Monday, 11 January 2016

Wainwright's Coast to Coast - Day 16

To better enjoy the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

Saturday ,27 September, 2015

Egton Bridge to Robin Hood's Bay - 29.5 kms
                                                            9 1/2 hours walking

"Time to saddle up for the last stage, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a mere formality, as the savage climb out of Grosmont will soon demonstrate.  It's a long stretch ... with enough ups and downs to ensure that you arrive in Robin Hood's Bay suitably dishevelled.” Steadman

It was hard to believe that our final day of walking had arrived.  When we read our Steadman notes we were a tad concerned about, what time we would arrive in Robin Hood's Bay. This was our big milage day. We were to join 12 others at the Victoria Hotel at 7pm for a celebratory dinner. If we left at near our usual time, we would not make it, unless we attended in our smelly attire of the day, totally exhausted.

The decision was made to leave The Old Mill B&B at 6.30 am, without having breakfast. Our hostess was very concerned and urged us to change our minds. This made no sense to us. We thanked her for her wonderful accommodation and said we would leave as quietly as we could.

Tip toeing down the stairs, we soon discovered she had made us each a sandwich to eat with a piece of fruit and, was up to wave us off and wish us well.

The sun was rising quite late during our walk, but setting later than 8 pm. We set off in darkness.
As the sky lightened, we discovered the landscape was bathed in fog. In the fields we could just make out an incredible numbers of grouse or pheasant moving about, but it wasn't clear enough to photograph them.
It was a flat walk to Grosmont, taking about an hour following an old toll road. The toll house still stands, with the charges for passing this way on view.

     The fog returned in Grosmont.

Grosmont is in 'Heartbeat' country, a British police drama of the 1990's. It is also famous for its North Yorkshire Moors heritage railway. Leaving this early, we weren't going to see the steam engines running, but Dave told us how to find where the engines were 'steamed up' for the day.
We best remember Grosmont for the unremitting walk up the 33% grade HILL out of town.
For every negative there is always a positive, and on this occasion it was the beauty of the fog drifting across, up and down the valley. It made sense to stop regularly and enjoy this free spectacle of nature.

Our first view of the North Sea.

After a good two kilometres, the road flattened to Sleight's Moor and we were back in the land of heather and vast space.
Great to know that we were going in the right direction, especially today.

After 2 1/2 hours walking, we chose this spot and view, to take a half hour break and eat 'breakfast'.
Using my lens, Whitby could be seen more clearly.
It was then down hill to the ever so pretty village of Little Beck.

By this stage of the day we realised that the C2C was giving us a grand farewell. All the elements experienced over the past 15 days, were being packed into this last day. The steep climb, fog, moor, views, heather, grouse, road walking and lots more to come but no rain.

Woodlands - Little Beck Woods

Waterfalls - Falling Foss
Autumn leaves and blue skies.
 Cream tea - at 'the little cabin in the wood.' [a song sung in lower school classes.]
 A friend for Ladybird
 Babbling brook - followed upstream from the cabin
 Sparkling canopy
Cattle to admire and a farmer to chat to.
 Gates and stiles
Views to our destination - will we ever get there? Teased terribly today.
 Boggy trail
 Sunshine - such bliss when the feet just have to have a rest.
Interminable, rough, stony track.
 Signs to amuse.
Ploughed fields
Animals to pet.
And finally coastline.

North view
 South view draped in thick fog.

The last hour seemed to go on forever as we walked along, up and down the cliffs. The fields beside us were scattered with grazing and bleating sheep. The fog rolled in and out from the sea, and Robin Hood's Bay stayed elusive.

Great excitement when we finally spotted the bay, but alas not the village.
A break in the fog, and there she was, but still nearly a half hour to walk.

Wonderfully, it was only 4pm, when we found our B&B at the top of this village of steep, narrow winding streets. We dumped our packs and made our way down to the water, amongst the holiday makers enjoying this special place.

     The Bay Hotel came into view.
   Then, Wainwright's Bar.
And finally the evidence to say we had officially walked 192 miles / 309 kilometres in 16 days.
Time to release our Irish Sea pebbles to the North Sea,
 dip our toes,
and celebrate with a pint of Wainwright lager, before adding our names proudly to the list, in the Coast to Coast Book.

The last laugh was on the Coast to Coast walk - what goes down must then go up.

There was still time to shower and rest before setting off for the Queen's Hotel. The evening light over the bay was perfect for our final photo together.

Richard and David are missing unfortunately, as they had had a longer milage than us, but they did join us for dinner. Before we went inside, the near full moon magically rose above the horizon as if to say, well done.

Hard to believe that we had ascended and descended the equivalent height of Mt Everest, in our conquest of the Coast to Coast. I had waited a long time for my dream to become reality and I am so grateful that it was everything I had hoped for and so much more. I really was in paradise for all 16 days.

Now that we are at journeys end, how would you rate the Coast to Coast walk? I would love to read your comment.


  1. I so enjoyed your recap of this adventure! Now I've got the bug to walk this trail. :) Well done!

  2. What an accomplishment! Your story telling and picturing sharing grabbed hold of me and it felt like I was right there with you. I like that you and your friends fully embraced everything that came your way. Congratulations on physically completing this journey and I am sure there must have been some kind of a successful inner journey too!

  3. Bill 12 January 2016 at 10.48

    This has been a wonderful series, Helen. I admire your stamina and your good humor. My thanks again for sharing.

    1. Somehow I got 2, Day 16's. I've copied Bill's lovely comment across.

  4. Helen...amazing. You have accomplished such a spectacular feat. Your pics, as always are really beautiful. For a few moments I was transported to the wonderful countryside and fun filled walk, without the sore feet. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with us. Asha

    1. So glad you enjoyed the hike Asha. I envy you not having the sore feet.

  5. Just finished catching up on your blog entries, Helen. Great read and wonderful photos. What a great achievement. Well done!

    1. Thank you Leanne. It was great fun and all the more special having Jocelyn along.

  6. Done and dusted! Well done, Helen. A great read. I love looking at the photos. They bring back so many good memories.

    1. Thanks Joc. It was marvellous to share the hike with you. When's our next one?

  7. Helen there is a strange feeling on the morning of the last day.The elation of finishing and the sadness of the end. Excellent account.
    John Briscoe

    1. I know exactly what you mean, especially as I left early the next morning and the girls stayed on another day. It was really hard however the remainder of my holiday turned out to be just as magical but in different ways.