Episodes

27 episodes
  • Coast to Coast 27 an eerie stroll by Yorkshire’s Fat Betty towards Great Fryup Lane.

    Jan 26 2022

    There was no need for sunscreen this morning. The besieging mist limited visibility with a veil of damp greyness that chilled the face and numbed the hands. The opaque blanket clung low to the soggy earth squeezing the acrid stench of marsh gas between its folds. All sound was stifled, like the muffled oars of a smuggler’s skiff passing close offshore on a raw winter’s night.

     Walking on the springy grass proved to be a surprisingly agreeable experience. A grey world of misty dampness parted with each step, and then closed in behind. The eerie cocoon in which I existed was a private and curiously comforting place to be. Having established an effortless rhythm and pace, a mood of wellbeing settled on me – a feeling forgotten since childhood; a contented familiarity with nature in which I felt acknowledged and silently understood.

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    10 mins
  • Coast to Coast 26 to The Lion Inn with its ancient cock fighting pit.

    Jan 19 2022

    The air was heavy with the scent of heather and the musky tang of damp moorland soil. For miles around the yellow, green, russet and purple/browns fused like the dusty autumnal tones of a well-worn Bedouin rug.

     

    “I’ve walked New Zealand’s Milford Sound and to the Base Camp on Everest,” the Aussie stated. “But the walk I’ve enjoyed most is the Coast to Coast going as you are, west to east.”

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    12 mins
  • Coast to Coast 25 tramping Captain James Cook’s childhood playground.

    Jan 12 2022

    From the beginning, Peter and I had regarded the trek as a sort of quest, a diversion from the norm rather than a test of our fortitude or stamina. As our journey progressed, it evolved into an on-going adventure to be lived within – a taste of forgotten freedom.

     

    In Great Broughton there were two places to dine. For only the third time on the trip someone called heads when they should have chosen tails. The result was stale, flat beer and bad food. Even the horror of Hugh’s gravy encrusted elephant ear ‘Yorkshire Pudding’ would have rated more stars than the food we endured.

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    17 mins
  • Coast to Coast 24 ‘Farewell’ Danby Wiske: ‘Welcome’ Ingleby Cross.

    Jan 6 2022

    “You’re not having another shower are you?” our diminutive landlord protested in dismay. “You had one only yesterday.”

     

    Later, we chanced upon Hugh of Gibbsland who was still grappling with the mysteries of map and compass. Needless to say, he was heading in the wrong direction and became ensnared in a clump of tall reeds and briars on an overgrown river bank.

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    16 mins
  • Coast to Coast 23 Danby Wiske the village that outwitted hospitality.

    Dec 29 2021

    In a secluded corner a slightly groggy and bewildered beast stood next to the path. It watched over a calf lying on the grass trying to raise its head. Both animals were exhausted and bloodied. Clearly the cow had given birth to the calf only moments before. We stood quietly by and watched the calf scrambling to raise itself. I felt extremely privileged to have witnessed the newborn calf stand and suckle for the first time.

     

    There was no evidence of hospitality in Danby Wiske. The inn locked people out and our digs were deserted. On that drizzly Saturday afternoon desperate measures were called for. We struggled into our wet weather gear and sought sanctuary in the local church and graveyard.

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    13 mins
  • Coast to Coast 22 Danby Wiske cheered by a gaggle of trudging eccentrics.

    Dec 23 2021

    Further on, the landscape changed. Stone walls gave way to hawthorn hedges, cattle replaced sheep and fallow meadow were tilled and sawn. We had entered the Vale of York, the long flat wooded plain between Swaledale and the Cleveland Hills.

     

    The rich farmland wasn’t solely good for cash crops; it was also a winemakers’ field of plenty with wide swaths of elder bush hedges, heavy with purple berries waiting to be harvested for fermentation.

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    12 mins
  • Coast to Coast 21 Richmond feet-up day and a garlic fix forgone.

    Dec 16 2021

    In the space of two hours we’d glimpsed garlic heaven and endured culinary hell. No mean achievement for a Friday night in a small North Yorkshire market town.

     

    The landlady proved to be a gem. Her helpfulness and, more importantly, her stylish smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, made our stay at the Old Brewery such a pleasure it assuaged sad memories of Richmond’s missed opportunities and the ‘hold-the-spuds’ Lamb Henry of the night before.

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    7 mins
  • Coast to Coast 20 to Richmond in a monsoon-like deluge.

    Dec 9 2021

    Walking at a steady pace in the rain promoted a pleasant feeling of detached solitude, a state of mind similar to meditation. The rhythmically paced footfalls became the mantra that freed the observer within to watch the mind at play. The close patter of rain on my hood was wonderfully personal and intimate.

     

    In no time, my feet were sloshing about in spongy misshapen boots. The combination of wet grass, pouring rain and the run-off from my leggings had turned each boot into a footbath. 

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    19 mins
1-8 of 27 Episodes