The Lyke Wake Walk 31 July-1 August 2015

I would like to dedicate this walk to Bernard Brindley…

We did it in 21 hours!
Starting at 7:30 walked from The Catherine Pub in Osmotherley to the LWW stone, after a little prayer and a kiss to the stone we set off to the start.

Immediately after the signpost Cleveland Way, we turned left, I immediately realised what I had done wrong the first time I attempted to do this walk 3 weeks earlier. I basically had misread the compass. Pity because Bernard had spent some time teaching me how to use it in preparation to my first walk.

We followed a very easy path to Huthwaite Green The section with set of stones that followed was tiring but not too difficult as it was still light, and dry. We cheerfully climbed up Liver Moor on Carlton Bank, 408m; Sandra chatting away. We Reached Lord Stones Cafè within 2 hours, much better in comparison to the first time I tried which took me 5 hours!

I am indebted to this cafe. On my first attempt a few weeks earlier, when I reached Huthwaite Green, I wanted to take a picture of the hut, I realised I had lost my guide book, I arrive to the cafe at 9.30, my panic was replaced by relief when a young lady opened the shop half an hour earlier than usual for me to buy another guide, and as I did not have the right change she added 10 pence from her own money to help me pay for it.
On this occasion, we met a couple of young men who wanted us to lighten their path so that they could jump over a small sand-hill on their mountain bikes. There was me thinking we were mad! Well, we weren’t the only ones.
Climbed up Carr Ridge on Urra Moor, followed by Round Hill at Botton Head. The highest point on the whole walk 454 m. Feeling fresh, no blisters, not in too much pain. Feeling optimistic and happy.

Bloworth Crossing, then the never ending Old Railway Line crossing, which was great, a bit windy but bearable; full moon so at some stage I switched off my head torch as I could see clearly. Blackey Moor, passed the Lion Inn, I was surprised to see lights on so early in the morning. Ralph Cross, turn right at Rosedale head. Found walking on the road harder than on path.

Reached Fat Betty, paid our respects, took yet more photographs. One of my companions took forever to change hers socks, left a few souvenirs to fatty. Arrived at the “Fryup”, did not feel like having a fry up. Turn left saw another LWW stone, set off to the boggy section.

The Boggy section: 5 miles. Good thing, it was light, I think I would have drowned in the dark. The book recommends to leave heavy rucksacks and equipment with the back-up team, no choice for us since, we did not have a back team; definitely, not recommended. On my first attempt, I did have Bernard as my back-up team. My poor old chap waited for me at all meeting points, unfortunately as I was so delayed, I could not meet him. The reception was bad, therefore, I could not warn him.

The path marked by stones was even boggier and more frightening, so we walked to the left of the path as it was safer! Once I read a blog of two women that stopped their walk in tears at the boggy section, they were terrified to see such a massive wet area. I could see now how difficult and overwhelming this part of the walk was. We crossed the roadside, reached the brow of the hill and trig point 432 metres. It was wet at some points and felt exactly like the book stated, bouncing across and sinking into it; however it was kind to our knees and sore feet.

The Hammer, after 8.5 miles, we were relieved to leave the boggy section, due to its difficulty it delayed us. Saw the “Blue Man i th Moss”. Wheeldale Plantation, crossed Wheeldale Road, a more picturesque scenery, as written in the book. Legs stiff. Roman Road at the top of the hill; then down at the stepping stones across Wheeldale Beck, feeling hot as the sun was strong, passed the railway crossing- the railway line of the North York Moors Railway; beautiful nature reserve Fen Bog. On our way to check point five.

Eller Beck seven miles left, seven miles? It seemed an eternity! Legs really stiff now. At Eller Beck Bridge car park, an Asian couple in their car looked at us as if we were extraterrestrials landing on earth! I saw a lady sitting down next to her car knitting a pink something. She gave me a big smile, I think she understood our bravery and determination, or more likely felt sorry for us, as by then we looked dellusionaly tired. Crossed the bridge, then spent a few minutes trying to cross the very busy road. A sign to alert drivers that “LWW heroes” may be crossing that road is seriously needed. Just when I though, the boggy section was over, there was more of it. This was followed by man made stoney access road-hard to walk on it.

Lilla Howe frankly, this section to me was a bit of a blur, do not remember much detail. We were tired, stiff, a bit wet, steep ascent up steps, followed by gravel path. We could see the so near and yet so far mast; crossed the A171, straight wet and stony path, but hard to walk. Finished at the Lyke Wake Stone at Beacon Howe by the mast Hurray!

The end…

Smailes B. The Lyke Wake Walk, (2013), 4th edition. Challenge Publications.