Coast To Coast Diary

> Day Twelve

SATURDAY 22ND AUGUST 2009

THE END OF THE COWS?


Only two alarms going off this morning before I hear him getting up and what must be him disengaging his third alarm on his mobile. Not bad as he was on afternoons yesterday and didn’t go to bed until one, he must be keen. If only two alarms went off, then the time is between five past and ten past six (remember chapter one?). Except he no longer has to set his alarms around four, nor even five. Its six o’clock, these days thanks to us walking nearer our own town means we don’t have to get up so early. (Time to reveal now where we live) = Our town is Pontefract in Yorkshire, and the walk today starts from Danby Wiske, where we left it last Sunday, to Mount Grace Priory in Yorkshire, which is just off the A19, 12 miles north of Thirsk and 7 miles north east of Northallerton, Ordenance Survey Landranger map 99, reference SE453982 (Clever dog!).

Colin came round yesterday (Colin is PL’s brother in law and also Nicky’s dad). Colin will be taking us today as Smithy is now on holiday in Scottieland and since PL is taking Colin, his wife Marie, and daughter Natalie to the airport on Sunday morning at half five, Colin thought it only right he could help out this time. We went round to their house at seven and they were ready to go, hurrah! Can’t wait. We were waved off by Marie who said I looked dead cute sitting in the front seat of the car anxious to get going. Natalie, the wise one, was still in her bed. Off we set onto the M62, A1, then again it’s different this morning because we are using the A19 for the first time. This gets us to Mount Grange Priory in about 45 minutes only to find the gate is closed at the bottom of the long driveway. It is not locked so PL opens it and both cars drive in right up to the main Priory gates and the car park gates which are also closed but this time locked. PL reads the sign that displays the opening times and the opening time for today is 10 o’ clock.

It is now just before eight and now we are wondering what to do (it serves him right, he should have done his homework). We look around for some people to ask if maybe we could just leave the car there in a safe place just off the road as there are a couple of farms on the driveway but see nobody so we go back out and close the gate. We get back on the A19 north and turn right straight across from the petrol station into Ingleby Arncliffe where we leave the car, and we all get into Colin’s car and set off for Danby Wiske. It’s another beautiful day on our coast to coast and on arriving at Danby Wiske I have another game of throw/catch on the green in front of the White Swan pub. As we left the village PL got that picture of the sign on the side of the pub. We set off up the road and came across a traffic police man with a speed gun who was having a little nap on the job. We left him to it then crossed the East Coast mainline railway on the road bridge and took a path on the left that took us to the main A167 road. Turning left up to Oaktree Farm then taking a right back off the road again and onto a path that would lead us onto Deighton Lane. But not before passing some mean looking cows, and one in particular taking the usual instant dislike to me, thankfully these were behind a gate this time. There is nothing to this section really.

It would have been a pleasant Saturday morning stroll if not for the cows constantly running up to the fences of just about every field we past (thank God they were in fields this time) and they would act in a frightening manner, when they did that they were always looking down at me. I know it’s me they don’t like and I don’t mind telling you I was very scared of them as were my human companions. I think if my companions were walking on their own they would get no bother from the beasts. After Deighton lane more cows at more fences, then we were walking through a farm and PL and Nicky were pleasantly surprised to come across a table offering soft drinks, crisps, and biscuits with an honesty box or (jar). That’s really nice says PL, maybe things are starting to look up for us in this part of the world. Our joy was short lived when a great big black dog came our way and he made it very clear that he didn’t like me and wanted me off his land (gert orff my land I tell you, you dirty scoundrel). Its ok I’m going I was telling him, I just want to walk through without any trouble. He kept circling me and was trying to have a go but PL and Nicky were keeping him at bay, but for how long? Hurry up PL snapped at Nicky as Nicky was fumbling in his pocket for change. I’m going as fast as I can Nicky snapped back at PL. Hey hang on a cotton picking minute here guys, don’t let these farm hands get to us, we’ve got to stick together out here, remember, the three musketeers must ride again, one for all, and sod the rest! We were out of there quicker than a cow chasing a dog orff its land. Walking up the track with Nicky drinking his new purchase PL asks Nicky to read where the next point of interest is. To Nicky’s horror he realizes he hasn’t got the documentation and said he must have left it on the table in his haste to get away. Nicky went back for it as no way José I was going any were near there so PL and myself stayed on the track. When Nicky came back we made our way up to Long Lane then left on another path towards a farm and the York- Middlesbrough railway.

Here I was nosied up by two sheep dogs but were quickly brought under control by two little girls playing on a quad bike. Then we had to cross a field with a load of cows in it. They were all staring at us and PL says no way and started looking for an alternative route.

Just then a couple who I think were also doing the coast to coast joined us at the style. Nicky said that the cows were now walking in a direction away from us and said lets go for it. So we all went over the style and towards the gates at the railway only to see them locked up with a sign saying hikers and pointing left up the field. The other couple went that way but we thought it safer to go over the gate and use the old crossing as described in the book then walk up the grass side to the new crossing with steps.

Then after that it was just a case of a long walk to the A19 passing a couple of farms along the way without incident. Emerging from the track and on arrival at the BP garage we were met with the frightening scene that every coast to coaster must face, crossing the A19!

To get passed the M6 motorway we went over it. To get passed the A1 we went under it. But this bugger, we must run across it. Described in the book as an extremely fast dual carriageway and more dangerous than Striding Edge, we took our turn at the roadside waiting to cross. A gap in the traffic and Nicky was off, quicker than if he was running towards the free beer tent at Ponte races, but keeping his eye on the traffic as he crossed. Then it was our turn, off we went like bat out of hell one and two. Linford Christie eat your heart out, but minus the lunchbox of course!

All safely across now we walked up a very pretty lane to Ingleby Arcliffe and you can see the relief on both our faces that maybe, just maybe, our cow ordeal is at an end. Only coast to coasters that’s been before us will know the answer to that, we don’t know at this moment in time but you tend to think, moors, big wide open spaces, no fences, no walls, no cows, we’ll see! In the background of that picture you can just the TV masts above the trees and apparently we walk past them on the next section.

Continuing up the lane now we pass a pretty little farm on the left called Homelands. Back at the car we have a quick drink and a bite to eat before heading home and there is still plenty of the lovely summers day to enjoy back home.