Day 12 Egton Bridge to Robin Hood’s Bay

“The Final Countdown!”

Today’s title doesn’t need any explanation.  After 12 superb, sometimes wet, sometimes sunny, sometimes warm, sometimes cool but always wonderfully interesting days, we were at the end of another very special adventure! Here are the Day 12 stats:

Left Egton Bridge: 09:50 Arrived Robin Hood’s Bay: 17:05
Distance (kms): 29.1 Distance (mls): 18.18
Moving Time: 6:34 Minimum Altitude (m): 8.3
Stopped Time: 1:12 Maximum Altitude (m): 290
Moving Average (kph): 4.4 Total Ascent (m): 633.5
Overall Average (kph): 3.7 Total Descent (m): 666.7

Day 12 GPX file: c2c12 (right mouse click and “Save link as…”) – with both the planned and actual routes. Goughie and I stayed pretty well on the route except that we started at Egton Bridge rather than Glaisdale (see yesterday’s page) and “wandered a bit” across the boggy moorland. But once we reached the cliffs where Oakham Beck meets the North Sea we knew exactly where we were going!

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

So, the final day and I mused over the last 12 as we enjoyed a disappointingly ordinary breakfast at the Mallyan Spout Hotel. However, despite that, I just can’t stop telling you what a wonderful place it is – maybe they’ll pay me a lot of money for some advertising space on this website! The kind gentleman who had given us the special deal on the room the previous night had also put my boots in the boiler room and they were dry, dry, dry. Unless you’re a long distance walker you’ll never know how good it feels to at least start the day with dry boots.

The C2C is truly a wonderful walk, not quite up to the Pennine Way in length, challenge or beauty but very, very good nonetheless and preferable, as far as I’m concerned, to the Offa’s Dyke Path and I approached this final day with a considerable amount of apprehension, knowing that I wouldn’t be putting my walking boots on tomorrow, leastways not in “anger”!

After breakfast and the loading of the car we bade a fond farewell to Goathland, which we never made time to look around (mental note: go back there some time!) and made our way to G&J’s B&B close to nearby Egton Bridge, the start of today’s final leg. Goughie wanted to pay a visit to Beggar’s Bridge at Glaisdale before we set off as, during a visit to Whitby a couple of years ago, he’d bought a Victorian era photo of it from the Frank Meadow Sutcliffe Gallery. So we went there, dutifully photographed it, trying to not get the replacement modern bridge and railway bridge in the picture and were then dropped off at our starting point, The Boss and Julie driving on to a couple of miles from the end, so that they could enter Robin Hood’s Bay with us in triumph!

At first the route was pretty flat and we reached Grosmont where, I think, the NW Walkers had stopped for the night. There the steam railway is a major attraction and as we approached the station there was a train “steaming up” with a female engineer on the footplate. My, how Yorkshire has embraced equal rights! We stopped for a while and took a few photos before continuing up out of the village. And I mean UP! It was the longest and steepest uphill for several days, Goughie was determined to get to the top before stopping for a breather and, a measure of his increased fitness over the last year, he made it, on the way up overtaking a couple of C2C cyclists who were slowly struggling up the hill in the lowest of their 20 odd gears. On the climb we also passed a rather odd America couple who had been at G&J’s B&B the previous night and who were taking two days to walk to RHB (that’s Robin Hood’s Bay, for us in the know!).

At the top of the hill we continued on the road for a while before reaching Sleights Moor, briefly joining the very busy A169, then over more moorland and a small road into the tiny village of Littlebeck. From there we entered the almost fairy tale world of Littlebeck Woods with the amazing Hermitage, a room cut for a local schoolteacher in 1790 from a huge boulder beside the path . Presumably it was a place he could go to sit in and contemplate, or escape from “the wife”, or perhaps it was just the 18th century equivalent of the “man shed” which I plan to build for myself any time now! It was amazing and we wondered at the effort that hewing the cave from the solid rock would have taken men whose only tools would probably have been hammers and chisels. After a stop and the obligatory piccies we could see ahead, very much matching the atmosphere of the woods, a real “in the forest gingerbread cottage” very close to the rather spectacular waterfall called Falling Fosse. Next to the cottage was a stream (the actual Little Beck) over which was a narrow wooden footbridge and fixed to it was a small canvass bag full of twigs about 25 cms long. Goughie immediately realised that they were Poohsticks, thoughtfully put there by the owner of the gingerbread cottage, who we came upon working on his house. So we played Poohsticks from the bridge – Goughie won! It was a wonderfully enchanting moment and one of my top 10 memories of the C2C.

We continued down Old May Beck, crossed the stream and climbed up New May Beck, back on a narrow tarmac road again, crossed Sneaton Low Moor and stopped for lunch of the sausage butties I’d made at breakfast beside the B1416 from where we could clearly see the ruins of Whitby Abbey. Then it was “leaping like gazelles” time again as we crossed the very soggy Graystone Hills (not a patch on Nine Standards Rigg though) , putting my own interpretation on the word “navigation” once more! However, we were soon back on course, following my trusty Garmin’s route and, just outside the village of Hawsker we met The Boss and Julie. So the four of us walked to RHB en-masse, passing through a rather incongruous holiday caravan site (one at the start of the C2C in St Bees and one here near RHB – it had a kind of weird symmetry about it). Soon we were on the cliff tops following them to RHB just as we’d walked the cliff tops out of St Bees – see, the same symmetry.

I felt very sad that the adventure was just about over but very pleased to catch up with the full contingent of the NW Walkers about two thirds of the way along the cliffs. Here we had a spectacular view of Robin Hood’s Bay, stopped to swap stories with the NW Walkers and, of course, took photos of each other. It was a magical meeting up. From there it was a short stroll to where the cliff path joins footpaths past houses, past our B&B for the night and to the top of the small, very steep and winding road that leads to the seafront at RHB and the official finish. With some pride we walked past uncomprehending day trippers, expecting at any moment to be greeted by Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson who live nearby. Well, we’ve been to see THEM many times so it was about time that they greeted us. But they must have been gigging in some part of the folk music appreciating world.

We finally reached the jetty and the end of the C2C, dipping our boots in the sea (actually a wave went over mine and filled them – and they’d been dry all day!) and opening the (still) cold bottle of Prosecco that I’d carried from where The Boss and Julie had met us. we threw the stones that we’d carried from St bees into the North Sea and then adjourned to the Bay Hotel to which the “official” end of the walk marker is attached and celebrated with a pint or two of excellent bitter from the pub’s appropriately named Wainwright Bar. We saw all the other C2Cers who were on the same schedule as us come in, dip their toes, throw their stones into the se and join us for a drink or three – the family group (she was outrageously funny), the NW walkers and all the rest of what had been the slowly moving “caravan” of walkers for the last 12 days, all with tier own stories to tell and all having achieved one of their dreams. It was so wonderfully emotional that as I type this several months later (in November 2008) on a flight from Amsterdam to Mexico City, there is even now a slight “dampness” in the old mince pies. What ME, emotional!!

In the Wainwright Bar we all signed the C2C book and added our comments. Mine – “footsore, brain dead, comfortably numb – FB!” Eventually and very reluctantly we left the scene of our triumph and headed back up the hill to Thackwood, our B&B, right on the actual C2C path, checked in, showered and changed, DID NOT clean walking boots or even put them on the radiator and then had an excellent dinner at the very posh Wayfarer Restaurant. Back at the B&B we crashed into bed, a little tiddly I must admit, full of mixed emotions about the wonderful, fantastic, absolutely brilliant (FB in fact!) past 12 days. Why did it have to end; I just can’t wait for the next one. Maybe that end to end walk isn’t such a crazy idea!

AccommodationBeverages & Comestibles
Thackwood Bed and Breakfast
Mount Pleasant East
Robin Hood's Bay
YO22 4RF
01947 880858
Scallops, Prawns and Mussels in a Chilli Sauce
Lemon Sole with Potatoes and Veggies
Chocolate, Cream and lots of other "naughty but nice" things

(FB -10/10, another of the best meals of the walk)

Wolds Way IPA from Wold Top Brewery and another very good bottled bitter from Driffield - both great

Some Day 12 Photos