Lyke Wake Walk / Chaos Crossing Report. 27th July 2021.


• Lewis Brunt
• Dave Shaw
• Dom O’Leary
• Chris Moran
• Tom Williams
• Matt Williams (COVID drop-out)

Start: 04:45 End: 21:20 – unsupported

Excited, eager and underslept we emerged from our hostel in Osmotherley and rapidly realised that we had a mile of walking to do, in the early morning light, before we would even lay hands on the starting stone.


? The early parts of the walk saw us climbing up onto the ridge of the beautiful Cleveland Way as the sun rose, breaking over the lowlands to our right. Morning haze sat in the valleys as we trudged towards the rising sun. A stunning start to our hike that hid the perils ahead.

Stopping for breakfast some opted for the first of many sandwiches. A chance to build energy reserves for our march.

? We took a brief detour with a slightly unwanted climb up the hill to see the Wainstones, and to uncover who the mysterious figure was watching us as we crossed the valley. It turned out to be just some bloke with an unnatural ability to stay very still like a silent watcher on the moors. We trudged on.


We hit the first signs of trouble in the flat stretch following the old moorland railway. After a significantly long period of flat ground Lewis somehow put a foot wrong sending his hip out of place. Some complaining, emergency stretches and commandeering of the walking poles later he was working on a new Gallagher brothers-esque walking style to alleviate the aches and pains.

Then, after a bit too long staring down the flat straight track of a long gone railway line, we turned a corner and laid our eyes on the the pub, our halfway point. A building astride the top of the next ridge (albeit an hours further walk away) and with the promise of even more sandwiches to break the morning diet of strawberry pencils, third-tier Haribo and dried out peanut butter bagels.

Fully sandwiched up, including with ample supplies of the Lion Inn’s apparently famous ‘cheese savoury,’ we headed on the path towards our greatest fear. We had heard much of the ‘boggy section’ leading to some quite extensive research via Google Maps, Ordnance Survey and YouTube to make sure we were fully prepared for what lay ahead (it was nearly as intensive as our pre-walk sock research). Stopping only once to save a baby rabbit in distress, we left the road following the course of a thankfully dried out river bed to what we could only imagine was certain, muddy death.

Recent spells of dry weather meant that it was a good few miles before we became blocked by wet ground. The spring line causing us to have to plan each step in a way that we weren’t accustomed to so far. Having passed a few fetid ponds and another towering cairn we emerged largely dry, largely unscathed and most importantly without breaching our Scarpas.

We thought at that point that we had broken through the most difficult leg but instead we were about to enter something much worse than a largely dry bog. Unbeknownst to us we faced eight miles of broken footpaths, dry riverbeds and uneven stones. All on tired feet that had carried us thirty miles already.

Flyingdales haunted us from a distance. A speck of white that we knew was well before our end point.

This is where the real pain began, five men in the peak of fitness beginning to break emotionally, physically and rapidly losing the energy to talk to each other.

Breaking the thirty mile barrier was the only reassurance that this could be done. Our bodies were telling us no but our minds still had it covered.

We broke out our second sandwiches and kidded ourselves that this next section was the final stretch.

The stepping stones over Wheeldale Beck distracted us momentarily in the sea of grinding heather but the hills and the constantly rolling moors were really taking their toll now.

Chris, in a bid to up morale, pulled out a portable speaker and played the greatest hits of local musician Paul Tilley. Singing along to the chorus of ‘Bobby Moore’ made the miles passed underfoot momentarily more bearable. The mis-hit notes from five exhausted men spooked local grouses in the bushes around us, sending them into mad skyward flurries.

The last few miles of the walk became blurred. Minds wiped themselves clean of thoughts, feet hoped to forget. Photos stopped being taken, why would we want to preserve how we felt in these moments?
The final ascent was only achievable after devouring a final packet of wine gums between the team. The steps up became welcome relief as the incline pulled on different muscles to those worn by the flat ridgeline.

As we approached the aerial at the walks end the final sprint finish felt like purgatory. The aerial, now in the low evening light, felt like it remained a few hundred metres out of reach for too long. Our trials weren’t over yet. Chris, overly excited by the prospect of removing his shoes one final time, rushed us to the wrong finishing stone. As he went to lay his hands on what was clearly a trig point, camera at the ready, it dawned on him the painful truth. He had added a painful fifty metres to the walk, fifty metres dashed on deadened legs. We returned to the path and found our end amongst the long grass.

But one final test remained.

Dead to the world, the sun setting on the moors and on our joie de vivre, we were refused salvation. A taxi wasn’t coming for us. Another mile stood to our hotel and a final sandwich promised to mark the day’s end. A mile emerging out of the gloom. We trampled on into the encroaching night, the darkness of Ravenscar taking what was left of our souls.

Lyke Wake Walk: Supported West to East Crossing, 10th July 2021

A crossing report for your consideration!


Darren Draper

Paul Draper

Carl James

Simon James

Support crew:

Mark Heslin

Section 1: Scarth Wood Moor to Carlton Bank
Despite a great weather forecast for the day it was an unpromising start with steady drizzle as we drove down the A19 from Middlesbrough. Thankfully it had dried up by the time we reached Osmotherley and that was the last we saw of the rain all day. There was still plenty of mist around as we posed for the obligatory photo at the starting stone at 04:45. We made good progress through the early hours with the only worry being when Carl came within a whisker of spraining his ankle after only about 600m. Thankfully he managed to “walk it off”.

Section 2: Carlton Bank to Clay Bank
After a welcome brew at our first support stop, we faced the challenge of a very hilly stage with lots of climbing and a few steep descents. It was during this stage that we passed a lone walker coming the other way, who from the submitted reports looks to have been just about to complete an overnight unsupported crossing. She looked to have far fresher legs than a few of us at this point.

Section 3: Clay Bank to Flat Howe
At the next support stop most of us took the opportunity to get out of the boots and change into trainers for a few hours – a good decision for the majority of the next stage which was mostly spent on the old railway, We were also passed early in this stage by someone attempting a world record time for a crossing; by the looks of things she would make it to Ravenscar a bit before we would.

Section 4: Flat Howe to Hamer House
Another nice stage with plenty of open moor to contend with, and a few tricky areas where we had to pick our way carefully. We passed two fellow walkers heading the same way who kindly told us that from their reccies of the previous week, the next stage was by far the worst!

Section 5: Hamer House to Eller Beck
This stage was where it started to get a bit close to falling apart. Our fellow walkers from the previous stage proved true to their word, and this would be the longest stretch of the day between support stops. Over the next couple of hours various parts of Darren and Simon’s bodies started to stop working properly. The sun finally came out and there was no shelter on the open moor from the heat. And the distinctive sight of RAF Fylingdales impossibly seemed to remain always in the far distance, never appearing to get any closer for almost three hours. There was a bit of respite to the hot open moor with a lush green valley and stepping stones over a clear stream, and soon after we finally managed to make it to the next stop for a short rest. It was late on during this stage that Paul took his first pee break of the day which, speaking of world record attempts, probably qualifies him for some sort of award.

Section 6: Eller Beck to Jugger Howe
Despite having broken the back of the total distance there was still over seven miles to go. Simon picked up some walking poles at this point which ended up being the difference between him giving up and being able to finish (although equally it could have been the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer offered by our support driver Mark).

Section 7: Jugger Howe to Ravenscar
This was the final stretch which was mercifully short but still incredibly hard work for some of us. We were promised that we’d be able to see the radio mast as a marker of how long we’d have left to go but the mist had started to come in at this point and by the time we’d finished the main ascent, visibility was literally down to about 50 metres. We made it to the finishing stone at 21:05, 16 hours and 20 minutes after we set off, with our total walking time being just under 14 hours. Mark managed to bundle us into the back of the van for the final drive to Whitby, where the only thing left to do was to dine on takeaway pizza and beers, and to start planning next year’s attempt…

West to East Crossing 10th July 2021. Philip Cosson and Michael Sivewright.

On Saturday 10th July 2021 we arrived in Osmotherley, as the first cars in the car park, at 3:30 am.


Mist obscured everything more than 10 feet round about, and daylight was therefore delayed. Aided by a hastily scavenged bicycle light, we found the stone and started our crossing at 03:45

Following the purple line on out technology, we stayed on track until the dark and gloom succumbed to visibility.

The first landmark was duly included in a “usie” for posterity. This became an oft repeated practice.

The mist rolled away revealing stunning views, but the weather remained kind by sheltering us from the burning sun.

This self-supporting arch was a nice distraction

Soon after we left the Cleveland way we were passed by a female runner and her pacemakers. This is the ‘easy’ section and she was running at an incredible pace, before we knew it, she was seen climbing out of sight up to Blakey ridge. When we (ages later) reached the pub car-park a passer-by told us that the runner was aiming for the 5hr 30 min record – we hope she made it!

The gravel ‘crunch’ is an annoying noise after a while…

…but the reward of our first meal break raised our spirits

Our much-needed support provided bacon buns, hot coffee, plasters, and so much more! We were to meet on all road crossings from here. THANK YOU TRICIA!

The second-half beckoned, with its bogs and rocks!

As we headed along the road across Rosedale head the serene splendour of Ralphs cross was drowned out by a brace of V8 TVR’s


…….Perhaps they were providing the ‘Bam-ba-lam’ for our ‘Fat’ Betty

Handy signage heled us find our way into the bog!

Knee deep was the worst outcome of judicious footing

Happy to see the blue man

Fylingdales seem an awful long way away at this point!

Having walked down this steep traverse to the idyllic steppingstones….

…we were surprised to see it signposted as a roman road. It is surely like no other!

As we continued, we edged ever closer to Fylingdales

Tempted to put our ears to the rails here

By the time we met Lila Howe Cross, the mist was returning

The effort of the 70 meter Jugger Howe stair ascent was balanced by the irresistible attraction of the finish. The question was whether we would beat the darkness.

Still smiling at 22:00 – our slow crossing taking 18 hrs 15 mins


Cheers !

Solo unsupported East to West Crossing, Overnight 9th/10th July 2021. Alison Dyke.

I’d wanted to do the Lyke Wake Walk for a while and thought an overnight crossing would be good bog trotting and navigation training. I had an inauspicious start with a late train and missed bus, but the longer than expected journey gave me a chance to read the guidebook. I stuck it in my backpack when I got off the train and didn’t look at it again! I got off the bus at the Falcon Inn on the A171 and walked through orchid filled woods to my starting point at the radio mast and the Lyke Wake Walk stone at about 3pm. The first section was uneventful, but warm and muggy and I was on the look out for a good stream to keep my water supplies topped up. I managed to keep my feet dry coming down Little Eller Beck, but the bogs were freshly charged with rainwater after the storms the previous weekend. As I approached the A169 the traffic was heavy, but as I came close a gap appeared and I sprinted across. Soon after I’d crossed the North York Moors railway, I heard a steam train approaching, but it was out of sight in the valley bottom and I wasn’t going back!

Figure 1: A handy sign post, looking east to Fylingdales.

There was more wildlife along the Wheeldale plantation than on the open moor, and I met a young roe deer, a wall lizard and nearly stepped on a big frog. I had a really clear, sunny evening which made navigation simple. Even where it was most wet underfoot between the Blue Man-i-th’-Moss and Hamer, it was easy enough to squelch along the route following the boundary marker stones (I was wearing trail shoes and merino socks so had soggy but comfortable feet). I stopped to bivi just as I reached the old railway line NW of the Lion Inn, mainly because I was making good time and would have arrived at Osmotherley about 8 hours early for my lift home otherwise! It was about 10:00 and starting to get properly dark. There was absolutely no shelter but it was very clear and quite still, so I just picked the least bumpy and slopey bit of rabbit nibbled grass I could find. Apart from the occasional cross sounding grouse, it was completely quiet. I had to pull my bivi bag over my face when it started spotting with rain, but otherwise I was quite comfortable. I slept patchily, and having been awake for 1/2 hour from 3:30 as it began to get light and the birds were getting noisy, I got up and set off again.

Figure 2: Anyone lost a tiger? found this one on the loose at Rosedale Head


Figure 3: Sunset over Glaisdale Moor


There had been low cloud early on but that cleared as I came over Wainstones just after 7 in the morning. I had been lying to myself about the likelihood of Lordstones café being open for a cup of tea and when I got there at 8:20 sure enough, it was closed and I pressed on down to Huthwaite Green. In the field after Scugdale Beck, Highland cows, calves and bull were having a lie in, so I gave them a wide berth and continued through Coalmire plantation. After a brief search I found the Lyke Wake Stone at Cod Beck Reservoir and headed down into Osmotherley for that longed for cup of tea, to wait for my lift home and my witchy powers to emerge. Start to finish, I was out for 19.5 hours, 13.5 of them on the move and 6 horizontal if not asleep.

Figure 4: Snacks


Solo Crossing Mon 5th July2021. Rob Clark

I’d like to report a very long overdue 1st (maybe last!) crossing of the LWW. This route had been at the top of my list for a good couple of years and the fact that I live as far away as MALTON leaves me with no excuse to why I’m only just taking up the challenge. Nevertheless, with time on my hands and a burning desire I decided Mon 5th July would be the day.

I started at the LWW stone outside Osmotherley at 18:04 in glorious weather and was delighted to pick up the familiar Cleveland Way trail just a few steps in.













Having walked this 10/11 mile section before, it was great to see a wealth of wildlife appear due to the lack of traffic around at this time. Bumping only into a farmer at the top of Lordstones who seemed quite taken aback at the challenge and was probably glad he wasn’t me at that moment in time. As I reached Bloworth Crossing the sun was now shining somewhere over the Americas and the night shift set in.

An expectedly uneventful journey past High Blakeley Moor and onto The Lion Inn took me past midnight and into Tues 6th. Having had limited time hiking in the dead of night, particularly alone, there was a mixture of eeriness and peacefulness. But definitely a unique experience.

As if somebody had flicked a switch, the rain started at the 20 mile point and didn’t stop until Ravenscar.

The going up to Blue Man Ith Moss was knee deep in places and disorientation kicked in at least a couple of times. Many a different species of frog/toads to be seen here at this time.

Dawn came as I reached the Wheeldale Plantation and so did the fatigue. Convincing myself that a mound of rocks was actually a herd of deer egging me into the final 10 miles. This definitely raised a smile and intrigued me to what else I might ‘see’.

I took 15 minutes shelter under a precariously balanced rock for some food and respite before tackling the route over the NYMR and past Flyingdales. As I stood admiring Lilla Cross, I foolishly thought that the hard graft was done.

I can imagine my heart sank just as much as everyone else on their first crossing when the Down-Up onto Jugger Howe Moor came into sight. With 37 miles already in the legs, it was a determined effort up the steepest climb this side of midnight and that was seemingly the slingshot I needed onto Ravenscar. Blessed with parting clouds, blinding sun and a great view over Robin Hood’s Bay as I passed the LWW stone at 09:27. 15hrs 23mins.

After much needed refreshments at the National Trust Centre I was thrilled to hop onto the Scarborough bus and start the almost FOUR hour journey back into Osmotherley.

Many Thanks,

Crossing 02nd/03rd July 2021.

Dear Lyke Wake Walk Club,

I am delighted to report a crossing, completed by the following:

Paul Collings
Simon Mew
Natalie Broomfield
Scott Wadlow
Rupert Mingay
Mark Stride
Alastair Gunn
Ed Dutton
Christina Kish
Chris Daniels

We left the LWW stone near Sheepwash at 10.15am on Friday 2 July.


We arrived at the Lion at 6.15pm.

We arrived at the LWW stone at Ravenscar at 7.15am on Saturday 3 July, and the Raven Hall Hotel at 8am.


Weather was generally good. Just a few spots of rain on the whole crossing.


We are all staff or former staff of Standard Chartered Bank, raising money for charity. We raised £7000 for “futuremakers”, to help disadvantaged young people.

In true Academy Award speech style:

Thanks to Glynis & Richard (Chris’s mum + dad) for bringing copious supplies of drugs and things to the start and to the Lion.

Big shout out to Paul “Collin” Collings for the excellent organisational.

Ms Broomfield and Ms Kish have requested use of the title “Dirger” (rather than Witch) in the interests of gender equality.

Best wishes,
Chris Daniels

Crossing Sunday 20th June 2021.

My daughter Charlotte Houlgate and I completed the walk a couple of weeks ago

We started in Osmotherley village at 3.58 am (and from the official start at 4.26am) and finished at Ravenscar at 19.26 pm (19.04 pm at the official finish).


We had no support from start to finish.

The weather was perfect for walking – light rain for the first few hours and a cool breeze throughout the day. The only downside was the heavy mist until we reached the disused railway. We had been looking forward to the views but they just never appeared.

Also we arrived at the Lion Inn at Blakey at around 11.20 am so it was closed when we got there and our wait for beer was extended. Rather than hang around for 40 minutes we pressed on to for lunch with Fat Betty.

The boggy crossing was dry and spongy and we bounced along at some considerable pace.



The route was pretty easy to follow and we did not get lost at any time (unusual for me).



Having finished the walk I promptly turned my ankle. I suppose better at the end than the start or the middle.

Our second attempt at beer was thwarted too, as my wife had arrived early to pick us up and with her starting work early the next morning wasn’t keen for me to start imbibing. Such is life.

Charlotte and i enjoyed our day out though, that’s for sure.

David Houlgate – Knaresborough

Crossing 12th June 2021.

Hi there,

I would like to report 2 new members following our crossing on the 12th of June;

We left Cote Ghyll Mill just after 4am and arrived / finished just after 8pm. We crossed unsupported but would like to thank the support team from Scarborough College who provided much needed additional water as the afternoon warmed up, as well as the unnamed lady who took pity on us and gave us a lift from the finish down to the Raven Hall Hotel. It wasn’t difficult to appear in need of a lift.

We may not have been the oldest crossing on the day, being 54 & 58 respectively, but I am pretty sure we were the heaviest, both comfortably exceeding 120 kilos, never mind our sandwiches.

It is fair to say that we suffered; sore feet receiving temporary relief on the springy section across Glaisdale Moor – unfortunately short lived unlike the Fylingdales building which seemed to be ahead of us forever and like the mast at Beacon Howes never seeming to get closer.

One other group were crossing for their second year in a row; our initial view was that once was enough but a couple of weeks (and sherries) later and who knows?

Richard Smith
Kris Hopkins