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Ancient Feet: 39 - Glum Terrace

Alan Nolan and his mates arrive in Kirkby Stephen on their long coast to coast trek.

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Signed copies of the book are available from Alan http://apn.thelea@yahoo.co.uk

The plan was that we would go our separate ways in Kirkby Stephen with Don camping, Paul, Tom and Joe staying at the YHA and I would be at the Jolly Farmers Guest House. On the approach to Kirkby Stephen, the track becomes a road which serves the backs of the houses on the main A685 road which runs through the centre of the town. I knew that my B&B was on this main road and Don was going to camp at the campsite he had used fifteen years earlier on his previous Coast to Coast adventure. This was just out of the town on the A685 and he took the first opportunity to cut through to the main road to make his way back to the campsite. I walked on a little further and, after only a short distance, I passed the backyard of the Jolly Farmers which seemed to be in a row of terraced houses. I took the next opportunity to cut through to the main road and turned back only to see Don walking towards me.

'The campsite's farther than I remembered,' he said. 'I'm going to stay at the YHA with the others.' I could see that Don's enthusiasm for camping was waning after his disturbed night behind the pub in Shap. It was obvious that he had not had time to measure the distance to the campsite (which I later discovered was not very far) and he had an easy alternative with the youth hostel because Andy's pre-booked bunk was available. I checked in at the guest house which was neither Jolly nor a Farmers but had to be better than a youth hostel.

Kirkby Stephen was the largest centre of population we had encountered on the walk so far. It is a very pleasant market town where all the main banks are represented. This was important to us as it was the first time we could use a cash machine without being charged for access to our own money. It is a veritable shopping centre with plenty of pubs and restaurants as well as an array of shops, although none of the usual high street stores, and there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs. Unfortunately, we chose to eat at the Black Bull where we had an unmemorable meal before I made my way back to the Glum Terrace (sorry Jolly Farmers), a part of me wishing I had opted for the youth hostel.


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