Day 9: Reeth to Richmond


Praying in St. Andrews

Reeth to Richmond : 11 Miles
Bed & Breakfast: The Old School House
Starting time: 9:00 AM
Finish Time: 1:30 PM   

I’m a couple days behind in these blogs so it’s hard to write about this somewhat boring walk day when we’ve just completed a 24 mile marathon…but we’ll give it a brave attempt.

Horses were the highlight today!

Peter and Jan did possibly the best breakfast presentation I’d seen yet. When we commented on how good it was Peter admitted that he had been in sales before and had learned that presentation can make up for a lack of content. We all agreed that this morning’s breakfast had both presentation…and content!

By “we” I mean to suggest the wonderful couple we had breakfast with. Steve and Mary were Coast to Coasters and were doing the trip to celebrate his retiring from being the theater operator in surgery rooms. As he was retired and had spent a long time in the field he shared with us some of the technological breakthroughs he has seen in surgery during his career. I am loving this walk partly because I love people…their lives, and the stories of their lives. Steve’s stories were fascinating to me, especially over such a wonderful breakfast.

Gabriel got some fudge!

The walk itself today was a bit short and boring. We would be heading to Richmond which is the largest city on the Coast to Coast walk. I must admit we took a slight deviation from the path. Because we wanted to maximize our time in Richmond we took “the road” rather than the path. Same distance but road travel is a bit faster if, admittedly, slightly more boring – faster than slogging through people’s farms and squeezing through stiles.

So after saying good bye to our new friends Steve & Mary as well as to our hosts, Peter and Jan (telling her how my mom said she had honored us by her lovely “scratch” cake) we set off for Richmond.

Reaching civilization again!

Traveling the road meant dodging cars for 11 miles on a winding country road. I wish I had more to tell on this stretch…but I don’t. It was a pleasure to walk but probably the least interesting on the Coast to Coast. The highlight was running into a couple Coast to Coasters coming along side of us heading back to the path we were avoiding. They mentioned we had to pop into St. Andrew’s Church as it is the nicest church in Yorkshire.

Intrigued Gabriel and I made a slight detour to St. Andrews. We paused to look at some of the gravestones. I am fascinated by gravestones. memorials to people who lived and dedications by those who loved them. One grave stone stated that the father had died in 1732 and his son was buried with him in 1782. What did they do? What were their hopes? Their dreams? I want to meet these guys…and who knows, it’s possible.

Fish & Chips in Richmond

The church itself was amazing. More than just a relic, it obviously was used frequently having a children’s area set aside and slightly upsetting the “solemnity” of the building. No one else was there so we spent a few minutes walking around, saying a moment of prayer, and signing the visitor log indicating we were from Hong Kong. Gabriel even wrote “very beautiful” in Chinese characters.

Watched Spiderman here!

Arriving in Richmond we stumbled upon our B & B almost by accident. We knew, being it was 1:30 that we were way early but we were hoping to at least drop our bags off. “No problem” said Ian, owner of the West End Bed & Breakfast. He took our bags and a few minutes later we were off to paint the town red.

Well…not really. We grabbed some lunch and then I bought Gabriel the next two books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide < series at a second hand bookstore we found. We checked out the castle but being Hackman’s what we really wanted to do being back in a big(er) city was see a movie. We had been told that the old train station had been converted into a cinema and art gallery.

So yes, in the middle of our big adventure we stopped to see Spiderman in 3D. We were going to need a little break for what was in store for us tomorrow.

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About Steve Hackman

This is a blog of my son Gabriel and I's travels across England on the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk. I'm a 45 year old American living in Hong Kong and Gabriel is a 14 year old high school student. This is a father - son adventure I'd been planning since before Gabriel was born.