Landscape

On Friday we spent the day walking across three of North Yorkshire's glorious moors. Their names are intriguing: Live Moor, Carlton Moor, Cringle Moor. An Aussie hiker had asked me at breakfast to explain what a moor was. The question had surprised me and my reply, I'm sure, did not do justice to the moors. In the evening, over a beer with an Australian couple we've met over the days of this journey, I realised that 'moors' are something which Australia does not possess in the way that we do, for which its inhabitants have no proxy. This led to...

We were in Keld. All was fine. Monday evening spent happily in Keld Lodge, a former youth hostel, now a simple hotel at the halfway point on the C2C. On Tuesday, a dry, mild day of weather at last and the glorious riverside trail along the Swale. A highlight because you can stride out, look about and think beyond your footsteps, contemplate the journey you're making. Gone are the days when you need to take care with every step and your mind is absorbed in making it to the overnight stop in one piece. You're fitter after 100 miles and...

Day 5 is the last day in the Lakes, with the highest point on the whole journey, Kidsty Pike, the final frontier between the Lake District and the gentler landscape of the Eden and Lune Valleys. It's another hard day: a steep trail for several miles to reach Kidsty and a bone-shaking, knee-crunching downhill from its rocky summit. For views this is perhaps the best of days. And the rain cleared away so we got some sun, some relief from the elements, a tiny hint of summer. From high up on the trail you look back towards the Lakeland peaks....

Today we reached Grasmere. Chocolate-box Lakeland, a village full of country hotels, letting cottages and, thus, tourists. We never really want to tarry here, but Coast to Coasters, it seems, often take a rest day here especially the ones from Oz or the USA. They have a day off, perhaps to see Dove Cottage and soak in some Wordsworth, or maybe just because most of the hotels and guest houses have a policy of a minimum of two-night booking - no one-night stands. But we hit on the aptly-named Travellers Rest, up the main road out of Grasmere and hard...