Reeth to Richmond – 14 miles
Reeth dates back to 1086; it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and its name in 1184 was spelt as Rithe .
Over breakfast our hosts were telling us about Reeth, known as the main market town for Swaledale, and how its location was once used for the TV series “All Creatures Great and Small”.
The area is mainly used now for grouse shooting by the wealthy and at the time of our visit members of the royal family were reported to be in the vicinity for the sport.
After breakfast it was a cheery goodbye from our hosts and off to find the path. Passing through the village, heading
towards Arkle Beck, we were amazed at the number of Range Rovers and four by fours that came by. We guessed they were on the way to a shoot.
At Arkle Beck we met up with 2 groups of walkers from Australia who were hoping to complete the C2C in one trip. One group followed us to the river, the other went in a different direction.
The weather appeared to be improving as it was overcast when we started. After we had taken some photos
the second group of Australians passed us and some time later Lynn realised his lens cover was missing again. We spent some time looking for it but with no luck, so we carried on. Shortly after, at a stile we meet up with the group of Australians who had been following us and they asked if we had lost a lens cover as they had found one. Much to Lynn’s relief it was his.
The route now led us across fields
and pastures to Marrick Priory, an abbey founded for Benedictine nuns before its dissolution in 1540. It’s not open to the public as it is now incorporated with an Outdoor Education Centre. From here we had our first uphill ascent of the day, climbing 375 steps known as the “Nun’s Steps”- so called because it is said that nuns constructed them as a walkway to the abbey from the village at the top of the hill.
The climb was quite strenuous and at times tricky as the steps were slippery due to moisture and moss on them. At the top we again had stunning views, but now we could hear gun fire in the distance as we were nearing Catterick military firing range.
Following the path we continued crossing farmland and fields with me leading. Lynn started singing various songs,
Steve assisted with backing vocals, I listened. We now found ourselves walking to “Funiculi, Funincula” so I decided to be the drum major of our trio using my walking pole as a baton, throwing it up in the air and twirling it for direction, which added to the fun of the day. It was at this point I lost my title of El Capitano, to become Esteemed Maggioretto. As we walked on we could see in the distance Elaine’s Farmhouse Kitchen caravan (which according to guide books is worth a visit). As we hadn’t long had breakfast we decided to carry on until we reached the road leading to the village of Marske and Marske Hall.
Continuing through the quiet village we decided to have a lunch break, so boots off. Whilst resting, several walkers came by – the groups from the Midlands, Australians, Americans, a couple from Manchester backpacking, two women wearing L plates on their rucksacks and the walker from Japan. After lunch it was boots on and
off again, looking out for Applegarth Scar and a white stone cairn on the hillside in the distance. After passing several farms we eventually got off the road and on to a track across more fields
with the occasional strains of Funiculi, Funincula, led by El Maggioretto (me). We climbed up to the white stone where we had fantastic views again. The two ladies ahead of us had stopped for lunch at the cairn and after a quick chat we set off,
now walking the trail which was fairly high up, overlooking the main road and Richmond Caravan & Campsite. It was an easy trail to follow and before long we could see Richmond in the distance.
Richmond: meaning “Strong Hill” is of French descent (riche+mont).
Steve now poses with his enigmatic look before it’s on to the market town for a refreshing pot of tea. As we got near we decide to clean off our boots of mud and stone etc. Whilst doing this a 4×4 pulled alongside and the driver talked to us about the walk. We could see that the person was a member of the cloth; he proceeded to talk to us about his church and invited us to call in any time, before bidding us good day and leaving. We agreed that after a day’s walk, if they didn’t serve “Black Sheep” beer then we weren’t going. As we arrived in Richmond,
Steve enquired from a local as to where was the best place for a pot of tea. We were given directions and eventually found the tea room. The elderly couple we had met near Ravenseat Farm were there too so we sat near them and chatted before they left for their B&B. Having now had refreshments & scones, Steve asked one of the waitresses if she could recommend a place to eat in the town that evening. We found the recommended pub and booked a table before going on to locate our accommodation, which was a five minute walk away. When we arrived we were taken to our rooms – after walking 14 miles we now we had to climb three flights of stairs! Our host showed us around the house, identifying breakfast room, lounge and outside sitting area which, to our amazement had a hot-tub
that we were allowed to use; robes were supplied. Minutes later we were soaking away any aches & pains and if that wasn’t enjoyable enough, cold drinks were also provided.
Later that evening we had our meal, followed by a stroll around Richmond, before retiring for the evening.
Richmond is the largest town on the Coast 2 Coast walk built around the11th century
castle. In Georgian times it became known for its cabinet making, with the town’s museum actually housed inside a cabinet maker’s workshop.