Day 9                      Keld to Reeth

12 miles  (via Muker)                     Cool and dry

Keld is the half way point of the Coast to Coast Walk, and Wainwright offers two routes from here to Reeth: the Royal Road which follows a gentle low level riverside way, adding about a mile if a diversion to Muker is included, or his preferred route over the moors, which passes by relics of the old lead mining industry.  We decided to take the former because we were not particularly interested in the disused lead mines and also because our legs were feeling tired after yesterday's very energetic Pennine crossing.

After breakfast we waved cheerio to the Aussies and wouldn't see them again as they were heading for a rest day at Richmond and would drop out of our walk.

We began by walking down to the river to see a couple of Keld's seven waterfalls.  They were still is spate with muddy water gushing downstream and we found the path high up alongside the river was slippery with mud making the enterprise a little dangerous this morning.

One of our favourite stops, Butt House, Keld

Keld's waterfalls were in full spate today

We resumed the walk proper and found it to be quite pleasant, following the river nearly all the way to Reeth, however on the debit side Carole was feeling bloody minded, her feet were tired from yesterday and although the walk was relatively easy she was full of hell (her description, not mine!).

We stopped off at Muker after only about 3 miles and although the village is not actually on the Coast to Coast and involves a half mile diversion each way after crossing the Swale, this diversion was worth doing as we walked through the most beautiful wild flower meadows we have ever seen.  Perhaps the recent heavy rain had brought them to their best?   

The River Swale would be our companion all day

Crossing the river to divert to Muker

Walking through the prettiest meadows we have ever seen

Muker appears in the distance

We walked round the village and found ourselves in a tea room where we enjoyed another cream scone and coffee, before heading off along the river to reach Gunnerside in another couple of miles where we shamefully stopped again and went to another tea room, this time sharing a tea cake and a slice of tea loaf together with a huge pot of tea.


Ambitious sheep in Muker

Back in the meadows towards Gunnerside

Ivelet Bridge

We wandered on along the river, watching sand martins swooping in and out of their nests inside holes in the river bank.  Along this stretch we also saw thrushes, dippers, rabbits and the usual picture-postcard lambs.  One interesting section involved walking along the top of a narrow paved flood defence wall, with the river down to one side and the fields about 10 feet below us on the other. As there was a strong wind blowing to the side it was a strange feeling and required concentration.

Carole holds the gate open for me

Gunnerside, where's the tea room?

Back along the Swale

On the flood defence wall, a ten foot drop on either side

It was Sunday and there were lots of weekend walkers about but other than meeting the American Couple at Muker Tea Rooms we saw none of our C2C companions, perhaps they were taking the lead mine route?


Arriving at the Buck at Reeth we enjoyed a couple of pints of Timothy Taylor Boltmaker before booking a window table for dinner and being shown to our room.