The middle third of the Coast-to-Coast Walk is characterized by history, high, bleak hills, and the contrasting lovely valleys of the Yorkshire Dales. Maps and guidebooks will alert you to ancient artifacts visible from the trail, but keeping your eyes open will do the trick, too. On Roman roads, you'll follow in the footsteps of soldiers who marched here some two thousand years ago. Off in a field, you'll see stone circles made even earlier for reasons still mysterious. And atop a hill known as Nine Standards, nine huge stone cairns guard the ridge, visible for miles. Who built them, and why? No one knows.
The terrain varies from the high hills (muddy in wet weather) to the pretty valleys of the Yorkshire Dales, protected as part of another national park. The small village of Reeth is the center of park activity there's a small office and interpretive center where you can learn a little about the sheep industry that is traditional to the area. Next up is Richmond, only eleven miles away: You can use the balance of a short hiking day to visit its eleventh century castle.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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