After 228 miles, I come to the source of another local legend. The Beggars Bridge over the river Esk at Glaisdale was built in 1619 by a local eccentric after the death of his wife. When the two were young they lived on opposite sides of the river and, despite his begging, the young man could not get his beloved’s father to give them permission to marry unless the man could somehow make himself a fortune. So that he did. Despite being the son of a poor sheep farmer he decided that he would seek his fortune at sea. However, the night before the man left, the river was particularly wild and he could not even swim across to say goodbye.
In his adventures the man fought against the Spanish Armada, sailed with Francis Drake to the West Indies, and returned home with a great fortune to marry his sweetheart. When she died, he built Beggars Bridge so that the river could never again keep young lovers apart.