Sunday, 31 July 2011

How far was it

Just a quick note. Worked out the mileage on
Day 1 Blackpool to Bilsborrow 19.0
Day 2 Bilsborrow to Clitheroe 20.3
Day 3 Clitheroe to Earby 13.2
Day 4 Earby to Ilkley 16.1
Day 5 Ilkley to Bardsey 18.1
Day 6 Bardsey to Selby 20.3
Day 7 Selby to Humber Bridge 30
Total 137 miles. Average 19.57 miles a day.

Today I am doing nothing, my right knee is a bit swollen which is making me hobble a bit, other than that just a bit tired. Tomorrow I get the house in order because my nephew Adam and his wife Gemma are coming to stay for a few days, with their two little girls. I hope the weather stays nice for them, we can have some cheap days out locally, a trip to the seaside for the little ones. It will be something diferent for me and them, I'm looking forward to it. Toodle pip.

Day 7 Selby to The Humber Bridge

I spread the maps out in my room, looking at the daily distances I had achieved so far, and looking at what I had left to complete. It was going to be a long haul if I wanted to reach Hull today, but if I split the distance in two, I couldn't see much chance of getting a bed for the night. It seemed sensible to choose the most direct route but once I got past Goole I would have to go way off route to find a bed, but if I pressed on I might just make it.

As I set off I thought the end was a distinct possibility, and from the start I walked as hard and as fast as my little legs would carry me. Leaving Selby, over the bridge over the River Ouse, and onto the Trans Pennine Trail.

Goodbye Selby.

A short distance and the railway line crosses the river. Looks like it could do with a coat of paint.

A bit further along is the bridge which takes the main A63 over the top.

It was head down and go go go. I haven't seen a stile like this before. The two centre poles are pushed apart to walk through.

That's Drax Power Station over there.

The land round here is very prone to flooding and I passed some men with big digger machines working to build up the banks as a preventative measure. This is the Barmby Barrage, where the River Derwent meets the Ouse. I don't know much about it, but I believe it is to do with managing water levels, holding back and releasing excess water, into different areas to prevent flooding. It is also a nice picnic area where people can do a bit of fishing or walk their dog.

Can you see me?

I left the river at this point and took a minor road straight across, through Asselby and Knedlington to Howden. There were plenty of these monsters busy in the fields, chucking up a load of dust.

I stopped briefly in Howden and parked my bum on a bench outside the cemetary, for a bite to eat. Half a pasty and a piece of toast I salvaged from breakfast, with a couple of slices of rubber cheese that had turned to latex in the heat. Boy was it hot today.

This looked like a little oasis next to a busy road junction, Howden Allotment Association having their open day. I would have loved to stop and buy some fresh veg, but couldn't possibly add to my weighty backpack. This is community life at it's best. Fantastic.

Over the main A614 and the M62, past the industrial area of Howdendyke and Kilpin Pike, a short distance along the river and back on the road to pass through Saltmarsh Station, Laxton, Metham and Yokefleet. I stopped at Blacktoft to buy an ice lolly at the village fete, which was taking place in the garden of a big house next to the church. Everyone was having a load of fun, such a shame that I have to plough on.

Then I passed Flaxfleet and I can see Whitton Island to my right in the middle of the Humber. Just across the other side on the south bank is where I live. Here is Weighton Lock. I can see lots of sailing boats out today.

Sticking with the river bank now, I came to the Marina at Brough, not far to the Humber Bridge.

It was a lovely walk, past a big pond on my right, the sun was coming down, and I was beginning to feel I could make it. Just round the bend the bridge came into view. Then disaster, I had to take a diversion because my path was blocked with a lot of water, bugger I had forgotten about that. I could have cried. Two hours to go before the bus left. Who'd have thought I have walked over 100 miles to catch a bus, ha ha.

I stopped in a bus shelter at North Ferriby to put my sweatshirt on, my clothes were wet with sweat and I was getting cold. I had marched for almost ten hours and I was so tired. I could have waited an hour to recover and carry on to Hull City Centre, but I would have missed the bus and had to wait till the first one next morning at 8.25am. I could have spent another £50 and booked into a posh hotel, which seemed daft as I was so close to home.

Instead I decided that it was my home made Coast to Coast, and I could change the rules. I had indeed landed on the east coast of Britain, having walked right across from the sea at Blackpool. It took seven days and I didn't cry once with the pain, although I was close to it.

My last picture, the toll booths at the Humber Bridge, waiting for my friends Alex and Irene to come and get me. Five miles short of my target destination, but what the heck, I did walk Coast to Coast, and now I'm going to cry.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

On my last legs

Just a quickie to let you know where I am. I'm at home. I am totally knackered because I have walked 30 miles today, just checked it on 'where's the path'. Bike hike, my usual checking web site is not playing tonight. I have been walking flat out for almost twelve hours and my feet are tingling. As I was coming along the Trans Pennine Trail alongside the Humber, there is a bit which is impassable at high tide, so you have to take the alternative route which takes you half a mile off route through North Ferriby. Up untill then I was making good progress, but when I couldn't continue on the shorter route I knew I was scuppered.

My idea was to get to Hull for the last bus at 9.25, which would get me over the Humber Bridge for nothing. North Ferriby is a mile from the bridge, so what was the point of carrying on to Hull, only to be stranded. I was so close, it wasn't worth spending another fifty quid on a bed. I rang my friends to come and pick me up from the bridge, I couldn't walk any more.

I'll catch you tomorrow and post Day 7. I've had my horlicks now I'm going to bed.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Day 6 Bardsey to Selby

So, what's it been like today then? I am in the Londesborough Pub and Hotel which is next to the Abbey in Selby town Centre. Not a cheapie but for a Friday night when everywhere is busy I thought it best to take whatever comes first. Time has stood still for me, I can't remember what day it is, and here we are, the weekend is here already.

I set off at 9am after a hearty breakfast, I needed to leave the B & B pretty sharpish as the mobile phone signal was none existent there, and Radio Humberside was ringing me at 9.30. Luckily the route was uphill so by the time they did ring they could hear me loud and clear for a bit of light hearted banter with Burnsy again.

I've been pounding tarmac rather a lot today, once I get into a rythm my little legs are like pistons. The knee pain kept coming and going. Once I stop though it's hard to get going again. I have always been more of a steady plodder, never a sprinter, more a cross country gal.

I quite liked this fungi growing up the side of a tree trunk, quick whip out of the camera.

Coming into Bramham, I passed over the A1M. To think I was once pounding up and down this motorway all the time a few years ago, in a truck. Now I am ambling across without a care in the world, it's a great feeling.

Here we are arriving in Bramham.

The Memorial Monument in the village square.

And the church. Sorry, I chopped it's spire off, Had to get close to cut out the parked car on the left. People are so inconsiderate when they park their car where it will spoil the picture, ha ha.

I marched all the way to Tadcaster on the road, a good place to stop for lunch. A quick pop into Sainsburys for some food and sit on a bench next to the river. Tadcaster is a beer making town, Samual Smiths, and John Smiths. I used to come up here quite a lot when I worked for Ind Coop Brewery at Burton upon Trent. These old buildings are magnificent, and I think they should be preserved forever.

The church next to the river.

The next bit of the walk was quite pleasant, I followed the river bank, here I am about to pass under the main A64 Leeds - York road.

I didn't take any pictures for a while because I was concentrating on keeping up a good pace. I passed through Ulleskelf, Ryther, Cawood, and Wistow. When I was in Cawood I saw a sign for Selby 4 and a half miles, it was 4.30, so I estimated I could make that by 6pm. As I was coming into Wistow I saw these derelict greenhouses, they were massive. What a shame to let them get into a state of disrepair. I remember there used to be a sald grower here, maybe they went out of business.

So this is where I am now. There was a wedding party going on when I arrived, I got some funny looks as I went into the bar to enquire about a room, everyone was dressed to the nines in their party gear. What a racket, thank goodness I can't hear the revelry going on up here.

I popped out to get a few photo's of the Abbey next door. It's impossible to get one shot of the whole building because of the close proximity of the roads and neighbouring houses and shops. So here are bits of it.

The ornate stonework on the top is magnificent.

I've just been studying the map, I'm going to follow the river bank and get on the Trans Pennine Trail, this runs all the way to Hull. It will be a definate finish on Sunday, but I don't think there is two days walking left in it. I wonder if I can make it in one? Now that would be amazing :o) Toodle pip

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Day 5 Ilkley to Bardsey

Hi, it's great to read your comments, you keep me going. I've dropped lucky with a bed tonight, I was getting a bit worried because there appears to be hardly any pubs on my route in this area. I keep scouring the map for PH, they are few and far between and I don't want to go off route too much. I ended up in a village called Bardsey, (with a PH), two miles south of Collingham near Boston Spa, at about 5.45pm, and asked at the pub, keeping my fingers crossed. The barman said they don't do beds. Then one of the regulars said there is a B & B called The Gables, up the road on the main A58, so off I went with just about enough energy left to get there. I found the place, a big rambling country house, and saw that the sign outside had been removed. Perhaps they had stopped doing beds. I knocked the door and a lovely lady answered, she said she does have a room. Bingo, I have dropped lucky, at £27.50, very good value. Phew, that was a relief.

Today has been a killer because it has been roasting hot. The sweat was running off me, and I have only had to pee the once, despite drinking loads, ha ha. My clothes were wringing wet and they are now hanging up to dry ready for tomorrow. I left the rip off Cow and Calf at 9am and headed east on the road for a short while to get my legs working again. It's really strange, one day I get more pain from my knees, the next day they are alright and it's my shoulders giving me bother. The blisters on my little toes are alright most of the time with twinges of soreness coming and going. Perhaps one day everything will feel fine all day.

I followed the road to Burley Woodhead, then went across the fields to Menston. The Dales Way runs parallel with the road, on the right, but my legs didn't seem to want to climb the bank to get up there. It was starting to get really hot at 10 o clock. I would have loved an ice cream but I couldn't see anyone serving at this kiosk :o)

I picked up the Dales Way a bit further along when I passed Chevin End, this was a nice walk through the woods, nice to be under the shade of the trees.

There are quite a view places for good views along here. Here I am passing high above Otley, one of my favourite places, but no time to visit today, I'm on a mission.

Next the path took me to Chevin Forest Park. I met three ladies with a load of children, they were taking them for a picnic and they were all chattering excitedly. One of the ladies put me on the right path for Bramhope. The Park is riddled with paths so I was pleased to get help. I would have quite liked to picnic with the kids, but no time, must press on. There are lots of these wooden carvings scattered about. I saw loads of people walking with dogs and kids, it's a very popular place.

I can recomend it for a lovely walk if you are in the area.

Here I am arriving at Bramhope, time for lunch. I found a bench in a little memorial garden opposite the Methodist Church. Boots off and eat the quiche from last night. Beautiful flowers again.

Next a little road walking to Eccup, then across the fields towards Harewood House. The fragrance from this wild flower meadow was devine, it was buzzing with bees and fluttering butterflies.

Now I was in the grounds of Harewood, there are acres and acres of it. I didn't see the house as I walked through, but I came across this sign. I thought it was strange that lots of cars all came down the track, they appeared to come from some farm buildings. I thought it must be some kind of convention and they are all leaving at the same time. Then I twigged, this is where they film Emmerdale. I could see part of the village and what looked like the Woolpack, but of course I was not allowed to go any closer.

I was in the grounds of Harewood for a long time, it is massive. Most of it is open parkland where sheep graze, and there was a wood where I saw this ornamental bridge.

After I came out of the park and crossed over the A61 I walked along the Leeds Country Way to Bardsley. This was easy to follow, and well signposted.

Nearly forgot, BBC Radio Humberside are ringing me in the morning for a progress report. I have got to make sure I am in an area with a good signal at about 9.40am.

I am still hoping for a Sunday finish, but I have the option of going into Monday. You can never tell what will happen, I will try for Sunday. Three more days, can I do it? Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Day 4 Earby to Ilkley

Here I am in my hotel room, I don't know if I should tell you how much it cost. Let's just say that added to the £17 for last night, and divided by 2 the answer is £39.50. Ha ha. Yes it is too much. I have walked a long way today because I felt much better, and I didn't want to go off route and go down into Ilkley to search for a bed. Another walker told me about the Cow and Calf and said it is on the Millennium Way, so when I got here and the barman told me the price, I thought sod it, just pay.

The food is too expensive here, so after a shower and change into my soft shoes, I trouped off down the long hill to Tesco. There I spent £3.30, reduced price prawn salad, drink, doughnuts, bread, and quiche for tomorrow. I didn't fancy the mile long trek back up the hill so I thought I would try hitch hiking. Held my thumb out and smiled. Three cars passed me and the fourth car stopped. It was an Asian chappie, I hopped in and said can you drop me off at the hotel at the top. He said yes, you will have to pay me. I said I have no money. Then he pointed to the sign at the top of his windscreen, TAXI. I said I had better get out, I have no money. I hadn't even noticed he was a taxi. Then he said he was picking up at the Cow and Calf, and if I couldn't pay it didn't matter. OMG I was dying to get out because I was bursting to laugh. A free ride in a taxi, ha ha.

Anyway, as I said I felt a lot better this morning. People are telling me you walk through the pain and come out the other side, so fingers crossed it should get better. I walked across the fields to Lothersdale and came across this pond. Now I feel I am in my favourite county, Yorkshire, I love it here.

The next bit was a long trek on the road, the most direct route to Glusburn and Cross Hills. I was striding along. It is not as sunny today, a nice breeze, much more comfortable.

Here we are coming into Glusburn. I love these old fashioned signs.

Down into Cross Hills, I found a Co op store and purchased a drink and a tub of tuna pasta salad, and found a church to sit and have lunch. As you can see I have taken my boots and socks off, it was lovely to walk about on the cold grass.

Over the railway bridge and the A629, to Kidwick, I walked along the Leeds and Liverpool canal for a while. I was able to chat to the chappie on this boat. There are two barges tied together, with building materials on board. He said they work for British Waterways and they are going to repair some canal banks. The little engine bit at the front is pushing the barges along.

The houses have lots of pot plants and flowers, just coming into Silsden.

I have a second wind now, and I'm striding along. My moods keep alternating, one minute I think I will never get to the end, then I suddenly get a buzz when I think of what it might feel like when I arrive at Hull. It was a long climb out of Silsden. Stopped to ask a tractor driver the way as I couldn't find the path. I went past Brunthwaite Crag and turned right at Nab End, heading for Ilkley Moor. Over Addingham High Moor, It's fabulous up here.

Up, up, and away, I joined The Millennium Way. This is a lovely part of the walk, makes me feel very happy.

Ilkley was on my left hand side, the path goes quite close to it in some places, but it was too early to pack up, so on I went. This is a cute little stone footbridge, the ferns are quite high at the moment.

The path climbed up again, and I came across this little white building. The man was just closing up. I was intrigued, the sign said Bath House. He told me that people do indeed climb up here to have a bath. It is a cold spring bath, Ilkley is a spa town. He said there is a queue to get in on January 1st as it's a tradition. Him and his wife make a living working here, there is no vehicle access, everything has to be carried up. What a wonderful place to live. I must Google this when I get back, apparently it is on the Bradford Council website, because they own the building.

This is the view they have from their front door, pure bliss if you ask me. He said they love it in the winter when the snow is down.

Nearly there now, passing through Ilkley Craggs.

I'm in a good place to get a good start tomorrow. across towards Otley and Harewood, so I'll have a look at the map so see which way I'm going to go. Off to watch a bit of tele now before bed time. I'm so pleased that you are coming along on this journey with me, thanks for your company. Toodle pip.