Day 11 Clay Bank Top to Egton Bridge

“Not As Intended!”

Today’s title testifies that a “change of accommodation” was needed at the end of the day’s walk! Here are the Day 11 stats:

Left Claybank Top: 09:10 Arrived Egton Bridge: 16:05
Distance (kms): 33.4 Distance (mls): 20.88
Moving Time: 6:29 Minimum Altitude (m): 42.4
Stopped Time: 0:47 Maximum Altitude (m): 455.8
Moving Average (kph): 5.1 Total Ascent (m): 406.6
Overall Average (kph): 4.6 Total Descent (m): 653

Day 11 GPX file: c2c11 (right mouse click and “Save link as…”) – with both the planned and actual routes. I walked further than I’d intended but (mostly) in the right direction!

Surprised It Didn’t Happen Sooner!

Today’s leg had been planned to finish at the Arncliffe Arms, Glaisdale – 18 miles according to Martin Wainwright. However, my darling had other ideas and I ended up carrying on to Egton Bridge. More later.

Breakfast at Margaret and Len’s was a wonderful event. The “full English” (by this time I’d lost count of how many of these sumptuous cholesterol laden feast I’d partaken of) was superb as you would expect from a seasoned B&B campaigner such as Margaret but even more special was that it was her 83rd birthday and her daughter Mandy and her husband, who live next door, plus the two grandchildren came round singing “happy birthday” and unwrapping her presents for her.

Sadly we eventually had to leave and we did so hoping upon hope that Margaret and Len carry on B&Bing for at least a few more years yet. So, after a photo with the two of them on their doorstep, The Boss drove me back to yesterday’s finish, and of course today’s start, at the car part and view point at Clay Bank Top.

Overnight there had been rain and it was quite cold and blustery – no lilywhites on show today, dear sheep! The tee shirt and shorts were consigned to the huge pile of luggage which The Boss drives around in the car each day and it was on with trackster bottoms and long sleeve shirt. The walk began with a big climb up to Urra Moor where I met the first two walkers of the day, two guys doing a section of the Cleveland Way, which the C2C was still following. As I climbed, the mist began to come down, followed shortly after by the rain which had been threatening ever since I left Great Broughton. The rain, however, was intermittent so it was on and off with the waterproofs before the heavens finally decided non a continuous misty, drizzly rain.

Despite the weather, the walking was good and once I reached the top of Round Hill the path plateaued (but I suppose that’s what paths do at the tops of hills!) and continued as a wide, straight, undulating track for several miles. Now walking in pouring rain, I passed by a series of large vertical slabs of stone set by the path side some of them with intriguing carvings on them. They looked very old and are reputed to be way markers or direction signs. One of them had a happy smiley face on it, which cheered me up somewhat, or rather made me even more cheerful than I already was, because despite the weather I was in very good spirits this morning. Maybe it was the wonderful family breakfast with Margaret and her family or perhaps it was just that after tomorrow I could go back to what passes for a “normal life” of not crawling out of bed at an ungodly hour, putting on walking boots and yomping over the countryside in lousy weather each day!

The countryside changed to open moorland and I stopped for a short while by a shooting hut for a drink and a “call of nature”, shortly afterwards reaching another standing stone and there, through the gloom, I almost stumbled across the Lion Inn, Blakey, another walkers’ oasis and, as far as I could see, the C2C being its main raison d’etre. Here The Boss was waiting for me as I’d thought I’d left the spare batteries for my GPS back at the B&B and she was bring a spare set for me. In fact, my the time she’d got there I’d found the spare set lurking in the hidden depths of my bum bag (fanny pack to you dear readers in the Colonies!!). So we said rather quick “hellos” and “good-byes” as the weather was, being polite, “shit”!

From the Lion Inn the C2C route is on tarmac for a while and The Boss waited for me at Rosedale Head and took a few rather good “candid” (and completely unposed, honest!) photos as I walked towards her. She then set off to check in at the Arncliffe Arms as the weather began to slowly improve and just past Seavey Hill the C2C returned to the moorland track. With the sun coming out and beautiful blooming heather on each side of the path the day was seeming to get better and better until (and you just knew this was coming, didn’t you!) my mobile rang and a very tearful Boss was on the other end, metaphorically speaking, to say that there was no way on this earth that she would stay at the Arncliffe Arms – the room was old fashioned, dirty, poorly decorated, someone else’s pubic hairs in the bath (I just made that bit up!) and not at all befitting the style to which we are accustomed. Apparently the guy at the place must have had this reaction from people before because he had very readily given her a list of other places to try!

I carried on walking and hoped for the best, knowing that Goughie and Julie would be joining us this evening and on the walk tomorrow, so maybe we could sleep on the floor at their B&B at Egton, which turned out to be fantastic! I continued through Glaisdale, or rather around the outskirts of the village and past the aforementioned crap hostelry. I must say that, from the outside, The Boss’s view of it was just about spot on. Close to Glaisdale Station I saw a sign for a B&B and phoned it from my mobile but they had no rooms. Then I noticed that I was right next to Beggar’s Bridge, made famous by the photography of of the Victorian Photographer Frank Sutcliffe. This stone-built packhorse bridge was built across Glaisdale Beck in 1619 by Thomas Ferries the son of a local moorland farmer (or so it says on t’internet!).

Not having heard from The Boss I tried to phone her but, not making contact, I decided to carry on walking to Egton Bridge, through the rather wet, quite muddy and very slippery East Arnecliff Woods, first to Delves, supposedly a village but no more than a collection of a few houses, and then along the road alongside the River Esk. At Egton Bridge (actually I stopped before the bridge at a pub-cum-hotel, the name of which escapes me; I think The Horseshoe Hotel, but I could well be wrong) I tried to contact The Boss again, finally got through to my very tearful little sweetheart who was in quite a state because she hadn’t found anywhere to rest our weary bones for the night. After a long wait in the rain, she picked me up and I started doing what a man has to do – taking control of the situation, checking out a few B&Bs, pubs and small hotels, all either full or just as bad as the Arnecliff Arms. Maybe we would be sleeping in the car overnight!

With my usual stroke of genius I drove to the village of Goathland, apparently famous for being the location of the Heartbeat TV series, which I’ve never watched. As soon as we entered the village I espied the wonderfully named Mallyan Spout Hotel and it just looked too good to be true, and far too expensive for us to stay at, with Jaguars, bloody BMWs and even more bloody, bloody, bloody Range Rovers and other assorted Chelsea Tractors parked outside. But, as a good Socialist (I think Nye Bevin) once said “nothing is too good for the working class”! So in I marched in my mud spattered walking gear and asked the rather pleasant gentleman at the reception desk if they had a double room with bath, cringing at the room rates above his head which said £110 per night. “Of course, sir”, he said, and when I asked him how much he replied, “oh, £85 at this time of night”. “Absolutely befucking wonderful”, I thought and asked him to show the room to The Boss whilst I fetched the luggage. When I returned, weighed down with the usual pack horse full of bags, etc. my beloved informed me that she’d told the gentleman, and I can think of no other term for him as he truly was one, the story of how we’d arrived at their doorstep, so to speak, and he’d taken pity and upgraded us to an absolutely wonderful, huge room with four poster bed and “film star” type bathroom. I kid you not, this was one of the best hotel rooms I’ve ever slept in, as you can see from the piccie. The whole episode kind of restored my faith in human kindness and we’ll always be grateful to the gentleman of the Mallyan Spout Hotel (go there it’s fandabydozy!).

Once I’d polished my boots, showered and changed to a standard befitting our accommodation, we drove over to Robin Hood’s Bay and met Goughie and Julie at tomorrow night’s B&B where he left his car and drove them to their place for the night – near Egton Bridge and absolutely wonderful. Then we had dinner at, wait for it, the Arnecliff Arms in Glaisdale – the pub with the crap rooms but which serves excellent food and great beer, after which we drove G&J back to their B&B before returning to that heaven on earth, the Mallyan Spout Hotel, for a nightcap – a Ginger Square for the boss and a BIG Glenmorangie for me. By the way, do you know what a “Ginger Square” is? Well, the first person who e-mails me with its recipe will get bought one and that’s a promise!

Went to bed full of very mixed feelings, knowing that tomorrow would be “the end, my friend”, as Jim Morrison sang. The final day is about 18 miles but, by now, that was just a stroll down the street for us trail hardened walkers! No, it was the emotion knowing that I would finally reach the destination, knowing that it would all be over and not wanting it to end that was in my mind as I drifted off.

AccommodationBeverages & Comestibles
The Mallyan Spout Hotel
The Common
North Yorkshire
YO22 5AN

01947 896486
Fish and seafood stew
- had some fancy name that I don't remember!
(Excellent -10/10, one of the best meals of the walk)

Wolds Way Pale Ale from Wold Top Brewery
(very nice)

Some Day 11 Photos