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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Like Here Only Different ~ Day 7 Bampton Grange to Orton

Bampton Grange to Orton 12 miles 19.5Km 5 hours   Bampton Grange , Shap Abbey, Shap , Oddendale, Robin Hood's Grave.  Tonight I stay at Scar Side Farm www.scarsidefarm.com  up the road from Orton.

This is an easy day of fairly unremarkable terrain but some choices to make on the map.  Shap Abbey will be a highlight.  The last abbey founded in England in 1199. Built by the French Premonstratensian order ( the White Canons)  founded by St Norbert in Northern France.  This was the last abbey to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540.  After the abbey was pillaged, locals used carved stonework from the building in their constructions.  The Shap Market Hall was built from abbey stone and many of the stone walls in the area contain verified stones.

The walled village of  Oddendale contains two ancient stone circles.  You can find them on Google maps, but finding them from the ground is said to be very challenging.  Robin Hoods Grave is a large cairn with certainly no Merry Men buried within.

The highlight of Orton is the church dating to 1293 and a set of pillories (stocks). A block down the road Kennedy's Chocolate Shop.  For anyone conquering the previous 5 days, a chocolate pig-out is earned.  It is likely to be great incentive to make sure I am in town before closing time.

I have left the Lakes District National Park and head right into North York NP for more ups and downs.

What a fine day this was.  The distance from yesterday was only half, about 10 miles.  I spent 6 hours walking, though.  Yesterdays distance of about 18 miles was covered in about 6 1/2.  Today was the day for slow walking.  The way went through farms and fields.  It is warm enough, but not too warm.  Slightly sunny, mostly cloudy, a bit windy.  I thought for sure it would start raining and even stopped to put on my coat.  It never happened, so was the perfect day.

There were many fine distractions.

Pretty farms buildings

Happy farm animals..

How could I not stop and try to make friends.

Shap Abbey was a beautiful sight.  So situated within the landscape that when I got upland of it, it could not be seen.  There was a farmer who clearly has permission to use the land and 2 tidy, modern free-range chicken houses looked sharply out of place near the ancient walls.  As you neared the abbey, there was a perfect river flowing under a perfect bridge.  I know that one of the pictures I took will turn out to be  favorite keeper.

It was here I encountered the first "trail angel".  Trail angels are people who provide refreshments, usually unexpected.  A large plastic bin filled with crisps (potato chips) fruit and granola bars, and drinks---including beer and cider.  Honor system in play, I pitched in 3 pounds for chips a bar and a cider.

Shaps' single main street provided a stop for a few supplies; apple for lunch, some lip balm and some very vital talcum powder.

Leaving Snap we quickly climbed a fell and were away from charming farms and sweet animals.  The fells are open range country and the plants are wild grasses and bracken.  The lush pastures of mix grass and timothy would make my horsey friends sigh.  Walking through one spot , all I could think of is how I wished I had a horse at that moment so I could have a glorious gallop up over a hill.

Those I am talking to right now understand.

This is galloping country.

Through a quarry where I spotted some interesting shorebirds to be puzzled over on the computer when I get home.  I brought my binoculars, but they are so heavy to wear every day that I will have to save these birds for when I get home and can view them on the big screen.

I didn't enter Oddendale but did walk out to the stone circle.  I could see where the circle was on the approach , but once you got into it, poof it was gone.  Very unlike yesterdays circle.  You can see this circle on Google maps.  Give it a try...Oddendale should get you near.  I bet you will spot the trail, too.  Happy hunting.

The land on the fell was built on limestone.  It erupts from the ground looking like long planks of Swiss Cheese.  Time and weather wears it away.  Who knows, thousands of years from now they could be tall hoodoos.  Our map showed two trees as a distant reference point.  When I got there, the trees were surrounded by this limestone.

I zipped through Robin Hoods Grave, a odd area of a deep area that looks like it had sunk and rocks fell in.

Right before getting to Scar  Side Farm, I had to stop while crossing a farmers land.  He and his wife were rounding up a small herd of sheep using an ATV and a bit of shouting and hand waving.  It was a fun diversion (and foot rest).  Darn me I didn't think of getting pictures, just enjoyed the entertainment.

Settled is as the only guest of the night.  I walked into town , about 1 mile.  It was a vital priority to visit the chocolate shop.  I was way early for dinner, so enjoyed a pint of cider and chatted with a couple from Australia.  We all pitched in to help another couple solve a crossword puzzle.  Chicken Balti for dinner.  Ahhh, spices.

For dessert


Well,OK, I also have a chocolate caramel bar from Kennedy's.

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