The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday 27 September 2008

Day 11 - Blakely Ridge to Littlebeck

27 Sept
Distance: about 17 miles

Another stunning day through a stunning part of the country!

With the mist lifting and the sun just rising up into the clear blue skies, we set out from what is apparently the fourth highest pub in England.

The day started along roads. In fact, much of it was on roads, which is rather an unpleasant change after 10 days with barely any tarmac. The saving grace was that they were small roads (one of which is rather delighfully called "Great Fryup Lane") cutting across the moors and all was quiet at the early hour of a Saturday morning.

By the time we started dropping down to Glaisdale the sun was warming the day up nicely, clothes were coming off and suncream was going on.

Glaisdale was made in good time, albeit we were both feeling a little jaded after yesterday's effort and after a brief sojourn in the sunshine on their little village green we pushed on for Grosmont.

There's nothing to be said about the road walking, save for to mention the fantastic views down into the lush green valleys (nothing like clear blue skies to set views off nicely), but we did have a rather pleasant interlude as we walked a mile or so through some varied woodland.

Limbs were starting to protest a little more by the time we negotiated the estate track between Egton (a place which sports some uncommonly large trees) and Grosmont.

The easy thing to do would have been to stop at Priory Farm on the way into Grosmont, pitch the tent and spend the afternoon lazing in the town.

We arrived at 1pm though, which felt a bit early to be stopping, so instead we decided that a spot of lunch and a long sit-down would revive us no end and permit us to carry on for another couple of hours to Intake Farm just outside of Littlebeck.

Leaving the bustle of Grosmont (a popular place thanks to the steam trains), the route follows the road onto Sleight Moor. The notable features of that road are that it is unrelentingly steep and apparently never-ending.

Imagine our surprise then, when just after we had seen our first view of the North Sea, surprisingly close to our left, we turned back to the road ahead and thought that we saw an ice cream van sitting at the top of the rise.

An ice cream van, exactly where you need one, on a hot day, after a sweaty climb? It seemed too good to be true, but a mirage it was not. So bemused were we that having bought our ices we made use of the self-timer on the camera to capture the joy.

Our day was already a good one at that point, but arriving at Intake Farm it got even better. How many times have you arrived at your campsite and been offered a cup of tea? It's not a common occurence, but it's happened to us three times this year. But how often do you get tea *and* cake thrown into your pitch fee?

Today we had the offer of a cup of tea and it goes without saying that we bit Mrs. Ventress's hand off for it. Sitting in her nice warm kitchen chatting, she then proceeded to put out plates and cake forks and then produced the most amazing Victoria Sponge. Technically, we weren't offered cake; it was just assumed that we would have some (maybe the way that we were drooling gave it away?).

Eventually, out of politeness, we dragged ourselves away to pitch the tent, only to then be offered use of the shower and of the living room, should we want a bit of comfort or warmth.

I've had to decline the living room. It feels like we're having B&B without paying for it (including tea, cake and showers, tonight has set us back a whole £8).

It's seldom that I rave about a campsite, but if you find yourself in this neck of the woods then a night at Intake Farm, whether camping or B&B will not disappoint.


  1. Stayed at Intake Farm last June on C2C walk.We had B & B for £20 per night and it was absolutely fabulous.Think that the prices may have increased ever so slightly this year but still fantastic value.Definately one of the best places to stay on route.

  2. I heartily agree with both your comments regarding staying at Intake Farm (was there this June). Judith is a wonderful hostess and the food there is superb!!!