Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day Ten: Reeth to Richmond

Reeth to Richmond: 17.5 km

We were on the trail by 8:00 this morning not because it was a particularly long day (it wasn't) but because we knew there was lots to see in Richmond so we wanted to get there early. We met up with the Australians almost immediately, purely coincidentally, and hiked with them for a little while, but they had heavy packs that made them go slower, and we didn't want to appear to be pushing them. So we trooped on ahead. The day was sunny and warm, and most of the day we spent hiking through pastures, between houses and, for a little while, through a big wooded area that is preserved for grouse hunting. We reached Richmond by 1:30ish, a quick day indeed.
Marrick Priory:
a Roman Catholic Church in the past, now a farm and outdoor center
Dramatic Skies
In case you were wondering
A door, for those on stilts
The livestock decided to pose for us today
Walking across the Yorkshire landscape
Forest: Haven't seen much of this so far
Meticulously arranged communal gardens, I was beyond impressed
Apparently they were used to seeing Coast to Coasters
Once in Richmond, we went to the tourist information center to pick up some maps and brochures. We also bought a book on British plants so that I can learn to identify some of the pretty flowers we saw along the route.
Henry VIII's legacy: Another decaying Catholic Church
We stopped for tea and cake at a tea house in the market center. Then we wandered through town in search of our B&B. We knew it was in the old part of the city, close to the river and the castle, and just off of a green by a big horse chestnut tree, and sure enough, we had no trouble finding it based on those directions. In fact, it was hard to ever get lost in the old part of Richmond, because you can always see the castle keep in the distance and can judge where you are relative to the keep. We got to our B&B an hour before the official check-in time, but they kindly let us in anyway, and agreed to do all our laundry--for free! We had no complaints with The Old Brewery Guesthouse; they treated us very well. For breakfast, we were given a number of options for our meals, any of which would be prepared hot and just as we specified. We both had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon in it. Yum!
Our B&B:
the green and the horse chestnut, just as we were told to expect
After stopping at our B&B, we went to Richmond castle and spent quite a while touring the grounds there. I was amazed how much freedom we had to walk around the ruins--in Canada, it would all be offbounds, or there would be ramps and handrails installed, or we would have had to wear helmets and kneepads or safety glasses (ok now I'm exaggerating). We walked up to the top of the keep and climbed up into the walls and imagined what it would have looked like as a working castle protecting the English from Scottish invasion.

The Keep from through the arch of the original castle
The Stairs up the Keep tower
There we are, at the top
The Market Square from Above
Lots of Ruins to Explore
Our next stop was a restored Georgian theatre. We got a tour of the building which was a theatre in the 1700s and continues to be a theatre today--but for some reason we don't have any pictures of it. I can't remember, but perhaps we weren't allowed to take pictures while we were inside?
Narrow streets beside the theatre
After the theatre, we walked over to the Victorian-era train station. We'd heard that it was worth seeing and we were not disappointed. After the rail line to Richmond was dismantled, the train station started to decay, but, with a completion date of just shortly before our visit, it had been restored to its former glory, with a museum relating its history, a movie theatre with two screens, a restaurant and cafe, a cheese-maker, an ice cream store and a couple of other business suites. Very thoughtful use of an old building. We almost went to see Indiana Jones in the theatre, but the only seats left were in the very front row on the far left side, so we decided against it. We got ice cream cones instead.
Richmond Train Station
The Inside of the Train Station
Our Ice Cream: made on hand from Jersey milk. Mine's rhubarb and Brent's is mint
As per the recommendation of our B&B, we went to a specific pub for supper (I can't remember the name of it). It was quite decent pub food and was cheaper than we'd seen in a while--we came in under budget for once! Then we walked over to the grocery store to pick up some things for our lunches for the next day. While we were wandering the aisles there, we ran into Lou and Shirley! We leave them behind tomorrow, as we hike 37km to our next stop, whereas they split that day in two. It was a sad farewell, as we really enjoyed their company.
The Castle from across the River

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