Thursday, 18 October 2012

C2C stage 13: Grosmont to Robin Hoods Bay

This is day 14 of the trip and the last walking day.

Grosmont (50m) to Robin Hoods Bay.
Distance 15 miles/24km - Long moderate - Height Gain 475m/1560ft - 7 hours

There is a warning in Henry Steedman's guide: "Don't be fooled into thinking this [last stage] is a mere formality as the climb out of Grosmont will soon demonstrater. It is a long stretch totalling 15 1/2 miles (25km) with enough ups and downs to ensure you arrive in Robin Hood's Bay suitably dishevelled." After 12 days of walking this sounds ominous.

Departing from Grosmont at 9:00am we should arrive in Robin Hoods Bay around 4pm.

Setting out from the 175 mile point today we finish up at mile post 190:

The road climbs steeply out of Grosmont (its not called the 1 in 3 for nothing) to its high point on Sleights Moor (285m), there are wonderful views to Whitby and the sea. Slights Moor is part of the intriguingly named Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby. The first climb of the day is 230m. There are views north-east to the well-ventilated ruins of Whitby Abbey or back down into misty Eskdale.

The path passes five ancient standing monoliths called the High Bride Stones.

Still on heather moorland the route descends into Littlebeck (50m).

Littlebeck is another tiny hamlet with a lengthy past. It was once a centre of alum-mining in the 17th to 19th centuries. Alum is used for dyeing as well as tanning leather.

The village was home to woodcarver Thomas Whittaker and his cottage, Woodcarver's Cottage, is on the bend above the Old Mill.

Pretty as Littlebeck is, it is nothing when compared with the wonderful Little Beck Wood. This 65 acres of woodland is filled with oak trees, deer, badgers, foxes and birdlife galore.

Before leaving the woods there is Falling Foss, a 20m-high waterfall alongside the former ruins of Midge Hall, now rebuilt and coverted into the Falling Foss Tea Garden, a great place for a coffee and cake or a light lunch.

After the woodland walk it climbs back up to 200m and crosses a final stretch of moorland before following country lanes to the coast. We turn south to follow the coastal path to Robin Hoods Bay and the sea. Follow tradition once more by dipping our boot in the sea and throwing our pebble in (that should baffle the geologists in years to come).

The challenge is complete.

In the Bay Hotel you can sign the Coast to Coast book.

There are several pubs and cafes open daily for food and drinks. There are also several gift shops.

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