Cleveland Way

Friday 17th Sept - 6 of us gather in Helmsley Market Place at 9.00am to set off on this national trail. It was market day and the square was very busy with stallholders displaying their wares. Glenn, who had driven Val up to the start, decided he would join us for a couple of miles before visiting Rievaulx Abbey and then returning home. Breathtaking views as we reach Sutton Bank. A freshly painted Kilburn White Horse visited but I must admit this looks far better from a distance than standing 3 ft away. En route we meet Malcolm Reid out for a morning stroll. A very busy glider launching site in use above the White Horse. Refreshments at Sutton Bank cafe and suitably recharged first Andy and then Anne set the pace and we arrive in Osmotherly around 5.00pm. A very pleasant evening spent in the Queen Catherine where we met John Taylor who was walking the Lyke Wake with North Yorkshire Group the next day.

Sat 18th Sept - We leave Osmotherly around 9.15am with first objective of Lord Stones Cafe. My turn to set the pace today and we had a long day in prospect. No sign (apart from a cloud of dust on the horizon) of the North Yorks Group as they had started at 7.00am. I understand 30 on the walk! Lord Stones Cafe reached late morning and the tea was very welcome (even by Val who does not normally drink it). Some tough walking up to Round Hill, the highest point on North York Moors. Karan and Andy played their usual game of racing each other to trig points with Andy having the significant advantage of maps but the disadvantage of short legs. Andy, described by Harold as running like a duck, responsed that Harold runs like a tree. What good intellectual discussions we have on our walks. Disaster was to strike for Harold shortly afterwards as he took a tumble (on his own) on the path down to Kildale from Bloworth Crossing and severely bruised his chest, knee and pride. It was to cause him problems for the rest of the walk. It also caused damage to his camera, a significant loss to a keen photographer. Up to Captain Cooks monument (Andy too tired to race Karan by now) before a long trudge down a road to Great Ayton. All in all around 28 miles - a long way with full packs.

Sun 19/09 - Wet this morning. Start the day with a climb up to Roseberry Topping. Harold & Val cry off saying it was an unnecessary extra on what was another long day. The rest of us went to the top (there was a trig to be bagged and raced to) and a very pleasant surprise of a local school PTA serving teas/ coffees to aid school funds. Suitably refreshed we caught up Harold & Val as we headed towards the coast. Past the motor cycle scrambling club - a bit scary as we didn't know where the next bike was coming from. A detour in Skelton as we lost the route through a housing estate. Weather now improved and dramatic change to coastal scenery. A couple of sharp ups and downs from the coastal cliff including the lovely village of Staithes. No time to stop however as still a few miles left to walk. Light was beginning to fail when we reached Runswick Bay although a lovely moment when three deer spotted very close to the path.

Mon 20/09 - Another long day in prospect but by now we are all adjusting to carrying our packs. Val discovers that Andy is updating Facebook with our progress almost on an hourly basis and Glenn knows exactly what Val is up to. Only problem is that Andy won't tell Val what he has written! Morning coffee in Wits End cafe at Sandsend meant we missed a violent storm. Whitby for lunch - what is all the fuss about the 199 steps! Just outside RHB we meet up with coast to coasters, many of whom we had met at Osmotherly. Val (with Anne's encouragement) decides to do a bit of shopping but Andy, Karan & Harold set off expecting us to be right behind them - we weren't. 15 minutes later we set off and we decided we need to motor to catch up as there was no sign. Reaching Ravenscar in record time and still no sign of A,K & H we assumed that they had decided to prove a point so reduced our pace to an acceptable level. We arrive at our digs first - it turns out they took a wrong turn in RHB and then just couldn't catch us. Never mind, we all arrived safely in Cloughton but it was dark.

Tues 21/09- An easy day left - only 16 miles and everyone took their time as we ambled along the promenades at Scarborough - it seemed that Joe Public were fascinated by us as we were stopped several times - did we look that odd? Nearly lost Andy in the amusement arcades but his money ran out before we could scarper. Past several caravan parks we saw Flamborough Head in the distance and knew we were almost there. Filey Brigg appeared and that was almost it. Karan sat down on the marker stone for the end of Cleveland/Wolds ways to find she was target practice for the gulls (yes, they scored a hit).

Summary - A good walk with some excellent scenery, some preferring the coastal, some favouring the moorland. Two of the group had never walked a national trail before but both would like to repeat the exercise. The message about minimising weight before the walk paid off as they would not wanted to have carried any more gear. Some would have preferred slighly less mileage with full packs - we walked 120 miles in total - 104 in first 4 days at average 26 miles per day. Some good accommodation and welcoming pubs en route.
Attend Novembers meeting to find out what is happening next year.


PS - Forgot to mention Val saved 2 distressed sheep, climbing over a barbed wire fence with a full pack on. I'll never be forgiven for overlooking this.