Actual Hike: As billed
Expected Mileage: 11
Actual Mileage: 8.73 (+1 mile to town and back) = 9.73 miles
Times We Were Awed by the Scenery: All day long
Times I called Heather, Lavender in this post: 3
Accommodations: Braemar B&B
Rating: Lovely room and bath
Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Good day today! The longer hike yesterday paid off, only 8.73 miles today to reach our B&B in Osmotherley.
Hiking was decidedly different today. This morning our hosts from the Willow Tree drove us 1-1/2 mi uphill to the trailhead. Yesterday we walked the very steep hill down from the trail to the B&B and were happy not to tack it on to our hike today.
Notes: This was a total surprise as Diana’s husband cranked up his Mercedes wagon, grabbed our day packs and piled us and Janet into his car so we would not have walk back up the steep hill. None of us were “purists” so we did not feel the need to walk back to the barns to start where we ended. I think it was less than 1/2 mile but apparently that is something some hikers do choose to do. Our luggage was transported from B&B to B&B by a Cleveland Way transport service that can be hired via an outfitter such as Absolute Escapes or hired by an individual.
Our hike ‘walk’ started in the forest and quickly opened up to an old partially graveled road called the Hambleton Drove Road which was used to move sheep and cattle hundreds of years ago. We walked this road most of the way to Osmotherley.
Notes: This piece of the Way is a historic route by which Scottish cattle were driven on foot to English markets in the 18th and 19th centuries. The road is actually much older than this with ancient documents referring to it as early as medieval times. It is one of the oldest roads in England.
The road was lined on one side, by a stone wall that stood about 5′ tall (maintenance of the walls is ongoing and impressive). Since we were walking on top of the Moors, we could see for miles and the wall seemed to go on forever ( it was replaced by wire fencing after 3 or so miles). Looked a bit like the Great Wall of China, on a smaller scale. Sheep and little lambs were free range grazing. They kept their distance.
The most amazing thing about the hike today is that on both sides of the trail were fields of
lavender (I sure did get this wrong, it was HEATHER!). The Moors are covered in lavender (heather). I can only image the fields when the lavender (heather) is in bloom. We have been told it is a spectacular sight and a very crowded time to be on the trail.
Today we hiked off and on with a lady named Janet who is from Ottawa, Canada. I believe she is 67-68, a retired translator. Her trip was booked through the same company and staying at the same B&B’s till we get to Whitby where she will spend 2 nights. She is pleasant company to hike with and is less directionally challenged. Btw, the trail was well marked today.
Notes: we stopped and ate lunch along the trail. Diana our host in Boltby fixed a sack lunch that was non memorable. We were glad to have it though because there was no where for us to get food along the trail. We also carried peanut butter crackers and other snacks from home.
We got into Osmotherley around 1:00 pm, found our B&B and knocked on the door (we could hear the lawn mower running in the back yard). We tried a couple of times, no answer so we walked back to town. Since the b&b is about 1/2 mi from the main circle (in town) we added 1-1/2 miles to our day with this out- back-out adventure.
We sat outside at the Queen Catherine Pub drinking pints of coca cola and eating ham sandwiches till a more proper time of 3:00 pm for b&b arrival. The door was opened promptly. The weather has been low 70’s, clear, breezy and sunny today.
Btw, these little English villages remind me of the British comedys. I can now visualize where the stories come from. I can also hear Mother and Daddy’s laughter when watching them on Saturday nights. It makes me smile.
While our b&b is lovely, modern and well decorated, we are less comfortable here. Our hosts are not as warm and friendly as the first 2 nights. We feel like little prisoners in our beautiful room. We skipped dinner because it is another mile walk and it started raining, hard. While our host offered to drive us, it felt like a half hearted offer so peanut butter crackers in the room. I sound like a wussy about walking in the rain but once clean from the hike it is hard to think about pulling on rain jackets and pants or risk getting wet (not to mention another mile tacked on to the day when we have 11 hard miles to go the next day).
Tomorrow is our hardest day of the trip. Luckily a cool front is moving in and we are expecting only a few possible rain showers.
Hope you don’t mind my long emails, you are my travel journal this trip.