Lyke Wake Walk
64 km / 40 miles
This classic route that remembers the many corpses carried over the moors on old coffin routes and the ancient burial mounds encountered. It was pioneered by the late Bill Cowley in 1955 when much of the route was undefined and whilst this is not now the case, the route provides a strenuous challenge involving 5000ft of ascent to be completed in 24 hours. The name derives from a lyke, the corpse and the wake - watching over the corpse.
It is an undulating and exposed west to east traverse of the North York Moors with steep climbs and a boggy section and 5-mile section on a disused railway track. The highest point is at Bolton Head (1489ft). Most walkers have a support team as there are few facilities on the route and these may not be open, depending on the timing.
In the early stages it is coincident in parts with the Cleveland Way National Trail and the Coast to Coast route.
It has suffered from over-use and subsequent erosion in the early years when there were very large numbers of completions annually. In an effort to ease the use of the route the Shepherd's Round (40 miles) was devised to provide a strenuous circular challenge from Scarth Nick. Erosion at the Jugger Howe Beck section of the trail in the North York Moors National Park over moorland on access land owned by the Strickland Estate is being addressed by the Park by provision of a stone path.
The original Lyke Wake Club closed in 2005 after 50 years. The New Lyke Wake Club (link below from http://www.lykewake.org) continues to support the walk.
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