How to report your crossing

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 by email to

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.

Winter Crossing – Walk 4: Graeme Noble

General Information

Date & Start: Wednesday 28 February 2024 (starting time [from the LWW finish/start stone at the beacon at Ravenscar 9.30am] – Thursday 29 February 2024 [ending time 6.42am] at the LWW start/finish stone above Cod Beck Reservoir.

This is a winter crossing

Walking time: 18hrs 40min

Actual crossing time 21hrs 10min 8sec

Total Walking Distance: 40.6miles

Dirger: Graeme Noble (no assistance or companion)

Weather: From daybreak until 4pm there was good visibility during daylight hours with some sunlight appearing through broken grey clouds (particularly early morning. Initially, quite windy conditions which gradually increased into a full storm, low cloud from 4pm and loss of visibility from 5pm to less than 6ft at the George Gap Causeway (path) (East:470577 – North: 501030) with swirling mist, rain and accompanying gusts of strong winds. 

The final two miles of the bog were accompanied by very little light and it was a boon to see new ground structures along the way, in my head I associate them with grouse shooting or feeding grouse? Between 6pm and 3am a storm burst began with a severe whirl of rain heralded by gusts of accompanying wind with exceptionally poor visibility. This was the pattern of the weather to follow for the next 9hrs.

Temperature: cold throughout the day with the need to wear my waterproof as an extra layer. It became very cold after 10pm and I put this down to the inclement clime and exposure to some quite interesting weather conditions of torrential rain showers with constant windy conditions with low visibility.

The Walk

The start of the walk began with snippets of blue sky falling through silvery grey cloud formations. At the start/finish stone at Ravenscar, the weather was dry and I hoped I had the promise of holding out for the day due to the regular blue in the sky and the incredibly daybreak sun over the sea from the hotel window at Ravenscar Hall Hotel at 7pm. The first stage surprised me regarding the ground conditions – in comparison to September (lots of flowering heather) there now was quite a burn of heather on Stony Marl Moor which gradually petered out toward the A171.

I love Jugger Howe Beck and would be quite content to have my ashes scattered there. The greenness and the surrounding woody nature of the beck around the bridge into each side of the valley, the succulence of the greenery is a great seductive reason for not moving from the spot, especially with the buds showing the sap rising on the trees. But, I broke out of the mesmerised moment and moved on being surprised by the lack of water over High Moor toward Lilla Cross. Here I met a father and son taking refuge to the north of the Cross due to the cold windy conditions. They continued eating and I moved on to cross Ellerbeck. I didn’t hang around during the day due to the chilliness.

Yet, during my crossing following moving away from the gate to cross the footpath which follows Little Eller Beck I again heard voices gurgling in the beck’s waters, Mark Pearson & Gordon Leithhead’s distinctive tones were there, although I couldn’t get the gist of the story, primary school days came flooding back. This time from my childhood days and these hearing moments were only altered when a birch tree close to me creaked and broke the spell. I find this area to be truly mystical, more so than Jugger Howe yet less beautiful than the valley.

I had decided to follow different routes on this walk depending on how waterlogged the ground was up to and around Wheeldale Lodge, but, the surprise lay in the fact that although the ground was wet, particularly around Wheeldale Beck and the Stepping Stones, the actual stones were not covered by water and I hopped across to Wheeldale Road, although the hill climb up to the Roman Road I found tiring.

Here was going to be my first change of route from the classic Lyke Wake Walk if the ground had been saturated but (after a quick text to my team at home) I chose not to take alternative suggested routes as described by Bill Cowley on pages 34 & 35 of his Lyke Wake Walk book published by Dalesman (fifth edition 1971) which I’d planned to do and carried on to  Blue Man-i’-th’-Moss (has someone or something been out recently with a paintbrush, the spotless whiteness on it seems to be fairly recent) and again instead of potentially moving on to the Traverse Moor road I contacted base and said I was going to cross over the Rosedale Moor route via Shunner Howe.

Again, there wasn’t as much water as I expected and the going was easier than I expected. However, at 4pm the light dropped around the George Gap Causeway (Path) and the memory of the walks I had completed previously helped as low visibility due to heavy rain, swirling mist and the arrival of early night caused me to be cautious about getting my exit right to the Rosedale Road exit.

Near the tumulus at East: 470118 North: 501111 with the light now becoming total night and my wandering mind looking for the trail down to the road I accepted that as long as I hit the road, I could make my way to the Lion Inn but, as good fortune came my way, I arrived on the track with the Lyke Wake Walk stone and the two arrows pointing towards me. Relieved I headed to the Inn and tea. I met no traffic until the Rosedale West side road and as the weather deteriorated further (I was now walking southward through quite a storm with little visibility) I was surprised by the lack of good driving skills through the closeness of the vehicles passing by to me. With a head torch and hand-held torch, I was clearly visible but the vehicles passed me by sometimes with a foot to spare. One van came so close, and then the driver seeing me swerved off, stalling the vehicle. The hiccupping of the vehicle summed up my good fortune at being alive and the poor driving that was afforded to the vehicle. Fortunately, I wasn’t road kill!

Eventually, I arrived at the Lion Inn, where over an hour I had tea, a homemade steak and ale pie with chips accompanied separately by two pots of Earl Grey tea. I had become dehydrated. But, I couldn’t eat the chips due to feeling so knackered! This was the saddest moment of the walk. I remembered why I usually eat Jam Roly Poly. Anyhow, the food was good it was me who was physically out of it.

But, after an hour’s rest, I donned the waterproofs, which, had largely done a good job with only a slight amount of dampness on the shoulders showing as I put it on and I made my way around the side of the building to find my route to Osmotherley following the former railway line.

Continuing the doleful report through the woeful weather.

It was with some relief that I arrived at Bloworth Crossing (those metal gates are very helpful landmarks, and a good reference amidst the centre of a disused railway line with little visibility, swirling mist and belting rain, even the wind added a tortured note during the storm and the effect of the torch’s beam being reflected in the mist left a sense of walking dejavu mile after mile with no viewpoint to take stock of my position, although walking north the weather was behind and westward on my left side, odd to use an imprecise bearing in such a situation, guessing the curve of the Dales heads and my location when trudging amidst the centre of a disused railway line) guided by rain.

This was the one of two accompaniments for many hours as frogs would crouch motionless as I passed by and they were caught in the beam of the torch. Every so often a blown piece of heather and twig would come to rest on the track and twist and turn on its own route after resting for a moment. I sort of copied this routine during moments of rest.

After leaving the Lion Inn at 9pm on the Wednesday evening this continuance of weather and walking/swimming/croaking landscape lasted until I began to drop down after Round Hill. At this stage, I had decided to vary my route and this time I chose to follow Bill Cowley’s alternative route (found on page 20, fifth edition, Galava Printing Co., Ltd., Hallam Road, Nelson, Lancashire). So, I began the descent to Chop Gate, via Medd Crag, towards Bilsdale Hall.

Descending, I came across some grouse shouting hides and in the third hide I took refuge for 15 minutes with a flask of peppermint tea and some biscuits while the wind whipped past and over me. Writing this I feel a bit of a hypocrite as I don’t like the purpose of the hides association with killing but, in the circumstances, I needed some respite from the weather. The rain didn’t stop.

At the exit off Urra Moor toward the hall the path deteriorated to that of deep pitted uneven rivets and slushy mud. I found once I got onto the road beyond the hall that walking became easier, of course on the tarmac, picking up speed but, following Raisdale Mill and arriving at Mill Lane the path (which I had assumed would be easier to walk than over the cliffs to Clain Wood) which is also a cycle route became a downhill sliding exercise through uneven terrain, a torn track of mud, unevenness of ground and sludge for a good half-mile of heavy going, which finally ended at the gate of Scugdale Hall.

Bill Cowley on the same page above describes this route as a lady’s walk. I can only say he must have known some interesting ladies who would walk this route. (In a previous night-time extravaganza, I found it equally challenging to follow the Wain Stones across to Carlton Moor). At Raikes Farm, I found thereto be enough outside lighting to navigate for quite a distance.

But, there was an uplifting moment which raised my spirits on hearing owls in Clain Wood whilst I stopped for a further drink and some food at the public seat above Hollin Hill on the road to Huthwaite Green (NZ 49280 00720, East: 449280 North: 500720) and the conversation between at least three owls in quite different parts of the wood lifted up my spirits for the final trek to the end. I was tempted to alter my route and walk through the wood but decided against it as I’d be altering the route I was walking and at home, my wife would be expecting me to follow another. (By now she was in Bo-Peep land). So, a good decision in some ways, onwards to Mill Farm, Coalmire Lane, through the quarries, now disused, but which I found as daybreak appeared and the landscape became clearer were interesting in themselves for their left architectural design and shape.

Arriving at the LWW starting/ending point I found it to be rather odd as I still had to walk to the bus stop in Osmotherley where I was to be picked up at 8am by my wife. So, I walked down the west side of Cod Beck Reservoir onto Quarry Lane and into town, stopping at Damside for a final cuppa and remembered that I still had the head torch wrapped around my head. Tiredness caused forgetfulness as I’d switched it off earlier next to the sheepwash.

Would I do the Lady’s alternative again, yes, but not as part of the LWW. I’d be tempted to do it again as a circular, from Osmotherley, to see what the views were like that I’d missed in the dark on this walk, going up to Round Hill on Carr Ridge and then back via the classic route over Hasty Bank, past the Wain Stones and then up to Carlton Bank, followed by a midnight favourite of Clain Wood down to the start point at Cod Beck Reservoir. A grand day out!

A New Decade: Natalie Vallone

Yesterday I completed my first crossing! West – East, solo & unsupported.

When I heard about this walk a month ago, I knew it was the perfect challenge to mark entering my thirties.

On Monday I drove to Ravenscar and spent the rest of the day on public transport to the start. It was only then I think I really realised how tough this was going to be.

I left Osmotherly youth hostel at 04:05, walking through cloud pretty much the whole way until The Lion, which was maybe a good thing not being able to see the hills or stretching moors ahead!

As I left the road and entered the bog, the sun came out which made for a glorious afternoon (despite a moment of concern when I got stuck in said bog!). The river at Wheedale was thankfully passable and I made it to Lilla Cross before the head torch had to come out again.

The last stretch was tough, with the knees and brain both wanting to call it a day, but a couple of encouraging messages from friends saw me to the end! The final struggle back to my car at Raven Hall hotel finally came to an end at 21:00. 

Not sure if I will ever do another crossing (so impressed by those of you that have!!), but very glad to have completed it and to be entering my thirties officially a witch!

A Comedy Of Errors: Anthony Bristow

On September 23rd, ten of us embarked on the Lyke Wake Walk. This adventure served as a charity
fundraiser for Neuroendocrine Cancer, a small charity in need of support. We are rallying behind our
friend and family member, Hayley, who has been an inspiration to us all.

The night before, we had a few drinks at the Golden Lion, like pre-gaming for a marathon, but with
pints, not protein shakes. Setting our alarms for 3 AM seemed crazy, but we met at Osmotherley car
park at 4 AM, ready for action.

One of the team had legs longer than a giraffe’s and sprinted ahead, only to be chased back into the
pack by a weird white alien with green eyes. He quickly learned to stick with the group.

We trudged up steep hills in the dark, realising sunrise wasn’t until 6:51 AM. Mother Nature owed us
daylight. However, as dawn broke, we enjoyed some stunning views and realised we weren’t on a
death march.

Our support team was supposed to meet us at mile 9, but my poor planning (sorry folks) led to their
absence. Undeterred, we pressed on toward the Lion Inn, dreaming of bacon and sausage butties.
The walk to the Lion Inn was pleasant, with lovely moorland views, until a local cycle race turned our
hike into a game of dodgems.

Mark, our Chief Navigator with Bieber-like boots, led us smoothly. It felt like the calm before a storm,
but Bieber didn’t make a cameo.

At the Lion Inn Pub, Paul and Geoff, our support crew, greeted us with a mountain of bacon and sausage. Satisfied, we continued.

The next part was entertaining, with peat bogs like trampolines due to the weather. The trail was
too wet, so we detoured to keep our feet dry. It felt impossible!

Jordan had two toilet breaks, and these were number 2’s, on his second squat down in the thick
heather, he lost his phone. Can you guess where it ended up? Hint: not in his pocket!

As we marched on and saw Fylingdales in the distance, we couldn’t help but wonder why it never
seemed to get any closer.

We reached the monument with just enough light to see the finish line. The last five miles loomed in
total darkness. Fatigue set in, but our determination carried us forward. I’m certain there were
moments during the walk when we all took a moment to reflect on why we were doing this. I
certainly did. The thought of Hayley’s strength and determination unquestionably helped us through
this final section.

We spotted a bright white light in the sky, thinking it was the radio mast, only to discover it was a
star. Fatigue had us seeing things!

Finally, we hit the main road at the last mile, with Mark leading grumpily. His Bieber side took over,
as Lee unintentionally poked the bear!

At last, we reached the finish at 21:32. A whopping 17 hours and 32 minutes of Lyke Wake Walk
madness, all for a great cause. We faced white aliens, lost phones, bogs, and questionable
navigation, but we did it!

Sheep or Aliens? Graeme Noble

Date & Start: Tuesday 22nd August (starting time [from the LWW stone at the beacon at Ravenscar 8.48am] – Wednesday 23rd August 2023 [ending time 6.08am] at the LWW stone above Cod Beck Reservoir

Walking time: 19hrs 10 minutes, actual crossing time 20hrs 40 minutes

Total Walking Distance: 41 miles

Dirger: Graeme Noble (no assistance)

Weather: initially slight wind conditions which gradually declined towards 10pm with slight gusts through to 5am on the tops, good visibility during daylight hours with some sun exposure and remaining dry during the walk but underfoot more wet in the bog areas since I walked across during early July

Temperature: warm throughout the day becoming unpleasantly cold after midnight, particularly following the climb from Hasty Bank. Throughout daylight – fairly warm and cloudy, after sunset – gradually becoming chilly and cold

I was a little concerned that walking east to west with bright sunlight in my face, due to the pace of the progression of the sun, would hinder visual progress as the day progressed. The sun travelling faster than I anticipated I would be walking east to west. This wasn’t the case. Cloud at times hiding the sun.

With a full English breakfast stomach (curtesy of Ravenscar Hall Hotel), later followed by toast, butter and blackcurrant jam and pots of coffee I left the comfort of breakfast at 8.20am. I was joyful at leaving the hotel and getting on my way. I commiserated my choice of beginning this sojourn much later due to my conclusion that walking from Hasty Bank via the Wainstones to the LWW stone would be walked in the dark even if I began walking at 3am and so it was better for me to walk on a full stomach toward the midnight /early morning Wainstone wilderness than rush out and still have to walk through such terrain in the dark in any case.

I began walking from Ravenscar Hall Hotel in warm, sunlit skies with occasional perched clouds that offered promise of a dry and warm day. This was the case during daylight hours.

This time I thank the Sainsburys store in Scarborough for supplying me with food for the walk (previous day purchase). This saw a change of diet from the previous walk’s fare. Bacon and cheese sandwiches saw the light of day and barbecued chicken for the darkness of night.

Arriving at the beacon and LWW stone I felt slightly odd due to having walked the reverse direction from the Flask Inn bus stop over Stony Marl Moor late the previous afternoon following alighting from the Scarborough to Whitby X93 bus. I had been expecting to see the first part of the walk from the beacon afresh in the light for the first time as the two previous crossings had been completed in the dark after midnight but I was not disappointed due to the fact that I was walking the route this time in reverse. My thoughts here may be disorganised but they reflect the reality of recovery after completing the mission.

What can one say apart from how beautiful standing at the LWW stone beneath the beacon and looking forward and behind seeing sea and rolling hills and knowing that this is what was missed previously in the darkness even when wearing a head torch.

All peace until reaching the A171 and the fast flow of traffic. Here was a new daylight juncture and oddly a meeting with a man and a dog whom I’d met on the moor yesterday when walking across to the hotel at Ravenscar from the X93 bus. We greeted each other and chatted for a while about the area and what we were up to, his holiday break and my walk. He’d worked as a taxi driver in Hull and my wife’s family had lived there for nearly 50yrs. So, we talked about the Anlaby and Hessle Roads, Hull City and Hamlyn Avenue. I have a fondness for that area as much as the North Yorkshire Moors due to my wife’s mother taking the family to the area every year until she became incapable of travel. Time pleasantly stood still for 10 minutes then it was time to push on. Being transported emotionally is as great an accomplishment as walking 40+ miles!

The day’s walking was further rewarded on the descent into the valley of Jugger Howe. It’s odd how one can be distracted by movement and looking down during the descent I saw an adder scurry from one side of the step in front of me to the other and into the heather. Evidently sun bathing but deciding not to take part in the dirge with me. The highlight of this part of the walk for me was definitely the valley between the ravine sides of Jugger Howe. The lushness of the greenery on both sides of the path with occasional willow and birch is truly beautiful and I felt rewarded for walking the route in reverse as I’d never seen before this outlook in the darkness when walking. Truly stunning! And, the rest of the route to the stepping stones offered more gems. Great views from Lilla Howe towards Flylingdales and the MOD building and the final view back to the coast and the beacon before descent to Eller Beck Bridge. I was quite fired up with the beauty and immersed in the walk until I met two women who were walking near the bridge at Eller Beck. We talked for a while and they said they were getting into training for the Coast to Coast walk they were attempting to do in a couple of weeks time and when I was asked about the walk I was doing one of the them mentioned that wolves were being considered to be released in the highlands of Scotland and when they came down here in a couple of years I’d need to take care as they would tear someone to pieces during nightfall if they came across them. I said that I was glad to be walking the route now and we parted company. My wife says she is not quite sure how I manage to come across such folk! Neither am I!

I stopped at the stepping stones for lunch following a photoshoot of me at Simon Howe where a mother and son passed by. Quite normal people. I met no one again until before Loose Howe where a chap was walking the LWW in stages (west-east) and wild camping over three to four days. This was the first person I’d come across on this side of the walk and we parted after discussing the situation of the bogs we’d crossed. Quite wet in places. Definitely more wet than I had met in July of this year.

And onward on tarmac to the Lion Inn. I’m not sure if the road here is any less dangerous than the bogs? Cars travel very fast and there was quite a lot of road kill alongside. At the Inn it was time for Jam Roly Poly, a pot of Earl Grey (with extra water) and this time to break tradition but to celebrate my future success in completing the walk I had a pint of Old Peculiar and settled down for a 40 minute stop. At 8.50pm it was time to move on. I phoned my walking assistant, Kate, informing her that I was moving again and after a brief chat I was off.

The evening to late night light while I was walking around Farndale tops and the accompanying colours throughout the valley were stunningly deep, from purples, greens, yellows and reds. Occasionally there would be a rustle of grasses and heathers but it was mostly silent and then the beacon lights of Bilsdale mast began to glow (sometimes 1 light, sometimes 5 lights) forming an accompaniment all the way to Cod Beck Reservoir. Also, homestead lights began to appear and I decided to move away from using a hand torch and switch on the head torch.

There is one positive aspect of walking the old railway line in the dark and that is with a good clear sky (such as the one accompanying me) it is possible to walk dead central without using a head torch and this was the case until Bloworth Crossing when cloud became more prevalent. The wind had dropped at this point as well and faster walking speed took place.The trig point on Round Hill on my right cast its grey figure as I passed it and solitude became more apparent.

And from here to the Wain Stones there was only one oddity. Approaching the Wain Stones there was a coned object, black and white. I first associated it with the microlight aircraft and kit left behind. However, when the shape moved I wondered if it was a UFO and was slightly taken aback. Fortunately, it was none of those things. A herd of Belted Galloway had moved across and one was very close to the edge of the cliff and turned to greet me. Odd hearing cattle munching in the middle of the night with no other sound to disturb their night pulling of grasses, herbs, reeds and nettles. (I had one more sandwich left and must have been feeling hungry). Anyway, like the earlier adder they weren’t interested in me and I walked through them to have the second excitement of the day happen. For some reason, probably being tired, it took about 15 minutes to clamber down the Wain Stones. Initially, I got the route down but doubted the accuracy of my memory. I should have stuck with the original plan. Once down the rest of the walk became a hard slog on the tops even when I met a yellow frog/toad. I said to myself no you’re not in the Amazon, that’s a standard English frog. However, it was that cold I made a decision not to get the phone out and take a picture.

From there and past the Bronze Age burial mound the walk seemed interminably long until the descent and arrival at the minor road through Hurhwaite Green where there is a nice seat to take a rest. Here was the last sandwich eaten and the last peppermint tea drunk. Between here and Clain Wood I came across two foxes, initially, I thought they were sheep dispersing in front of me but when whistling came across the field, almost surrounding me as they ran away from each other I thought I’m hearing the cry of foxes. This sound accompanied me for a large portion of the walk through the woods and then disappeared to be replaced by the hoot of an owl. As I reached the steps leading up to the road and cattle grid I realised that my energy levels were low. Every 50 steps going uphill I had to stop and rest. Then I was on tarmac and crossing the road with another slight climb but I knew I’d make it to the end and just kept going. Dawn crept up fast and as the beacon had disappeared so a beautiful day awaited me, clear skies if somewhat cold. Reaching the LWW ending/starting stone above Cod Beck reservoir I took my final photo of the walk and carried on to Cote Ghyll YHA where I’d arranged a bed for the night. At 6.30am I hit the pillow setting the alarm for 8.50am and the promise of an bacon, egg and sausage sandwich at the Coffee Pot Cafe in Osmotherley which I’d arranged to do with my wife when she came to pick me up with a set of clean clothes, shoes and more importantly, herself actually checking me in safely in person rather than at the end of a telephone. A great way to end such a challenge.

Just one additional thought – sheep in the dark when lit up with a head torch look like aliens. Only the animals eyes light up until you get closer to them. I can see primitive Man being quite afraid of unexplained creatures as they walked across the mountains, moors and bogs.Did Bronze Age humans carry burning logs as torches?

I’m getting ready for the double crossing next year in the summer?

Owls, Frogs, Snakes and Nightjars: Graeme Noble & Mark Harris

Date: Tuesday 8th August (starting time [from the LWW stone at Cote Ghyll reservoir 4.30] – Wednesday 9th August 2023 [ending time 1.45]

Dirgers: Mark Harris & Graeme Noble 

Start: (Cote Ghyll Mill) Timed from Lyke Wake Stone, above Cod Beck Reservoir

Moving Time: 21hrs & 15 mins

Weather: wind conditions slight throughout, good visibility during daylight hours with some sun exposure and remaining dry during the walk 

Temperature: before sunrise – cool, throughout daylight – fairly warm, after sunset – chilly 

This walk was somewhat different in terms of weather and temperature I had completed by myself nearly a month ago. 

This time I thank the Sainsburys store in Northallerton for supplying me with food for the walk (previous day purchase). Again, I clucked (chicken) and snorted (bacon) along the way until the Lion Inn Hotel and then again afterwards. 

Mark, like myself had always wanted to attempt the walk in an earlier life and this was his attempt with me. This was my second sortie with a solo third attempt (east to west) on the 22 August 2023 from Ravenscar Hall Hotel. Mark’s wife, Sue, was our backup and I have to say hot coffee, tea, black pudding and sausage rolls followed by Mr Kipling Bakewell Cakes were well received along the way. Sue drove many miles that day to satiate stomachs. I will decidedly miss this input later in August on the east to west attempt.

With commiserations and condolences, Mark and I began walking from the YHA at Cote Ghyll in somewhat dark skies but were offered a few gifts on the way to our LWW starting point; a beautiful tawny owl or barn owl perched on a fence post very calmly lifted itself away from us as we passed by, it is highly unlikely that we would have noticed it if it hadn’t moved as we were intently immersed on watching the path with our head torches lighting up the path in front of us. The owl lifted itself onto a nearby branch of a tree and watched as we crossed through its lair. A truly beautiful experience. This early meeting with nature sort of framing the day’s uplifting moments before us leading into the following morning as well. Before the LWW stone we came across a lone frog frozen in front of us and just at the top of the reservoir a lonesome deer, captured in our head torches and of which eventually showed itself and then disappeared into the bracken next to the water.

Quickly, the sunrise moved through to dawn and our pace became faster. Negotiating our way across the cliffs following Coalmire and Clain Woods was quite interesting as I’m slower going up hills and Mark is faster. So, we agreed that we’d both keep going at our individual paces but stop if the other became out of view. This was the routine between us until the end of the walk when my pace was stronger on the flat. We found this type of negotiation to be helpful especially when crossing Ellerbeck, an area Mark had walked in daylight and which I’d crossed in the dark. I’d followed the rule about staying to the left of the white posts and in some places found the going hard. Mark was able to show the route over the foot bridges toward Lilla Cross which actually takes a route (west to east) south of the posts. So, on this occasion I didn’t hear any little people talking on the horizon but only Mark saying where’s that white post, keep right and it’s a bit wetter than last week. 

So, we arrived at the same LLW stone and after photographs of our beginning we began the walk at 4.30am. No rain today, but the experience of seeing a sunrise and the accompanying vista of a developing horizon is one of the most memorable experiences I will remember. It was great to share it with Mark. 

So, the walk was quite straightforward from Osmotherley to the Lion Inn and our helpful assistant, Sue arrived and we had lunch together which lasted for the remarkable time of nearly one hour and a half. Even after Mark’s burger, Sue’s scampi and my Jam Roly Poly was there a sense of not completing the walk in the 24hr time limit. Although, I did have the bit under the teeth after the first thirty minutes of pause due to a concern of physical tempi seizing up.

At checkpoint 4 where we’d decided to take a 10 minute stop we were waved off by a grass snake as it passed us by. It trailed its course in front of us as we turned around and we all wandered off into the grasses following our own differing directions.

One of the highlights of the walk for me was the sausage roll, cake and coffee before Ellerbeck. One needs substance before tackling past mental difficulties and placing feet on the ground. Well, I do! A good meaty sausage roll prevents early commiseration. 

This walk was kinder than my first experience due to there being a very light breeze and a warmth that was lacking over the Farndale through to Rosedale section and the area of the bogs (on the first occasion). Mind the bog seems to stretch across to Lilla Cross. On reflection the section after the stepping stones feels wetter than what has gone before.

I still haven’t seen the section from Ellerbeck to the end of the LWW in light but, I’m hoping to alter that experience when I walk the route east to west on the 22/23 August 2023, hopefully, arriving at Cote Ghyll around 4am. But that is another story.

The odd thing about the ending of the walk on this occasion was that the beacon light didn’t flash its welcome this time around and after awhile it was apparent, I’d have to do a check with the OS map. Oddly, it seemed to glimmer for a few moments and then nothing and it’s quite odd to know that the route you’re on is correct but not to have it corroborated visually. Strangely, even with a head torch it is possible to get a glimpse of a shape of the beacons structure at 2am in the morning.

But, if there wasn’t a beacon light for us what did uplift our bodies and brains was a Nightjar (we think) flitting through the sky. It’s phosphorus beak lit up by head torches as it was caught flitting across our way. Our contact with different creatures across the LWW had uplifted us at times and the Nightjar became our beacon finally leaving us as we approached an end to our plod. It’s fairly easy to understand where fantasies of night creatures, ghouls and other supernatural phenomena come from when the natural environment offers such gems as a glowing light, zooming through the air to make one consider reality.

Sue had arrived at the end of the walk and was waiting in the car but, importantly she had two beers as a celebration of celebration. She was, also, our beacon due to her having the car’s interior lights on and the car being stationed under the beacon. She wasn’t too thrilled at taking our photograph next to the completion stone at Ravenscar (it gets cold out there after midnight) but accommodated our egos to have one, beers then being finished. Another walk completed. I preferred the company and the altered pace. I tend to keep going and not to rest so it’ll be interesting to compare the pace on my return and reverse route.

Finally, I have to say sharing bottles of beer at the end of the LWW is a great way to finish off a walk which in its sobriety of course needs commiseration at the end! I can see why it is possible to get hammered after completing the walk. The whole point of walking 40+ miles is to lift depression, doom and despair. That’s what I’ve been told, anyhow!

Do The Hokey Cokey: Josh Hawthorne and John O’Boyle

Crossing report, 15th July 2023

It was a wet one… First ever crossing for Josh Hawthorne and also his first walk beyond 26 miles. John O’Boyle first crossed 25 years ago (and still has the blisters to prove it …).

Started at first light from the Osmotherley side and enjoyed a nice saunter up to and across the Three Sisters. Passed a group from down south attempting the crossing for first time – hope they made it. Experienced a few short heavy showers which started the pattern of playing the hokey cokey with the waterproofs that would go on all day.
Walk nearly ended abruptly on Clay Bank Road crossing as a car sped around the corner at what must have been 50+ mph (but thankfully managed to jump out the way albeit close enough to see the terror in the driver’s eyes).
Section up to and beyond Lion Inn was comfortable and got a decent pace up. Met further groups attempting crossing and had a good chat – some of them supporting charities. As we were unsupported on route we had left a car at Lion Inn. Turned out to be perfect timing as heavens absolutely opened just as we opened the car door! (Sandwiches eaten in the front seats).
Got very wet feet across the peat bog section but all still going well until Wheeldale to Ellerbeck. As we went down steep decent the heavens opened again and it became a mud slide. Josh felt a bit of a twinge and that point and set up what would be  slog the last 10 miles.
Loved reading about the Saxon hero Lilla and pleased to battle up Jugger Howe. Was a relief to see the transmitter at Ravenscar and a great feeling to get the job done. Massive thanks to the support team from another group who picked up my waterproof backpack cover after it had fallen off during the unplanned mud slide.

Crossing Report 11-12th August 2023 : Suzanne and Martin Scott


My wife Suzanne Scott wanted to do the Lyke Wake Walk, but as she had not done anything of this distance before would not have been able to do it in one go.
So to that end for our 22nd wedding anniversary I guided her around the route over two days – 11th August (our actual anniversary day), staying at the Lion Inn, Blakey and the 12th August, staying at the Raven Hall hotel, Ravenscar.



Overall her time was <24 hours on route.
Day 1 was 18.2 miles and a moving time of 6hrs 35 minutes and total day time of 8hrs 10 min
Day 2 was 23.12 miles (including the walk to the hotel after the mast) and a moving time of 8 hours 40, total day time of 10 hrs 50 min

The LWW was one of the 50 things to complete before she was 50 list (her 50th birthday is next February 2024).
It was also her 1st ever multi day hike.


Would it be possible to register her for the LWW club, as a witch?

As an aside I (Martin Scott) have personally completed the event twice in the last two years, so would like to register myself
March 24th distance 41.74 miles, moving time 15hrs 53 min moving, total time 18 hrs 15 min. Guiding a friend of my wife around the route
August 28th 2021 distance 40.91 miles, moving time 10hrs 57min , total time 11hrs 45 min – recce the route to take others around. Unsupported

Friday – good weather, no rain
Saturday – bit more mixed, with heavy showers, followed by some sun. At one point heavy shower and sun at the same time.

By the way the signing in book is now in the Ravenscar Tearooms. Only one person has signed it, since I signed it in March. Not sure if people know about it.

Crossing report 29/7/2023 : Rachel MacAleese

I had wanted to do my 7th Lyke Wake walk crossing all summer. Conditions were perfect when I reccee’d it in June however I delayed to July to fit in with someone who had asked to do it with me Frustratingly when the time came for ‘feet to face the boots ‘they decided they couldn’t do it. So, I was pleased to be finally getting going even if during the 4 weeks between my reccee and my crossing, the weather had never stopped raining. I had found a group who were also doing a crossing and was able to link up with them. Surprisingly given the weather there were quite a few people doing a crossing. We had horizontal wind and rain along the railway line … similar to being slapped in the face repeatedly with a kipper. Thankfully sunny for lunch at Rosedale head and then we pressed onwards. The boggy bit was boggy. although not as bad as we expected it to be, the stoney bit was stoney. The ‘trying to avoid tripping up ‘experience now being enhanced by also ‘trying to avoid being scratched ‘due to some self-seed Christmas trees on the path. At Wheeldale I bade farewell to my crossing buddies and pressed on. …..the lure of a hot shower and a beer drove me forward to Ravenscar … and that mast still doesn’t seem to get any closer until you are right beside it. I finished in lovely evening sunshine after 15 hours and 25 minutes. Still very much in love with doing the Lyke Wake walk, days later I am still smiling.

What 47 Years Can Do To You: Rob Hadley

Date: 26 July 2023

Dirger: Rob Hadley (solo)

Time: Dawn to dusk, 16 Hours.

Start: Start Marker at Cod Beck

End: Mast near Ravenscar

I did the crossing several times in my teens and miserably failed the last time so wanted to challenge myself to see if I am still able to do it.

Tip toed out of the house and started just after daybreak at 05:00. Pleased to find the Cleveland way such a good path and seeing the sun coming over Live Moor made a good start. Quickly got into the pace of the hills and valleys on that section but ended up on the wrong side of the Wain Stones so had to fight through head hight bracken with loose rocks underneath. Relieved to get onto the flat rail line and onto the Red Lion for a quick burger. I realised I was almost half way, not really suffering (yet) and the weather was being kind to me so still looking good. Stuck to the road around Rosedale head and then headed off across the moor when things began to get difficult. Very boggy – ended up knee deep in water and fell over before I realised staying to the route was bad so had to deviate and look for paths previous wiser adventurers had used. I was stopped by a French couple at the road by Grouse Butts to ask where the Man in the Bog stone was, but I was of no help. However, later realised they were talking about the Blue Man-i’-th-Moss standing stone. By the time I got to Wheeldate Plantation things were improving so had a rest, food and change of socks. I knew seeing the radar station was deceptive but seems soon I crossing Eller Beck and started to climb Fylingdales. It was about here the drizzle started but too near the end to worry about that but put on my coat. I was surprised to get a glimpse of Scarborough Castle and then knew completing this was now possible. As I dropped into Jugger Howe Beck I made my call to get picked up. That beck Is a real gotcha at the end, but I used the last of my reserves and glad to cross the A171 to get the first views of the mast. Slogged up the Howdale in a vain attempt to get to the car park before my support team arrived – thanks to my bother-in-law to picking me up at the end.


Conclusion, I am now probably fitter then when I was 16 but maybe that’s being retired and having time to practise beforehand.


A Stumble Jog To Fen Bog: Janine Price

Dear Sir/Madam,

I regret to inform you of my successful completion of the Lyke Wake Walk on Saturday 8th July 2023. This sad event was a West to East crossing beginning at 3.50am, as day broke above. It was a solitary crossing as I have no mates daft enough to join me. I was supported at several points by my baffled teenage son and his father, who at least provided nourishment in the form of milky ways and miniature pork pies. I am grateful to them for their assistance.

Likewise to the friendly people involved in a running challenge on the same route, who were kind enough to offer me water at Clay Bank. The wind on the first ten miles was blowing a hooley, enough to try and knock me over a few times. Beautiful views over Teesside as the sun rose.

The sun did its shiny thing until after the Lion Inn, when the rain came and soaked me so thoroughly to ensure all garments were claggy and uncomfortable. There was a moment of pure disorientation a few yards after Blue Man i’ th’ Moss, when in heavy rain I lost the path and wandered in a circle, wondering which new forest had suddenly sprouted ahead of me.

Crows gathered, speculatively eyeing my disheveled form. I gave myself a sharp slap about the chops to regain my wits, and found the path, ploughing on through the rain to the Stape road, where coffee and ultra processed vittals gave me energy. I then moved swiftly down through bracken taller than me, (Not hard, I’m pretty short) to Wheeldale Beck. A rock -bound toad tried blocking my passage over the stepping stones, muttering a few curses at me as I passed. I ignored him. A haul up to Simon Howe felt hard work. Then a bit of a stumble jog down to Fen Bog.

The burst of relative speed due to half remembered ghost stories my late father used to tell us about the moors at night. Fear is a great motivator as the day creeps to a close, and you’re the last person out on the moors. Over Lilla Cross, where one day I hope my earthly remains will be spread. No adders down towards Jugger Howe, but miniature pterodactyls, judging by the bites on my legs, who found me so tasty despite the jungle spray applied at Eller Beck.

Over to the mast, post sunset, as the last light drained away, reaching it at 10pm, jog stumbling the last mile up. I will forever treasure the memory of this doleful undertaking, and I can’t wait to do it all again. Please can I be a witch now? Many thanks, Janine Price