Day 292: Wilsthorpe to Aldbrough
Distance: 21.13 miles
Ascent: 1233 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: Tansterne Grange (Kindly WIth the Tate’s)
Unbelievably it was an even dewier morning than yesterday and though the tent was wet again I was warm and dry in my sleeping bag. I would be meeting the Tate’s at 9am a mile and a half or so away along the beach at Fraisthorpe Beach Parking. So I could have chilled in tent but with dampness all around I decided just to pack up, have shower and then get down to the beach.
As per the last few days the sun was out and it was a beautiful morning.I walked along to the Frasithorpe Parking area along the beach and I met up with the Tate’s (Juliet whom I know from London and her parents) and their dog Chick just before 9.
The first 10/11 miles requires very little description (and in fact also means not many photos taken today) as it was all along the sandy beach, with the low crumbling mud/clay cliffs to our right. Other than a few static caravan parks there was not much else to differentiate one part from another. These ‘cliffs’ are clearly eroding at an incredible rate as all sorts of things were poking out of them or had fallen of them from war pillboxes, to pipes, to roads and septic tanks. On my own this stretch may have been a little boring but with company and little Chick strutting her stuff it was really nice.
After a little break we reached Hornsea our only larger village/town of the day. We headed straight through this and back down onto the beach for the next 2.5 miles to Mappleton and we had a nice picnic on this stretch.
Everything had been so smooth and from Mappleton the tide looked a little close to the cliffs so I decided we should head up onto the low cliffs and walk along there even though there was no official path. From the carpark it was clear a few people had walked this beginning bit along the verge between the edge of the farmers field and the cliff as far as Grange Farm. Farm is a strong term for this it was more like a scene out of a zombie apocalypse film, there were piles of rubbish everywhere, smashed up statics and just generally the feel of utter neglect and without being rude it was clearly a gypsy site.
From here it was possible to head up to the road which I though may be fast and busy, so I made the call to continue following the cliff instead. Even from here it was clear the only obstacle may be a caravan that had been pitched right on the cliffs edge with a giant pirate’s flag flying. What happened next if people hadn’t been with me none of you would have believed as it was so cliché and what you would imagine in some over exaggerated comedy. Firstly, we heard a gunshot, and then a vehicle slowly drove down towards the caravan, he then got out with a pitch fork in hand (who knew these still existed), started filming us and then to finish it all of he screamed ‘Get of my Land’ (slight issue we weren’t yet on his land). Well there was clearly no point reasoning with this man, so we turned back the hundred meters or so and then headed for the road. This is the first issue I have had with any farmer in almost 5400 miles.
The road was fairly busy, but it was the speed of some of the cars that was slightly scary. In fact right near the beginning a car overtaking from behind us whizzed by so fast and close (it must have been inches) that it shocked all of us a bit. I felt quite bad having bought the Tate’s onto this road but I suppose it is just a fact of the walk that I have to walk them sometimes but this is the first in quite a while. There was a public path that supposedly headed towards the cliff/beach after about 500m but on trying this it had been clearly blocked/made unclear by the farmer (the one we encountered earlier) so we just carried on along the road, in the end we were on the road for about 2 miles but if felt much longer.
We eventually reached a bridleway that would take us all the way into Aldbrough and almost the end point for the day. On arrival at Aldbrough, and after the nightmare of the road we headed straight into the pub which relaxed us all down.
We actually still had a mile and a half to go slightly inland to the cottage they had booked, and after I said earlier in the pub how easy it is to get caught out by the dark suddenly we realised we would have to leave the pub quickly or get caught out by the dark. This last bit also became a little confusing because the paths headed across, not around the massive fields (presumably hedges or fences had been removed in the past) but they had all been planted so no clear path and it felt slightly wrong tramping across the crops but that was the route of the public footpath. After a couple of small mistakes we made it to the cottage just after the sun had gone down with a beautiful pink sky making for a lovely backdrop.
We were all relieved to make the cottage and thank you so much to the Tate’s for joining today, booking the cottage and carrying all the stuff that they cooked for dinner tonight. All exhausted we were in bed very early.
A strange day to summarise because 19 miles out of the 21 were lovely but it is strange that the short term memory is of the nasty 2 mile road section.
NB – Quote of the day from Juliett who recently hiked up to Everest Base Camp ‘This is harder than Everest!’