Total recorded mileage (GPS) – 199.66
Total ascent/descent 38,460 ft.
Time on the route (including stoppages) – 87hrs 32 mins.
Way back when we planned this, mainly August, walk our chief concern was we might suffer sun stroke/heat exhaustion. We were kidding ourselves. This was, after all an English summer adventure. 2012 “enjoyed” its wettest summer for 100 years. We got soaking wet almost every day but then at least we had the luxury of being able to dry out in B&B’s every night. God help the poor campers out there. We salute you all.
In truth, regardless of the rain, swamps, bogs, hail and wind, we had a wonderful holiday which we shared with some really nice people along the way. This was an experience we will never forget. We are already planning our next long-distance trail and if that’s half as good as the C2C was for us, then it will be brilliant.
Mileage 17.9 miles
We took onboard the advice of the old guy (see Day 14) on 3 of the 4 counts. Unfortunately the “no naughtiness” bit proved a problem as Steve’s desires got the better of him again and he had to have another sticky toffee pudding!
This was an absolutely beautiful summer’s day to see us through the final day of walking. We received another tip off from our new friends of last week and did a minor detour to avoid waist-level swamps which cost them a walking pole (surrendered to the mire). This added a mile to the journey but it was well worth the effort.
By the time we reached the coastal path we were really starting to flag as the cumulative pounding began to take its toll. This proved to be our toughest day’s walk but we weren’t going to give in now! The sea on approach was like a mill pond. Neither of us had ever seen it so calm. Robin Hood’s Bay was the busiest we had ever seen with the beach full of holiday makers and weekend fun seekers (or were they here to welcome us home?).
Early sighting of Whitby Abbey (on horizon)
- Home stretch (Robin Hood’s Bay)
We followed the time-honoured tradition of dipping our boots in the North Sea and throwing our pebbles, collected from St Bees beach, into the sea. We made haste to Wainwright’s Bar in order to celebrate with a pint and sign the book, only to find it closed! Ah well, ice cream it is then. PS. We returned to the bar later that evening to record our achievement, in the C2C book, for all to see.
One Pebble returned…
- And finally…
Started at: 10.15
Arrived : 2.50
Ascent 2,329 ft
We started out in cool, cloudy conditions but it soon brightened up and we enjoyed a very plesant walk over the moors with lovely views over Great Fryup Dale and Glaisdale. On route we encountered Fat Betty who had plenty of treats available to fuel our walk but we declined having recently demolished a hearty breakfast at The Lion. Just after this encounter we were overtaken on the lane by a group of cyclists, one of whom shoulted to us “all right lads” – cheek!
Near Glaisdale we saw the lovely ‘Beggars Bridge’, which was built 400 years ago by a local lad to provide a safe crossing for courting couples.
Today’s walk should have been 11.4 miles with an ascent of a mere 400 ft but, towards the end, we encountered a very muddy section and, rather than spend an hour slipping and sliding to cover a mile, we took to the high road and ended up doing an additional 1.4 miles over a very large hump …. still, we kept our feet relatively dry!
As a footnote to Day 13’s post, for all those animal welfare followers, we wish to reassure you all that no animals were harmed in the production of this blog.
- Beggars Bridge, Glaisdale
Started at 10.05
Arrived at 1.40
Ascent 980 ft
A few bevvies at The Black Swan Kirby (cracking pub) and a good night’s rest repaired the injury and off we went on a glorious summer’s day. A short climb brought us back to the lovely moorlands and we had a very easy amble along wide paths (disused railway line) all the way to Blakey Ridge and the Lion Inn. This is by far the easiest day walking on the entire C2C – and very pleasant it is too. (Ideally the Lion would be a few miles further east so that the last 2 days are that bit easier.)
We arrived here so early, and this place is so remote, there was nothing for us to do but prop up the bar. Whilst there, an elderley gentleman who has done the C2C a couple of times told us of the difficulty of the last day and suggested we had a good steak dinner tomorrow night, early to bed (with no naughtiness) and up with the lark to make sure we make it through the last tough day.
Can’t believe it’s nearly over …..
View towards Roseberry Topping
- View over Farndale
We woke up this morning to unforecast heavy rain but a quick check of the updated forecast suggested an improvement by 10:00. On that basis we delayed our walk and had a gossip with our host and fellow guests. This proved to be a good move as, unusually, the forecast was spot on and we enjoyed a rain free walk.
Today we returned to the hills. This was one of the most enjoyable days walking to date with spectacular views in all directions from the top of the North York Moors. However it was extremely blustery on top and this managed to upend Cep, who despite the low centre of gravity which had saved her to date, finished up flat on her back in a large puddle. Calf being painful as a result meant slow progress for the last 4 miles. We both hope the injury doesn’t seize up overnight.
Garfit Gap on Cleveland Way
- Wain Stones
Started at 10:40
Total Ascent 810 ft
Danby Wiske is a lovely little village, one pub, one church and 200 inhabitants. How weird then, when talking to the people on the next table in the pub last night, to find that they live literally on the next street to us over 70 miles away and they told us that our B & B hostess was from the next village to us – bizarre! Our late morning getaway was due to extended gossip on our mutual backgrounds.
Bad weather was forecast for all today so we were delighted to find that we only had moderate rainfall for the first half hour of our walk. Based on a text received from one of our walking buddies from the ‘original crew’ about the extremely soggy terrain ahead, we opted for a lane detour which added 1.7 miles to today’s route – but for the first time, we kept our boots relatively clean.
It occurred to us today, with little in the way of visual stimulation, that the air in the entire Vale of Mowbray is flavoured with the destinct smell of cow dung, but then again, after 12 days of walking and limited wardrobe, is it really cow dung??
More lanes and hedges
- Bad hair day
Started at: 9.30
Arrived : 3.35
Ascent 1,545 ft
The late start today was due to our host in Danby Wiske not being available to accept guests until after 3.00 so, not only did we start late, we had a really lazy amble, taking full advantage of the first day of sunshine – at long last the sun cream we’ve been carrying has seen the light of day.
The first 8.1/2 miles were a lot more interesting than we were led to expect – this section of the walk was through lovely meadows and along riverside footpaths, all nice and dry underfoot. We stopped off at Bolton on Swale to see the lovely old church and monument to Henry Jenkins who lived to the ripe old age of 169 (large pinch of salt required here!) Almost immediately after leaving the village we hit the dreaded lane walking section, made even more boring because you couldn’t see over the hedges on either side. The irony is that, the first day we had decent photographic weather, we couldn’t see beyond the edge of the road! A mile and a half from Danby Wiske we seized the opportunity to leave the lane and take the sign-posted route across the fields … big mistake! Not only did this add about 45 minutes to the journey, we encountered some of the heaviest mud en route so far.
The village pub sign states that St Bees is 130 miles away and Robin Hoods Bay is only 60 – this means that we are now over 2/3rds through our trip ….
- Just 60 miles to go (allegedly)
Started at: 8.50
Arrived at 12.52
Ascent 1,922 ft
Fuelled by an excellent home-made (don’t fall for ‘home cooked’ signs, it’s not the same!) meal at the Kings Arms Hotel, Steve’s 5th sticky toffee puddidng and a superb breakfast at our digs, we commenced our journey to Richmond. Last night’s forecast for today was appauling so we were happily surprised to wake to a dry dawn. We started our journey as early as practicable in the hope that we could make good progress towards Richmond before the onslaught came – we did really well and got to the outskirts of the town before it started. Whilst we were trying to cover the ground quickly, it was not so quick that we could not enjoy the beautiful Swaledale scenery over today’s undulations, pretty villages and the first woodland of the C2C – a most enjoyable walk.
After a nice coffee and wash up, we’re off now to enjoy the delights of Richmond on this bank holiday Monday afternoon …. and the rain’s even stopped for us!
We’ve split the next 23 mile journey through the Vale of Mowbray over 2 days – this is the part of the journey which AW found the most tedious so we have low expectations – but there is the Cleveland Hills to look forward to later in the week.
- Approaching Richmond
Start Time : 9.15
Arrived : 3.20
Distance: 13.4 miles
Ascent: 2,037 ft
Before we set off this morning, surgery was required on Steve’s little toe. Nurse Cep fixed him up and off we went, Unfortunately we had a false start as we forgot our walking sticks, the 13.4 miles above should have been 12 miles but, as today was an easy day, what the hell!
Today’s walk was a lazy amble along the riverside in Swaledale, according to AW, the prettiest dale by far, He offers an alternative high level route along the historical mining paths which we declined, on the basis that the lower route is reputedly more scenic. It did not disappoint. Today the sun came out a few times to say hello to us – a very welcome change to the heavy rain of the preceding days, tho’ we still managed to get wet (yet again) for the last half hour of the walk.
Lovely evening in pretty Reeth, so we’re off to the pub for a pint and a bite to eat.
PS: Another item was highlighted as missing from our packing today, i.e. a bee-keeper’s hat to keep all the midges at bay – this damp weather definitely brings them out in droves.
East Gill Force
- Strolling in Swaledale
Distance 11.5 miles
Ascent 2,260 ft
After a late start due to a mooch around KS, we decided to take the winter route to Keld and leave the heathland to the bog snorkelers and grouse shooters. How glad we were of our decision when the heavens opened and dumped 3 hours of persistent heavy rain on the area. As we were walking on the lanes, at least we were only getting soaked from above (clean, fresh water) rather than having to wade through the boggiest part of the entire C2C. Today we left Cumbria and crossed the Pennine watershed and are now firmly in our second national park, the Yorkshire Dales. (We are now officially half way through the C2C walk.) We made good progress on the lanes and by 3 o’clock were fresh as daisies and sat watching the rugby league players get soaked at Wembley while we were enjoying afternoon drinks. Highlight of the day was finding a spotlessly clean porta-loo in the middle of nowhere. Very handy!
Wet feet ahead (again)
- One county down, and one to go…