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Journeyman's Coast to Coast Journal 2006
Friday 23 June - Danby Wiske to Ingleby Arncliffe
I had a good nights sleep waking at 7.15am and due to my shorter day I had arranged breakfast with Jean for 8.30am. The breakfast was excellent and I chatted with Jean afterwards. Jean very kindly donated £5 to my charity - Macmillan Cancer Relief for which I am grateful. I collected my packed lunch and left at 9.30am. I had not arranged to meet anyone in Danby Wiske but as I left Ashfield House I met the KK who were striding out along the route so I joined them. The first 6 miles of this walk were predominantly along tarmac lanes and we made swift progress. Di once again often jogged ahead of her colleagues but never too far ahead to lose touch with them. It was to become an eventful section. As we were walking along Kitty shouted ‘Oh I think my little alien has exploded’ I was somewhat amused and bemused by this comment and turned to see what had happened. In simple terms her blister had burst but she affectionately referred to it as ‘her little alien’ as it was actually a blister under a blister. It was dressed and treated and we all set off.
It was a little further along this section that I had my second minor accident in two days – Could it be the flat terrain that was affecting my balance? or my simple failure to pay attention. I had allowed the 4 ladies to ascend a stile and as I was striding over it onto a wooden step at the other side, I caught the top rail with my boot and tried to do a double Salchow where a single would have sufficed. I was relatively unscathed receiving a bruise to my left knee and a bruise and abrasion to my right shin. We also had one minor navigational problem on this section as we reached Wray House Farm just before we crossed the railway lines. We were obviously busy talking and walked down the right hand side of a field to the railway instead of the left. We crossed the railway by vaulting two locked gates (I ought to have known really) and then searching for and finding the stile we should have used about 100 yards to our left. It just shows that complacency can set in.
Within a few hundred yards of crossing the fields beyond the railway lines I saw the familiar sight of Ian and Val sitting by the side of the country lane enjoying a coffee and spot of lunch. Val was seated on a very small portable and fold away stool. Ian asked if would like a coffee and of course I could not refuse. I was in no rush but the KK continued at a brisk pace with Di a few hundred yards in front of the other 3. After the coffee and a chat and I asked if I could walk along with Ian and Val – no problems was the response. Less than half a mile later we passed the KK who were having lunch by the side of the road and they in turn passed us further along the trail before the extremely busy and dangerous A19. Ian and Val were delighted to see a garage/mini shop by the side of the main road and they went to replenish their supplies as I firstly watched some of the KK attempting to cross the road and then I tackled the crossing myself. I didn’t have too many problems but I can see this is a dangerous road to cross and I would not be surprised to hear of serious accidents here involving walkers failing to assess the speed of traffic. I waited for Ian and Val at the Ingleby Arncliffe sign just beyond the main A19. The KK walked past as they were heading further and slightly off route to Osmotherly. I walked down the hill with Ian and Val into Ingleby Cross passing my accommodation for the night at Monks House. I was taking photographs in these two villages first the water tower (see below), then the cross, then Ian and Val in front of the Blue Bell pub and a figure of a seated man made out of chain at the rear of the pub. Ian and Val walked on towards Osmotherly where they had to find a campsite – I would probably see them along the route the following day. I had a pint of John Smiths Smooth in the pub and checked times for evening meals as I was eating there tonight. I saw Steve and Russell walk into the village and bought them a pint of cider. We chatted for a while and they offered to buy me a drink but I chose to eat my packed lunch on the bench opposite the pub and they also set off towards Osmotherly a short time later.
I walked back up to Ingleby Arncliffe and booked in at Monks House. I was greeted by Mrs Elsie Backhouse the owner and shown into her historic and captivating home. I waved to her husband who was reading in the garden. He had apparently suffered a stroke at the end of November last year and was making a slow recovery. Mrs Backhouse informed me that the original part of Monks House had been built circa 1300 and had been called Priests House. It was apparently used by Priests visiting the not too distant Mount Grace Priory. In 1600 it has been extended and renamed Monks House. The B & B side of the house had two rooms, a single and a double and due to the fact that I was the only guest that night Mrs Backhouse said I could have the double room. Guests had half the house to themselves i.e. a lounge/dining room, bathroom and toilet and the two bedrooms. I sat chatting with Mrs Backhouse as I looked around the main lounge for guests. She served me with a wonderful cup of tea and piece of cream and strawberry cake. She had not taken too many guests this year due to her husband’s illness and therefore I felt extremely lucky to be staying there. I cannot hope to describe in this journal the magical ornaments etc decorating the house. The engraved stone fireplace had been uncovered by Mrs Backhouse a few years ago when they removed an iron fireplace. It looked like the original stonework to me from circa 1300. There were dozens if not hundreds of what I will call trinkets around the house including mice made out of brass, ceramics, wood, metal, cloth wool and many other fabrics. I attach one view from this magical home and urge anyone who may require a single or double room on the C2C in Ingleby Arncliffe to try and arrange an overnight stay – I say try because of course Mr Backhouse has not recovered from his illness – I wish him and Elsie well.
I had a long hot bath and carried out my daily
routine. I wrote on a ‘Monks House’ postcard and later posted it to Linda. I
had a slow walk on a lovely summer evening down to the Blue Bell in Ingleby
Cross where I had arranged to meet Bill and Marie who were staying at the
pub. I met them and we also invited a solo C2c walker to join us at a table
for four. He was called David from Brighouse in West Yorkshire. He had set
out from St Bees with his son on the previous Sunday and his son had to drop
out at Kirkby Stephen. He intended arriving in Robin Hoods Bay this Sunday –
8 days – credit to the guy. He had a 30 mile walk the following day to the
Arncliffe Arms in Glaisdale. I formed the impression he was ex HM Forces but
he didn’t say that he was. I couldn’t wait to check the visitors book at
Robin Hoods Bay to see if he made it – somehow I thought he would. We had an
enjoyable evening meal and I treated myself to a fillet steak which was
excellent value for money at £10. We chatted and noted that two young
Australian girls were dining at a table nearby. David told us he had walked
part of the day with them. It was a busy Friday night in the village public
house and at 9pm I decided to walk back up the hill to Monks House. I stayed
up a while to read my Henry Stedman guidebook before falling to sleep at
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