Distance: 9 miles
Well, here I was in the middle of England, preparing to take off on my first solo hike ever. This morning, my friends and my fellow hiker had left the trail to return home, back to less strenuous activities. I had determined to continue on for the remaining 12 days of this Coast to Coast path. Also, I was now the only remaining guest at last night’s B&B, the Ingleside B&B, and breakfast was a solitary event. My guidebook described these next two days of the trek as the least interesting of the entire trail, so I was not looking forward to much. Fortunately, that prediction was not correct (at least for my walk) since the agrarian landscape, the farm animals, the distant views and the people I encountered through these two days all were very interesting and entertaining and I actually began to enjoy hiking alone. This day’s trail passed through a number of farmyards filled with cows who for the most part ignored me as I walked through their pastures.
Occasionally, I was the center of attention. I was glad for the fence between the cows and me!
Signs warned hikers of high speed trains which regularly streaked along train tracks. The idea of crossing these tracks was a little unnerving, as I often had to “stop, look, listen”. Notice the Cleveland Hills in the distance, now miles behind me.
Some farmer was a practical joker and decided to see what kind of reaction he could evoke by placing plastic rats on the wooden supports of a stile. I got a good chuckle out of it.
Honesty boxes were a common sight and very much appreciated by the hiker. The unmanned coolers generally contained food and drink and I could take whatever needed as long as I left an appropriate donation. These two men in the picture below became my hiking companions for a portion of that day.
The farm landscape was very peaceful and quite lovely.
About lunch time, we happened on a “honesty patio” containing a frig, electric tea kettles, and containers of food. After relaxing for a midday feast, my two companion hikers disappeared and I carried on.
My next destination was Danby Wiske, where I arrived a little early and spent some time sightseeing in this tiny village. The parish church was early Norman. Any records about the initial building had been lost, most likely destroyed when the Scots raided the area in the 12th century. Additions and alterations were added over subsequent centuries creating an historical progression to the various portions of this interesting church. The churchyard was a tranquil scene with a few birds and rabbits hopping about and small, white daisies growing in masses upon the grass which surrounded the listing gravestones.
I strolled back to my B&B, the Old School House B&B, for the evening where I met my very warm and hospitable hosts, Frank and Doreen Phillips. They greeted me with a big hug and ushered me into the house, which was a remodeled, 19th-century school house. Sometimes the B&B hosts have a personal involvement with the history of these B&Bs, and Doreen was one of these as she had completed her first eight years of school in this building. Three other guests and I were served a delicious and bountiful dinner after which I was invited to come into the Phillip’s private living room to watch the very highly regarded flower show known as the “Chelsea Flower Show” on TV.