Thursday, 18 October 2012

C2C Stage 6: Shap to Kirkby Stephen

Day 7. This stage is another long one ... although not designated "strenuous"

Shap (250m) to Kirkby Stephen (180m)
Distance 20 miles/32km - Long moderate - Height Gain 150m/490ft - 8.5 hours

Those who struggled over the previous stage may be less than delighted to learn that this stage is another long one. While long there is a plus ... no prolonged gradients to contend with so can be viewed as a "recovery day".

Another early start. We will be leaving Shap at 8:30am and should arrive in Kirkby Stephen around 5pm.

Setting out from mile 61ish our destination is mile 80.

This stage has a number of prehistoric sites although it would be easy to pass them by without recognising them.

The Lake District Mountains are left behind and the gradients ease to cross the rolling farmland and hills in Eden Valley. We follow the footpaths across the limestone plateau passing the secluded walled village of Oddendale with two concentric stone circles only a few minutes off the track and the granite boulders deposited by ice age glaciers. Orton lies a mile to the south of the route. There is a second, more impressive, stone circle a mile to the east of Orton on the Coast to Coast path.

We continue over rolling farmland and across the moors passing Sunbiggin, the hidden remains of several ancient settlements, and Smardale Bridge to the market town Kirkby Stephen.

There are banks, shops, pubs and cafes in Kirkby Stephen.

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