How to report your crossing

April 14th, 2014

We are more than happy to receive reports on Lyke Wake crossings – preferably humorous. These reports are often quoted at Wakes as warnings to others! Crossings should be reported to; – Gerry Orchard,
General Secretary, New Lyke Wake Club,
Angram Grange, Cold Kirby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire   YO7 2HL;

or E-mail Gerry on: –

We may post extracts from these reports on this website unless you tell us that you don’t want us to. We will usually give your name and rough location (eg Southampton, Northumberland or Japan). If you would prefer us just to give your initials, or to remain anonymous, please say so. We will not publish your email address.

Made it, in only 18 hours!

May 9th, 2019

I am pleased to report that my friend Tony and I successfully completed our first ever crossing over the weekend of the 27th and 28th April.
I am very excited to be able to now style myself as a Dirger.
We set off at 9 00 pm on the 27th and walked continuously overnight through gales rain thick fog and torrid conditions, which included suddenly coming face to face, at about 2 am, with a cow standing fast asleep and quite motionless on a narrow path. For all the world it looked like some kind of Lyke Wake ghost. Another highlight for me was to experience the strange sensation at about 6 00 am of falling asleep while actually walking which is, interestingly, a first for me, a man in his late sixties.
We were met by a friend at Lila Cross and completed the walk in warm sunshine. The beer in Ravenscar tasted better than any previous ale although when I tried later to stand up my body refused to agree to instructions.
All in all a memorable weekend.
Would I do it again?

Crossing Report 3rd/4th May 2019, I Blame John Kettley

May 5th, 2019

My latest lapse into ‘funereal masochism’ saw me perusing the weather forecast. Mmmmm, thinks ‘if I leave Friday midday-ish, should get most of the way across before the BBC-predicted northerly gale & showers arrive in the early hours’ – at my standard late middle-age* pace I should get 80% of the way across before that lot arrives; in return for decent conditions to start with, I reckoned I could live with blustery showers from Ellerbeck to Ravenscar (I’ve been wet before & I did eventually dry out!). However, the Lyke Wake weather gremlins had other ideas. As I set off from Hamer I felt a soft pattering on the back of my head and white flecks sped across my head torch beam. Paul Hudson et al, you’ve got to be kidding, for goodness sake hailstones in May! In short order Wheeldale Moor became Winter Wonderland & by the time I got to Blue Man he was wearing a modest cap of hailstones. This meteorological nonsense persisted all the way to Ravenscar. Once again a failure of BBC weather wisdom (come back Keeley Donovan, all is forgiven).
For the record 16hrs, including 45 mins for a leisurely late lunch at Lords Stones.
Yours, with modest Lyke Wake hypothermia
Dirger Ian Evans
(* when I initially typed this I put ‘muddle-age’ instead of ‘middle-age’, perhaps I was giving myself a clue!)

26-27th April 2019, East to West – Three Holderness lasses with Hannah in the Heather!!

May 3rd, 2019

On locating the carpark near the Lyke Wake stone in Osmotherley at 9.45pm, one of my friends got out of the car only to fall over a wooden kerb in the carpark and ended up sprawled on the floor – hoping this was the worst it would get we gathered ourselves together, touched the stone at 10pm and began our adventure.
We had a very dry couple of months prior to the walk and certainly reaped the benefits underfoot in the boggy sections later in the walk. We bounced across like three gazelles! OK. Maybe not exactly but it was good going! The same cannot be said for the weather overhead. Storm Hannah was hot on our heels! Crossing Carlton Bank she caught up with us – rain and freezing wind pelting us with full gusto!
Hannah continued to hover around us for nearly all of the walk except for the last 5 miles where I dare say the sun was trying to make an appearance. Carefully scheduled ‘sock’ changes had to be deferred until dry spells – at one point a friend changing her socks near the ‘Blue Man’ waving her bare foot around in the middle of the Moors with me crouched next to her rubbing talcum powder between her toes! Memories to treasure forever.

It was lovely to bump into Brian Smailes (the author of the Lyke Wake Book) at the Hamer check point. He signed my book whilst trying to shelter from the wind and rain in the front seat of our support vehicle – leaving a few smudgy words in the front of my book which will forever remind me of this very wet crossing.
The second to last section saw us loose some concentration which meant that we took (I think) the alternative route, adding unnecessary miles to the walk. Frustrating.
Digging deep and carrying on meant we finally touched the stone in Ravenscar at 4pm. Elated, exhilarated, exhausted but not enough to stop us enjoying a plastic cup of prosecco to celebrate our achievement!
Katherine, Pam and Jenni



April 29th, 2019

I’ve walked the Lyke Wake Walk twice, west to east. When I told my wife I was planning an east-west crossing to qualify as a Master of Misery she said, why bother, you’re there already. But, knowing from my previous two crossings that the LWW was a tough but enjoyable walk, I found a good friend (or at least he was) and set out from Ravenscar at 0530 on Saturday, April 27, 2019. The weather during the day went from ok to poor to bad to diabolical, but we had the kit and we both smiled in adversity (hah!) and ploughed on, arriving at the Lion Inn at 1300. For some reason I can’t quite explain, at this juncture we thought we’d cracked the walk and proceeded to sink a few pints and get down a hearty lunch. Pish, we thought, that’s the back of this crossing broken. Oh poor naïve southerners, oh simple men of the city, oh ye who did not read the upcoming contours and terrain on the map a little better. Still, a few pints of Guinness does wondrous things, and we ploughed on through the driving rain with aches and ouches and blisters beginning to make their presence felt. By Round Hill, however, we knew this east-west crossing was ours for the taking. Let us cut forward two hours, now getting late in the afternoon, and show you two broken walkers, wet through, miserable, bedraggled, chilled, morale in our boots, exhausted, severely unamused, and watch them pitifully struggle up yet another seemingly vertical climb – Hasty Bank, Wain Stones, the lookout point, and then Carlton Bank. And we seemed to be covering no distance at all on the map. It was as devilish an end to any endurance walk ever, absolutely awful, really hard going, and then – no, no, surely not! – the steepest of woodland staircases in the forest on Limekiln Bank. Really you had to laugh. Walking west to east, easy, easy, easy! Walking east to west, my goodness those last ten miles, after a full day on the Moor, are demanding. Had the weather been kinder, or we had been a little more thoughtful in the pub, or perhaps had done some more training … who knows. But for the two of us, that east-west crossing is something else. We finished, finally, at 2050. Based on my own personal experience, I’d add two hours to whatever you might do the W-E crossing in. Master of Misery – I think I might have earned that (please).

Crossing Report 29th/30th March 2019 – Pants to That!!

April 2nd, 2019

Crossing Report 29th/30th March 2019 – Pants to That!!
There’s been one constant factor in my dirging activities since I recommenced Lyke Wake Walking 5 years ago – my ‘lucky’ dirging trousers. Every one of my 25 (maybe it’s 26?) crossings from September 2014 onwards has been achieved wearing the same pair of black jeans. Sadly, my latest jaunt across Blackamore lead to the demise of this much favoured item of dirging attire.
But firstly a warning. Don’t, whatever you do, believe John Kettley, Michael Fish, Paul Hudson or whoever else dispenses the BBC’s distilled weather wisdom these days (I’d make an exception for Keeley Donovan). With a BBC website forecast of a minimum overnight temperature of 8?C for Goathland you might guess a temperature of 6? maybe 5? on Wheeldale Moor? Don’t believe it for a minute – thick frost and very bracing conditions were what I got in the early hours from Blue Man eastwards; it felt more like minus 5?. The descent down to the stepping stones proved very ‘interesting’ as the frosted grass & bracken were like a ski slope & I had to resort to using the drystone wall as a bannister to avoid a very rapid uncontrolled descent to the beck.
As dawn started to colour the eastern horizon I was making my way up the gravel track towards Lilla. I was using two head-torches (one, as you’d expect, on my forehead, the other handheld) but the lighting conditions were the kind of twilight where the torches make little difference. I put my foot down on the flat verge at the edge of the track but it wasn’t flat at that point and I slipped over on the frosty grass ending up in an undignified heap on the north side of the track. I used the full extent of my ‘Anglo-Saxon’ vocabulary to loudly summarise this situation to myself & any grouse or sheep that might happen to be listening. Then I gathered myself together to resume and discovered: (a) the handheld torch had disappeared into the heather (minor treasure for anyone who cares to look); and (b) a serious wardrobe malfunction had occurred with my lucky pants ripped fore to aft in the most strategic of locations. Fortunately my anorak is knee length sparing the my blushes on the approach of any sheep or of passing motorists on the A171.
On return to base I consulted my sartorial and haberdashery adviser on the prospect of repair of the aforementioned much cherished trousers. The Commander-in-Chief held the prized garment aloft using thumb & forefinger and issued a one word reply ‘Really?’ [I’ll take that as a no then.]

West (Osmotherley) to East (Ravenscar) Crossing, Crossing Date: 8th March 2019, Dirgers: Tom & Claire Chapman

March 18th, 2019

As the date for your crossing approaches, you can’t help yourself from flicking to the weather forecast almost daily. The weeks leading up to our crossing had been incredibly dry but as per usual it poured with rain in the final few days, nicely topping up the bogs, Wheeldale Beck and other streams and just about anything else designed to hold water.
We started our crossing at 6:45 am with clear blue skies and a temperature reading of -3 degrees meaning that the muddy patches would be frozen solid, at least for the first couple of hours. The sun was rising as we hit the tarmac heading up from Cod Beck reservoir, towards Scarth Nick woods and the day was warming up, although it was still bitterly cold in the shade and on the tops.


We took the lower path around the former Coalmire plantation as I was keen to see what this was like now the area has been de-forested. I can see there have been significant path improvements along here, especially as you head down towards Clay Bank so this factor coupled with the frozen ground made progress fairly easy.

Over the road and back on a familiar path, up over Round Hill onto Bloworth Crossing. The sky was starting to cloud over but the forecast had promised no rain until the evening, so we were still high and dry. The wind picked up as we trudged the railway path – as it always does – and chased us along the Flat Howe path to Old Margery where we had our first meeting with our support team Gerry and Julie. That section is so much easier in daylight than it is in the dark.

Gerry pointed out a variation on the path across to Fat Betty which we duly followed, before meeting the support crew again at the FryUp turn off, just before Rosedale Moor. By now the ground had thawed suitably and the bogs were as boggy as you like. No bouncing across springy peat today, it was a bit of a slog over to Shunner Howe down over Hamer road and onto Wheeldale Moor. The light cloud had turned somewhat darker and as we were approaching Blue Man, a light drizzle soon turned into a permanent downpour that would accompany us for the rest of the crossing – so much for the weather forecast.

The Blue Man section was rocky and squelchy in equal proportions but navigated without drama. Come Wheeldale Beck, the stepping stones were underwater but not too deep so we were able to wade across – our feet were drenched already so this wasn’t making us any wetter!

The climb up to Simon Howe was fairly good going, the ground wasn’t as waterlogged as the past ten or so miles had been, so we made good headway over to our next support spot at Fylingdales. I had been fairly snap-happy for the first half of the walk but the camera never left my pocket after Flat Howe as the landscape was very wet and grey.

Normally the march up to Lilla Cross is quite a slog especially in the heat, but on this occasion it was fine and given that we had wet feet already the sodden ground didn’t slow us down.

There have been significant improvements to the path leading up to Lilla Cross and down towards Jugger Howe – parts of this are still a work in progress so every now and again you go from a nice smooth path to navigating your was through ankle-snapping stones, but within a few months this section of the path will be a joy to walk.

Jugger Howe is still a steep down and up and not always welcome this late in the game. But for me it means your thighs are doing the work so it does give you ankles a brief rest (that’s me looking for a silver lining in the clouds).

Not far to go now, and having looked at my watch I saw we could just about squeeze in a sub-10 hour crossing. So we gave our support party the briefest of waves as we crossed the busy A171 before heading towards the mast overlooking Ravenscar. Still raining, still windy, still cold, but as the mast was looming large none of that mattered any more. Upping our pace a little, we touched the Lyke Wake Stone and a check of the watch gave us a finish time of 9 hours, 59 minutes and 55 seconds.

I can’t think of a better way to spend the day, can you?

Crossing Report 27/28 February 2019. Have you ever ……..?

March 3rd, 2019

Have you ever had trouble finding Old Margery in the Dark? As Lyke Wake euphemisms go, 4 out of 10. Decided to exploit the unseasonal weather & crossed overnight on the 27th/28th of February. Suffered a head torch malfunction on the Railway so went via the Lion instead of cutting across South Flat Howe. There’s enough reflected light from Teeside to make walking along the railway without a torch possible even on a moonless night & you can always find the Lion because it’s always lit up at night. Suitably refreshed after indulging in a cup of tea at the Lion, I set off north along the tarmac to pick up my rucksack (containing a spare head torch) left earlier in the day at Old Margery. How dark & misty does it have to be to walk past Old Margery without noticing? Well that’s what happened & didn’t realise my mistake until I got to the dip in the road where the traffic cones are & so turned around & went back to retrieve my belongings. The rest was fairly straight forward but, as is usual, the mild BBC weather forecast for Ossie is definitely not the Wheeldale Moor forecast and there was a hard frost & significant mist from Rosedale head onwards.

Dirger Ian Evans

28-29 December 2018 – A Lyke Wake Pantomime (Oh yes it was!!)………………….

January 2nd, 2019

A brilliant weather forecast (at least for late December) tempted me away from the residual turkey & mince pies to have a little dirge on the Moors.

Earlier this year the New Lyke Wake Club demonstrated its sense of the ridiculous & made me a Past Master – the qualification for this honour includes the following ‘exhortation’…. ‘he/she should be able to find his/her way across any moor without map or compass. in any conditions, day or night, drunk or sober….’, so on this occasion I went for ‘impeccably sober’ combined with ‘overnight’ and ‘without map or compass’ (doh!). Darkness descended whilst I was on Hasty Bank and (unforecasted) mist & drizzle were the conditions as I reascended up to Carr Rigg towards Botton Head. Head down against the swirling wind I pressed onwards along the fire-break. After a while it occurred to me that I’d being going downhill for a while & still hadn’t reached the railway. Mmmm? A momentary gap in the mist and the track ahead appeared to be taking me in the direction of a vertical array of bright red lights, pretty sure; (a) the TV mast on Bilsdale West Moor is the only one within 25 miles & (b) west is definitely not the direction I’m supposed to be going in! Another fleeting glimpse through the mist allowed me to deploy latent boy-scouting skills; I identified The Plough & hence Polaris – allowing me to progress eastwards & northwards until I was sure I was on Rudland Rigg & then onwards back to the railway. I thought that might be enough navigational incompetence for one crossing until I got on to Rosedale Moor & after skirting a bog or two realised I was no longer on the line of boundary stones – I could have done without ploughing through soggy waist high heather in the misty murky darkness and realised when I got to the road that I somehow had managed to actually get north of Bluewath Beck. So decided to take the route north of Wheeldale Gill over Pike Hill which was fine & I got to the Stape Road ok. Common sense would have seen me go south & get back on the Classic Route at Wheeldale Lodge but both good things & mistakes seem to come in threes, so heading eastwards for what I thought was Goathland saw me floundering about in the dark eventually finding a farm track & bridge which in retrospect I think must have been somewhere near Nelly Ayre Foss and onwards across a moor which seemed to endure for ever & after climbing over a second barbed-wire fence, got to the railway without ever finding Simon Howe or Goathland village. Couldn’t work out where I was but decided there weren’t likely to be any trains at 4 am & so walked along the railway uphill which proved to be the correct decision as this got me to Fen Bogs. The rest went according to regulation, though I have very firmly decided that the loose
angular gravel they’ve placed on the Fylingdales Moor firebreak is an exquisite form of purgatory for blistered heels after 35+ miles. So overall a bit of a navigational pantomime. Past Master? Yeah, right!

Q – Is this a Lyke Wake record? – the only dirger ever to have got lost on the Urra Moor firebreak!

Dirger Evans.

31st Aug-1st Sep 2018 – A Note of Caution (well a picture anyway) ~~~~~~~

January 2nd, 2019
At least 2 Dirgers have done Lyke Wake crossings from end to end without footwear & in the very recent past a young lady has been pictured (on-line) squelching through the bogs carrying her boots & socks in her hand. The fantastic weather of the last summer made it possible to walk across areas of peat that are normally sticky black gloop of some depth. Anyhow, a word of caution for those contemplating a barefoot dirge – a pic of a small sample of some of the many glass fragments that surfaced on Wheeldale Moor this last summer.

Ouch ! ( Mine’s the pound, you can keep the glass )

Dirger Evans

Lyke Wake Walk – East to West Crossing Mon 29 May 2018

November 28th, 2018

Daniel & Maurice Calvert (support by Naomi & Liz Calvert), Calverley, West Yorkshire.
We tried the walk together in 2012 but thunderstorms and lack of fitness meant we only made it from Osmotherley to Eller Beck.
This time we camped at Bent Rigg Farm, Ravenscar and were dropped off at the start stone at Beacon Howes at 0441 in thick mist.

Ready for the off……………………………………>

Blue Men in the Moss

We stopped for breakfast (0608 to 0633) just before Lilla Cross and made it to Eller Beck for a short support stop (0802 to 0818), all in thick mist. We rested again at Wheeldale Upper Road (0940 to 0948). By now the hot sun was burning off the mist and we finally saw a distant view westwards from the top of Simon Howe.
The heat continued to rise as we reached Blue Man i’ th’ Moss at 1104 and our supported lunch stop on the road below Shunner Howe (1140 to 1235). By then we had realised how very dry the moors were this year, but we still had wet feet from some of the remaining bogs.
At the layby on Knott Road we had another short stop (1400 to 1415) before the slog along the road around Rosedale Head in increasingly uncomfortable temperatures. Following Jackson’s Road (1455) was not the best idea with rough ground before attaining the railway track and two hot hours before we reached Bloworth Crossing (1655 to 1705) and our support team again at Clay Bank Top (1810 to 1822).
This was so tough, but we had to finish! Setting-off for the final stretch, the mist came down again, blocking any view across the Tees Valley. Our support team met us twice more as we battled the final miles at snail’s pace passing Carlton Bank Road at 1952, Huthwaite Green at 2112 and finally dragging ourselves up the last climb to Scarth Nick and the LWW stone at 2226. Successful but exhausted we had completed in 17h 45, 1h 45 behind our planned schedule. It was a long, hard day for supporters, as well!
This was Daniel’s first crossing, at his second attempt. Maurice first completed the walk in 1967 aged 10 and this was his 7th crossing: the previous to this was in 1973, 45 years ago.








Invaluable Backup Team

Timings (also in report above).
Beacon Howes 0441
A171 0515
Jugger Howe Beck 0540
Breakfast 0608 0633
Lilla Cross 0715
A169 0802 0818
Wheeldale Upper Road 0940 0948
Blue Man 1104
Road below Shunner Howe 1140 1235
Layby on Knott Road 1400 1415
Jackson Rd 1455
Bloworth 1655 1705
B1257 1810 1822
Carlton Bank Road 1952
Huthwaite Green 2112
Finish stone 2226