After a hearty breakfast I set off and bumped into Cathy and Dan in Kirkby Stephen’s main square so we walked together which was lovely. Dan had woken with a swollen and sore ankle so they had stopped at a chemist to purchase a support bandage; I had noticed that he seemed to stumble quite a lot so lent him one of my poles for the day.

The route climbs past a quarry before turning off the road onto a track leading to Nine Standards Rigg. There are three routes over the Rigg and the one you take depends on the time of year. As it was July we were recommended to take the ‘Red Route’, which is the original Coast to Coast route, but the guidebook advised to take the ‘Green Route’ which doesn’t actually go over the summit, if visibility is poor.

Luckily it wasn’t- we could clearly see the Nine Standards in the distance- so the Red Route it was. After quite a climb we were there; nobody quite knows who built them, when and why, although it is thought that the Roman Army constructed them to look like an encamped army from a distance to deter invaders. Whatever the reason, they stand an eerie sentinel over Kirkby Stephen, now in the distance behind us.

Frank’s Bridge, Kirkby Stephen

The Nine Standard Rigg bogs are legendary and must be negotiated, although a flagged stone path has been laid across the worst of them. There is still plenty of bog hopping to be done though and this section is quite hard work, although the sweeping views across moorland went some way towards compensating for it!

New stone path over the bogs

Sweeping views

By the time we reached Ravenseat Farm my feet were aching, and it was a relief to sit down at one of the picnic tables and take off my boots. Watchers of Countrywise will be familiar with Ravenseat Farm and Amanda Owen, known as the Yorkshire Shepherdess. As well as appearing on telly, being a mother to nine children and a best selling author, Amanda also serves cream teas to passing walkers. As we ate, Amanda chatted with us for a few minutes; she told us that the farmhouse was an inn many years ago, and a small stone building in front of us has been a chapel, a resting place for weary travellers. She said that she feels that she has turned it full circle, as it is once again a place for travellers to rest weary limbs.

Approaching Ravenseat Farm

Suitably refreshed, it was time to don the boots again for the last leg to Keld- climbing again initially and negotiating more bogs before dropping to the road, past the impressive Wainwrath Force.

The road to Keld

My feet were really aching now and I was feeling concerned as I had a big day tomorrow- walking from Keld to Richmond.

Wainwrath Falls

It was a relief to see Keld Lodge and I had a cuppa in my room with my feet laid up on the bed to try to ease the throbbing. Joining Kathy and Dan for dinner, we watched sheep actually walking along the walls opposite to get onto the road, and I felt a pang of sadness that I would now lose all of the people I had met so far as they were staying at Reeth tomorrow.

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