Kirkby Stephen

 The “spiritual halfway point” of the Coast to Coast walk, Kirkby Stephen is not quite halfway. It is, however, a market town sort of in the middle, and with a railway. None of this meant my phone could find a 3G network, though. Luckily our b&b has wifi that actually works!
 We are at The Old Croft House, which is by far the fanciest place we’ve stayed on this walk.

 It’s in a Georgian (1700s) townhouse, and has lots of lovely antique furniture, which I half expect someone’s grandmother to warn me not to touch. Heh. But the innkeepers are very nice, and the furniture so far has not crumbled at my merest glance, nor even at my heartiest flop.
 Also, our room has a chandelier:

 Outside, the town is small compared to Kendal, but huge compared to Orton and Shap and Bampton Grange. Here’s the Old Forge Restaurant, which used to be a blacksmith’s shop:

 And the parish church, which is right off the town’s market square:

 The church now holds both Catholic and Anglican services, which I thought was really interesting.

 Finally, here’s the market charter which tells how much people have to pay out if they do business there. The market goes back to 1302, but this version must be from the late 19th or early 20th century, given the presence of bicycles propelled by steam(!!!).

 Tomorrow to Keld, by way of the nine standards, of which I am sure there will be pictures!


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