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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Day 2 Middlemoor to Snape

After stuffing our faces with a huge Yorkshire breakfast which included black pudding(yuk!) we were ready for our morning photo. The day was bright and clear with beautiful blue skies but cold. A heavy frost was on the ground but by the time we set off that had all gone.

The beginning of our walks always start with a dilemma. Despite a GPS system, guide book, map and compass we can never find the right path out of the village and today was no exception. However we learned a lot from last year's mistakes and we all focus instead of chatting! It is well worth the extra time spent now ensuring the correct path is taken rather than the extra miles we had to endure last year.

The scenery to begin with was green rolling hills with hedgerows and small wooded areas.

Some stiles are quite a tight squeeze.

Fifteen minutes out of the village we had to ascend up onto the moors.

It was a steep climb with no clear path.

Some fallen trees created a bit of an obstacle but nothing us youngsters couldn't overcome.

Still not on the correct path yet, as we realised we needed to be on the other side of this barbed wire fence.

Jim showed us the way forward here.

Tina made it look easy!
Another shooting lodge up ahead.

This is used by the game hunters during the shooting season. There are strict rules about the shooting of game birds, with different dates for each bird, although some do overlap:
Red grouse: 12th Aug - 10th Dec
Black grouse: 20th Aug - 10th Dec
Partridge: 1st Sept -1st  Feb
Pheasant: 1st Oct - 1st Feb
No shooting is allowed on Sundays or Christmas Day. Nor is it allowed between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Peering inside the shooting lodge I was hoping for a different photo than than the one I captured!

Steve takes some time out for a rest before tackling the next section.

I wasn't looking forward to this section as I find moorland monotonous with little to break up the skyline. It is also difficult to walk across so I was pleasantly surprised to find a track going across the moor making walking so much easier.

Walking along we could hear lots of bird song and see the occasional aerobatics of the lapwings displaying nearby. Overhead we heard the sound of a small single engine aircraft as it performed somersaults above us.

In the distance the reservoir reflected the glorious blue skies.

The moors are desolate places. Only the heather makes it mark. We saw no-one as we crossed the moor but because of the track we were able to make good time.

A few miles on we dropped down off the moor and walked down to the valley looking for a suitable place to stop for lunch.

Had to cross a field of cows which, as many of you know, I would sooner crawl through a field full of spiders and snakes than go anywhere near cows! Walking in a group does have its advantages at times like this though.

Once through the farm we found a pleasant spot by a stream, surrounded by beautiful clumps of primroses and sat down to enjoy our lunch. I used the time to check my feet for blisters as I was aware of rubbing on my heel. The large blisters which appeared after the training walk I did a couple of weeks ago, had healed really well thanks to Compleed blister plasters. This problem was slightly different, as I have a long scar on my heel from an operation a number of years ago to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon, but nothing a couple of blister plasters can't cope with.

The forecast was for rain later in the afternoon so we didn't linger over lunch as we wanted to reach the village of Masham by mid afternoon.

We reached Masham by 2.30pm. It wasn't difficult to find our way, as this is the home of Theakston's brewery, so the smell of fermenting hops could be smelt long before the village came into view.

The square had some very inviting tea shops so we decided to stop and let Jim have a cream tea. I, too, was keen on sampling a cream tea but then I saw they had a peach melba on the menu and I just couldn't resist. It was delicious.
The Honesty Box was for parking fees. Basically you just pay what you think is a fair price for parking in the Village Square.

Crossing the River Ure  we left Masham with only 4 miles to go before arriving at our destination in Snape.

A tractor could only just squeeze past us as the lane was so narrow but it wasn't long before the 15th cent Snape Castle came into view.

This was the home of Catherine Parr before she married Henry VIII but we were too tired after our 15 mile walk to cast more than an admiring glance at the castle.

The tiny village of Snape was delightful with its neat gardens and flower beds.

We were staying at the only pub in the village. The owner wasn't there to meet us but had left the keys for us to get into our rooms (very trusting out here in the country). Unfortunately the pub was also closed today so in the evening we had to get a taxi back to Masham to eat in a hotel there. Well worth the extra effort as the food was delicious.
One year on from our walk last year and we all seem to be suffering from blisters. Last year we were all blister free. With 75 miles still to go I am not pleased about having blisters at this point!


  1. This is so wonderful to read. I love seeing the countryside, but grant that walking with not much visually to distract you would get old quickly. Thank goodness for that path! That castle ... Both name and appearance ... Seems straight out of Harry Potter and therefore a little scary ... Yeah yeah, I know it's fiction. Loving this painless (on your readers part) walk. Hope your blisters heal quickly and completely.

  2. what a gorgeous place to hike! with some snags and tight squeezes, too. :)

  3. I have enjoyed the ramble through the countryside with you and know only too well the frustrations of navigation. Hiking in England is on our bucket list when we retire........it's just around the corner now. Warm regards.

  4. I can well imagine the chatter as you set forth in the morning, thoroughly distracting you from finding the correct way out of the village. I was looking at the Guardian's terrific live election website and checked that Hexham had remained Tory. I remembered using a stile there and oops, I realised I had misspelt stile in yesterday's comment. Blisters notwithstanding, its seemed like a pretty good day. I am now very conscious of my reflection when taking photos through glass.

  5. That is one steep hill to climb! And glad you had company to face the cows with. Though they do look like nice gentle cows....

  6. Amazing, What an adventure you are on. You are not the first one to report difficulties in finding the right path out of town.

  7. I'm enjoying your countryside scenery photos! And the little towns are so cute! Hope you can solve your blister problems.

  8. What a great post - I do believe I have a pint or two in the Black Sheep in Masham! One day I'll get enough time off to do one of these walks - one day!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  9. So nice to read your post and walk with you from sitting in my chair :) Amazing views from the landscapes. Hope you blisters will not spoil the walk.

  10. Ouch for the blisters, with 75 miles still to go! Your pictures made me feel as though I were there with you. I'm looking forward to the next part of your journey. :-)

  11. I see you are on holidays ! The landscapes look beautiful and the houses too ! I just returned from my holidays in France. What a temperature difference !

  12. This is an amazing walk you are taking us on. Sorry to hear you all have blisters. Not good news at all. The countryside and villages are lovely. I'm amazed at how you find your way when there are no paths.


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