Sunday, 31 October 2010

Coast to Coast Sept 2010 Day 7

Nine Standards Rigg
 Sept 7 Day 7 Kirkby Stephen to Keld 13mls 1690’ascent

Weather bright and breezy

Woke to a much better morning than expecting. After calling at the Chemists for knee supports and anti-inflammatories for very swollen knees, we were raring to go.

Kirkby Stephen is a lovely little market town, well off the beaten track, and a bit like stepping back in time, in a nice way.

Prospect of a very boggy terrain ahead.

It was an exhilarating walk up to the Nine Standards Rigg, very unusual stone cairns, approx 12’ tall, standing in a row on the brow of the hill overlooking the Eden Valley. They are visible for miles around. The next section of the walk follows a number of different routes, depending upon the time of year. From August to November you take the blue route, which takes you over boggy terrain and down into the delightful Whitsundale Beck. Although our feet were soaked it wasn’t as bad as we were expecting, as we dropped down to Ravenseat, and Amanda’s tea-rooms, as seen on TV. Sitting outside at a picnic table, laden with cream tea, home-made strawberry jam and delicious home-made scones, in the afternoon sunshine, in this beautiful stretch of countryside that I’d never seen before….I thought I was in heaven. Birgitta and Martin, alias Danish Pastry and Beano, clearly thought the same, as they were grinning from ear to ear. Worth the effort.

Ravenseats Cream Tea
We continued on following the Swale down towards Keld, past a series of waterfalls. Passed a really nice campsite, Park House, where the Blackpool Donkeys were staying, on the left approaching Keld. Then passed Butts House B&B and then onto our campsite, Park Lodge. A bit basic, but superbly situated with views down the valley to Swaledale. Called in at the Keld Lodge Hotel for a pint. Nice place but expensive.

What a wonderful place Swaledale is! The Lakes are magnificent, but Swaledale is magical also! Keld- a tiny little hamlet in an unspoilt area, which I know I’ll visit again soon.

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