Our team member Lucy walked the first half of the Coast to Coast path 25 years ago and was very excited to walk the second half of the route. Read on to see what great sights she saw when she returned to complete the Coast to Coast Path…
Kirkby Stephen to Keld
Starting off in Kirkby Stephen, my partner Steve and I began our Coast to Coast walking holiday under grey skies, but soon enough the sun burned through and it turned into a beautiful day. We walked through the small hamlet of Hartley and made our way up onto the moors to admire the amazing craftsmanship of the cairns that make up the Nine Standards Rigg. No one is quite sure why the cairns were built, but the mystery adds to their presence.
From here, walkers have a choice of signposted routes to continue on their journey. We chose Whitsundale Beck and meandered on, following the course of the river and then back across the moors while listening to the distinctive call of the grouse. We then made our way down the valley admiring the traditional stone walls and farm buildings before sitting by the river and reflecting on our day.
Keld to Reeth
Setting off through the pretty village of Keld, we crossed the river and could hear the tumbling waters of East Gill Force. Following a steady and quick ascent, we paused to look at the ravine below and explore the ruined buildings that would once have been occupied by farmers or mine managers. We continued through Brunton Hush gully and onto Mellbecks Moor, passing through a diverse geology with a rich mixture of rock types. Following an exploration of the smelt mill ruins, we made our way to the top of the lowland pastures in the direction of Reeth before resting and dipping our feet in the river at Cringley Bottom, which was a lovely tranquil place to take a break before the last push onto Reeth.
Reeth to Richmond
It was now time to continue the Coast to Coast Path on my own as planned. I said goodbye to Steve and headed down through Reeth to walk briefly along the banks of the River Swale before heading through lush green fields to Marrick Priory. This is now an outdoor centre and not open to the public. The staff are friendly and more than happy to let you wander around the ruins and ancient gravestones.
Coming across my first section of woodland, Steps Wood, I continued my journey with a pleasant walk up through the trees followed by a gentle climb to the hamlet of Marrick and then onto a nice walk through the fields and meadows to Marske. Marske has an ancient church which welcomes visitors for a peaceful rest and is an excellent location for lunch before the climb up underneath Applegarth Scar.
My journey continued with a pleasant walk through pretty Applegarth complete with views of the River Swale below before making the descent into Richmond. Richmond castle can be seen from a distance with the old buildings and cobbled streets of this beautiful market town becoming more visible as you journey closer to the town. This is an Ideal place to have a rest day should you wish to add one to your walking holiday.
Richmond to Ingleby Arncliffe
I was now upon what is commonly described as the long flat bit of the Coast to Coast, from Richmond to Ingleby Arncliffe. It’s true that this section of the path is long and flat however there is still plenty to see along the way. On leaving Richmond I took a detour to visit Easby Abbey and St Agatha’s Church. It could have easily spent more time here which is all the more reason to opt for a rest day in Richmond.
Admiring a wonderful variety of trees along the route – big ancient oaks, ash, birch, beech, hazel, sycamore and much more – I walked across many pastures and spent my time reflecting on the landscapes I’ve encountered during this great Coast to Coast walking holiday.
Becoming peckish, I took advantage of the little honesty boxes the locals have put out which sell cold drinks and flapjacks – just what you need if you are tiring. As I made my way across the last fields towards Ingleby Arncliffe, I admired the Cleveland Hills getting ever closer and watched the sun starting to dip below the clouds.
See how Lucy’s journey continued from Ingleby Arncliffe to Robin Hood’s Bay here…
Ready for your own walking adventure?
We want you to experience, explore and enjoy the best of the great British outdoors. Our team is made up of keen walkers who have a mass of local and national knowledge, and a strong passion for getting outside, and we’ve brought together the best routes, the best accommodation, and the best mapping resources to make sure that you experience the best walking holiday.
Start your search for your dream walking holiday here.