Walk for Louis 2013 'An Angelic Amble North'York Minister to the Angel of the North, GatesheadMay 11-18th 2013
Pre walk preparation
Paul and Phil needed to decide where they were going to do there 4th annual long distance walk. So after a few discussions they got it down to a couple of ideas. This year’s stipulation was that the walk needed to finish up in the North-East near to where the 4Louis charity is based. The two ideas for walks were Whitehaven to Tynemouth following the course of the River Tyne from source to estuary or a walk from York to Newcastle. It became apparent that for the date the guys wanted to walk they could not to do the Whitehaven to Tynemouth walk as there was a music festival in one of the towns they would need to stop at and so would be unable to get accommodation. So with that decided it was full steam ahead with getting the planning and preparation in place for the York to Newcastle walk. After a bit of research of Newcastle the guys thought it would be a nice gesture to the charity to walk to The Angel of the North in Gateshead as a reference to all the sleeping angels. In connection with this the guys gave their walk the tag of ‘An Angelic Walk North’. The guys realised they also needed a focal point for the start of their walk and with a suggestion from Bob Mcgurrell, Paul’s boss they decided upon York Minster Abbey. Once hotels had been sourced and booked and people in place to move the guys bags each day it was on to the training.
Both guys had their training hampered this year with Phil being hampered with work commitments and Paul being ill the month leading up to the walk, but with everything in place and bags packed they both headed for Nether Poppleton, York the base camp for the start of Walk4Louis4 from their homes.
May 10th - The Eve of the Walk
Paul, Julia(Paul’s wife) and Lily(Paul’s daughter) arrived first at the Millfield Premier Inn, Nether Poppleton and were greeted by Ahmet a long standing supporter of Walk4Louis who was helping the guys out for a third time in 4 years and had arranged their stay at the Premier Inn. A little while after Phil arrived with Charlotte (Phil’s wife) and after a conversation with Ahmet settled down for a drink with Paul and his family. After they had chilled out and finished their drinks both wives and Lily said their goodbyes and headed for home before it got to late and left the guys to go for some dinner.
They were looked after by Marcin who ensured they had a very good hearty meal and set them up in good spirits even though Paul managed to burn his mouth on a hot chip J. After they had finished their meal and had a coffee they went back to their room to get everything prepared for the morning so they were not rushing around like headless chickens on their first morning. With bags organized, clothes sorted for the morning and the weather report checked the guys got settled down for the night ready for their 20 mile hike to Malton the next day.
May 11th – Day 1 York Minster to the Old Lodge Hotel, Malton
Well the first day had arrived and Phil was the first to rise, so after putting the kettle on Phil began to get himself ready for the first day’s exertions. After a while Paul’s alarm goes off put Paul just silenced it and went back to sleep. Phil who was now ready tried to motivate him but Paul was having none of it even the aroma of coffee would not get him moving. So Phil gave up and turned the TV on to watch the news and tries to catch the weather report for the day. Paul finally awoke from his slumber and proceeded to get ready while Phil went over the days route again. When they were both ready they went down for their breakfast, there they were greeted by Ahmet who asked how they were feeling before showing them to a table and taking their breakfast order. Halfway through breakfast Paul goes off to do a radio interview to help promote awareness for the walk and the charity. Interview done and breakfast finished the guys head back to the room and as they past reception they ordered a taxi to get them to their starting point of York Minster. Back in the room they finish packing the bags and head back down to reception where they were leaving a couple of bags to be moved later in the day by Sharmayne Repetto. After dropping the bags while they waited for the taxi they go and ask Ahmet if they can have a photo with him so they can post on their social media pages to thank him and his staff for their hospitality. Whilst waiting for Ahmet to get a minute they got taking to a guy who was doing a sponsored coast to coast bike ride and they swapped stories and how each were doing. When Ahmet was ready they had some photos outside the restaurant before jumping in the taxi and heading for the start.
After a short taxi journey through York they arrived at York Minster. It was very quite around the cathedral and the only people around were a couple of Japanese tourists with their obligatory cameras. After taking some photos of the cathedral they wanted a photo of the two them together but had to wait a couple of minutes for somebody to walk past who could take the photo of them. After doing their warm up stretches and having a look in side the cathedral they were ready to set off and at 09:30 Walk4Louis4 was underway. As they were making their way out of York Paul noticed a street that was called Villa Grove which Phil said this must be a good omen for the football game that was taking place today. Both Paul and Phil are Aston Villa fans for their sins and their team had a big game today against Chelsea. Villa had not had a good season and were just above the relegation zone with only a couple of games to go but if Villa won today they would be safe and stopping in the Premier League for another season. So that good omen putting a spring in their stepped they headed out of York and towards the A64. Just before getting on to the A64 they saw a large procession of motorbikes going around a roundabout which took about 2 minutes to pass with bikes and trikes of many different sorts. As they started making their way along the A64 Paul’s friend John Appleby rang to wish them good luck and to let them know that he was just leaving for the airport to go on a week’s holiday in the sun with his family.
Not long after speaking with John the heavens decided to open and the guys cracked open their wet weather gear for the first time before making good progress along the A64. Just before they had to turn off the A64 they saw a road sign saying that their was a place called Stamford Bridge the guys didn’t like seeing that sign as they took it as bad omen as that is the name of Chelsea’s football ground so it cancelled out the good omen they saw earlier. They carried on in single file until it was time to turn off the A64 and head out into the countryside and away from the heavy traffic. This was a lot better now as they could walk side by side and talk with relative ease as there was no traffic around. They continued walking along the quiet country road and with the rain coming and going in frequent intervals their coats were on and off more times than Katie Prices wedding ring. The guys came to a little village called Harton where as they walked through there was a post lady delivering post in her red van but instead of parking her van up at the end of the street and delivering all the post she was jumping in and out of the van and driving to each house which was only moving the van about 10 yards at a time which the guys thought was very lazy and to which they had a laugh about.
As they guys were walking along Phil looked at the time and realised that the Aston Villa game had already kicked off so he got out a radio from the bag and put his ear phones in to see how they were doing. All of a sudden Phil let out a loud shout which made Paul, who was just in front of Phil at the time jump out of his skin. When Phil had stopped laughing after making Paul jump he explained that Villa were winning 1-0 and told Paul what had happened. As they walked along Phil kept Paul up to date with what was happening with a running commentary in what he was hearing. Although the rain kept falling the guys were in good spirits with what was happening with the football and although starting to get a little tired as they had not yet had a break during the day even though being over 12 miles in they decided to keep going till they got to the 1st pub on route where they could stop and take shelter from the rain.
Finally at the 15 mile mark they came in to Westow where the Blacksmiths Arms resided and they gratefully went inside for a drink and to try and dry off a bit. Just as the guys sit down after getting their drinks they look out if the window and notice that the rain had finally stopped and the sun had come out, sods law. As they sat there the land lady of the pub came over and said she had just been reading the t-shirts they were wearing and asked them more about what they were doing a why. Once the guys had explained she gave them a £20 pound donation and wished the guys luck. Just after that a guy comes in to the pub and recognised them and told the guys that this was the 3rd time he had seen them today as he had already passed them twice earlier in the day on the A64 where he had been driving his van to and from York. The guys sat and finished off their drinks whilst listening to the football on the radio unfortunately for the guys the bad omens prevailed and Aston Villa lost 2-1. A little disappointed at the result the guys got ready to go as it was still looking bright outside. Just before they left the sanctuary of the pub they decided to pop to the toilet for a call of nature. Whilst in there Phil saw a toilet seat which he thought was quite funny and unusual so took a picture of it. Once the call of nature was answered they said their goodbyes and set off again. But as with sod law they were only out of the pub and on the road for a matter of minutes and hadn’t even manage to leave Westow when the heavens opened again and another heaven down pour fell, this one was the worst of the day as hail stones started to fall as well. So the guys took shelter along side the village hall at of the worst of it. Once it finally eased they set of again, next stop Malton.
As the guys walked along the sun started to shine and it finally looked like it was going to brighten up. After a bit of time walking in the sun the guys decided to risk it and take their coats off. They were soon making good progress and enjoying the warmer, drier weather. After walking down a winding country road it finally straighten out into a long stretch of straight road and at the very end in the distance the guys could see a give way sign. After a bit of walking they had not seemed to get any closer to it and Paul had noticed something quite spooky which reminded him of a film he had seen. He asked Phil had he seen a film called ‘The Truman Show’ Phil asked is that the one with Jim Carrey in it to which Paul said it was, so Paul said to Phil do you remember the bit where they send the cars down the road so Phil said he did, so Paul told Phil to watch at the end of the road as he was sure the same blue car kept going past and sure enough every so often a dark blue car would go past one way then the other, spooky. After a bit and what seemed like miles the guys finally got to the junction and turned onto the road into Malton. Soon they were faced with a very steep 20% downhill gradient to which Paul had started to watch how long it took the car to get from bottom to the top after he had watch a couple of cars he said to Phil about it and told him to watch the next car coming down the road as when the cars got to the bottom of the hill the disappeared into the dip before reappear near the top where they were. So Phil watched as the red car disappeared only after well over a minute saying to Paul where had it gone as it had not re-appeared, even spookier, what was it with this area. Down the hill they went and managed to get to the bottom without disappearing into another dimension. Once at the bottom they consulted their map and plotted the best way into Malton and to the hotel as they were both now pretty tired. After a quick review and taking on some fluids they got up and pushed on for the final stretch.
They were soon going across a level crossing and going over the River Derwent and into Malton. After one last hill climb and passing St Leonards and St Mary’s Church as the church clock struck 5 they were soon outside The Old Lodge. After taking a few pictures they went inside to check in. There was nobody at reception so they rang the bell on the desk and waited. Phil noticed a pot of sweets on the desk so had a few for a sugar boost to which Paul followed suit. Before long they were greeted by Hailey who had a little chat with them whilst she checked them in. Once checked in she explained that there was no room for them in the main building but that they had been put in the Old Lodgings down the road. Hailey did give the guys directions how to get there but both been wore out neither listen closely enough so upon leaving neither new which way to go and after a couple of wrong turns they final found it opposite to St Leonards and St Mary’s Church.
So they settled into their room and had a welcome rest and a coffee before having a good soak in the bath. Both were out of the bath ready for Paul’s big moment as he had had an interview done by BBC Look North News the day before which was being aired that night so when the news came on they both waited. Paul’s big moment came and it looked very good but both were a little disappointed as some of the information Paul wanted to get across had been cut out such as one important piece was there was no mention of Phil and it came across as if Paul was doing the walk on his own. Still it was good publicity for the walk and for the charity.
After a good relaxation in the room and after watching Wigan Athletic FC make history and win the FA Cup for the first time (after psychic Paul had predicted the goal scorer just before he scored, couldn’t predict the lottery numbers though) they got ready to go down for dinner. They got back to the hotel and were greeted again by Hailey behind the bar and got them a drink. They then went to sit down and decide what they wanted for their dinner. While deciding what to have to eat two couples on the next table start talking to them and said they recognised them from the Old Lodgings where they were staying too. After chatting to them for a short while about the charity and football the guys excused them selves once their dinner was ready and they went through to the dining room.
After a hearty dinner they retired back to the bar where Vicki Lamb and her Mother Denise were waiting for them. Vicki and her mum were both doing the first 3 miles with the guys tomorrow and had been doing their best to help raise money for the charity. They chatted with them for a while before they all decided it was time for bed and wished each other good night before Vicki and her mum left. After Vicki and her mum had left the guys asked Hailey if they could have a photo with her for their social media pages. While they were waiting Phil noticed a lot of wooden sculptured ducks above the fire place and these reminded him of the wooden duck called Rodney they had seen in the Dog and Partridge Inn at Chipping, North Preston on their 2011 Coast-2-Coast walk. So as well as having a photo with Hailey, Phil took a photo of some of Rodney’s relatives. So after that they both wondered wearily back down the road to retired to their room for a goodnights sleep ready for the road to Scarborough tomorrow.
May 12th – Day 2 the Old Lodge Hotel, Malton to the Royal Hotel, Scarborough
The 7 o’clock alarm bell was ringing so it was time to get up and get things ready for day 2 of their walk. Phil was the first one up as Paul rolled over to have another half hour (his new found TV fame must be tiringJ). So with everything ready for the off Phil made Paul a coffee to help motivate him. So once they were both dressed and ready for the off they got their things ready and made their way up the road to the main building for breakfast.
After a hearty breakfast the guys made their way to reception to meet Vicki and her mum, Denise. After greeting their walking companions they said their goodbyes to Hailey and thanked her for all her help and hospitality. They then went outside to take some photos with Vicki and her Mum. After photos done and stretches completed they set off up the road towards the coast and Scarborough. On walking through Malton and Old Malton Vicki and her Mum told the guys about the history of the area. They found out that it was a community very much into their horse racing with quite a few stables around the surrounding area. They also told them as they passed a church in Old Malton that the church a pub called the Crossed Keys and the Old Lodge hotel where they had stopped last night were reputed to be connect by secret underground tunnels. With this chat going on they were soon out of Malton and onto the A169 crossing the A64 which Vicki told them was the main road into Scarborough and which on the holidays always ground to a halt. As they got onto the A169 they passed Eden Camp which Vicki’s mum told them was a World War II museum. Once passed this the path disappeared and it was single file for the next 2 miles. On this stretch the guys found out that Vicki enjoyed flying a micro light with her partner. So she joked that later that afternoon she would fly over them and drop some water off but Denise added that might be a bit dangerous dropping bottles of water as they might hurt the guys which made them all laugh. Further along a call pulled in beside them and the family occupants asked them if they knew the way to Flamingo Land obviously Paul and Phil didn’t have a clue but luckily for the people Denise was there to offer her assistance but told the gentleman in the passenger seat her help came at a price ad asked them for a donation for the guys to which they duly obliged. They were soon at the point where they needed to turn off the main road and head out into the sticks. At this point Vicki and her Mum said they need to leave the guys. So they stopped outside a farm shop for a rest so they could say their goodbyes to Vicki and Denise and thank them for all their help they had given them and their fundraising efforts they had done on behalf of the guys and the charity. Denise popped into the shop and came out with a couple of bottles of water for the guys for later and a donation for charity from the owner of the shop. So with goodbyes said Vicki and her mum went back into the farm shop for a drink and rest in the tea room they had inside and the guys headed out into the sticks towards Low Marishes.
With the sun shining the guys set off into the sticks and were making good progress down the country road they were on which they thought must be a practice route for the Tour De France by the amount of cyclists that kept passing them, they were expecting Bradley Wiggins to go flying past any minute wearing his Yellow Jersey. On making progress down the long and winding country road the guys stopped for a short breather by a field to which some sheep came over to greet them. After their short break they set off again and continued along the long winding road. A little further a long the road went around a field in a big arc and it wasn’t till they got all the way round that Phil realised they could have taken a shortcut across the field along a public footpath which would have saved about 5 minutes walking Paul wasn’t happy but forgave Phil as Phil had done a better job so far this walk to previous walks by not getting them lost so far. They finally came to the end of the long and windy road and were back on a busier road. Along this road Vicki came past them and told the guys they were going well and were about half way. A little further along this road they saw a sheep in the road which was making traffic swerve to avoid it. Phil and Paul couldn’t figure out how the sheep had got out of the field and came to the conclusion it must be the reincarnation of Houdini. As they were about half way they decided to have a break in a pub called the Coachman Inn.
While they were having a welcome rest and a glass of coke Paul noticed it had started to rain outside. The guys had timed that break well and hoped it would blow over by the time they were ready to hit the road again. While in the pub Phil took his random photo of the day which was a cushion with some ducks on with the words Wise Guys underneath. With drinks drunk it was time to hit the road again unfortunately the rain had not blown over so they got out the coats and stepped out into the rain. It was only fine rain but you know what they say about fine rain it soaks you through. As they were about to leave Vicki pulled onto the car park and told them she had dropped the bags off for them at their next hotel and wished them well with the rest of their walk the guys thanked her again and said to pass their thanks onto her Mum and that they hoped they hadn’t wore her out to much. Vicki told them not to worry as it was pretty much flat all the way to Scarborough
After saying bye to Vicki they set off in the rain and with a quick consultation with the map Phil said they could have a break in the next pub on route which was about 3 miles away. So with this in mind they set off in determined mind not to let the weather dampen their spirits. It was not long though before the guys were going up and down hills which made them wonder what Vicki meant when she said that it was flat on the road to Scarborough. Not perturbed they carried on to get to their next stop point. As they got to their next pit stop it was closed so they had to grit their teeth and carry on to the next pub which was another 4 miles further on. After a long trudge in the fine rain they finally came to their next pit stop the Dennison Arms. They were glad to get inside and get out of their wet coats.
A refreshing glass of coat later the guys were ready for their last push into Scarborough which was about another 4 miles away. As they were leaving the barman asked about what they were doing as he had read their t-shirts so after they explained the barman said they would enjoy their last bit of their walk as it was down hill virtually all the way. So as they set off with spirits boosted and with the rain easing off they were looking forward to an easy finish to their walk. Within five minutes of leaving though they were faced with a hill that went on as far as the eye could see. As they got to the top of what the guys hoped was the top their hope was shattered as the road carried on climbing. After about 2 miles of climbing they were finally at the top and were thinking so much for the downhill to Scarborough at least they could see that the last couple of miles were definitely downhill. About halfway down the hill they finally caught glimpse of the sea and knew it wouldn’t be far now before they were relaxing in their hotel room.
They got to the hotel in good time and checked in. The hotel was a little dated but still quite posh and you could tell in its day this would have been the place to stay when in Scarborough. The guys went and chilled out in the room for a bit and both had a good soak in the bath to try and revive their muscles before going down for some dinner. After a good dinner and a couple of deserved pints the guys retired for the night and after watching a bit of telly including the highlights of the days football matches on Match Of The Day they went to sleep.
May 13th – Day 3 the Royal Hotel, Scarborough to the Duke of Wellington, Whitby
Well day 3 had arrived and both Paul and Phil were up feeling fresh and ready for the days walk ahead which took them along the Cleveland Way, which is a public footpath which follows the coast line and takes the guys along the cliffs between Scarborough and Whitby. They went down and had a good breakfast. After breakfast the Paul rang Anna Foster a DJ who does the morning show on Magic 1152 radio station. After doing an interview with her live on air and updating her on their progress they returned to their room to finish getting ready and to do their stretches before going down stairs and asking the receptionist if they could leave a couple of bags to be picked up later and moved to the next hotel in Whitby. She agreed and once the guys had placed the bags behind reception they asked if they could have a photo with her to place on their social media pages. She looked a little taken back with this request and a little puzzled seeing that she was not entirely comfortable with this Phil suggested that she could get somebody else so she called for the manager. When he came out he realised who the guys were and gladly agreed to have his photo taken with the guys and wished them well. With photo taken and posted they set off on their way.
As they set off Paul wanted to ring another radio station to try and help boost awareness and after both trying to get through Paul finally managed to get through to Yorkshire Coast Radio. When the DJ answer he ask Paul what year he thought it was which confused Paul as he knew it was 2013 had he rang the right number. Then Paul realised they were doing a guess the year the songs that were being played came from he managed to side step this issue and explained to the DJ what he had rang up for. When Paul had finished telling him the DJ pointed out that the Angel of the North is in Gateshead not Newcastle as Paul had said and told Paul that he might have just upset all the people from Gateshead. Paul then asked when he would put his mention out to which the DJ replied that he was live on air which Paul had not realised. When Paul explained to Phil what had gone on Phil found this funny and Paul saw the funny side as well. In good spirits they carried on and they were soon walking along the beach past some very colourful beach huts. As they went past Scarborough Aquarium they turned and got onto the Cleveland Way for the first time.
After going up some steps cut into the hillside they were soon on top of the cliffs and started making their way along the footpath. The sun was shining but now they were on top of the cliffs there was a stiff breeze blowing. They were making good progress and enjoying the impressive views all around them seeing Scarborough in the distance behind them and the way ahead as well as the boats out at sea. As they marched along they saw a man coming the other way and went they got near he stopped them for a chat and asked them what they were doing. After they had explained he told them he was in training for something similar he was doing a charity walk around Leicester and was currently in training. He had started out a couple of hours ago from Ravenscar and was heading to Scarborough and back. Ravenscar was about halfway along the day’s route for the guys so they were buoyed by the fact that they had been walking for just over an hour and Ravenscar was only another couple of hours away. So with renewed vigour they wished the gentleman well and carried on, little did they know that there pace would soon take a turn for the worse.
As they carried along the Cleveland Way they start going up and down the cliffs as they rose and fell and the only way to do this was to go up and down the steps that had been placed into the hills to make it easier to climb. Phil didn’t mind this and was enjoying this part of the walk, but after a few sets of these steps Paul’s morale was taking a bit of a dip as some of the steps were quite big and with being vertically challenged his little legs were struggling with the steps. So to give him a break Phil said they would take a break and stopped in an opening. They sat on the ground and had a drink and Phil had a look at the map to see if he could plot how far along they were. He approximated where they were and was trying to show Paul but something had caught his attention. Phil asked what was up and Paul pointed over to the hills in the distance. Phil then realised what Paul was looking at a sinister clump of very dark looking cloud which Phil could tell had heavy rain falling from it. With a quick check on the wind direction they realised it was heading straight for them so they quickly got their things together and got their coats on just in time as the rain started to fall. A few heavy drops at first but before long was coming down quick hard, the strong wind was not helping and with the guys being exposed on the cliff tops it was not long before the rain had soaked them through. After about 5 minutes walking they came along some gorse bushes which acted as a wind breaker and the guys decided to stop and huddle into the bushes as best they could till the heavy shower had past as they could see that it was brighter in the distance behind the rain cloud. As they sheltered a walker went by them and past comment on the weather which the guys agreed. After the shower had past and gone out to sea they set off again. It wasn’t long though before the guys could see another rain cloud forming over the hills in the distance. Phil remembered when looking at the map that there was a wood not much further along so they picked up the pace and got there just in time as another heavy shower fell. As they were in the wood they were able to carry on as the shower fell as the trees gave them good shelter. Whilst in the wood the guys caught up with the walker who had passed them when they were taking shelter earlier. He had stopped to take a break at the bottom of another long set of steps (Paul’s nemesis). As Phil had surged ahead a little he stopped and chatted with the man till Paul caught up. He told the gentleman what they were doing and why and he told them he had come up from London the day before to walk from Scarborough to Robin Hoods Bay. He had walked the Cleveland Way a few years before from Scarborough to Whitby and told the guys they would really enjoy it but said they still had a tough day in front of them. After Paul had caught his breath they left the man to finish his lunch and carried on back up some more steps.
The shower had now passed and the guys strode on but it wasn’t long before another rain cloud was looming. On coming to anther set of steps going up Phil climbed on ahead but when getting to the top looking further along the path realised there was no where to shelter any where near as rain drops began to fall so he went back down the steps to meet Paul half way up and they decided to take shelter as best they could again using some gorse bush as cover and huddling up on the steps. As they sheltered the gentleman who they had left eating his lunch came up the steps and past them nodding an acknowledgment to them, this was the last they would see of him. With the shower blown over Phil could see Paul’s sprits had dropped and tried to pep him up and on looking at the map and what was in front told him they were not far from Ravenscar and they could stop there for a break and something to eat. Paul managed to get himself going and as they marched along, Paul going silent in his low mood Phil realised that after their good start to the morning the constant rain showers and climbing and descending steps and dropped them about and hour behind their schedule. They were both glad to see the signs for Ravenscar ‘the town that never was’ (read up on it, it is an interesting nugget of history) and came off the Cleveland Way and went into the Ravenscar Tearooms for a well earned break.
After 2 milky coffees and a couple of cakes were ordered the guys sat down their legs grateful for the rest after their morning’s toils. While waiting for their coffees to be brought over they busied them selves with updating their social media pages so their followers could see how far they had got and how they were feeling. Their drinks arrived and they relaxed eating their cakes and drinking their coffee. An old couple in the corner who had been reading the guys t-shirts struck up a conversation with the guys about what they were doing and where they were heading for. Another couple joined in and told them they were out for a walk themselves and had come from Robin Hoods Bay. When the guys told them that they were heading for Whitby the couple told them that they still had quite a way ahead of them and that it would be well into the evening before they got to where they were going especially walking along the Cleveland Way which is a tough walk. As they were talking a gentleman sitting on his own asked if they knew about the Cinder Track, when they said they hadn’t the guy told them it was a disused railway line that went from Scarborough to Whitby which had now been covered in cinder and turned into a path by the Scarborough Borough Council. He told them that it was a little longer than the route they had planned but a lot easier than the Cleveland Way. This was music to Paul’s ears, he had just about as much as he could stomach of the Cleveland Way and all its steps. At this point Phil said he was getting up to stretch his legs as they were going stiff and wanted to go outside to take some photos of Ravenscar. Paul carried on talking to the people in the tearooms whilst Phil went to take some photos. Whilst taking his photos Phil noticed a poster tell him all about the Cinder Track and a map of where it went and after reading it decided this might be the way to go as it might boost Paul’s morale up a bit so he went back to tell Paul about what he had read. Back in the tearooms the two couple were just leaving the one couple who said they were walking back to Robin Hoods Bay and might see them on their travels later and the older couple gave the guys a donation for the charity and wished them well. After finishing off their drinks Phil went and paid and the owner who had been listening to what they had been talking about reached under the counter and gave the guys a leaflet on the Cinder Track which contained a map and wished them both good luck for the rest of the day. Paul commented they needed luck for the weather to hold of to which the guy told them it should doing and showed them his computer which had an accurate hour by hour weather report on it and showed that it would remain dry till about 7 that evening. This was the guys target and motivation to get to Whitby before the rain returned. They said good bye to the owner and as they passed the gentleman in the corner said good bye to him to which he replied that if they were going down the Cinder Track he would probably see them shortly. When they got outside Phil asked Paul what he meant by this to which Phil told him he was a cyclist and had cycled to Ravenscar form Whitby and would be cycling back in a bit.With time getting on the guys set of to try and find the Cinder Track up the road. After about five minutes and not sure of which way to go Paul popped into a National Trust Visitors Centre to ask for directions and on reappearing following their directions they were soon on the track. As they marched on at a pretty quick pace Phil realised that they had not warmed up before setting off again and hoped that this would not come back to haunt them later with one or both of them picking up an injury. As they marched on the Cinder Track was a good walking path even under foot and it was on a gentle sloping gradient down hill which suited the guys in their attempts to make up time. As they went along they past or were past by quite a few cyclists and a few walkers and Paul wished they had followed this route all day but Phil told him he had enjoyed the different challenges of the morning and said he thought it was the best part of the walk so far. After a while the found themselves all alone and had not seen any one for a while. Phil was getting a little concerned as his instincts were telling him they had to follow the coast but the path although still on its stead downhill gradient was now heading in land. After about 2 miles though it started o swing back round towards the coast which calmed Phil’s nervous as he didn’t want to get lost on a path that was not on any of his maps he had done for the day’s walk. In the distance they could see builds and Phil realised this must be Robin Hoods Bay. As they got closer a cyclist came towards them and as it was the first person they had seen for a while they both decided to say hello but the cyclist just grunted at them as he went by, he was a bit rude they both said agreeing with each other. When they got into Robin Hoods Bay they had to come off the track for a short while whilst they walked through the village. As they got off and crossed a road a car beeped and stopped, the guys hoped it wasn’t someone who wanted directions as they hadn’t a clue, but as they stopped and turned they realised it was the couple from the Tearooms. They remarked on how quickly the guys had made it to where they were and said that they were making better time than they thought they would and to keep it up and they would be at Whitby before they knew it. The couple then told them that the walk to Robins Hoods Bay was a dam sight easier than driving between Ravenscar and the bay and when the guys asked why the lady said she had left her walking poles at the tearooms and they were now heading back there to pick them up but when they consulted their map it was a very big detour to get between the two places. With that they guys wished them well and said their good byes and set off through the village to get back on to the Cinder Track.
They got back on to the track which was sign posted as a cycle track and with a number 1 in a red box, at least the guys had a sign they could now follow to make sure they stopped on track. As they made their way along the track it started to slope upwards and the guys could see this up hill slope was in for a bit so they got their heads down and marched on. About halfway up the slope the guys decided to stop and have five and have a drink. Whilst they were resting Phil noticed that about 500 metres down to their right was the Cleveland Way and looking at it, it looked quite flat and even and not the steep climb they were on but Paul said he still preferred to be on this track rather than the path below. As they were looking they noticed a man pushing his path along the path below and wondered why he wasn’t riding it which surely would have been easier. Anyway as they watched him they saw him veer off the path and started to push his bike across a field and up the hill towards the track they were on. Paul didn’t like the look of him and said they should set off before he caught them up. So off they went but as the guys had been walking all day their legs were starting to get tired and the guy was slowly catching them up. Earlier when they were having 5 Phil had study the map they had been given by the owner of the tearooms and noticed that the track they were on would take them into the middle of Whitby and they would have to track back to get to where they were stopping for the evening. As they were walking a long Phil noticed that there was an opportunity to get off the path and to get on to a road and wanted to check the map on his phone to see if it would be more practical to get off the track and road walk the last few miles into Whitby to save them back tracking. So he told Paul to stop whilst he check, as they had stopped the man pushing his bike caught them up. Phil recognised him from earlier it was the rude cyclist who had grunted at them. As he went by Phil thought he would try speaking to him again and said ‘Alright’ to him he grunted back ‘Does it look like it’ nodding his head towards his rear tyre. It was flat as a pancake; Phil just smiled to himself and thought of one word ‘Karma’. After consulting the map Phil realised that it would be better and short coming off the track and walking into Whitby along the road so with route plotted they set off along the road.
As they walked along they soon came across a mile marker which told them it was only another 3 miles to Whitby. With this knowledge it gave their aching legs a boost and they were soon making a bee line for Whitby Abbey. The Abbey as Paul told Phil was an infamous ruin in the area made famous by Bram Stoker who had written the book Dracula. In his book Dracula fled his home in Transylvania and came to Whitby on a boat and hid in the Abbey but when the town’s folk found out who he was they hunted him down and killed him. They were soon upon the Abbey and after taking some photos they headed into Whitby. Just round the corner Paul’s nemesis came upon them, STEPS and 199 of them at that, Paul could believe it, but with being so close to the finish Paul gritted his teeth and down they went. At the bottom of the steps they were greeted by the Duke of York pub, there base camp for the night. They gratefully wondered in to the bar and were greeted by the bar maid who told them that they were expecting them and that there was a drink on the house waiting for them. With two cold glasses of refreshing coke in their hands they thank the bar maid and went and sat down. After they had finished their drinks the lady behind the bar took them upstairs and showed them to their room. Gratefully the guys fell into the room and on to the bed to chill out and rest before they could even contemplate getting ready to go down for dinner. With shoes and socks off their feet and a lingering smell of sweaty feet drifting round the room Phil noticed his left shin had started to swell and now he had stopped was starting to hurt. He hoped this wasn’t the onset of shin splints which he had suffered from on their first walk back in 2010 as the symptoms were quite similar to how they had started then.
After resting up and showering they got them selves ready and went down for some dinner. Down in the bar they were greeted by Grieg the proprietor of the Duke of York and the one who agreed to help the guys out by offering them a room for the night. After having a chat with Grieg for a bit and filling him in a bit more on who they were, what they were doing, who they were doing for and how they were doing the guys decided it was time to sit down and have some thing to eat. They both ordered some fish as when in Whitby and enjoyed every mouthful. Whilst having their dinner a couple of people in the bar came up to them to give them a donation and after thanking them Phil went and put their donation in the charity tub on the bar, which the guys had arranged to be sent down to help boost their fund raising. After there dinner they carried on talking with Grieg and had a bit of banter about football after finding out Grieg was a big Middlesbrough fan. The lads were just thinking about retiring to bed after their days excursions when Laura, Grieg’s partner appear with there baby who she was struggling to get settled. So after having a chat with Laura and thanking her and Grieg for their hospitality the lads again thought about bed. Before they went up they asked Grieg if they could have a photo with him to which he duly obliged. Grieg and Laura then told them that they wouldn’t be around in the morning so would wish them luck with the rest of the walk and for the guys to keep them posted on how they got on. After realising they would not be around in the morning Paul asked if he could take the charity tub so Grieg went and fetched it for him. As he was getting it an American guy sitting at the bar asked what the charity tub was for and after Paul had explained he took all the lose change from his pocket and duly put it all into the tub. They thank him for his generosity and were about to go upstairs when Laura asked Grieg if he had given the guys the extra room they had spare yet. He had forgotten so he went and fetched it so the guys could have separate rooms for the night to which Paul was relieved as the rooms only had one double bed in and he wasn’t in the mood to spoon with Phil. So with that they bid everyone good night and went to their rooms and settle down for a good nights sleep.
May 14th – Day 4 Duke of York, Whitby to Spa Hotel, Saltburn-by-the-Sea
It was a nice leisurely wake up for the pair of the guys as they woke up in their separate rooms and got themselves ready to hit the road. The Duke of York didn’t do breakfast so after getting some recommendations of where to go from the bar staff the night before the guys got everything ready and left their rooms. After dropping their two bags off down stairs to be collected and moved later the guys heading out into Whitby to find a café for breakfast. Following the directions given to them the night before they soon found a café and were about to walk in through the open door when a guy talking out on the street shouted to them that it didn’t open for another half hour. This was no good to the guys as they wanted to be on the road by then so they asked the man if he knew of somewhere else that would be open now. With new directions they set off again walking through Whitby and having just to check with some one on directions soon were walking in to a café called The Singing Kettle. With breakfast ordered they sat down and reviewed their route for the day. Paul was disappointed to find that they would have to go back onto the Cleveland Way today but having looked at the alternative and the extra mileage attached to that he would have to just grit his teeth and get through it. After breakfast eaten they paid up and hit the road.
They were soon on the road out of Whitby and walking towards Sands End. As they past Whitby Golf Club there was a bus stop the opposite side of the road with a brick bus shelter which had fallen down. Paul said that you must need danger money to wait for buses round here which made Phil laugh and he decided to take a photo of the bus stop and use it as the random photo of the day. From here it was a down hill slope into Sands End and as they go there they past a toilet and Phil decided he needed to pop in there. While Paul waited for Phil he watched the people down on the beach and remembered Greg saying the night before that the beach went from Whitby to Sands End and he wished they had walked along their instead of along the non descript road, but they were there now so never mind. Phil came and caught Paul up and it was in Sands End they joined back up with Paul’s Nemesis the Cleveland Way and guess what was right at the start, yes you’ve guessed it STEPS! Paul’s heart sank straight away not steps again he thought but he knew it was no good sulking so with Phil going off in front Paul plodded up the steep steps to get on top of the cliffs. As they walked along a few spots of rain started to fall so with ominous grey clouds over head they decided to stop and put their coats on. The rain that threatened didn’t materialised and they started to make good progress until they went round a bend and in front of them was a very steep hill and the only way to get to the top was up some very steep steps. It took them a couple of goes having to stop half way up for a breather but they finally triumphantly made it to the top. They were only about five miles in and already feeling it in their legs a bit so decided to stop for a breather at the top. Once they got their breath back they looked out along the cliff tops and as far as they could see the path remained fairly level as it meandered along the cliff top. So with this they both agreed to grit their teeth a bit and put the pedal to the metal. As they marched along they saw some walkers in the distance in front and decided to use them as markers and to try to catch them up. They were soon reeling them in as they were setting a good pace as they didn’t want to lose time like they had the day before.
They soon were passing the walkers and greeted them as they went by. Further along again they saw another walker and decided to use him as their next marker. As they crossed over a stile on the path Phil looked at where the path followed the cliff top then arced back round. There was a track in front of them that seemed to go straight across and possibly join back up with the path when it arced back round. So to save time they decided to try this path. As per usual with every short cut the lads try to take it never really works out as planned and were stuck in a quandary as further along this track it went into a field and in this field not far in front of them were a couple of long haired cows which had extremely long horns. Paul and Phil didn’t fancy taking these on so decided to bail out of there proposed route and cut back across the field back on to the Cleveland Way path. Only problem was they had to climb over a rickety fence that didn’t feel like it would take their weight but luckily did and then had to wade through stinging nettles and brambles the other side, so much for short cuts they both thought. The walker they were trying to catch up was now out of sight. But as they got back to the cliffs edge Phil could see further along a small village on the coast. Phil realised this must be Runswick Bay and that they were making good progress as this was just under half way along for the day. As they carried along the cliff top and got closer to Runswick Bay they were still quite high up on the cliff and the village was quite away down below. Phil knew that they were scheduled to walk into Runswick so was a little puzzled in how they were going to get down especially as the path was now leading them away from the cliffs edge and in land and not heading towards the village. The answer soon revealed its self, steps and a lot of them and by the time the lads got to the bottom they were ready for a rest. They didn’t know it then but that would be the most steps they would have to tackle in one go but the one thing they were glad of was they were going down them and not up them. Phil on the way down the steps though was starting to feel pain in his left shin which had started to swell the day before and with the constant pound of dropping down the steps it was starting to give him jip. So the guys decided they would stop and have a break and sit down when they got into Runswick. At the bottom of the steps they had to cross a streaming across some slippery stones luckily so body slipped and fell into the water. Once across they went down on to the beach and walked across the sand to Runswick. As they were crossing the beach Paul noticed something on a rock just off the beach and on closer inspection it was a seal having a sun bathe. Paul went to the edge of the water to take some photos of the seal before catching Phil up. Just off the beach was a beach side café so the guys decided this would be a good place for a break.
With drinks and a snack bought from the café the guys went and sat outside in the sunshine to have a well earned rest and where Phil could rest his leg. While they were having a break an old couple who they had past a little earlier came past them and acknowledged them before heading up the road the lads would have to go along. After a couple of minutes they re-appeared coming back again and went and sat on a bench by the beach for a rest which the lads wondered why they had come back. The answer would come to them shortly. While they sat there having their break a family on the table next to them came and gave them a donation which the lads thanked them for. Once fully fuelled the guys were ready to set off again. So with map checked and stretches done they headed round the corner to make their way out of Runswick Bay. What met them though was a steep hill which had a sign of a 25% gradient; this was the only road out of Runswick so the guys had no choice but to climb it. Half way up there was a bench which the guys weren’t surprised to see as they were blowing a bit already, don’t know about getting to middle aged the guys felt like they were getting to old age, but they gritted their teeth and decided to get to the top before having a break. At the top there was a pub with some benches outside so they sat down on the benches for a quick breather. While they sat their Paul noticed a signpost pointing up the road that said Saltburn 11 miles. Paul asked which way Phil had planned to which he told him it was all along the Cleveland Way to Saltburn, so Paul asked if their was another route they could take that was along the road. Phil consulted the map on his phone and after a little studying realised their was little difference in walking along the Cleveland Way or walking along the road and knowing how Paul felt about the Cleveland Way and the threat of more steps he agreed to re-direct them along the road. So after getting their breath back they set off again along the road.
They were making good progress and were soon heading into a place called Staithes which has the claim to fame of being the home to Captain James Cook for the early part of his adult life. As they got into Staithes there was another black rain cloud coming towards them. The guys noticed a bus shelter down the road so headed for that and just go their in time as just as they got inside the heavens opened and it started to rain had decided to take shelter and not out walking in that. The shower soon past though and with the sun trying to come out they set off again. A little further down the road another dark black cloud started to roll in and rain started to fall again. There was a farm just off the road to the right with a barn so the guys went and took shelter in there so the shower could pass over. This one was not so heavy but lingered on a bit as the guys stood there they saw a bus shelter a little further up the road so made a dash for that. Once there Phil decided whilst they were having 5 he would check the route. On checking the map on his phone he realised there was two routes they could take. They could stay on the main road they were on which bent off to the left and slowly climbed uphill or there was a road that went straight on which was the more direct route and not as far but it took them up a very steep long slope which the guys could see in front of them. As they were both pondering which route to take a female jogger came past and Paul said to Phil that if she went straight on and jogged to the top of the slope then they would tackle that way. As they watched she did go straight on up the hill and the guys thought there was no way she would make it all the way to the top. But their amazement she not only made it to the top but disappeared over the other side without stopping. So with the route decided for them and the shower having past they set off up the steep hill called Boulby Bank.quite heavy and the rain gave way to a short sharp hail stone shower. The guys were certainly glad they had decided to take shelter and not out walking in that. The shower soon past though and with the sun trying to come out they set off again. A little further down the road another dark black cloud started to roll in and rain started to fall again. There was a farm just off the road to the right with a barn so the guys went and took shelter in there so the shower could pass over. This one was not so heavy but lingered on a bit as the guys stood there they saw a bus shelter a little further up the road so made a dash for that. Once there Phil decided whilst they were having 5 he would check the route. On checking the map on his phone he realised there was two routes they could take. They could stay on the main road they were on which bent off to the left and slowly climbed uphill or there was a road that went straight on which was the more direct route and not as far but it took them up a very steep long slope which the guys could see in front of them. As they were both pondering which route to take a female jogger came past and Paul said to Phil that if she went straight on and jogged to the top of the slope then they would tackle that way. As they watched she did go straight on up the hill and the guys thought there was no way she would make it all the way to the top. But their amazement she not only made it to the top but disappeared over the other side without stopping. So with the route decided for them and the shower having past they set off up the steep hill called Boulby Bank.
The lads obviously weren’t as fit as the jog as they needed a breather half way up. As they looked behind them they could see the cliffs they were on top of before they went down into Runswick, they seemed a good distance away now and the lads were quite pleased in how far they had walked in the time. Having got their breath back they set off again and were very pleased to reach the top and see the road slowly slope downhill the other side. As they looked out in front of them they could see a town in the distance and wondered if that was Saltburn as it wasn’t that far away. Distance could be deceptive as it was a little further than the guys thought and it wasn’t Saltburn but a town called Broughton which the guys would discover later. As they walked along the quite country road they could hear a plane in the distance which started to get closer and louder. It wasn’t long before the guys could see what it was. It was a World War 2 fighter plane which was flying low over the fields and flew over them quite low. The plane buzzed over them a couple more times and the guys joked wondering weather it was Vicki who had walked with them a couple of days ago, they were waiting for some bottles of water to fall from the plane which she said she would drop off to them. After a few more miles they suddenly started going down a steep 20% gradient hill which was taking them right down to the sea. At the bottom of this steep hill were a beach and a village called Skinningrove. By the side of the beach there was a bench so the guys decided to have a sit down and take on some refreshments before tackling the last few miles. While having their break Phil checked the route and told Paul they could carry on along the road or get back on the shorter Cleveland Way. Phil should have known what Paul was going to say but he asked any way and Paul said with out hesitation he wanted to carry on the road. So after a short break and final part of the route sorted they were ready to set off again.
As they were heading through Skinningrove there was a guy with some kids around him and he had a golf club in his hand which the guys thought was quite random. He then placed a golf ball on the road given to him by one of the kids and proceeded to smash it again some garage doors and as the ball bounced off the kids chased it and fetched it before giving it back to him, very random thing to do in a street. He placed the ball on the ground and was about to hit it again when he noticed the guys and paused to allow them to pass. They had only just got past when just behind them there was a loud bang as the golf ball hit the garage door again before bouncing just behind the guys only just missing them before hitting a glass fronted door. The guys decided to pick the pace up and get away from there as quick as possible. As they walked up the road they past a few more ‘interesting’ people a young girl with blue hair and a lad with two girls which might have been his cousins, sisters, girlfriends or all three. Paul remarked he thought he was walking through the Shameless TV show and Phil was just waiting to pass a couple of guys sitting on their porch playing banjos. They were glad to get to the top of the hill and back on to the main road and out of the village. As they carried on up hill into Broughton Phil’s shin was really starting to hurt him and started to slow him down a bit so Paul had to keep stopping and waiting for him as he struggled up hill. As they got to the top of the hill they saw the sign for Saltburn and turned and started to head down hill towards Saltburn which they could now see in front of them. It was a long and winding down hill road but they finally got to the bottom and were greeted with the Welcome to Saltburn-by-the-Sea sign. After taking a few photos Phil spotted the hotel above them on a steep slope. They decided to have a quick 5 minute breather before tackling their last climb of the day.
Gratefully they were soon walking into the hotel and were looking forward to getting in their room. They were greeted by the bar staff who were expecting them and a girl sitting at the bar gave them a message off Greig at the Duke Of York who hoped they had had a good day. One of the bar staff then took them to their room. It was a long walk to the room which Phil wasn’t happy about as he just wanted to rest his leg. But they finally got their and both collapsed onto their beds as they were glad to get to the end of that day as it was their last 20 mile plus day of the walk it would be theoretically all down hill from here. After a soak in the bath and a rest and freshen up they were ready to go down for dinner. When they got back to the bar one of the bar staff said their boss wanted a word. The guys were a little worried and wondered what they had done but they needn’t have worried as when he returned he told them the boss, Cathy Kelly wanted to give them a drink on the house. The guys told him to thank her as she couldn’t be their as she had got called away to another hotel. After a couple of drinks and a very good meal the guys decided it was time for bed as they wanted to go back and listen to the football as there was an important game playing that night. Chelsea were playing Wigan and if Wigan didn’t win then they would be relegated and Paul’s and Phil’s team, Aston Villa would be safe from relegation from the Premier League. When the full time whistle had gone the guys were happy Wigan had lost and Villa were staying up so with these happy thoughts the guys got their heads down for a good nights sleep.
May 15th – Day 5 Spa Hotel, Saltburn-by-the-Sea to Metro Inns, Stockton-on-Tees
After a goods night sleep Paul woke up first and tried to motivate Phil but he wasn’t very happy as he hadn’t had a good night sleep as his left leg had been giving him jip all night. Paul told Phil to take some ibuprofen to try and ease the pain and swelling a bit just to help him get through to day. Luckily for Phil the days that were left were all less than 20 miles and that they were over half way along their route. So with pills took and both dressed they went down to breakfast. After there had filled there stomachs after a good cooked breakfast the guys returned to the room to finish getting the bags ready as the person who was collecting them would be there soon. When they got back to the room Phil realised he had missed place the pedometer the guys used to keep track of the mileage they were doing each day. He searched around the room for it and couldn’t find it so wondered if it had dropped off at breakfast so he would check when he got back down to the restaurant. After the bags were packed the guys went down to reception to wait for the gentleman who was going to pick the bags up. When they got down the man behind the bar asked if they had lost a pedometer to which they replied they had so the man handed it back to them. Phil then made sure it was fastened securely so not to lose it again. While they were waiting Paul and Phil tried ringing a few radio stations but had no joy. They began to do their stretches when Richard Hudson arrived to collect their bags. They had a short chat with him which they told him a little bit more about what they do and who the charity and found a little bit more about Richard. With time ticking on they decided to say their goodbyes and had a photo with one of the men at reception before setting off for Middlesbrough.
they said they would give them a mention but asked if they could ring back later in the day for a on air interview. So Phil left them his number and said he would speak to them later. With calls done and rest over they set off again.
They were making good progress and were soon passing the industrial area of Middlesbrough and heading towards a more residential area. They got into Ormsbey and were finally able to get onto a path and walk along side by side again. They had now been walking for a good couple of hours and Phil was really starting to suffer with his leg and kept lagging behind Paul but even though Phil could really do with a rest they wanted to get as far as they could before the rain that had been forecasted came. So Phil gritted his teeth and carried on after Paul up the road. Before long the rain began to fall and it wasn’t the best conditions not only was it that light rain that soaked you through but there was a cold sharp wind blowing as well. With the rain finally here the guys agreed with each other that the next pub they came to they would stop and have a break and take some shelter to warm through. But the first two pubs they came to were closed and Phil was starting to think they would never get a break but the third pub they came to was open and they went in. When inside they realised it wasn’t the best pub and looked like it had seen better days and in the bar area was a group of rowdy lads. Even as rough as it looked Phil just needed a rest so told Paul he didn’t care what it was like he just needed five to rest his leg. So the guys went into the lounge out of the way ordered a couple of cokes and went and sat down. Phil took some more pain killers and they had a good rest but before long it was time to hit the road again. So they had a stretch and went outside to carry on for the hotel which would be base camp for the night. Thankfully when they got outside the rain had stopped which help lift Phil’s mood a bit.
As they walked into the centre of Middlesbrough Paul noticed that a tall tower block was Teesside University and informed Phil that was where his step-son Michael was due to be going in the autumn all being well. Paul decided to ring his wife, Julia to inform her of what he could see above the sky line. Julia asked Paul what it was like and if the parking was any good but Paul explained he was a little far away to see. They were now nearing Stockton-On-Tees which was where the hotel for the night was and making good progress so decided to stop and call in to an Aldi that they were passing for some supplies. As they were walking around the shop Phil remembered something from the year before walk and thought there was a pattern starting to appear. On last years walk they past a supermarket and called in for some supplies and when they did that Phil happened to be taking his turn carrying the bag so on completion of the shop the shopping went into the rucksack and made it heavier and guess what was happening again this year. Yes you’ve guessed it Phil had the bag again when it was shopping time so the bag was filled with the supplies and Phil had to lug the extra weight again. Phil made a mental note that next time he would make sure that it would be Paul’s turn to carry the bag when they go on a shopping trip. After they had gone through the check out and were packing the rucksack an old lady came up to them to ask what they were doing after reading their t-shirts. So after they had explained the lady gave them a donation and wished them luck, they then thanked her and set off again on the road to Stockton.
They were soon crossing the Tees Newport Bridge and heading into Stockton-On-Tees when Phil’s phone rang. When he answered he found out it was Radio Tees ringing back for an on air interview. The person on the end of the phone explained that in thirty seconds he would be going on air to do the interview if that was ok. It wasn’t ideal as they were on a busy road but Phil agreed as it was good exposure and but his finger in his ear to try and drown out some of the noise. Phil got through his interview and when Phil got off the phone told Paul about it. With their mood lifted from the interview and from not being to far from the end of the walk they stopped to double check the route for the last mile. With the route double checked they carried on and after walking through an industrial estate and thinking they had took a wrong turn they found the hotel between two units. Upon checking in they are told there is no eating facilities in the evening so if they want food they can either go out and walk back into Stockton which Phil told Paul was a definite no because of his leg so the receptionist pointed to the wall where there were a number of takeaway menus to choose from. So they took a selection of menus and went up to their room. On arriving at their room Paul proceeded to open the door and went to walking in when the door suddenly stopped when only half open and Paul nearly walked straight into it. One of the beds in the room was right next to the door and impeded it opening fully. When they both managed to squeeze in to the room they looked round and wondered where everything was it wasn’t very big at all. There was very little room around the two beds and apart from the two beds there was only a sink in the corner, a TV on the wall and a small table between the beds where there was a kettle and a couple of cups. Where was the toilet, where was the bath, where was the shower. They went back out to investigate along the corridor there were three coloured doors, two of them were toilets and when looking inside they reminded them of a portaloo and the other door was a shower room which upon investigation was like a shower you get in a swimming pool where you have to press the button to get the water to come out for a limited time. The guys walked back to their room not knowing weather to laugh or cry. After getting back into their room after opening the door a little more carefully the second time and trying and failing to swing around the proverbial cat they concluded that even though it wasn’t up to the standard they normally get beggars can’t be choosers so just had a good laugh about it. As they had made good time during the day the guys decided to chill out and eat the snacks they had bought from the shop and chill out a bit before they showered and decided what takeaway to order for dinner.
After they had chilled out and been and showered they decided upon ordering pizza for their dinner and settled down to watch Chelsea play in the Europa Cup final. After a good fill of pizza and watching Chelsea win the cup they both decided to get there heads down ready for the walk to Hartlepool the next day.
May 16th - Day 6 Metro Inns, Stockton-On-Tees to the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool
The guys woke up on day 6 of Walk4Louis4 and were both in a buoyant mood as they knew they didn’t have to rush today as today was the shortest leg of the entire route so they could take there time and use it to recuperate a little bit. Phil’s leg was starting to feel a lot better and not half as sore as it was. Before they went down for breakfast Paul and Phil decided to ring around some radio stations to try and get some mentions. They got through to a few who said they would give them a mention. Paul managed to tune in to one of the radio stations on his phone and managed to catch the shout out but it wasn’t quite factual as the DJ said that they were just walking past the Angel of the North. After a relaxing start to the morning and bags packed they wondered down for breakfast. Paul was quite looking forward to another full English to fuel him for the day but was left disappointed when the woman on reception bought out their breakfast on a tray. There was some cereal, fruit, yoghurt, a pastry and a chocolate roll. When Paul asked if there was a cooked breakfast available the woman told him they could do him so toast if he wanted. Not quite what Paul had in mind so he declined and started to munch on his cold breakfast. After they had finished breakfast they return to the room to do some stretches but soon realised this wasn’t going to work as there was no room. So they went out into the corridor to do a proper warm up. While do some leg stretches Phil’s stomach suddenly turned over and he had to make a sudden dash for the toilet, perhaps the jalapenos on the pizza last night weren’t the best idea. Paul finished his stretches and got the bags and went down to reception to wait for Phil. After Phil’s insides had finished falling out he joined Paul in reception who was talking to a dog with a wonky leg. The guys thanked the receptionist and set off for a steady walk to Hartlepool.
The guys were in high spirits has they walked along chatting and joking with each other so much so that Phil neglected his map reading duties and after about half an hours walking and being very close to the Transporter Bridge Phil realised they must have taken a wrong turn as they should have got so close to the bridge. As Phil consulted the map to see where they had gone wrong Paul noticed a sign that said Seaton Carew on it. With his vague knowledge of the area he knew that wasn’t far from Hartlepool so suggested to Phil about following the signs to there and from there on to Hartlepool. After checking that route on his phone map Phil concurred that is was a viable route and they set off for Seaton Carew. They were soon out into the country and leaving the smog of Middlesbrough and Stockton behind, although there were still reminders of the industrial area as in the distance on both sides of the road were industrial buildings and oil and gas refineries. As they carried on along the road the guys became aware that a lot of the landscape on either side of the road were nature reserves and as they made their way along the road they past a lot of Ornithologists (bird watchers). They were there grouped together trying to get a glimpse of some bird or other with their binoculars and cameras primed at the ready. As they walked along they past some hides that were at the side of the road. Just hear the road forked so the guys decided to go off to the right and follow that as it lead towards an empty hide so they went to see if they could spot anything and may be call them selves amateur twitchers. After not being able to spot a single bird the guys concluded that they didn’t have a twitch between them and carried on. After a further 100 yards though they were stopped in their tracks. The road had disappeared, the road should have crossed a river but somebody and pinched the bridge and all that was left were the support legs of the bridge. The guys had to back track to the fork in the road and take the left path instead. As they got back on track and this time the road crossed the river as they looked out along the river they could see a herd of seals sunbathing on a sand bank so they stopped and took some photos and they saw a sign that called the place quite aptly Seal Sands.
After they had taken the photos they set off again after doing a bag swap and were soon heading into Seaton Carew. Just after they had taken some pictures of the towns welcome signs a man pull up in a car and said he had seen them a couple of times already today and asked where they were walking to and who was it for. After the guys explained the gentleman gave them a donation and wished them luck for the rest of their journey before driving off. As they carried on into Seaton Carew there was a sign on the side of a build saying Las Vegas. Not quite what the guys imagined Las Vegas to be like but appearances can be deceptive and they didn’t really have time to visit any casinos but you never know they might meet Elvis working in a fish and chip shop (or so the song says). They were soon walking along the sea front and as they were making good progress decided to slow down and take in the view and enjoy the sea breeze as the sun was back out and shining today. As they walked along the sea front they came across a café so decided to go in for a drink and a snack.
May 17th – Day 7 the Grand Hotel Hartlepool to the Harbour View Hotel, Seaham
Well the penultimate day had arrived and the guys new that the end was now insight only just over 30 miles to go and their goal would be achieved. They both woke feeling fresh and both got them selves ready for their 8 o’clock breakfast date. Once Paul was ready he picked up his rucksack and came down and knocked on Phil’s door. Once Phil had answered Paul dropped his bag in the room and they both went down for breakfast. After putting fuel in their stomachs for the day ahead they returned to Phil’s room to do their warm up routine (Mr Motivator style J). Once fully stretched out they picked up their rucksacks and went down to reception to check out. After checking out they asked the receptionist if they could have their photo took with her which she was more than happy to oblige with. After photo took and rucksacks left to be moved later the guys set off into Hartlepool.
Just around the corner Paul remember a promise he had made to Anna Foster a DJ on Magic 1152 that he had rung earlier in the week. He had told her he would ring again on Friday to give her an update on the walk and how they were doing. Paul thought it would be a good idea if Phil spoke to her this time to give her another perspective. So they pulled off the pavement and into a Morrison’s car park to get away form the noise of the traffic and stood in a trolley park shelter in get out of the wind so as to be able to be heard ok and then Paul rang the number and handed the phone to Phil. Phil was then taken live on air and gave Anna and her listeners an update on how they were doing and to thank people for their continued support through the walk. After the interview was over Anna wished them luck before saying goodbye. After filling Paul in with what was said they carried on down the road. It wasn’t long before they were passing Victoria Park home of Hartlepool United Football Club. Paul’s friend John Appleby was a ‘Monkey Hanger’ and a big ‘Pool’ fan so Paul stopped to take some photos of the ground and told Phil where he and John would go when they came to watch a game together and where they would go drinking. After Paul had took his photos they carried on down the road and were soon on the road out of Hartlepool.
The next place name sign they came to made the guys chuckle it was called Blackhall Rocks and they both wondered if Blackhall did well and truly rock. As they walked through they saw no real sign of anything that they would deem rocks and were having a joke between themselves over this when a lorry slowed up as it went passed them before pulling over just ahead of them. The driver got out of his cab and shouted towards them and came over to them. The guys hope he wasn’t lost and looking for directions as they didn’t have much of a clue where they were only where they had been. But the guys were wrong he didn’t need directions he had drove past them a few minutes earlier and noticed the local on their t-shirts and recognised it as the trust set up by his sister Julie Reay. When she had heard what the guys were doing she had contacted Paul and asked him if she made a donation to the walk would they be willing to have the trust fund she had set up for her son Peter to which he agreed. He explained that after seeing the guys he had rung his sister who then filled her brother into what they were doing and why they had the trust logo on their t-shirt. So he came back looking for them but could believe how far the guys had come in a short period of time and said they must be a lot fitter than he was. He then asked if he could take their photo so he could show to Julie that he had seen them. So he took a couple of photos then wished the guys well and returned to his truck. His that chance meeting giving the guys a bit of a boost they set off again with smiles on their faces and it wasn’t long before a couple of elderly gentleman stopped them and asked if they had a collection tin for a donation. The guys got there tub out of the bag and the gentle explained that they had heard the interview Phil had gave on the radio that morning with Anna Foster. The guys thanked them for their donation and set off again with a spring in their step as they headed towards Seaham.
It wasn’t long before they had found the hotel and went in to check in. After a quick glass of coke at the bar the woman behind the bar took them up to their room for the night. After settling in and having a rest they both decided that they would get organised for tomorrow and sort their bags out so that they would have to mess around tomorrow or later. After the bags were sorted the guys caught the weather report at the end of the news and it wasn’t good. The wind was going to pick up during the evening and bring with it torrential rain through the night and tomorrow morning. Now more than ever both guys hoped the weather girl was going to be wrong. But as they looked out of the window they could already see the size of the waves that had started to crash up the harbour wall the weather was already starting to turn. After getting ready to go for something to eat they went down stairs and met Liam the owner who had agreed to put them up for the night and after a chat about the charity the guys asked if they did food to which Liam replied no. So with that they asked where there was good to go for something to eat. He told them that not a lot was open this time of year and told them about a few places including a Wetherspoons. So after thanking Liam for his help they ventured out into Seaham to find something to eat. The first place they found was an Italian but this was a little pricey so they ventured on and after almost given up hope on finding anything else that was open Phil spotted a Wetherspoons at the top of the road. As they got to the door there were two bouncers on there and as they were about to walk in one of them but his arm out and told them that they could not go in as they had tracksuit bottoms on. Phil looked inside and it was relatively quiet so couldn’t believe they were turning away trade and Paul tried to explain what they were doing and that they had nothing to get changed into but they would not relent so they had to find some where else to eat. After both were feeling tired after the weeks walking they had done they both decided to head back to the Italian they had first come across and just eat there.
When they got to the Italian the guy behind the bar there told them they were busy tonight and that it would be a couple of minutes before they could get a table. So they ordered a drink and while they waited Paul told the gentleman behind the bar what had happened to them at Wetherspoons. His reply to this was that they normal had a dress code there but would let them off as they had somebody stopping there that was doing a walk. This jogged Paul’s memory and he remembered that Ruth Amos one of the ladies that were doing the final leg of the walk with them tomorrow was stopping here at the Italian as they had a few hotel rooms as well. Paul then texted Ruth to let her know that they were having dinner in the Italian where she was stopping and she texted back saying she would be there in about half an hour. The guys were then shown through to their table and after looking at the menu ordered some food. After they were just finishing their meal a gentleman behind Paul had read their t-shirts and asked them about their walk. After the guys had filled him in he asked the waiter if he would fetch the owner, Massimo for him. When he came over the gentleman said to Massimo if he would give the guys their meal for free he would match what ever the value was and give it to the charity. The owner refused saying his wife wouldn’t let him and would be very angry with him if he did something like that. So instead of giving them a donation the gentleman said he would pay for their meals instead. After the gentleman had paid the guys both thank him and he and his family wished them good luck and good night before leaving. Just as he left Ruth Amos turned up and after checking in to her room and freshening up she joined the guys at their table and ordered some food. After a brief catch up Ruth’s food arrived so the guys said they would leave her in peace while she ate and told her to come up to them at the hotel they were stopping at as Paul was meeting one of his mates there as well for a drink or two.
Back at the Harbour View Hotel the guys found Jeff, Paul mate waiting for them at the bar and after getting some drinks in they went and sat down. As it was a Friday night the hotel had a disco on which was playing dance music quite loudly so if was a little hard to talk but they managed to get through. After a short while Ruth arrived and the guys got her a drink in and they all sat and had a good chat about things. After an enjoyable evening with Ruth and Jeff it was time to retire and get a good night's sleep before the final day of Walk4Louis4 in the morning.
May 18th – Day 8 the Harbour View Hotel, Seaham to the Angel of the North, Gateshead
The guys awoke to the pitter patter of rain on the window and when Phil got up and looked out of the window he could see that the weather had taken a turn for the worse. There was a man out walking his dog across the green outside of the hotel and he had full wet weather gear on. The sky was dark grey and looked like ink spilled from a bottle and didn’t look very inviting at all and it definitely wasn’t a morning to be out walking 14 miles, but that was what the guys had to do come hell or high water. They had arranged for every one who was doing the walk with them that day to meet at the Harbour View Hotel at 9 but before this the guys had to brave the weather to go and find somewhere for breakfast as the hotel did not do food. So they reluctantly got themselves dressed and ventured out into the rain. As they ventured up the road it became apparent that it had been raining all night as there were already large puddles on the road and on the pavement that they had to dodge round or jump over. This wasn’t filling there hearts with joy as they decided to head to Weatherspoons for breakfast and hoped there wasn’t a dress code for breakfast. It was only a five minute walk to get there and with no bouncers on the door to refuse them entry they went in, even though it was only a short walk they were already pretty much soaked. They took off there coats and sat down at a table to look through the menu to choose what they wanted for breakfast. After choosing what they wanted and ordering they sat and waited for there food to be brought to them. As they sat there they looked outside at the street which was on a slight slope and noticed that the water had started to form a stream as it ran down the street. The guys thought in trepidation for the day ahead and what it obstacles they would face on there route to the Angel. Before long there food arrived and it wasn’t long before they were both looking at empty plates. They then put back on there coats and headed back to the hotel.
In Fencehouse the group arrived at their next checkpoint and went into the Dun Cow for a drink and toilet break. After a refreshing drink the group and warm the group headed back out and carried on towards Chester-Le-Street. The rain had finally started to ease and stop which helped spur the group on. The group made good progress and although still dodging the puddles they made it into Newton. Here Bob needed to stop for a toilet break so as Bob popped behind a tree the group carried on. Soon the group realised they had left Bob quite a distance behind so slowed up a bit to allow him to catch up but he still wasn’t catching up. They realised on closer inspection looking behind them that Bob was talking to someone in a car that had pulled up alongside him. Paul realised it was Bob’s wife, Tracey who had stopped to talk to Bob. Tracey then drove up to the rest of them so they stopped for a rest and to chat to Tracey to allow Bob chance to catch up. Bob finally caught them up and said he had been tempted to jump in with Tracey to catch the group up as his legs were hurting but he had resisted temptation as he didn’t want to let the group down. Tracey said she we see the group at the golf club where Paul had arranged to meet his wife, Julia and their daughter Lily who was going to walk the last couple of miles with them. As Tracey drove off Phil received a phone call off his wife saying that she was lost and didn’t know where she was or how to get to the Angel of the North. She had been diverted off the motorway by the police due to flooding and her battery was now running low on her phone. Phil tried to help out as best he can by trying to guess where she might be and give her some kind of direction. After Phil came off the phone the group set off again.
After an uphill push for the last couple of miles they finally saw they Angel of the North and pushed on to the finish where Tracey and Julia were waiting to cheer the walkers in. The entire group were glad to be finally at the finish wet and weary but very happy of their achievement. Photos were taken and the walkers had some food. Medals were then presented before the champagne corks were popped and Paul and Phil got drenched in champagne spray. As they were celebrating a gentleman came up and asked what was happening and Bob explained to him what had gone on. After hearing the explanation the gentleman gave a donation and told them all well done. It was soon time for the group to part as the 2 Ruths wanted to get back to their car and make their way home. So Paul and Phil thanked them for coming to accompany them on their walk again this year and wished them a safe journey home. They then said goodbye to Bob And Tracey and thanked Bob for coming to experience a day with them. He told them that after that day he was full of admiration of what the guys put themselves through for the charity as he could believe how hard the day had been. So Bob and Tracey left with the 2 Ruths giving them a lift back to their car. Which left Paul, Phil, Julia and Lily who were waiting for Phil’s wife, Charlotte to turn up as she still hadn’t got there and Phil still hadn’t managed to get in contact with her and he was very worried as he knew how distressed his wife gets when she gets lost and she also had their Granddaughter in the car with her. After about half an hour which seemed like longer to Phil Charlotte arrived. She had been helped by a Geordie Good Samaritan who had allowed Charlotte to follow him to get her to the Angel after seeing her in distress. They both thanked the gentleman for his kind hearted gesture.
Walk4Louis would like to thank the following for their help they gave to make Walk4Louis 4 possible, without your time, help and generosity none of what we have achieved would have been possible:
Sharmayne Repetto, Vicky Lamb, Jayne King, Emily Hannah, Ashley John Hastings, Louise Largan, Laura Nell and Julia Taft for helping move their bags from one hotel to the next each day.
Premier Inn York North West, Old Lodge Hotel (Malton), The Royal Hotel (Scarborough), The Duke of York (Whitby), The Spa Hotel (, Metro Inns Stockton on Tees, The Grand Hotel Hartlepool and The Harbour View Hotel Seaham for given us a complimentary room to stop in on our walk.
Vicky Lamb, Denise(Vicky’s Mum), Ruth Amos, Ruth Warring and Bob McGurrell for accompanying them on a leg of the walk and giving the guys the support to complete the leg.
To all our followers on social media who gave us support every day of our walk
To everyone who donated money towards our challenge
To the Geordie Good Samaritan who helped get Phil’s wife to the Angel of the North