Saturday, 3 May 2014

Day 3. Stockton on the Forest to Easingwold

Oh my word, what am I doing at York Youth Hostel tonight I'm not supposed to be at York, it wasn't on the agenda. You're gonna laugh at this. I thought I would have an early finish today because my feet were feeling a bit sore, and if I carried on past Easingwold I wouldn't have found a bed. Now wouldn't you think that a popular market town like Easingwold, would have some B & B's, well you would wouldn't you? Wrong! The George was full, I asked several people and all looked blankly at me. Someone suggested The Old Vicarage so I went and asked there, only to find the owners hard at work preparing their house for sale. They have given up taking paying guests and are ready to downsize. Oh dear, now what, I've drawn a blank. 
The kind people tried to help me out by ringing places they thought might be able to accommodate me, still no luck. Then it was decided that I should get a bus somewhere and I might have a better chance. My new friend suggested the Youth Hostel at York and he got them on the phone, yes they did have a bed. The bus left at 6.30pm and I would get there at 7pm. So here I am. My bed for tonight with breakfast cost £27, all I have to do is get back to Easingwold in the morning. 
Right, what sort of a day have I had. As I left the B & B I was handed a pack of sandwiches and biscuits, I hadn't asked for any, so that was a kind thought from the owner. Lovely they were to, cheese and pickle. This is a photo of the church opposite Church View B & B.
And the B & B. Nothing fancy, just clean and friendly hospitality.

It was a shorts and teeshirt day today, the weather was glorious. The route out took me through a massive golf course, I was on the lookout for flying golf balls, ha ha. I skirted round the edge of Strensall, and picked up the path alongside the river for a short distance. It went under this railway bridge.

Then some road walking to Sutton on the Forest. This is a pretty village with lots of flowers and bushes clinging to the fronts of the cottages.

I heard the church bells ringing and saw some people up ahead who were dressed up in their best togs. What a bonus, it was a wedding. And it gets better, look at this magnificent sight, what a bonus to be passing just as the carriage was waiting to collect the bride and groom.

I stopped to chat with the young lady who was steadying the horses while they waited. She was delightful, telling me about her own horses, and how she volunteers for this job, and how she loves her training to become a nurse. I love it when people tell me about their life.

This is Sutton Hall, just across the road from the church, where the wedding reception was being held. The guests had to wait though, as the happy couple went for a ride in the carriage before it started.

After a sit down on the church bench, all the people had gone by then, I took my boots off to give my feet a rest. Then onward to Huby. I came across this unusual stile. It's like a gate. 
You push the two upright posts to the side while you step through. Very clever.

Out of Huby I took a track past a pig farm, there are quite a lot of them in these parts. Look at these little baby porkies, how cute. Mother was guarding them and eyed me with suspicion as I snapped away.

Opposite a caravan and camping site there there was a wood carpeted in millions of bluebells. Spectacular.

I've had a lovely day, not done quite as many miles, only 15.86, but the bonus is another cheap B & B, with the downside that I have to get the bus back to Easingwold in the morning.

I'll just mention something I saw today that shocked me. I know travelling people set up camp anywhere they can and I don't generally take much notice of them, but today I had to walk right by a group in a country lane who were living on a grass verge next to the road. It looked as if they had been there a while because the place was strewn with all kinds of odds and ends. They had built a pen for their chickens, they had ducks and chickens free ranging in the field, and there must have been a dozen dogs tied up of all sizes, and all yapping away. I think this kind of travelling is quite common in the summer months. What shocked me was the state of the people. They sat huddled round in a circle on the bare ground, some of them looked at me as I walked by, and their faces were filthy along with their clothes, and matted hair. Even the women looked terrible. It looked as if they hadn't seen water for months. I am not really sure why people live in this fashion, what do they do for food, how do they feed their animals? This is beyond my comprehension. I really don't understand this at all.

My two room mates have gone out and I am sitting alone on my bed. I'm just off down to reception to ask the girl about bus times in the morning. I did think about getting a bus back to Hull because I was feeling a bit despondent. Sometimes moments of doubt creep in but a copout would be too easy. I'll hobble downstairs and get the bus times, that's if I can get off this bed, ha ha. Toodle pip.


  1. I hope you manage to get a bus ok in the morning with it being Sunday.
    The horses and carriage were nice and its good to see that the girl with them was giving her help for free.
    Good luck with the rest of your walk.

  2. onlyjo here - only found your blog a few weeks ago and have really enjoyed reading through it - you are amazing lady - enjoyed reading about your previous walks and am finding it fascinating to read about this one 'live' . hoping you get a really good nights sleep and feel much refreshed in the morning .

  3. Are you coming through Thirsk I live here you would be very welcome to stay overnight nothing fancy!! Maz

  4. I hope tomorrow goes well for you. Meanwhile rest up those feet.
    What a kind landlady you had last night, such a nice gesture to pack up the sandwich for you.

  5. I will meet you in Thirsk near the clock if you would like to stay , xx Maz

  6. Please keep going! I really appreciate the photos. Good luck with the feet.

  7. Sorry you don't know me I have followed your blog for a long time enjoyed every minute . I would be chuffed to welcome you to my humble abode xxxxx Maz

    1. Hello Maz, thanks for your kind offer. It's all a bit up in the air at the moment. There is a bus in the morning that arrives at Easingwold at 10.20am, but I'm not sure where I get it. If I did get to Thirsk it would be too early to stop for the night, and there's another problem, at some point I have to cross the River Swale and there isn't a crossing where I want one. It would mean going miles out of my way. I am thinking it would be best to go across to Ripon, not coming to Thirsk at all. I must get to bed and think about it, so many iff's and butt's. Sorry I can't make arrangements to meet you. I won't be putting the computer on until tomorrow night, and I don't want to advertise my mobile number here.

    2. Fully understand maybe next time !xx

  8. Perhaps less miles per day would help your feet? That wisteria on the cottage wall is won't grow here,I really love it.
    Sleep well.
    Jane x

  9. You can do it Ilona, lovely pictures thank you.
    I hope that you keep going, I hope your feet allow you to. I know there must be times when you feel like giving up. Bit like life really, when you feel you cannot do more and then after a nights sleep and a nice breakfast, courage and spirit is renewed. I wish that for you.
    Are you eating enough? You need to keep your strength up.
    Thinking of you and sending love.
    Pam in Texas

  10. I had to write again to tell you that one of my verification words to prove I was not a robot, was " journeyman" how apt was that!
    Pam in TX. xx

  11. It's a two edged sword, that travelling alone, isn't it? On the upside, you can set your own agenda, set your own pace, don't have to make accommodations for other people's wants or preferences. On the downside, there's no one to jolly you along and share grizzles with.

    From this side of the screen, it looks like a smashing walk! So hope you walk refreshed in the morning.

  12. I hope your feet recover overnight and you are able to continue comfortably tomorrow. That white horse is so beautiful! Except for your poor feet, it looks like it was an A+ day.

  13. Mary in Perth Australia4 May 2014 at 01:21

    Your photos are excellent. I can really imagine being on the walk with you.
    I was based at RAF Topcliffe many years ago, so do give it a wave for me if you see it.
    Good luck with your sore feet, and safe travelling.

  14. Hope your feet and body got a good night's rest and you are feeling up to a good journey today!

  15. Really enjoying your walk! We live in Flamborough and know the area you have covered so far quite well but still interesting to see your take on familiar places. Could you use the money saved on B and B to get some Compeed for your feet - perhaps easier to buy in York on a Sunday?! Wishing you extra energy and a lovely day today. Vicki.

  16. I love the wisteria on the front of the house. I bought one as I think they're so beautiful but didn't realise it takes years for them to bloom. I wait every year lol. The horse and cart is definitely a fairy tale wedding, bet it's a fairy tale price as well lol. Keep going chuck you only live once x

  17. Lovely photos of your day Ilona. Hope you got a good nights rest and you have a good day today. You met some lovely people along the way.

  18. I am just catchng up with blogs but kicking myself for not reading your's earlier, you have more or less walked passed my house in Strensall, had I know the kettle would have been on. I know the travellers that you speak of and they live like that all year round, moving round the area. I'm enjoying your pictures of places local to me.

  19. keep going , Paul , ollie and alf.

  20. Hope that you had a good rest, and I hope that your feet have recovered. That is a lot of walking.
    Love the pictures, esp of the churches.
    Glad that you are meeting some kind and helpful people on your travels.

  21. What great weather and some interesting people you met/saw on your travels. Lovely photos.

  22. I am currently squatting in my present place (a long and sad story) and the property is borderline derelict (only cold water and no heating system) so I can understand those people by the side of the road. Natalie

  23. Take it easy and don't rush. Give the tootsies a good rest.
    Love from Mum

  24. Lovely pics. Having met a wedding party should bring you luck for the rest of your journey.
    Hope the weather holds out for you.

  25. Hi Ilona, Wishing you well on your walk from across "the big pond". Routing for you--YOU GO GIRL! Don't get despondent, wherever your walk takes you, you'll have a great time and meet wonderful people because you have such a positive attitude about everything. You are posting some lovely pictures and I'm enjoying reading your travels each day, have been following along on a map and getting more info about the towns you are passing through.

    Gail in NH

  26. I met a chap who had been brought up as a gypsy traveller but his Mum always said that however poor they were, theyd never be too poor to have bar of soap, so there would never be an excuse for any of them ( 13 kids!) to be mucky. He looked back fondly to a way of life long since tainted by modern 'gypsies' who were tinkers and gave them all a bad name.
    Years ago we had a tinker tribe, rather than gypsies, settle on road side land out behind our house across the road.
    When the police came to evict them after afew weeks, they left an old dog tied up and several mange ridden chickens.
    Dog and chooks had to be put down sadly.
    Also shed loads of crap and rubbish was left behind.
    The children ran round in tee shirts and no underclothes and peed and poo'd on the road side, it was the summer but even so, it was a nightmare watching the children hurtle across the road in between traffic and listening to the barking dogs.
    Hope your feet are okay - no harm in doing the other half of the walk when the feet are abit harder!
    Enjoy rather endure lol

  27. Danneke here walking the walk with you so to speak Ilona maybe if you had taken Maz up on her offer and took a day off to rest the feet you would feel better, I know you walk to a timetable but girlfriend non of us are getting younger and you do so much all the time. Surprised there was a bus on a Sunday to Easingwold , lots of the country busses have stopped doing w/end runs in n/yorkshire. I was surprised you couldnt find a B/B out in the easingwold area its a place I have only been to a couple of times so I know little about the town. Hope you find the next few nights accomodations at reasonable prices and the feet keep free of blisters, Hugs

  28. Hi hun, You are doing amazing! It's lovely to follow your journey - I wish that you had done this as a sponsored walk as I would have sponsored you :) - You might have been able to negotiate cheaper B& B rates especially as they are getting free advertising :) It's late Sunday so I hope that you managed to get your bus ok. I used to live in Sowerby (Lillac Cottage), RAF Topcliffe and Thirsk as a child ( not only RAF hubbie but RAF Dad as well!). Mum worked as a waitress at the Golden Fleece in Thirsk many many moons ago - 1971 ish! Looking forward to your next installment *Go Girl - you rock!!* Take care. Love and hugs Sue XXX

  29. Keep your spirits up, Ilona. You motivate me so much. So much I want and will be going on a walk of my own tomorrow. The people you meet along the way will help to keep you going and you are certainly making the most of life and living it to the full. Thanks for sharing your journey and the fabulous photos of your travels. Look after yourself and those tootsies. Have a good night's sleep. Louise (from Burton)

  30. You are doing amazingly well, and what a beautiful walk! that wisteria, and those piglets! It looks absolutely fab.
    I hope tomorrow is as lovely.


  31. Hope tomorrow is a good day Ilona.
    All very well saying not to worry, but we do and will continue to do so until you are home again.
    You are a strong and capable lady and will be sensible I know that.
    Sending love.
    Pam in Texas.

  32. Bless you, sounds like a slight down moment was had. But I know you never give up hun.

    X x


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