Coast to coasters 

Now that the walk is complete I wanted to share these coasters I picked up on the walk. It’s not 190 miles, but that’s close enough – however it should be Robin Hood’s Bay, not Robins Hood Bay!

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Day 14.5 – High Hawsker to Robin Hood’s Bay

I received a call from the High Hawsker hotel owner (whilst I was in the middle of a field near Littlebeck!) to say that our room for the next two nights was unusable as the ceiling had fallen in!! Thankfully he had arranged an alternative for us  – a cottage in Whitby.

So we started in Whitby for breakfast, before heading back to where I had finished the day before.

some info on Hawsker.

Here are the intrepid 6 who set out on the final 4.6 mile leg. Designed so the family could all finish together.

We started on a farm track.

Before taking the old railway line for a short time to avoid a busy road. This was the section that was once proposed for a narrow gauge railway project. A project that imported 3 Garratts and 2 Kalaharis from South Africa. 4 of those are now at the Welsh Highland. It would have made a cracking line but I’m obviously glad the WHR benefitted.

We then had to walk through a caravan park. A bit odd. However they did have this interesting info board.

Before joining the coast path proper.

The views were wonderful and the weather excellent.

We also saw this interesting rocket post.

Wainwright’s walk waits until the very last mile before revealing the destination.  Here it is – our first glimpse of Robin Hood’s Bay.

Then it was a final descent along the narrowing and steep roads into Robin Hood’s Bay.


One Lea had been here before us.

Until at the bottom we reached the Bay Hotel and the end of the walk.

Mum had borrowed a big cheque from our bank. We totted up the total including gift aid – £12,222.22. This has since increased by another £80. Just fantastic. A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THE SUPPORTERS!

I signed the book! Nice to see some friends I had met along the way had completed it too.

A pint of Wainwright ale was duly drunk.

And we headed to the beach for the final bits of tradition.

Pebble thrown in.

Boots wetted – David and I had taken a similar shot at St Bees (see blog day 1).

The view from the beach – tide fast coming in.

Uncle Andrew bought me this T shirt as a momento.

And we had chips on the seafront for lunch. Well earned.

What an incredible journey and experience – I recommend it to anyone. However it is not a walk to be underestimated. It’s hard! I was surprised at the number of people who came unprepared and dropped out, some after only a few days.

Final day stats. 4.6 miles with 843ft of ascent.

Day 14 – Egton Bridge to High Hawsker

Last night the weather took a nasty turn with heavy thunderstorms. Luckily long after I had finished walking. 

We ate at the Arncliffe arms and in the menu was this info about Beggars bridge. 

So after a game of pool, I went down to have a look once the rain had stopped. 

The ford (luckily not on the route) was impassable. 

I had a good look at beggar’s bridge. 

I did a bit of planning overnight to find ways around the fords on my route should it be necessary. 

Next morning we started back at Egton bridge. 

And walked around Egton Manor until we (uncle  and I) came upon this lovely old sign. 

There was quite a herd in this field!!

The ford at Grosmont (luckily also not on the route). It was hard to see where the ford was supposed to be. We met a guy doing the Esk valley walk, camping nearby, who said the marker was up to 4 (feet?) overnight. 

We crossed on the bridge. 

Grosmont had done its bit for le tour!

Walking along the Main Street, I stopped to buy a sausage roll and then we popped into the NYMR. Well it would be rude not to. 

I had timed it so we saw two trains passing. Firstly 76079 appeared. 

And then 61264. 

Uncle walked back to his car and, after watching the B1 depart, I got myself ready for the big hill ahead. 

Hard to show on photos, but the road sign says it all. You can also see the hill on the elevation graph at the bottom of this post. Hard work!

But the views were lovely. 

More hill!

I stopped at this well positioned bench. 

And then I had a confirmed sighting of the sea. Queue mini celebration. 


More hill. 

Yes that’s definitely the sea!

More hill. 

At the summit the moors and the purple heather were lovely. 

The final stretch across the moors was a bit boggy but the rain had also created some interesting patterns between the sand and peat. 

The next bit (for about 300m) was alongside a busy A road. 


And at the side of the road was this…. Burnt out caravan?

Then I headed downhill across the moor towards Littlebeck. This was the place I was most concerned about as the ford is in the centre of the village, in a steep valley. 

Before that though the views were lovely. 

4 classic cars passed me. I managed this photo of the back of the last car. 

At Littlebeck I need not have worried as there was a footbridge with this view. 

And somehow the ford was dry!

The walk then took me through beautiful woodland. 


With shale cliffs. 

The track headed uphill alongside the river and waterfalls came into view. 

And in places timber walkways had been provided to avoid the boggy ground. 

More uphill!

The hermitage was an intriguing find. It also had seats on top. 


After a beguiling set of footpath options I eventually got to Falling Foss, 30 mins before it closed for a wedding. A recent tree fall was found. 

Some friendly walkers kindly took this of me with the Falling Foss falls. 

Then it was a rocky path alongside the river, popular with dog walkers. 

Before the path switched back and rose up above the woods. 


Hawsker on the sign posts! Getting there. 

But now it was a return to the boggy ground. 

In places there were walkways provided and the footpath had been diverted to help. 

The sea was getting ever closer. 

Uncle then joined me for a mile over the moors (boggy moors). 

Nice bit of graffiti. 


Uncle took this before he returned to his car. 

This ‘lane’ led me down to the final mile on road  

Robin Hood’s Bay on the road signs. Almost there. 

But the road had a few ups and downs first.


The rest of the family had made their way up to Hawsker on the train/bus. The kids spotted me and it was a great reunion. 

Some family photos. 


Stats for the day. 13.1 miles with ascent of 1782ft to a summit of 932ft. 

Day 13 – Lion Inn Blakey to Egton Bridge

Firstly a little history of the wonderful Lion Inn. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area. 

Last night I had a reunion with some of the coast to coasters I had met along the route including Ed and Rufus the dog. One of them kindly took this for us. 

The walk today started off in mist (again!) and alongside the road for the first mile. There are paths off to the right which cut the corner, but the guidebooks warn against them as they are very boggy. 

Uncle joined me for this first section to ‘Fat Betty’. 


Yes it really was boggy off the road. 


So this is Fat Betty. A nice tradition exists here where you are encouraged to swap coins or food. I left an energy bar and took some crisps. Fat Betty was clearly unimpressed with my offering as it immediately started to pour down with rain/hail. My grimace is due to the rain!!

Then it was in to the bog!

Which I survived without major incident and then it was back onto the tarmac again. 

Until a turn off onto a path which was to be my friend for many miles to come. 

I eventually reached what I presume is a shooting lodge, called Trough House on the map. This was just as another rain shower kicked off. Annoyingly the house was completely locked up and so couldn’t offer me any shelter. 

Soon it started to dry out and views came out of the mist. 

Unusual mini hills. Just marked as ‘The Hills’ on the map. 

As you can see it really started to brighten up. 

These poles have been brilliant and David has donated them to me.  Here they are resting. 

As I continued on a gentle downhill grade the heather really started to come into flower. 

Uncle joined me again for another mile or so of the track here and we were given a free air show from a jet circling overhead. 

Now, might that be the sea ahead???

It was great to get some views across the moors as I had been unfortunate the last two days with such mist everywhere. 

Some blue sky!!


A farm yard portrait. 

Then it was into Glaisdale. 

Where there seemed to be some Harry Potter fans. 

And cycling fans. 

There was a natty little lane down to Carr End. 

And then I came across this interesting structure in the field – I asked in the pub and was told it used to be a gunpowder store for the local mines. 

So here we are at tonight’s accommodation, but it was only lunchtime so I decided to continue on for a little while to take some miles off tomorrow’s walk. 

This was a very different walk, mostly through woodland and mud. 

The River Esk is very calm at this point and downstream there were a number of fishermen. 

Some excellent stone flags (called trods and laid in medieval times for pannier ponies) on the uphill part through the woodland, which helped with the mud. 

Here you can see the effect of hundreds of years of wear on the trods. 

And amongst the trees there were a number of stone outcrops just perfect for climbing. 

More mud. 

Here I saw a deer run uphill but I was unable to take a photo in time so you will have to imagine it in the trees to the right. 

Then it was a short walk downhill into Egton Bridge passing this ford, which was completely dry. But the pedestrian bridge was pretty. 

Uncle Andrew met me by the side of the road with a cup of tea and we will continue tomorrow from this spot. 

In the car back to the accommodation we noticed this collection. We think they are moles. Never seen anything like that before. 

Stats for the day – 11.6 miles with only 633ft of ascent as today was mostly about descent – 1778ft. 

Day 12 – Lord Stones to Lion Inn Blakey

A day of many ascents and descents, amongst the mist. 
Starting back where I finished yesterday the weather hadn’t really improved. True, there was less rain but the visibility was much worse!
Uncle accompanied me to the top of Cringle End. 

A good path again with many large flags laid. 

This was the ‘view’ at the top!


Quite easy to step off a cliff here if you didn’t follow the map! 

I will have to look at books to understand what the views should look like from up here. 

The descents were tricky as the rain made the rocks slippery. 

I came across an ancient boundary stone marked E one side and F the other (Elizabeth and Frederick?)

Then it was uphill again. 

And, guess what, it was downhill the other side!!

The view back up showed that the mist had cleared a little. 

Or so I thought as I made my way up another ascent towards the Wainstones, which were also covered in mist. 

Wainwright says that you will like the Wainstones as there are nice scramble for 50 yards – he’s absolutely right. Great fun. I will have to return when there is no mist. 

The path then led over high ground for a while before dropping down to a B road where uncle was waiting with a cup of tea. 

This shot is looking backwards during the descent. 

Uncle joined me about halfway down the descent – you can see his red jacket in this photo. 

And took this shot of me. 

After that cup of tea it was time for the fourth and final ascent of the day. 

 

The path was then pretty flat for the rest of the walk but there were still many miles to go. 

This stone intrigued me. 


I made a quick detour off the path to the summit trig point but the weather wasn’t great so I soon moved on. 

This is the boundary marker known as the Face Stone. 

After a few more miles I began a long (5 mile) traverse of an old ironstone railway alignment.  I’m sure the views on a clear day would have been beautiful and it was fun walking along an old railway, but because of the mist this became very tedious indeed. 

Here are the positions of the old sleepers were clear. 

And clearly the embankments had been very well constructed. 

At this point the Lyke Wake Walk disappeared to the left. To be classified as ‘Dirger’ of the LWW Club you need to take less than 24 hours to do the 42 mile hike. This is an ancient coffin carrying route. Weird. 

This looked to be an ingenious re-use of rail. 

The route was fast going. 

From time to time some views did appear.

I turned off a few hundred yards from the lion in and couldn’t see it at all. For a while I thought it might have been demolished and replaced by this little hut. 

Then it finally appeared on the horizon. 

The famous Lion Inn dating back to 1553. 

Stats for the day – 12.3 miles with 1911ft ascent up to a summit at 1477ft.

Day 11 – Welbury to Clay Bank Top (Lord Stones)

A day of two halves. Firstly a final stretch over the flat farmland of the Vale of Mowbray and then a wet walk along the Cleveland escarpment as I entered the third and final national park – the North York Moors. 

This was also the day I passed 150 miles and 3/4 of the walk distance.

I left Welbury and crossed under the Middlesbrough railway line –  saw a Grand Central train passing. 

I then walked alongside the railway for a short way, striking up a conversation with a network rail track walker who asked if I was doing the C2C!


Unfortunately one of the disbenefits of diverting slightly off the main path (to avoid the flat crossing of the A19 – more on that later) is that the paths tend to be much less used. This path disappeared into a tall meadow! Very slow going. 

Indeed the stile was almost lost to nature!

I eventually fought my way through to this lane. The cows seemed to be the farmer’s prize livestock. 

I met up with uncle for a short walk through the affluent village of West Rounton. 


Selfie time. 

This is East Rounton a short hop across the fields. 

East Rounton is a model village, constructed for Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, the ironmaster on his estate near Rounton Grange. 

This is the lodge. Impressive. 


So, back to the reason for going off piste for the last hour yesterday and this morning. The original route crosses the busy A19 dual carriageway at Ingleby Arncliffe on the flat. This is patently dangerous and there is a campaign for a bridge to be built. However one mile north there is this bridge. 

Fancy running across this road? Not I. It’s absolutely crazy that thousands of walkers do so each year. 

So having crossed on the safe bridge, I headed back to the main route. This started well. 


But soon I was back to the lightly used path problem and fighting my way through the jungle!

But these daisies were pretty at the end of that field. 

This house had its own golf hole. Nice. 


Then I walked through the pretty village of Potto and wondered how many people had called it potato. 

Heading for the hills!

These horses including a tiny Shetland said hello. 


Then the lane led down towards Swainby. 

Via a ford that had luckily been bridged.  


We had lunch at the rusty bike, a cyclist orientated cafe in Swainby. Had an excellent quiche/soup/scone combo. 

But whilst I was stopped it started raining. I pushed on with a visit to the remains of Whorlton castle, built in the 12th century – the gatehouse is quite striking. 

More info here if interested: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whorlton_Castle 


The path then led uphill to a farm which had installed an impressive wind turbine. 


But the path on the map was blocked by nettles so I had to scramble through this hole in the fence. 

A little further on and I was in the NYM national park and climbing up the Cleveland escarpment. 


Once above a certain height the heather moors came into sight. 


The path (also on the Cleveland Way) was excellent. 

But it was wet!

Some grouse led me on for a while. 

 

On a clear day this would be fabulous. 

The boundary markers reflect the names of the ancient owners. A this side. 

And F this side. 

The path climbed up to a summit. 

Looking back, I could just see where I had come from on the escarpment. 


I pushed on. 

And this was the view from the summit trig point. 

I didn’t linger. This was the way down. 


I met up with uncle on the way down and retired for a hot chocolate at the lord stones cafe. I also met up with Ed and Rufus again (see day 1) and gave him the strawberries (see yesterday). 


This is the accommodation for the night. 


The beers on hand pumps were an interesting and relevant selection of geography – Cumberland from the lakes, wainstones (local) and Wychwood (quite close to home). 


I tried a local Middlesbrough delicacy – chicken Parmesan. 

Stats for the day. 11.2 miles with 1365ft of ascent up to a summit at 1235ft

Day 10 – Richmond to Welbury. 

Wowsers – 21 miles today! 

In Richmond the weather forecasting stone (see day 1) has been upgraded to version 2 – kerMET. 

In the early morning the Sherpa minibus arrived to take a new load of coast to coasters over to St Bees to start their journey. Good memories. 

Uncle Andrew arrived last night and we walked alongside the Swale out of Richmond together. 

Just below the castle the famous falls were impressive. 


A dead tree trunk has been carried down by the river and is now caught. 

Around the corner is the old station. Now converted to an arts centre. 

Not long now – can’t wait to take the kids to this!


The walk then utilised the old trackbed for about a mile. 

Before turning uphill and…

into a pretty woodland walk. 


Then it was a quick hop over fields. 

And uncle was waiting around the corner with a chair and some lemonade. Perfect. 

A mile or so further on I came across an annoying diversion. This added a mile of the most boring roadside walking.  When I got to the other end I couldn’t for the life of me understand why this was even necessary! Very annoying indeed. This work was also supposed to have been finished – the ongoing delay/excuse due to archaeological remains being found apparently. 


Oh joy!

They had at least created a temporary pedestrian bridge over the A1. 

And there were nice views of Caterick racecourse. 

Info on the archaeological remains. 


With that nonsense over it was back to the river swale and a riverside walk. A friend joined me for a while. 

And then I came across a sand and gravel quarry complete with working sand conveyor. 


Next was the village of Bolton on Swale. 

Here I met uncle for a coffee and a gander at Henry Jenkins’ grave.  He allegedly lived to 169!

Here is his oblesik. 


Inside the church there was an excellent self service drinks system and a visitor book/map to pin point where you came from. What a fantastic record of c2c walkers. 


This reflects the many Americans and Australians I’ve met. 

 But why are there so few walkers from wales!

I popped a pin in to the left of Leighton Buzzard. 


And signed the book. My Canadian friends from Keld had been and signed it a little bit before me. 

Info on Henry!


Then uncle joined me for a walk amongst the farmland. 

Apparently some people divert for miles to avoid this field. The bull didn’t seem too bothered.  


And then it was a traverse of farmland which Wainwright had found sodifficulg that he wrote to the local authority to complain about the appalling state of the rights of way. These days the farmers take such criticism very seriously – there is even a comments book!

Another bull, again not really bothered by my passing, albeit on the other side of the fence!


The signposts were rather improvised at times. 

Finally I got to Danby Wiske and free strawberries!


Superb sign. 

Just after the pub I met up with the father and son team from Newcastle who had started Ag St Bees on the same day as me. I walked with them for a few miles before our paths diverged. 

Then it was a number of painful miles on tarmac. With only cows and occasionally uncle checking in. 

Eventually on the outskirts of Welbury I decided I had had enough of the Tarmac and diverted into fields. 

But this led me to Mankin lane, which is both a haven for every flying bug in the county and also a load of muddy spots. Manky lane!  Hard to show on a photo but very annoying. 


Finally I entered Welbury. 

And we found our accommodation/dinner for the night. 

Stats for the day  21.1 miles with 945ft of ascent up to a ‘summit’ of 395ft. 

Day 9 – Reeth to Richmond 

Today was pretty easy overall. It made sense to get back to Richmond, where I had left my car and where I could resupply. However it was only 10 miles from Reeth and so it makes tomorrow into a 20-mile beast of a day!

I left Reeth on the path alongside the River Swale. 

I chose to take the next bit on the road. This was in fact an excellent choice as otherwise I would have had to walk amongst the cattle. 

The weather was a lot better but there was a chill wind too. 


Some remnants of the ‘tour de Yorkshire’ remain. 

At Marrick Priory the route turned uphill into the woods where the Nun’s causey (steps) began – 375 stone flags as a gentle staircase. 

Looking back the priory is now an outdoor activity centre. 

Here are those steps.  The smell of wild garlic was fragrant too. 


After the climb, views opened up. 

And a friendly farmer had added this sign. 


I dropped down into Marske in the company of two spurs fans from Essex. I have kept bumping into them day after day as they are on a similar itinerary to me. 

Marske was lovely, but could have done with a tearoom. I carried on and up towards Applegarth scar. 

This was my lunch spot, looking back towards Marske. 

Then it was a long stroll along a well defined path just under the scar into Richmond. 


Near to Richmond the path entered Whitecliffe woods. 


Before Richmond castle came into view. 


The path became a road and I arrived at the largest town on the C2C. On the wall is a special yellow sign. 

Here’s the B and B. Unfortunately my car had drained its battery in the days since I left it. Luckily the manager went home and got some jump leads to help me start it. Another great B and B. 


I then took the opportunity to explore Richmond a little. Here’s a couple of views of the town and castle. 


And I indulged in a knickerbockerglory. 


Stats for the day. 10.4 miles with 1521ft of ascent up to a summit at 1037ft. 

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