Day 5 - Wednesday 15 June 2016
Shap to Kirkby Stephen (19.5 miles)
Dave's 54th Birthday today - duly celebrated by a rendition of Happy Birthday at breakfast sung by the guests and staff at New Ing - they even put some candles in his breakfast sausage. Today was a long leg of nearly 20 miles over to Kirkby Stephen therefore we fuelled up big time at breakfast - we would need all our energy for this leg of the journey. After saying goodbye to the team at New Ing we headed down the long and straight main road (the A6) out of Shap and called in at Bellas Butchers to purchase several of their mouthwatering pies that we would have for lunch later. We then bumped into Andrew & Michelle who informed us they were only going as far as Orton today - we would not see them again until The Lion Inn on Day 11. Weather wise it promised to be overcast with some sunny spells and so it proved - no rain though which is always a bonus!
The route leaves the main A6 road through Shap to head out towards the M6
Nice signs and waymarks a plenty
Taking a left turn at The Kings Arms the route crossed several fields to arrive at the bridge over the M6. The noise of the busy motorway is quite a surprise and we were glad to get across and leave it behind. Nearing Oddendale, we could see Keith ahead who was just behind the American couple who we saw yesterday heading back down Place Fell having gone off route slightly. They were having some navigational issues again and we had to call them back in order for them to regain the path to the limestone pavement.
At this point we walked with Keith for a while, passing the large erratic boulder on Crosby Ravensworth fell before heading over the hillside to reach a road. There was now a short stretch of road walking before reaching the junction with the B6260 which we crossed over before dropping down past an old lime kiln - just after this the path splits to Orton and we bade our farewell to Keith as he headed for the village - we would not see him again.
Fudge looks like he has been on it all night
The Limestone Quarry & Cement Works near Shap
Crossing the busy M6
The path heads to the right and runs parallel with the M6 for a few hundred yards
Why the long face?
Passing the road down to the tiny hamlet of Oddendale
Chatting with Keith at the glacial erratic boulder on Crosby Ravensworth Fell
Crossing the B6260 towards Orton
And on we go - Keith would shortly leave us to go to Orton - we would not see him again
Ruined Lime Kiln near the B6260
We were now back on our own again but shortly after the farm at Fall Flatt we spotted 4 people coming up from the direction of Orton - it was Nicole & Karen plus a couple of chaps they had met who we had not seen before. They had succumbed to the Tea Shop in Orton and had therefore taken a detour. After a brief chat we let them go on and after passing the farms at Friar Biggins & Scarside we stopped for a superb lunch of our Bellas Pies from Shap. Lunch over we then headed along a walled path to meet a lane at Acres Farm which took us through the hamlet of Sunbiggin to pass to the right of the tarn of the same name. After a muddy section, the route now headed over Ravenstonedale Moor and we could just make out the large HF group up at the hill top water reservoir ahead. Reaching the water reservoir ourselves we could see ahead that we now had Nicole & Karen's group plus the HF lot in front of us. The walking was really good now and we were making quick progress alongside the wall that lead to Severals archaeological site. Descending steeply to an old boarded railway cottage, the path now zig zagged down to Smardale Bridge which is a lovely spot and provides a superb view over to Smardale Gill Viaduct.
It's hard enough trying to get him to sit!
Heading to Friar Biggins Farm
This was a lovely transit over to Sunbiggin Tarn
Dark clouds up above as we head to Sunbiggin
Fudge doing his scary & unnerving lip curling Elvis thing
A Bellas Butchers Shap pie - the photo does not do it justice - it was fantastic
Heading for Smardale passing Bents Farm
The steep descent to Smardale Bridge - the building ahead is a boarded up railway cottage
Smardale Bridge - the C2C route crosses the bridge and heads up alongside the wall to the left
Here is a better view of the path leaving Smardale Bridge
The first indication we were nearing Kirkby Stephen
Leaving the bridge, the route now headed on a gentle incline alongside a wall and we enjoyed a clear view to the left over to Cross Fell and we could also clearly see the dome sitting atop Great Dun Fell. Continuing on, the walking was really enjoyable on excellent paths and before too long we were making our descent down into Kirkby Stephen - today was a long day and we were beginning to feel the miles in our legs. Reaching a large farm, we eventually caught up with Nicole & Karen plus the HF group and passed them to head into the buzzing metropolis of Kirkby Stephen to finally arrive at our digs for the night at the Jolly Farmers Guest House.
Looking back over to our steep descent to the ruined railway cottage
Keep up you two
Cross Fell, Little Dun Fell & Great Dun Fell
After what seemed like an eternity we finally descended into Kirkby Stephen - Nicole & Karen are ahead of us
After a quick drink we freshened up and made our way back downstairs for Dave's Birthday meal - home cooked food which was delicious, washed down by something from Jolly Farmers wine cellar. Angie had organised a cake and Dave enjoyed a second rendition of Happy Birthday from all guests that included the HF group. After topping up supplies at the Co-op we turned in for the night - this had been a long but thoroughly enjoyable day.
The Jolly Farmers Guest House, Kirkby Stephen - thejollyfarmers.wordpress.com
We stayed here for 2 nights in total (Day 0 too) and thoroughly enjoyed both our stays. It is a very short walk into the town, they provide evening meals and are licensed - the food was very good.
Day 5 Data
8 hrs 18 min
39 hrs 52 min
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