Day 15      Grosmont to Robin Hood's Bay

15.5 miles                       Hot and sunny

Two English C2C walkers came down for breakfast at the Lion at Blakey in a very poor state.  They could hardly walk and were obviously suffering from blisters on their feet.  They sat at the next table and said how they were worried about the amount of tarmac they would have on their penultimate walk, to Grosmont.  It made us realise how fortunate we had been to do the whole walk with not a blister between us and now that my heel was pain free, we both felt fit and strong for our last day.  

It was a strange feeling to think that this would be the last time we would set off on our Coast to Coast Walk and we realised we had cheerfully settled into a routine of sleeping, walking, eating and drinking, with not a worry or care about anything else.  In some ways it would be hard to return to normal life.

Waiting for the taxi

Our taxi was late and we sat outside the Lion watching small groups of walkers sorting out their gear and leaving to begin their penultimate day.  The weather had finally come good and our last day promised to be a hot one.

The taxi arrived at 9.30am having been delayed by an overturned tractor and we were returned to Grosmont for 10.30 am to start walking from the point we stopped at yesterday.  This meant an immediate steep climb up the road out of Grosmont, eventually reaching open moorland where we had a distant view of Whitby.

A steep climb out of Grosmont

We disturb a young family

There was no sign of any walkers but we were late starters today, however this changed when we saw the familiar figure of Brian moving across the moor ahead of us.  We had to cross the busy A169 and then walk for a while on its uneven grass verge until we saw a track leaving the road on our right, signed Littlebeck.  

Carole and Brian walk into Littlebeck

We joined Brian and walked with him for a while.  He told us he had spent last night at Egton Bridge and so his last day would be 18.5 miles.  By the time we reached Littlebeck he was ready for a rest and we left him at a bench and pressed on.

Our path went through Littlebeck Wood.  This was a two mile walk in a lovely old wood where we had welcome shade from the now hot sun.  We came to a strange feature known as 'The Hermitage' that had been carved out of a single boulder by a George Chubb in 1790. It looked most uninviting. Then on to reach the Falling Foss waterfalls where a tea garden with attractive awnings and shade from the sun was doing a roaring trade.  We stopped here to enjoy our last coffee and scones of the trek.  

While we sat in the garden Eric the border terrier came past with his mistress and we wondered where Pip was.  She explained that they had all set off in the heat that morning from Grosmont and Pip, who was 9 years old, became overheated and couldn't continue so her husband had to drop out to look after her.  She intended to complete the walk with Eric.  Poor Pip, thwarted on the last day.

We enjoyed a leisurely stop and then returned to the woods to continue our walk.

The Hermitage

Falling Foss

At the end of the woods was a car park and our path led up to a road from where we picked up a faint footpath across the moors, leading to Hawsker.  Reaching a gate we crossed the B1416 and returned to moorland with many boggy sections.  Here we caught up with Eric and his owner and they walked with us for a while until Eric, feeling the heat in the midday sun, persisted in lying down in boggy sections to try and cool off.  We were worried about him and his owner said they would rest there for a while.

We start to bake in the sun

For the first time on the Coast to Coast walk Carole donned a hat to keep the sun off her neck and soon we saw Brian ahead of us once more. He must have passed us by while we were at Falling Foss Tea Room and like us was feeling the heat, which was now 26 degrees according to my watch.  

The hat appears at last

Chatting to Eric and his owner

Reaching Hawsker the three of us headed straight for the Hare and Hounds pub and enjoyed pints of shandy sitting in the cool old building.

Drink! Drink!

Much refreshed we said cheerio to Brian (we knew we would see him later as we were staying in the same B & B) and set off to walk on the road through Northcliffe Caravan Park to reach the coast, where we rejoined the Cleveland Way track for the last 4.3 miles of coastal walking.

Through the caravan park...

... to reach the east coast at last!

There was no breeze and no shade on this stretch, it was by no means flat and farmers were going about their business in the fields to our side. We were very hot and tired when we finally saw Robin Hood's Bay below us.  

It was Saturday afternoon and there seemed to be hundreds of people in the village as we walked down the steep hill to reach the sea next to the Bay Hotel.  

As we reached the sand we heard a cheer and looking up to the Bay Hotel saw the Geordies and Kieran raising their beer glasses and cheering us on.  We walked down to the sea to dip our boots into the salt water, then retrieved our west coast pebbles from our bags and threw them into the east coast water.

Robin Hood's Bay appears at last

Getting nearer....

Arriving at Robin Hood's Bay at last

Duty done and feeling very pleased with ourselves we returned to chat with the other walkers, before retiring into the shady pub for a cool pint of Wainwright ale while we discussed the adventures of the last two weeks.

Dipping those toes....

Carole gets her pebble ready...

In the Bay Hotel

As we walked back uphill we met plucky Eric and his owner heading for the sea, we were pleased they had made it.  

Later in the evening we planned a quiet celebratory dinner in the pub but were soon joined by the Aussies.  As the evening passed more C2C walkers, some familiar and some less so joined us, and our quiet dinner soon turned into a raucous one and a happy end to our Coast to Coast adventure.

The End!