Day 15. Monday, 20th June, 2016. Blakey Top to Grosmont.

The Feversham Arms rustled up a great full English to fuel us up for our walk to Grosmont! It was served by the ebullient Rachel, who later, also gave us a lift up to The Black Lion on High Blakey Moor. This was where we met up with our old mate, The Coast to Coast. From the map, we noted that the first nine miles to Glaisdale would be following the ridges rather than the dales; staying above the tree line. – a bit miserable, particularly under a glowering sky.

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Thomas Duncombe boundary marker, Blakey Howe/Cockpit Hill

We headed north from the inn on the road towards Castleton, and at Rosedale Head we turned onto a quieter road heading south-east over Danby High Moor. The clouds were low, and the drizzle intermittent. However, the patch of blue sky to the north appeared to be getting progressively closer. When we eventually left tarmac, we could see the wonderfully-named Great Fryup Dale to our north, but we had to keep to the high land. We subsequently followed the ridge between Great Fryup and Glaisdale onto Glaisdale Moor, before descending to the eponymous village.

Virtually the first habitation, at the top of the village, was the tea garden – a wooden hut with veranda, built in the garden of an ordinary semi-detached house, and overlooking their own model railway! It arrived at the right time for an enjoyable light lunch and chat with the two ladies who ran the enterprise.

By now, we were bathed in sunshine, and the afternoon promised to be a stroll along the Esk Valley. We were beguiled by Glaisdale’s neat terraced houses, the 400 year-old Beggars’ Bridge over the River Esk, and the muddy but atmospheric Arncliffe Wood. On emerging from the wood, we met a young lady on her first day of the C2C, going from east to west. She was doing it for charity (Alzheimer UK) in memory of her mother. She was carrying all her own gear, and seemed a little anxious about her big adventure. We enthusiastically informed her of some of the delights that lay ahead for her, and about the eclectic mix of walkers she would inevitably meet.

Eskdale, playing host to the C2C, next brought us to posh Egton Bridge with its imposing manor house and lovingly-tended cottages, before delivering us to our destination for the day. Grosmont proved to be very much a railway town, with its busy station, sidings and loco sheds. Even in the bookshop in the main thoroughfare, it was difficult to find a title which was not about engines and rails.

Grosmont

We were staying at a pub – The Station Tavern, inevitably; adjacent to the level-crossing in Front Street. The late afternoon was blessing Grosmont with warm sunshine. So after meeting the friendly landlord and being shown to our spacious, comfortable room, we treated ourselves to a beer in the sun.

That evening, the tavern was extremely busy, probably related to England playing Slovakia in Euro 2016. But the service was very good, as was the food; whitebait to start with, followed by lasagne with a crisp, well-dressed salad, and bangers and mash. After supper, we shoe-horned ourselves into seats in the lounge to watch the game. But the crowded room was airless, and as most folk were following England, the mood was funereal. We escaped to our quiet room, where I inexplicably prolonged the torture by switching on the TV. Oh dear, it was dire fare; I won’t tell you the score, but there weren’t any goals.

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