Rollup, rollup for the second half of Wainwright’s masterpiece! From the Pennines into the Yorkshire Dales and over the mystical Nine Standards Rig, before following the beautiful River Swale for a couple of days into the old market town of Richmond. There follows a marathon section to link up with the North York Moors National Park from where we roller coaster around to the North Sea Coast to make a triumphant entrance into Robins Hoods Bay where a celebratory pint, bottle of Champagne or ice cream whilst standing in the sea is in order. Along the way you will be amazed at the variety of the dry stone walls, the charming little villages and just how much that you get to eat for a full English cooked breakfast! There are cozy small hotels, guesthouses and pubs to stay at on this tour and these, as well as the rich variety of the people that you meet enroute, reflect something of the great diversity of England.
Some long days and steep climbs and descents. Generally however undulating. Mixed weather can be expected. We would not recommend the route for first time walkers.
Make your own way to Kirkby Stephen on the edge of the Pennines. You should have time to explore this pretty old market town with St. Hedda’s Church containing the 8th Century Loki stone relating to Norse Mythology.
Accommodation: Our accommodation is a Grade II listed Georgian town house full of character, with a friendly relaxed atmosphere. The hotel has many unusual features, and is of an exceptionally high standard.
Climb out of town to the cairns of Nine Standards Rigg (661m / 2170 feet) with its array of obelisks. This is an ancient possibly boundary feature that no one has any real knowledge of. It marks the Watershed of England. Next you cross squelchy moors down to Keld in Swaledale. If it is a wet and cold day you might relish a scone and tea made on the farm at Ravenseat, where they breed prime rams. The moors then become increasingly gentler as you walk into Keld with its many waterfalls and old stone barns. The day’s total ascent 780m / descent 575m.
Accommodation: Stay in a medium sized guesthouse, offering a gateway to the Pennines "The Backbone of England". Traditional Yorkshire fayre is served in an attractively decorated dining room, and there are tea and coffee making facilities in all rooms.
There are two options today, the slightly longer higher alternative over wild moorland with long-abandoned lead mines, a magnet for the industrial archaeologist. If you have unfavourable weather or just prefer a lower level walk, the pretty alternative route via Swaledale is a lovely option. There is a really nice pub in Gunnerside on this route. Your day finishes in Reeth an attractive Green Village which flourished at the height of the mining age and today does well out of tourism, hence a collection of pubs and tea shops. The day’s total ascent 838m / descent 911m via the higher route.
Accommodation: Formed from a terrace of traditional Cl6th miners' cottages, a peaceful and comfortable hotel with courtyard and garden, renowned for its cuisine.
A morning walk through pretty Swaledale lined with limestone crags on either side, allowing time in Richmond for shopping (note most shops closed Sunday) and sightseeing. The extremely picturesque North Yorkshire town of Richmond, with its cobbled market square and Norman castle, is an ever-popular destination for visitors. You can also follow the swale to Town Falls, which are quite impressive when the river is in spate. The days total ascent 395m / descent 510m.
Accommodation: Our accommodation is in a very comfortable, guesthouse within easy reach of all the sights in Richmond
This is the longest and flattest day of the tour, bridging the gap between the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors National Parks. A gentle rural day, walking out from Richmond beside the River Swale and across the fields to Catterick Race Course, then threading our way to Brompton on Swale, an ideal first lunch stop in the church yard before trundling along beside tiny streams and quiet country roads reaching the village of Danby Wiske with its Green and sole pub at 22.5 km/14 miles, 5 h. A second lunch break is advised. From Danby it is primarily a road walk although there are cross-country sections. There are two hills towards the end, a short climb to what was East Harlsey Castle, and then with the North York Moors pressing ever closer we have to carefully cross the main A19 road to take a lovely woodland footpath up the hill to Osmotherley. On the way one can visit Mount Grace Priory (built 1398) this is a ruin but there has been restoration work and there are remaining duck ponds and drainage features. Osmotherley is a quaint hill village with 3 pubs to choose from, and Britain’s oldest functioning Methodist Church 1754. John Wesley came to preach here. The day’s total ascent 375m / descent 292m.
Accommodation: Tonight's accommodation is set in this extremely picturesque village on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. All rooms are ensuite and have tea and coffee making facilities.
A strenuous day with repeated ascents and descents in the Cleveland Hills, then across heather moors to Rosedale. This is a roller coaster walk. A steep stretch from Osmotherley introduces you to the North York Moors, sandy heather clad hills with areas of forest. After coming off Scarth Wood Moor, there is a long ascent up Live Moor and Carlton Bank (408m) before descending to Lord Stones Café, almost hidden in an off road embankment, ready for coffee time. There then follows the succession of Cringle Moor, Broughton Bank and White Hill all at or over 400m. You loose and then re ascend 100-200m between each one. White Hill has an area of sandstone boulders called The Wainstones that you thread through on the way up. Great views in clear weather, Roseberry Topping, Vale of Mowbray and back to the Pennines. From the road at Claybank Top, you then follow a moorland ridge up over Round Hill (454m) and maintain your height as the path follows the line of the old dismantled Rosedale railway line. The moor is bleak in bad weather punctured in places by standing stones some marked with inscriptions. There are enticing views at times into the fertile upper valleys of Farn and Esk dales, but especially if it is misty, wet and cold, the arrival at the ancient Lion Inn at Blakey is a great relief. The day’s total ascent 1021m / descent 880m.
Accommodation: We stay at the Lion Hotel in this bleak moorland location. This pub hotel has been a refuge from the elements for 400 years or so, and very cosy it is to! Normally there are a large number of ales to reward yourself with and great dining in either the bar or the restaurant.
After a bit of a road perambulation past a white cross called Fat Betty, there follows an easy undulating descent down to beautiful wooded Eskdale. You also get some views opening up to the sea. The latter part of today's walk follows a pretty path through the woodlands on the banks of the River Esk, where you come across the ‘Beggars Bridge’ a parabolic stone structure that has a story of love lost and love refound! Egton Bridge features a church with relics of the Catholic Martyr, Oliver Postgate. A really pretty setting, the river is famous for fly fishing and has some interesting stepping stones which enables you to hop between the two pubs faster than using the road. The day’s total ascent 265m / descent 616m.
Accommodation: We use a variety of guesthouses/inn at Egton Bridge or Grosmont.
Following a delightful private road to Grosmont, you might get there in time to see a steam engine pull out for Pickering. There then follows a very steep pull up across heather moors with views down to Whitby and its Abbey. But the sea and journey’s end is still tantalizingly far as the route abruptly changes course to visit the May Beck valley with its Falling Foss waterfall. A last area of high moor brings you to the coast, where the last 5 km/3 miles are spent on the coastal cliff path to Robin Hood's Bay, which appears almost by surprise as you near it. This is a village of red roofed houses clustered around its harbour on the North Sea coast marking the end of this 190 odd-mile crossing of England. Celebrate with a drink at the Bay Hotel and as tradition states, dip your toes into the sea. The day’s total ascent 775m / descent 770m.
Accommodation: You final night is spent in an elegantly refurbished Victorian guesthouse with many original features.
Trip concludes in Robins Hood Bay after breakfast.
Per Person, Twin Share