This was not a particularly interesting day and a bit of a slog at around 21 miles – it’s basically the link between the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales and there was a fair amount of road bashing and field walking.
We were staying right at the bottom end of Shap, so rather than walking back up the main road, we took a short cut and met the official path just as it crosses over the M6. From here the path leads by a working quarry which was blasting the morning we passed.
The way improves from this point, travelling through moorland and very quiet once you are away from the quarry and the motorway. The middle part of the walk was a fairly tedious succession of roads and field paths, but it improved towards the end of the day as the path went through Smardale with good views of the impressive Smardalegill viaduct, before again entering another series of fields for the last pull into Kirkby Stephen.
At Kirkby Stephen we had another good B&B and an excellent dinner at the local Chinese, which was a welcome change from pub grub.
(Total distance approx. 21 miles)