Tag Archives: Shap

Coast to Coast – Shap to Orton

June 26 – If you want to know how the empty hotel saga ended, we went downstairs for breakfast at 7:30 in the morning (the time we were told), and found no one in the kitchen or the bar. There was, however, a trucker delivering sinks, who needed a signature on his manifest. He was wandering about, shouting hello, just like we had done yesterday. I offered to sign. We found the coffee machine, and sat down for a nice chat. There was a chicken wandering outside. He suggested we go see if she had laid any eggs, so we could make ourselves some breakfast! He was from Worcestershire, where the sauce is made. Nice People of England! At 8:00, a lady came to cook our full English. Off we went!

Only 8 miles today, still clear and sunny. We have officially left the Lake District, and are now walking through the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales. Signs of civilization.

Scary signs too. Beyond, there be dragons!

We passed a double stone circle, that our guidebook says has been there for 8000 years. Behind it is a copse – another word we don’t use every day.

Then there was a boulder, as in “go straight on past the boulder.”

Before very long, we arrived at Orton, a sweet little village.

All Saints Church was open for us to see.

They have some big old bells.

And a bell ringers band!

Colorful pipes.

We’re staying at the historic George Hotel.

The shop had some products we don’t see everyday. Love chutney!

Coast to Coast humo(u)r:

Patterdale to Shap

June 25 – Today we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, then walked down to the pier to catch the morning Ullswater steamer.

As always, dogs are welcome on board!

The ferry took us about six miles, on a clear, gorgeous morning.We got off at a dock called Howtown. If there was a town there, we didn’t see it. From the dock, we had a steep hike up along the Ullswater.

We planned an eleven mile walk to get us to the town of Shap. Yesterday, I considered not doing this walk at all, as I was pretty exhausted from all the mountain climbing. It turns out the bus to Shap only runs once a week, and today was not the day. So up we walked!

This gives a different meaning to “walking the dog”. The owner said this old gal recently had a stroke, and they couldn’t bear to leave her at home when they were going out walking.

Here is Wainwright’s Stone, where the founder of the Coast to Coast Walk liked to sit and gaze out on the Ullswater. It is inscribed with his words, “that loveliest of lakes, curving gracefully into the far distance”.

After a couple of hours, we reached the top of the Arkham Fell, and the land flattened out. Here is an ancient stone circle, called The Cockpit.

Today was the hottest day of the year so far, (it got up to 77 degrees!) so we brought along our hiking umbrellas, which gave us our own little bit of shade. This terrain reminded us of walking in Spain.

Before we knew it, we were getting close to Shap. The postman stopped and offered us a drink of water and a tract about Jesus. We talked to a man who was a dry wall builder, which means that he builds the stone walls back up after a car or a cow knocks one down. All the walls around here are “dry”, meaning no mortar is used. He got to knock off work early today on account of the heat!

The town of Shap was a one road town that looked pretty deserted. We got to our hotel, The Greyhound, which looked closed. Turns out, the hotel, which has been around since 1680, had been closed for renovations for a year, and just reopened. We tried all the doors and eventually got in through a service door and shouted to no avail for attention. None of the rooms are labeled yet, there is construction dust and materials all over, and we kept getting lost. We finally found a door that led to the bar, where one person was waiting for us. After she checked us in, she left! Worst of all, the WiFi doesn’t work. Oh, holiday horror!