Coast-to-Coast Day 16
Grosmont-Robin Hood's Bay. 15.5 miles, 7 hours. Into the home straight - quite a long day's walking and the feet were really starting to suffer. The day starts with quite a long stiff climb out of Grosmont on country lanes up onto Sleights Moor.
After crossing the busy A169 road, the route drops down to the delightful hamlet of Littlebeck, where we paused by the ford for some refreshments. Whitby Abbey becomes visible in the distance on this stretch, and keeps re-appearing at intervals during the day.
After leaving Littlebeck, the route passes through delightful woodland, towards the spectacular waterfall of Falling Foss. On the way, you pass a carved out rock, apparently created in 1754 for a local schoolmaster, referred to as The Hermitage.
Falling Foss waterfall is a short distance further on, slightly spoiled in our view by a large tea room built on the viewing platform and throngs of day visitors and yapping dogs on the day we visited.
However, a short distance further on we found a nice quiet spot by the stream to enjoy our lunch.
After leaving the woods, the path climbs on a lane and across Sneaton Moor, the last piece of moorland that is crossed on the route. Dropping down off the moor, you get the final view of Whitby Abbey before heading towards the North Sea and the end of the C2C.
The path then passes through the village of Hawsker, which is fairly unremarkable, but does show one of the first road signs pointing to our destination. The distance on the C2C route is slightly more than the road distance, but at least the sign gives encouragement that the end is close.
After leaving Hawsker, we passed through a couple of caravan sites, but at long last the North Sea comes into view directly in front of you, and we re-join our old friend, the Cleveland Way for the final stretch into Robin Hood's bay.
Our feet were really aching now, so we found the final 2-3 mile clifftop walk into Robin Hood's Bay quite tough, even though it was lovely to see the sea.
Robin Hood's Bay remains intriguingly out of view until you are less than half a mile from the end of the walk, but it eventually appears as you round the final curve on the clifftop path.
We staggered (almost literally) into town, dropped our rucksacks at our B&B (Raven House) and rewarded ourselves with fish and chips at the Fish Box, with nice sea views.
We then made the final walk down the steep hill to the finish line outside the Bay Hotel by the dock, with the obligatory photo/selfie by the wall plaque:
So, we had done it - it had only taken us 4 years, but it was very enjoyable in spite of the sore feet. We were blessed with pretty good weather on our trip, with only one total washout day on the Bampton-Orton section in the middle. We would quite like to go back and do the final clifftop walk into Robin Hood's Bay one day, when our feet are not hurting so much, so we can really enjoy this wonderful final section of the walk.
Coast-to-Coast Day 15
Blakey Ridge-Grosmont. 13.5 miles, 6 hours. We left the Lion Inn in perfect walking weather - clear, crisp sunshine with a cool gentle breeze. The first couple of miles are on roads, walking around the top of Rosedale, but with glorious views of the moors.
There are a few road-side crosses and stones on this part of the route, including a stout white-topped stone by the side of the Rosedale road, known as Fat Betty. Wayfarers traditionally left coins, food or drink on the monument in thanks for safe travel, and to aid other travellers, a tradition which still continues to this day.
The route leaves the road on Danby High Moor, passing the isolated Trough House before skirting the edge of the wonderfully-named Greatfryup Dale.
The route continues across Glaisedale moor, then starts to descend towards Glaisedale along the top of Glaisedale Rigg. The village of Glaisedale is a convenient lunch stop, with a well-stocked village store.
The route then follows the Esk Valley, passing through the charming village of Egton Bridge (which we appear to have no photos of, for some reason) and on to our destination for the day, Grosmont.
Grosmont is a lovely location being the northern terminus of the North York Moors Steam Railway, which now also runs steam trains on the National Network through to Whitby. Grosmont boasts various cafes and speciality shops, and the Station Tavern provides good food and drink. We stayed for the night at Grosmont House B&B, a very comfortable guest house with views of the steam trains on the NYMR from our bedroom window.
Coast-to-Coast Day 14
Clay Bank Top-Blakey Ridge. 9.5 miles, 5 hours. We were dropped off at Clay Bank quite early (0830) by the landlord of the Buck Inn, so there was no hurry today. The weather was fine with clear sunshine but a brisk north-westerly breeze that got stronger as the day went on. Today's walk started with a steady climb up on to Urra Moor, but after that the walking is almost on the level right through to our destination for the day, the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge. You really feel as though you are in the true wilderness of the moors on this section of the walk, with huge vistas across the open heather-clad moorland in all directions.
The walking here is easy along a clear track, passing various stone markers, some of which have faces carved into them. The cairn at Round Hill marks the highest point on the moor at 454 metres.
Shortly after Round Hill, the path drops slightly to Bloworth Crossing, where the Cleveland Way strikes off in a northerly direction and the C2C route carries on over Farndale Moor using the old trackbed of the Rosedale railway, built in Victorian times to serve the local iron mining industry. The route follows the old railway track for five miles, until eventually the remote location of the Lion Inn comes into view.
The Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge is the fourth highest pub in Britain and enjoys a stunning location on top of the moors overlooking Rosedale and Farndale. We arrived quite early, and had a nice room with a bath and great views over the moors. The staff are very helpful and friendly, but the food we found rather heavy and stodgy with the emphasis on quantity over quality. It is definitely worth staying there for the location and atmospheric interior, just don't expect Michelin star cuisine !
Coast-to-Coast Day 13.
Ingelby Cross-Clay Bank Top (12.5 miles, 5.5 hours). This last week we have tried to escape from lock down and complete our C2C walk. We picked up where we left off last year at Ingelby Cross, to cover the last stretch over the North York Moors to the finish line at Robin Hood's Bay. Once again, we stayed at the Blue Bell Inn in Ingelby Cross - a nice place to stay with reasonable food/drink and accommodation.
This was actually quite a tough day's walking for the first day of our resumed C2C walk with lots of ups and downs over the escarpment edge of the Cleveland hills - there is more than 1000 metres ascent on this day according to the guide book, so that is a Mount Snowdon almost from sea level !. The walk starts up through Arncliffe Wood, passing above Mount Grace Priory, which is a diversion off the route recommended by Wainwright and several guide books. However, we found all paths off the route leading down to the priory were blocked off, or festooned with 'no right of way' notices. We pressed on up through the wood, to where the C2C meets the Cleveland Way, which the route follows for the next day and a half.
Climbing out of the woodland (said to have spectacular bluebell displays in spring), we soon passed out on the moors proper, crossing Scarth Wood Moor, with views over Middlesbrough (not that great unless you like chemical factory and refinery chimneys), but with the pointy peak of Rosebery Topping (the Yorkshire Matterhorn) visible in the distance.
More ups and downs follow, over Live Moor, Carlton Moor and Cringle Moor. There is then a steep descent followed by the final energy sapping climb of the day, up on to Hasty Bank and the impressive rock outcrops called the Wain Stones.
Another steep descent then follows to meet the road at Clay Bank Top. There is no accommodation at Clay Bank, but there are various options nearby at Great Broughton or Chop Gate, many of which will pick you up at Clay Bank and drop you off there again the following morning. We stayed at The Buck Inn in Chop gate, which we would definitely recommend for comfortable accommodation and excellent food, with a slightly different menu to that offered by most local pubs (the pub is run by a German-English couple). Quite a tough day, but we had a good first glimpse of the North York Moors, with better to come.
Peter and Lorraine, owners of Ty Uchaf since 2011. We will post occasionally items that may be of interest to our guests, past, present and future !