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