DAY THIRTEEN – GLAISDALE TO ROBIN HOOD’S BAY – 19 MILES
20 JUNE 2012
As I left the B&B this morning in Glaisdale I was seriously wondering what time I might get to Robin Hood’s Bay, because my feet were so bad. I could hardly walk, and it looked like I really would be hobbling all the way to the sea. To make it worse, the B&B was outside of Glaisdale, at the wrong end of the village, so I had 15 minutes of walking just to get back to the starting point. With my hobble it was more like 20.
First of all I had to pass through East Arncliffe Wood, just outside Glaisdale. It was pretty, but the path was quite muddy.
After a bit of road walking, I arrived in Egton Bridge. I had to cross the Esk on two sets of stepping stones. They were quite safe, but I took my time.
Egton Bridge has a strong Catholic tradition. It was the home of the priest Blessed Nicholas Postgate, who at the age of 82, was hung, drawn and quartered for his faith, in 1579. This is the pretty church of St Hedda. Unfortunately, it was closed, so I couldn’t look inside.
The walk then took me past Egton Manor, with its donkeys.
This brought me out at Grosmont, which is famous for its steam trains. Unfortunately, my forced slow pace meant that I didn’t arrive in time to see the steam train departing.
There followed a long gruelling uphill slog on the road out of Grosmont. This photo doesn’t really do justice to how steep the climb was.
This brought me up on to Sleights Moor. Finally, I started to get my walking legs, and was able to pick up the pace.
With the first glimpse today of the North Sea.
After crossing the moor, the path headed down to the beautiful and enchanting Little Beck Wood.
Pretty, but hardly Niagara.
This large boulder was hollowed out in 1754 for a local schoolmaster.
That’s more like it, the impressive Falling Foss Waterfall.
The path then led up through the woods to a road from which it was possible to look town on the extent of Little Beck Wood. I stopped here for a brief lunch break, and was passed by the guy who I had met in the shop at Glaisdale yesterday, who was carrying all his gear with him and doing the C2C in 11 days. I later found out his name was Steve.
Then it was across Sneaton Low Moor and Graystone Hills Moor, both of which were very boggy.
The sea was getting closer. This is Whitby Abbey, using the telephoto.
After nearly getting a boot full of bog water, I had to follow a very narrow, stony little path between two hedges. When I got to the end of it, I found Steve sitting on a grass verge. We agreed that it was the worst path on the whole of the C2C. While Steve had something to eat, I carried on.
If only the sign below were true, but I was taking a longer off-road route.
At Hawkser, I found Perry and Angie with their little dog, having a sit down on a bench. I stopped and chatted to them for a while, and when they moved on, I sat down and had something to eat. A little later Steve caught me up and sat down, and we had a chat about our experiences on the C2C. I then headed on to complete the final stretch.
After a bit of road walking through Hawkser, the final section was to be by footpath.
But first I had to cross a caravan park, which was a surreal experience.
And then there it was, the North Sea!
The weather was absoutley perfect. Warm sunshine, blue sky, no wind. I couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day to finish the C2C. You will rememer that Wainwright began his C2C walk with a cliff walk out of St Bees. And he chose to finish it with is beautiful cliff walk into Robin Hood’s Bay.
The beautiful little seaside village of Robin Hood’s Bay wasn’t revealed until the very last moment.
It was then a steep descent into the old part of the village and down to the sea!
It was a massive sense of achievement as I drew near to the sea. All the tourists I passed didn’t have a clue what I had just done, but that didn’t matter. I headed to the little beach and got someone to take my photo and then I dipped my boots into the North Sea, just as I had in the Irish Sea.
I then took out the little pebble that I had picked up on the beach in St Bees, and which I had carried with me all the way, and threw it into the sea.
It was then off to the pub which stands right at the sea, to have my photo taken by the famous sign and to sign the C2C book. It was then time for a celebratory drink! Shortly Steve arrived, closely followed by Neil and Jack. We all congratulated each other and basked in the warm glow of what we had accomplished.
And so I had done it! Despite being bitten half to death by midges, despite my exploding little toe, and sore feet and aching shoulders, despite rain and threatening cows, I had made it, I had crossed England from coast to coast. I was blistered but happy. And thanks to the people I met along the way and the wonderful and beautiful things I saw and experienced, I will have special memories to treasure for the rest of my life.
Before I end my blog, I just want to say a few “thank yous”.
Firstly, I would like to thank Stuart Greig for setting up this blog for me on his website www.walkingplaces.co.uk. Stuart was very patient with my lack of blogging knowledge and gave me sound and helpful tips about how to blog with my iPad. You can find many great walking blogs on Stuart’s site. So if you have enjoyed this, why not check them out?
I got to know of Stuart’s website through a walking friend, Paul Sharkey, who has his regular Lakeland fell walking site hosted here as well. Last year Paul finished his goal to climb all 214 of the Wainwright fells in the Lake District, a fantastic achievement. Paul puts up walking reports for all his walks, and they are really worth reading. They have detailed accounts of the fells climbed as well as wonderful photos and interesting stories of the day’s events. You can check it out at www.sharkeysdream.walkingplaces.co uk. I would like to thank Paul for his help and advice in preparing for this walk. Paul, I look forward to walking with you again in Lakeland in September.
I want to thank all the wonderful people I met along the way, John, Chris and Pat (the Cake to Cakers), Manhattan Pete, Dutch Matt and Dutch Luuc, Sandra and Mick, Dave and Pam, Perry and Angie, Neil and Jack and Steve, and the many others I encountered too. Without their encouragement and support and companionship, the walk would not have been what it was.
I want to thank everyone who sponsored me for this walk. Sr Margarita texted me today to say that the total amount pledged is now £5,190, which is absolutely amazing and far, far more than I ever could have hoped for. This money will really help with our project to restore the interior of Our Lady of the Holy Souls church. If you want to know more about what we are doing to the church, you can check it out at www.rcdow.org.uk/kensalnewtown.
And finally, thank you to all of you who have followed my blog over the past two weeks, especially those who have posted comments. Your support and encouragement has kept me going.
And so it ends, though the memories will live on and I will have much to reflect on as I head home to London. I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog, and if it has encouraged you to go and explore some of these amazing places for yourself, then I am more than happy.
With my thanks and prayers