C2C 2011 Planning #2 – Eastern section

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.

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4 thoughts on “C2C 2011 Planning #2 – Eastern section”

  1. I’m sort of hoping to see some steam action while in Grosmont – it’s not something I’d go out of my way to see, but if it’s on the doorstep then great. Pleased to see another positive review of the Station, my hopes are lifting 🙂

  2. I stopped a b&b in Grosmont in 2008 on c2c, went to the Station for my evening meal and a couple of pints. Had a great night food and beer very good and great company with other walkers. I arrived in Grosmont with time for a return trip to Goathland where they film Heartbeat on one of the steam trains, patch (my jack russell)and I thought it made a good end to the day even thougth it was rain cats and dogs. Look forward to more of your posts.

  3. Oh don’t get me started on miserable landlords/landladies – some people should just not be in the service industry and it surprises me how “natural selection” doesn’t weed these people out.

    You reminded me of another terrible hostel booking story from my Pennine Way walk this year. As we were walking into Bellingham, the German guy I’d walked with that day was trying to book the hostel in Byrness (a private hostel now I think?) – he was using his German mobile phone (I had no signal) and the person taking the booking insisted on taking ever possible detail from him – the call lasted over 5 minutes while they took his details and processed his credit card for the reservation. He was quite annoyed and said the phone call cost him more than the accommodation did!

    To balance this though, I’ve seen no end of glowing references for this place.

  4. I am totally in agreement with you about hostels. As well as the points you have made, they are also incredibly difficult to book up when you are actually on the trail.
    If there is a direct number, the phone is invariably never answered.
    When it is answered the response is frequently surly. When you *do* finally manage to get a place booked I have found wardens to be incredibly unhelpful and positively hostile! At one place – yes – I will name names! – Langdon Beck in April 2007 – I had booked earlier in the day via the YH website yet when I arrived the surly warden assured me he knew nothing about my booking (even though I could show him written confirmation!) and that “he had been looking forward to a night off, which was now ruined” as I was the only person staying that night.
    It was dreadful weather outside. The hostel was freezing cold and he refused to put any heating on, so my stay was like an ice box.
    Never Again!

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