How to report your crossing

April 14th, 2014

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 crossing.report@lykewake.org

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.

Crossing report 18/11/22.

November 28th, 2022

It was a damp and driech start at the Lyke Wake stone at 0530 where we unknowingly marched into the route.


Through the woods and along solid paths we were making light work of the walk.


Up and down, up and down famous and nameless howes and heads, the relentless Cleveland hills were starting to wear.


After reaching the summit of the moors over Urra, the railway plateau was welcome relief.


As the bark of grouse was growing to grate, the bog emerged.

Slow progress, we would have been far better on a quad bike like the sheep farmer staying away from the boggiest sections. Following the footsteps of antecedents we ploughed on through.


One last gift of daylight illuminated the moors in a fiery sepia sunset, sending us into the evening with a rainbow.


It was the Roman road for nightfall and the beacon of Fylingdales now fixed in our sights.


With the sound of the stream to guide us, we soon descended into the section of the walk formerly known as stepping stones.


Reluctantly preparing walking poles to steady ourselves across the river, we began to test the waters. After a couple of pilot plods into the flow, we soon discovered that the stones were knee deep under the torrent and we would have to scale the valley walls again and find an alternative route to Fylingdales.


Further flooding at Fylingdales made navigating the beck in the dark more challenging, as with every direction looking like the beck, no landmarks to follow, and no clear paths either, it was back to uphill tramping over heather.


Lilla Howe emerged into our torchlight and seeing the Whitby Road we knew we were on the home slog.


The final trudge into the darkness and rain had started to set in and the Ravenscar radio mast remained elusive, offering little to raise spirits. Suddenly, the otherworldly geometric iron outline of the mast appeared with 20m to the final stone, we knew we’d finished with this walk.


Back too late to have earned a pint, pizza on a pillow it was.


Crossing time 16h30


Mr White of Nottingham, and Mr Jeffrey of Bristol.

Crossing of Lyke Wake Walk on Friday 28th October 2022.

November 1st, 2022

It is with deep regret, but yet a profound sense of relief that I can report that my partner and I have completed the Lyke Wake crossing. Our goal being to run it within 10 hours, we managed 10 hours and 55 minutes, considering the diversity of the terrain, ie. predominantly non-runnable and the typical British weather: everything except snow, we were rather pleased to finish when we did.

Despite the rain it was a pleasant start, through autumnal leafy paths of orange, reds and browns. It wasn’t too long before we had cleared Live Moor and Carlton bank and had just past the Country Park when the rain and wind unleashed it’s fury. All the gear that had been taken off as we warmed up running over the hills, was back on. We struggled along in the sideways rain, recalling our previous run in this area which also had given us sideways snow.

Having reminded us who was the boss, the weather calmed down again and we were able to see beyond the next slope. The wind remained, kindly drying out our gear as we toddled along and the odd bit of blue sky started to show itself. The first 10 miles had certainly taken its toll with crazy weather and the ups and downs of the Cleveland way. Our time was looking rather slower than expected, but as we carried on into the North Yorkshire Moors, we hit lovely runnable trails, were happily sailing along making good time, the sun was shining and we were loving life.

At some point our map directed us left off the lovely Farndale Railway path and onto a rather untrodden sheep trail. We slowed right down as we scanned our maps, raised our legs and each step dropped us into the unknown. For what seemed like an eternity (but turned out was only twenty minutes), we attempted to make a bee-line across the moors, I very painfully kicked a rock and yelled at it and my running partner rather ungraciously fell down a hole. At this point we decided to head back to the old railway to run around the unpredictable moorland, which took us another 15 minutes to get back to. After 45 minutes we had covered a kilometre but were happy to be back on easy trail. Soon enough we came across a pub! Knowing that the temptation of a sit down and pint could render us with an inability to get up and finish the job, we passed it by and carried on.

It was not long after the pub that we started to realise that the Lyke Wake Walk was not a well trodden path, despite the random monoliths and piles of stone for dead people there really wasn’t much else and for what felt like the next 10 miles we splashed, tripped and waded our way across what felt like the marshes of Mordor, I half expected to see dead faces in the water when I looked down. When we found a runnable part, it quickly changed to rocky outcrops, soggy heather rivets or streams of water and so we could find no running rhythm but just kept moving. Typical sound effects were ‘ow’ ‘ow my toe’ ‘urg’ ‘ahh’ all to the accompaniment of sore battered toes being bashed on rocks. Amongst all that the stepping stones and rail crossing were a pleasant distraction.

At some points here and there we actually found signs for the Lyke Wake Walk, not as professional as the ‘Cleveland Way’ sign posts, but non-the-less rather comforting. As we stumbled our way across endless moors, the sun started to set and we wondered when would it end, when could we get a good running pace… At Lilla Cross we donned the head torches and hoped we didn’t have too far to go. We continued with ‘moor’ of the same, run, walk, kick stone, ouch, walk, ouch. A few blisters also started to niggle. Finally we reached a fence, hoping it was the road, we quickly discovered through our head torch beams, it wasn’t and it was a decent into another valley and across another stream. As we ascended out of the valley the noise of the stream sounded to me like people talking and playing, worried that exhaustion hallucinations were starting, we carried on.

Onwards and forever upwards as it seemed, we continued, car lights finally drew our attention to the road we needed to cross and after that we knew we only had 2km or so to go. In the dark it felt like it took forever, I stopped watching my GPS as it felt we never moved. But finally we made it, took the picture at the last stone, stopped our watches and then figured out where our car was.

It was a steep descent to our car and as we shivered and stripped off our soaking socks a local neighbour came out with his torch to ask us if we were ok and to congratulate us, what a lovely man! We had an hour and 15 minute drive home and as the passenger I soon realised I didn’t have a bottle opener to open my beer! We stopped at a petrol station near Whitby and with my rancid dirty feet in flip flops I shivered my way to the kiosk to pay for a can of lager, goodness knows what people thought of me. But I celebrated the finish with a beer and a cold Cornish pastie as my partner swerved along the unlit roads to a well earned shower and bed and for him a G and T or two.

Neil Hopkins and myself, Lorna Garrity