June 6

Day 21 Dent to Kirkby Stephen

One of the nice things about wandering about as we are doing is that we come across the same wanderers from time to time. We also have a chance to chin wag with others who are having their own adventures. Some, like a group of Australians we met today, having completed the coast to coast walk threw their walking boots in the bin forever. Still others, like a family living in Malta who love trains but have none at home were looking forward to the Ribblehead viaduct, all have interesting stories to tell.

Having ground our weary way up to Dent Station yesterday we were delighted not to have to do it again today. We left Dent Station via the coal road turning right as we left the station yard.

We had no idea that the coal road went up and up. Luckily for us our heavy packs were sitting in our youth hostel bedroom. Today only one back at a time felt the weight of water, some cheese, some blister plasters and sun cream. This lack of encumbrance meant good and cheerful progress towards Garsdale, our first target.

We have noticed that the river beds here seem to be made out of eroded concrete. I’m sure that this is a peculiarity of nature rather than the hand of man but it does look odd.



After Garsdale we climbed upwards and made our way to an old drovers road. After the initial climb the road was flat and soft. We could feel the odd drop of rain but welcomed its refreshing coolness. Lunch was a simple affair of cheese and other stuff eaten as we sat on rocks. The rain began in earnest more or less after we had finished the cheese. I didn’t think that we needed rainproof clothing today, Janet thought otherwise so at least we had coats but nothing else. I suppose the rain lasted for half an hour or so. From head to waist we were dry, from waist to ankles soaked.


We spotted this monument on a hill. I have no idea what it might mean. There was nothing to indicate its function or creator.

It looked as though we might be out of luck in the breakfast department again this morning so were feeling a little sad. I found some eggs and attempted to boil them in a frying pan. I found it tricky to get the water to boil so left the eggs in the hottish water for about 15 minutes. As the day wore on we began to flag. All was well for the first 15 miles or so but then we needed rest. Janet had one chocolate egg left and sat down to eat it. The joy with which she devoured the egg reminded me of my own genuine egg. I found the egg and started to peel it. A previous egg had been nearly cooked so I expected the same from the second egg. When the white ran down my wrist as I removed the shell I knew that only Janet would have the pleasure of an egg today.




So here we are in Kirkby Stephen. A traveller’s caravan parked in the main street managed to entertain motorists trying to get home. This week has been the Appleby Horse Fair so quite a few travelling people are about. To complete the rustic vision Crook Morris did a few dances outside the pub as we ate supper. Now for a shower, some beer and bed ready to do it all again tomorrow.



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Posted June 6, 2016 by admin in category "Week 3 Whitehouse Farm to Kirkby Stephen


  1. By Stuart May on

    I remember staying in the youth hostel at Kirkby Stephen – I think it was a converted chapel? when attempting the coast to coast in a very rainy June. I think we got there and gave up after I sprained my knee in the lakes.

    1. By admin (Post author) on

      Yes that’s right. It suited us perfectly. I read your comment as “I sprained my knee in the lake.” I was puzzled at first because I couldn’t remember seeing a lake in Kirkby Stephen.

    2. By admin (Post author) on

      Well, fancy that! Your memory is beyond accurate. Were you never tempted to finish it?
      Everyone we met at the hostel were doing the coast to coast. The conversations always ran something along the lines of “Are you doing east to west, or west to east?” We felt quite strange have to reply, “Neither.” and to be the only people going south to north. This is actually Janet, not Mike, by the way.

      1. By Stuart May on

        It was in 1991, I think we only had 10 days, and after six days going west to east in torrential rain, we gave up! Would love to do it properly, but I think we camped for some of the nights, so Kirkby Stephen was bliss!

  2. By SueJells on

    Did you make yourselves known to Crook Morris or were you able to remain incognito?

    1. By admin (Post author) on

      I think Mike said to someone who we were, but we kept a low profile, especially as we were feeling somewhat weary. (Janet speaking)


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