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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!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Day 3: Snape to South Otterington

Met the owner this morning who served us a delicious breakfast. Only sorry the pub hadn't been open last night as it looked very cosy and inviting when we saw the bar today. Our rooms were not part of the main building but in an annex at the back so we hadn't been inside until this morning.

For once it was easy to find our way out of the village as the path ran alongside the pub.

This grand house is part of the Firby Estate which we needed to cross. many public footpaths cross private land and owners are obliged  to provide access.

These magnificent oak trees broke up the landscape.

This is the driveway to the house.
Once through the gateway I looked back to see the large 'Private' sign but could find no sign to indicate the pathway which is clearly shown on the map. Last year we had a number of issues with map reading and occasionally a difference of opinion but all credit to Head Hiker, Paul, who has obviously spent the winter studying the Ordnance Survey maps as his knowledge and competence now knows no bounds.

A chaffinch sang to us as we walked past.

Soon we were walking through the small town of Bedale.
As we crossed the road I noticed this signpost and was intrigued by the name on one of the the signs  'Big Sheep Little Cow'. I discovered it was a play barn with animals and activities for children. No time for us to visit though.

Leaving the town we had to cross the railway track at this level crossing.

Alongside the track was this beautiful brick built signal box.

The bright yellow rapeseed fields were a feature of today's walk. Then we could hear the roar of the traffic thundering along the A1 which we needed to cross.

Luckily we didn't have to risk life and limb crossing the actual road as there was an alternative route running beneath it.
There must have been an air force base nearby as we heard and saw a number of jets taking off as well as helicopters.

This garden had its own miniature railway including a Great Western Railway bench

Thanks for pointing that out Paul. I feel a lot better now about crossing the field.

No time for chatting. We were all ready for lunch but needed to cover at least 3 more miles before we stopped. We always tried to cover more than half our daily mileage before stopping. It seemed to give us a psychological boost for the afternoon's walk.

The clouds were gathering and it wasn't long before we needed to stop to put our waterproof trousers on.

Walking across ploughed fields in the rain was not a highlight of the day but the clouds soon cleared and we were back to blue skies. There was a fierce wind blowing though so that ensured it wasn't a stroll in the park.

Another railway line to cross but I don't think this is still in operation looking at the vegetation growing up around the rails.

We crossed the River Swale and were looking for a sheltered spot for lunch as the wind was just ferocious.

Steve settled behind this tree but it was still too windy for the rest of us. We huddled by the side of a rapeseed field as the dense, high plants  provided some shelter against the wind.

Today was the most challenging weather we had experienced so far with high winds, rain and even hail stones but non of the showers lasted that long. Walking wasn't that comfortable today, still very aware of the blisters which is so unusual when you are wearing blister plasters. When the ground was uneven it really hurt to walk.

Walking by the river was flat and much easier. We were making good time and decided to stop for a rest and have a drink in the pub at the next village. Non alcoholic, of course, as we still had a few miles to go.

 Yeah - a pub!
 No - it's closed!

George VI post box by the side of the road. There are many with GR on them but not VI as well. 
George V was King for 26 years whereas his son George VI was King for only 16 years.

Not much passing space.

A shelter of some description. We thought it might have been a toll booth originally.

Soon we were in the tiny village of South Otterington but there was nowhere for us to stay. Our accommodation was a few miles in away in Sandhutton  but Paul had arranged for a taxi to take us there and bring us back in the morning to the start of the day's walk. .

We had a very warm welcome in the pub with very comfortable rooms and excellent food.

Our nightly gathering over a meal to discuss the day's walk which usually ended up with lots of talk about football from the boys and Tina and myself trying to change the subject but failing miserably.


  1. Another lovely walk in the country! Love your photos of the old brick buildings.

  2. Wow it would be fun for me . Great pictires houses and the fantastric small church..

  3. Sorry to read about your blisters. How many miles were you gong each day? Topography is very different from the Cotswolds. And Katherine Parr - we saw here grave at the castle whose name escapes me in Winchcombe. Maybe its Suderely Castle?

  4. I wondered if you would mention your blisters. For me, when I've got them the whole world narrows its focus to my feet. Hope they get better soon. I am enjoying your trip, very much in fact. Thank you for taking the time for the posts. :-)

  5. A lovely account of a walk across countryside I once knew

  6. oh...such an adventure. So jealous.

  7. Blisters, wind, hail, rain -- good thing you had lots of interesting things to look at to keep you going.

  8. The Bedale signal box is very nice and good to see it isn't covered in graffiti. I've heard of the Swale, but it's quite a modest stream.

  9. Wow you are a tough one. It sounded a hard walk with the bad wind. Must double back and catch up on your first 2 days.

  10. It is quite a walk, sad the pubs are often closed when arriving for a drink.

  11. I have thoroughly enjoyed my virtual walk with you this morning. I noticed on my recent travels that there is a huge of rape being grown in the UK this year.

  12. Lovely photos. Wouldn't have minded walking (part of) the trail with you. I would have to get fitter first, but it looked super!

  13. I just love it when your walk takes you through these charming villages. And very interesting to learn that property owners on the path must provide access to hikers. Gotta love that!


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