Keld to Reeth was a beautiful walk beside the Swale river which alternated between gentle babbling and quiet pools. The water is a reddish colour from the peat moors. On this warm day it was so enticing.
Swaledale was once a thriving lead mining area and in the surrounding hills are the remnants of that activity. Sarah and Kingsley opted for the high route which passes old mining debris but the rest of us took the lower river side route of the Coast 2 Coast and it was an interesting change. We passed through a few small villages, numerous stiles (which are so narrow we are rethinking our generous breakfasts and dinners!), fields of wildflowers, sheep and cattle.
It was a perfect summer day, about 24/25 degrees. The sky was blue with only the barest wisps of clouds. Most of the group found it a bit too warm but I felt quite comfortable except for a stiff knee towards the end of the day. The riverside was often shady and at one stage we walked along a retaining wall, several feet off the ground. It was so narrow that people coming in the opposite direction had to hold onto trees as we passed!
The weather is perfect for hay making so several of the fields have been mown ready for hay baling. The farmers can’t mow the wildflower meadows till the flowers have died because they are important for the bees and butterflies to thrive.
Lots of young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh award scheme were walking our route. Many looked hot and tired but they were also having fun.
We lunched beside the river where there were casts of badgers and otters. It was so relaxing sitting in the sun listening to the gentle rush of water over rocks.
When we arrived at Reeth it was a shock. The town is quite quaint and a tourist mecca so the village green was covered with cars. It has three hotels and some pretty shops and galleries. We feel like we have come out of the wilderness to a metropolis!
Our accommodation at the Manse is delightful and our hosts very welcoming. Our bags are in our rooms again (the best thing ever after a days walk!). We are given afternoon tea in the garden and some delicious different choices for breakfast.
Debra and I get organised then head for an ice cream and meet Lyn on the village green before heading off to The Buck hotel for dinner.
Bruce and I try a local Yorkshire ale.
A few people are really carrying bad blisters or sore legs and tomorrow is a big day. My legs were weary and the side of my left knee is a bit tender but otherwise I am holding up well. It is going to be another hot day so it could be a tough day. After dinner and wine I felt very refreshed!