay in the pack! I was so excited about this bright day that I misread my watch and rose an hour early. I put that extra time to good use by thoroughly reading the guidebook (Henry Stedman’s “Coast to Coast Path”) directions for our route today. Lillian, our host at Barn House served a wonderful breakfast. I bid good-bye to my new friends who were traveling in the opposite direction and was off to meet Deb, Kait and Hannah at their campsite.

Barn House B&B

As we were hiking together today, we first walked out of Orton, noticing that many more scarecrows were on display for the big festival. Soon we were back on the moors and fells looking back at Orton in the distance.

View of Orton

Once on Crosby Ravensworth Fell, we found the path to be quite rocky.

Crosby Ravensworth Fell

In this area there are large stretches of what is known as limestone “pavement,” made by glacier abrasion and years of weather.

Limestone pavement

Stoppping to look back across the moors, I could see Hartley Fell (the hill of the Nine Standards) on the distant horizon.

Crosby Ravensworth Fell, Hartley Fell in far distance

The wide open expanses of these fells and moors are quite stunning.

Isolated tree near Oddendale

Just 1/4 mile from Oddendale, we noticed another prehistoric stone circle formation, the “Oddendale Stone Circles,” which had been laid down in two concentric rings.

Oddendale Stone Circles

Trail markers are usually helpful, however this one left a little to be desired (direction arrows only). It was more amusing than confusing, since our GPS was our guide.

Confusing (?) trail marker

This day, the C2C Path carried us across the M6 “dual carriageway” on an overpass. “Dual carriageway” (or dual carriage road) is the British English for what we call a divided highway in the US. The M6 is a major traffic artery running north from London (M1 branches into M6 before Birmingham) and up the western side of the island to Scotland, where it continues as A74 to Glasgow).

Crossing the M6

Occasionally, there is the absolutely clear trail sign.

Arriving in Shap, I checked into my B&B. It was not as attractive as the early information had led me to believe, but rather disappointing and dreary. I was preparing to endure this blow, when Hannah (of the Vermont girls) phoned my cell to say they had just checked into a well-kept and clean B&B, the Hermitage B&B, and would like me to join them. I gladly gave up my prepaid room and walked down the road to meet the Vermont group. As it turned out, the Hermitage was a traditional, 300 year-old home loaded with antiques and charm and Jean, the host, was very gracious and welcoming.

Hermitage B&B

After settling into the B&B, we had a little time and walked around the town center. Then, for dinner, we selected the Crown Inn Pub – a pub focused on serving the “locals, walkers and cyclists” who pass through Shap, which apparently is on both the east/west Coast to Coast Path and the north/south “Lands End to John O’Groats” cycle ride. This cycle ride is a 10 to 14 day trip from the southwestern tip of England (Land’s End) to the northeastern tip of Scotland (the town of John O’Groats, just below the Orkney Islands), but I digress. The pub’s food was great!

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