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Postcard from Britain # 5, England & Scotland Family History

    After all the walking we welcomed a shift to taxis and trains.  We needed a break and besides it would take way too long to walk to Scotland.  Traveling by taxi from Robin Hoods Bay to Scarborough, and onward via train to York, our intrepid foursome parted ways there.  Gail and Nanci stopped-off in York to sample its many charms, while Janet and Stu continued on to Huddersfield in pursuit of some family history.
    Now, Huddersfield is not your big-time tourist destination (it’s in the Midlands between Leeds and Manchester).  In fact our guidebooks didn’t even mention it.  Nevertheless we ended up in a good hotel in the center of an historic city that retains a certain workaday charm. We toured the impressive looking church where some of Janet’s ancestors were baptized and did family research in the city library.  We found the location of West Parade, a street that no longer exists, where one of Janet’s ancestors made artificial legs and operated an inn.  We couldn’t be sure if any of the buildings there now dated from the 1850s or earlier when they lived on the street. We were pleasantly surprised to find a small, quite good Caribbean restaurant for dinner.


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Postcard from Britain #4, C2C Walk, North York Moors to Robin Hood's Bay

Well, we did it! Nineteen days and going on 200 miles after we walked expectantly out of St. Bees and up onto the headland beneath a mostly sunny sky, we marched into Robin Hoods Bay on aching legs and sore feet, beneath a threatening sky.  Whew!

The final third of our cross country journey–from Osmotherley to RHB–took us through the North York Moors National Park.  We enjoyed some fine, distant vistas (even the North Sea a couple of days before we arrived), the lovely Esk Dale (especially the exquisite village of Egton Bridge, right out of a BBC serial), and on the last day a beautiful and beautifully-named waterfall, Falling Foss and a mysterious, hallowed-out boulder known as the Hermitage.  We made one steep climb out of Clay Bank up to Carr Ridge and another up the lane out of Grosmont (33%). We trudged and danced through nearly two miles of muck after a local hiker opined that we might find “a bit” of muck on the path along Broughton Bank that we took instead of climbing up to Wain Stones.

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Postcard from Britain #3, C2C Walk-Yorkshire Dales to Richmond

    Footwear.  It may be obvious, but we’ll say it anyway.  Well-made, sturdy, comfortable, properly fitting, tested and waterproof boots or hiking shoes are the most vital piece or kit for a walk across England.  Also near the top of our list: walking sticks, “waterproofs” (both jacket and pants) that are really waterproof not just repellant, maps and guides, and Ibuprofen.  It seems that even the young need the drug at times but when you’re our age you need it every day–to keep down the inflammation in muscles and joints, not to mention to pain of sore feet and blisters.

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