THE WRITTEN WARD - Coast to coast Day 6

In September I went on an amazing adventure with a buddy named James Mosley. He's been a great friend of mine for more than 30 years. We hiked coast to coast across northern England. This is part of a series of articles about that hike.

This was the most challenging day -- and one of the most rewarding for its magnificent views! Take a look at this one. The photo below was taken toward the end of the day - and it shows some of the moors we crossed over and up and down.

stone wall

Each morning now started with a re-bandaging of James’s blisters. . The problems were still there but under control. James was OK. We would hike on!

James on path

The route from Osmotherly to Clay Bank was about 12 tough miles.

Don into woods

It started out through Arncliffe Wood. Then came the climb. It was up and down over moor after moor.

James climbing

Again, you can see from some of these pictures just how sweaty we were.

Sweaty Don


These are more than hills. The moors are mini mountains, rising about 1,300 feet from the valley below. The route took us up and down five or six of them. It would have been easier just to walk along the valley floor, but this hike was never about easy.

James moor view

Don moor view

The reward was the stunning views up and down, mile after mile over the moors.

Patchwork view

After a few hours we stopped at the absolute coolest lunch spot on the whole hike! We found a small rock outcropping along the path on the downhill side of one of the moors. It was hundreds of feet above the valley below and it was a spectacular spot for a sandwich!

Lunch spot

We were now following a well-known route called The Cleveland Way. The rest of our route intersected often with that one and another coast to coaster called The Wainwright. Now we were just admiring the views and knocking out the miles!


James high path

The stone paths were hard on us. Climbing up a steep hillside was tough on the legs and lungs, and coming back down was really rough on the feet and ankles. We were tested on the moors.

James walks down

One final steep climb to a formation called the Wain Stones. To get around these we actually had to go on hands and knees for about 100 yards in one spot. It was fun.

Wain stones

It was good to finally be finished with the moors. A few more windy pictures to take advantage of those views, then it was all downhill to the end of this leg.

GC valley view

The views were well worth the climb, and the next climb, and the next!
Up next: day 7 brings collusion among hikers.
We’ll talk again soon.