Double Crossing Lyke Wake Walk 12 – 14 June 2017.

I respectfully submit a report of my double crossing of the Lyke Wake Walk 12 – 14 June 2017 in under the 48 hour time limit. I never thought I would be typing these words; I completed two one-way crossings last year and the prospect of turning around at Ravenscar and walking back again filled me with dread. It’s funny how these things can eat away at you.

So on 12 June 2017 I left my car in Osmotherley and walked the mile or so up the road to the ‘start’ stone. On my previous two crossings I had set off around 5pm and walked through the night. This meant I hit the boggy area, just after the Lion Inn, at first light. The downside to this is the pub is closed as you walk past it in the early hours. On this trip I really needed the pub to be open as I was relying on it for some refreshment – Ok I like a beer. So with this in mind and a bit of a plan in my head I left the stone at 2:16pm and headed off towards the Cleveland Way.

I won’t bore you with a minute by minute account of my crossing. There are plenty of other accounts here for you to get a taste of what to expect.

I reached the Lion Inn before closing time and sank a few pints and a couple of bags of peanuts. As you can gather, I am no athlete. I left the pub at closing time with the intention of walking to the start of the boggy area and grabbing an hour or so sleep while waiting for first light. It was a beautiful starlit night as I headed out of the pub and up the road.

I hate the boggy area. I don’t like crossing it in daylight so there is no way I would venture into it in the dark. So I can offer no explanation as to what happened next. Instead of stopping where I had planned to, I switched on my torch and headed off across the bogs. I was soon out the other side, soaking wet, muddy, but happy to have pinched a few hours. I knew I would have to sleep, but just not yet.

I reached Ravenscar at 10:23am some 20 hours after setting off. I was pleased with this time as I was well within the 24 hours. I had not pushed myself as I was mindful I still had 40 miles to go.

I was out of food and out of water so had to walk down into the village to stock up. I could have done without this extra mileage but had no option. I spent a fortune in the Visitor Centre and gorged myself. I was good to go. Well actually I felt miserable. The thought of walking all the way back again was horrendous. I decided to have a couple of pints in the Raven Hall Hotel to cheer myself up. That’s better! So around midday I set off back towards Osmotherley.

I hoped to reach the Lion Inn before closing as I knew I would need fluid and food. The walk by now was a painful slog. The sun was beating down and I was sweating buckets. My lack of sleep was catching up with me and I found myself stumbling as I fell asleep whilst walking. I reached Lilla Cross and grabbed 30 minutes sleep. I continued my trudge. I never reached the Lion Inn before closing. At 10:30pm I was still 3 miles away with no prospect of making last orders, so I made the painful decision to stop and get some sleep. I grabbed an hour and a half in my bivvy bag in the shadow of Fat Betty. No sooner had I closed my eyes than my alarm was waking me. I was out of food and water and still had 23 miles to go. As I walked past the Lion Inn it was all in darkness. I wandered around the side of the building and found an outside tap. I filled my bottles and drank a belly full.

The walk along the old railway line was an amazing experience. Despite my sleep I was hallucinating wildly. Rocks were turning into creatures, I saw a lady walking her horse, a bandsaw, snakes and various other figments of my imagination. It became so bad that set my alarm for 30 minutes and sat down on a rock for more sleep. This seemed to do the trick and I was soon making some progress. The Lord Stones Cafe was just opening as I passed and a full breakfast with a couple of cups of coffee was a lifesaver.

The final few miles were not as bad as I thought they would be. The food and drink at the cafe really helped. I reached the ‘start’ stone at 12:08pm. 84.5 miles in just under 46 hours.

I have now had a couple of weeks to reflect and this was a great adventure. Although I have presented this as a bit of a slapdash affair, I did carry full emergency equipment including a bivvy bag, sleeping bag and SPOT GPS tracker.

Stay safe out there and watch out for bandsaws.


South Lincolnshire.

Mick Ellis