Chair's Walk, 16 January 2005

Working out a route for the chair's walk is always tricky, as some people are looking for a nice gentle stroll, while others are after something a little more challenging. So in attempt to provide something for everyone, I thought I'd organise a nice day out by the sea.

I'd been for a pleasant walk near Ravenscar a couple of years ago, and so decided on a variation of that one - starting at Ravenscar itself, then an amble along the cliff top to the pub at Hayburn Wyke for lunch, and back via the course of the old railway. For those who wanted, there was the option of a descent to the beach, a walk along the sea shore (the tides were apparently favourable), before taking a path back to the cliff top to rejoin the others in the pub.

So much for the theory.

All started well, everyone opting for the sea shore version. The descent was straightforward enough at first, with an excuse to stop provided by several seals on the rocks below. As we got to the bottom, the grass finished, and the shore started, but between the two was a steep crumbly earth bank! The sensible few turned back at this point to take the Cleveland Way path along the cliff top.

The rest of us scrambled/slithered/fell down the bank to the shore. The way on from here followed rocks at the edge of the sea, which was only just low enough to get past. One particularly slippery passage, just above some deep pools, saw a few more retreat, muttering something about discretion and valour. After this, though, the going got much easier, and we eventually congregated near Blea Wyke Point. Since time was getting on, we decided to head straight back up the footpath from there. It must be easy enough, the right of way was clearly marked on the map...

So after an hour or so of climbing and crawling up steep mud, aided in places by in-situ ropes (!), we finally reached the cliff top, some quarter of a mile from where we'd left the cars more than 3 hours earlier! Never mind, heroes that we were, we'd have little trouble doing the remaining 3 and a half miles in the half hour before lunch was booked. Half the party decided that lunch was the most important consideration, walked back to the cars, and drove to the pub.

The remaining 8 people and a dog eventually reached the pub an hour and a half later. Apart from the 3+dog who walked half way to Scarborough before noticing they'd missed the turning....

All in all, an entirely successful and wholly epic-free day. All concerned are looking forward to next year's Chair's Walk, which happily won't be organised by me!