With the four Lake District stops, out of a total of thirteen, pencilled in, I needed to concentrate on the eastern section from Robin Hood’s Bay and points westward.
There are dozens of nice little B&Bs in RHB and one or two grand-looking hotels as well. I was looking for something quiet, cheap and fairly close to the pubs in the village. I could have any two of these three it seemed and in the end my wallet ruled the decision and I have somewhere quiet and fairly close to the village, but at £40 for a single, it’s not what I’d call cheap. The Manning Tree is right on the C2C path, at the top of the hill.
From RHB I’m walking a relatively short way to Grosmont. I’ve never stopped here before, but it’s about half way between RHB and the Lion Inn and Blakey, which I loved last time and I wanted to stay there again. So I looked for accommodation in Grosmont. There isn’t much there really, considering it’s right on the C2C and it’s a bit of a hub for the steam train enthusiasts. I plumped for central and convenient and I’ve booked the Station Tavern. To say this place has mixed reviews is an understatement of the highest order, it seems to be the sort of place you either love or hate – sounds a bit like the Drover’s Arms on the West Highland Way – a place I absolutely detested. I have higher hopes for the Station Tavern.
The next stop is the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge. Tex and I stayed here in 2009 and I loved the place, it has one of those fantastic atmospheres, warm log fire and superb selection of beers. I’d made my mind up to use this as a stop on this crossing and I’ve managed to secure a single – so I’m looking forward to this stop.
From Blakey Ridge the next logical – and pretty much the only – place to stop is Ingleby Cross, unless like me you prefer the bright lights and hustle and bustle of Osmotherley. Again, from my experience in 2009 I loved this quiet little village. It has three pubs and a gear shop! We had a great night in the Queen Catherine Hotel, talking and laughing with the Magnificent Eleven. I checked at the hotel and they have space for a single, so I’m in there. My fall-back had been the Blue Bell in Ingleby Cross, but it wasn’t needed.
So that’s my eastern itinerary pretty much sorted. It offers me two fairly short first days followed by two very long days, one of which has quite a lot of height gain as well, but it’s still an easier start to the walk than when you’re walking west to east.
A quick note on hostels and bunkhouses. Hillplodder made a comment on my previous post about Youth Hostels. He makes a good point – they are much cheaper than B&Bs and certainly for places like Grasmere where there is a good supply of hostel beds, they are one way of saving a significant amount of money. However I’ve not had a great experience with Hostels, when I’ve been on my own. When you travel as a pair or a trio even, you have a good chance of getting a small 4 bunk room to yourself, whereas when you’re travelling alone there is almost no chance of this. In Once Brewed, along the Pennine Way this year I was sharing a very cramped and subsequently smelly room with three strangers, not to mention sharing the hostel with 60 screaming kids. It was nothing short of a nightmare and has cured me completely of the money-saving urge to visit a Hostel ever again. This is my holiday – I want to enjoy it – therefore I will save what money I can on the cost of a B&B, but booking a hostel is an absolute last resort from now on.