Day Twelve - Blakey Ridge to Littlebeck

    Saturday 9th  May 2009

An Adder

The day David had to grit his teeth.

It was a restless night with both of us finding the small room too warm.  I woke at about 6:45 and sat on a seat, just outside our room reading my book.  David was not that much later rising.  Nearer breakfast time of 8:30 we got our packs ready then went down to eat.  For the first time I had kippers, while David plumped for the full English.  We finished at our leisure and didn't leave until gone 9:30.

It was evident that the pub was doing good trade with the accommodation.  There must have been getting on for 20-25 people in the restaurant at the same time as us.  It had been busy the night before as well.

The first part of the day's walking was a mile along the busy minor road passing the inn.  The noise of the speeding carss got Elsie all worked up such that when we finally got onto a footpath and I could let her off, she had some fairly frantic sprints.  That was better!  Again I was being a bit naughty by not keeping her on the lead, but she was being good and, although she showed interest, she never once chased a bird or fluffy white thing.  One thing she managed to completely miss, thankfully, was an adder curled up in the middle of the path. 

To complete the morning we made the long descent down Glaisdale Rigg (passing Great Fryup Dale) to Glaisdale.  For David the descents were awkward and painful, so after an hour's constant down he was ready for a rest.  The first place we came to in Glaisdale providing refreshment was the Arncliffe Arms. I had stayed there 12 year earlier and looking at it not much had changed.  However the two sandwiches we had were great and the menu looked tempting.  David found his tea just right.

Suitably refreshed (Am I using this phase a lot?) we felt able to continue and set off for Grosmont via Egton Bridge.  The weather was pleasant and the slower pace we had adopted gave plenty of time to look around.  We reached Grosmont about 75 minutes later, where we quickly snaffled a roadside seat and had another rest watching some 'village' cricket.  It was village in both senses of the word, but good to watch anyway.

There was now only four miles to go, starting with a steep at times climb immediately after the North York Moors Railway level crossing.  Grosmont was very busy and the station was packed.  There was some shunting going on and people were standing two or three deep all along the platform, over the crossing and along the side of the line. As we made our way up to Snaith Moor above the village the weather slowly deteriorated and looking over our shoulders we could see rain.  It finally caught up with us when we were just about slap bang in the middle of crossing the moor.  It was also about now that we had our first definite sight of the sea.  We possibly spotted it from Glaisdale Rigg, but it wasn't certain.  However on Snaith Moor there was no doubt as we looked down Eskdale to Whitby, it's abbey and the sea beyond.  It continued raining as we walked down the farm lanes to Intake Farm.  When we arrived we took our wet gear off and we were treated to tea and cake.  For both of us this was very welcome.

Once again Elsie found a quiet place in the bedroom.  We had had a lovely meal and were completely over faced.  I think the rhubarb and custard was favourite.  We liked this farm a lot.  As well as comfortable bedrooms, the Ventress’s have set aside a large sitting room, where, I guess, fellow walkers trade tales.  This night we were the only guests, so no stories were told and I settled down into an armchair with my book.