DAY THREE – Thirsk to Leyburn
We left the Wetherspoons early after a delicious pastrami bagel (the best item on their menu) for me and a large breakfast for Liam. The walk out of Thirsk isn’t the most exciting as there is a walk of nearly an hour just to reach the outskirts.
We had a long section on road for a couple of hours before reaching the village where we having an early lunch. Unfortunately it wasn’t the village that we thought it was, so we didn’t have an early lunch. We did though instead sit on a bench in the village where there should have been a pub.
A landlord of the pub in the next village called out “you two look like you need a pint” and we were very much tempted, although by now we had realised where the pub we had visited before was so we resisted.
We then left the road and went onto a public footpath and I couldn’t work out the gate, as it was very complex. Liam, who is the official gatekeeper this week, also struggled and a man appeared to help. He no doubt thought that we were two idiots but he was beyond friendly, offering me socks and even offering to just drive us to Leyburn.
The offers of help are really appreciated, but we can’t of course accept a lift that means we can’t complete our coast to coast walk. However, it was sorely tempting as it would mean that we would have been at our pub accommodation by 3pm. We decided though to keep going onto the next village which was Snape.
The walk to Snape was a disaster as the path was entirely flooded and so couldn’t be walked. We were forced onto another path which was much longer and was also partly flooded. This path disgorged us into a series of sheep pens and so Liam spent ten minutes untying gates (he’s good though, he puts them back). The whole event added around an hour to our day, meaning it was always going to be difficult to get back at a reasonable hour.
We then had to walk into a farm along a road which wasn’t an official footpath, so we shouldn’t have really been there. It wasn’t a choice we had much option in though as the public footpath was flooded. We were rather concerned to see some very loud dogs, but they were in a cage, although it did look that they could get out. I managed to break into a run to get out of the farm, concerned that the farmers wouldn’t be impressed to see us.
We then saw a farmer driving towards us in a tractor and thought he might query what we were doing there. He didn’t though, he just drove by us and let us merrily rejoin the road. The whole thing though cost us well over an hour, and we didn’t have that time to lose.
We went into a lovely pub for a real ale and three packets of mini Cheddars (or a tea in Liam’s case) and the landlady was really kind. She found us some maps, let us sit by the fire and offered a real Yorkshire welcome. We stayed there for thirty minutes and were warmed up by the time we left.
We couldn’t take the route that we wanted as it would put our arrival time at the pub accommodation at later than 9pm. This wasn’t sensible, as we needed food, so we instead switched to a road route. The route was awful, hard on the feet and entirely boring. However, it got us there by 8pm, although we were sorely tempted to get a taxi at one point.
Reaching the pub was a delight, although we were told we had ten minutes to order food. Which didn’t give us any opportunity to “freshen up” as Andrew would say, so I hobbled back down into the pub in my socks. The service was friendly and the food was hot, meaning that the day ended up positively.