THE LYKE WAKE WALK is a complete crossing of the North Yorkshire moors along their main east-west watershed between the Stone at grid reference 470994 and the Trig point at 971012, a distance of approximately 40 miles. Every person who completes a crossing of the Lyke Wake Walk on foot within a period of 24 hours, and who reports it to the Club, is eligible for membership. There is no membership fee. Female members are titled Witch and males are titled Dirger.
FIRE ALERT: Tinderbox conditions in the North York Moors National Park have forced the Authority to call its second fire alert in three months. National Park Rangers are putting up fire risk notices and visitors are asked to be extra vigilant because of the increased risk of moorland and forest fires. They will remain in place until the danger passes.
Bernie McLinden, the Authority’s Head of Park Management, said: “People are asked to avoid lighting fires and BBQs and not to discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles including throwing cigarette ends out of car windows.
“If people see a fire, they should report it quickly to the fire service by dialling 999 so that they can take the appropriate action. As the controlled heather burning period for gamekeepers has now ended, any fire spotted will be a wild fire and should be reported.”
Bernie continued: “Past episodes have shown that under these tinderbox conditions, moorland fires can spread extremely quickly causing significant damage to the landscape and its wildlife. The majority of moorland fires can be prevented so we would urge people to take extra care when visiting the National Park while the fire risk signs are in place.”
The Fourth Edition of the Lyke Wake Walk Guide Book has just been published. Now in full colour throughout with maps photos, B&Bs and campsites also crossing times and kit lists, this is the essential guide to buy before you cross. See the Things to Buy page.
SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY: Throughout 2012 the North York Moors are celebrating sixty years of being a National Park. The Club is playing its part in these celebrations: we sponsored a short story competition with local schools, based on the unusual and weird place names in the moors. Congratulations to the Joint Overall Winners: Toby Welford from Fylingdales C of E Primary School (Ness Point) and Toby Antcliff from Helmsley Community Primary School (Adder Stone). There’s more, including links to all the entries, over on the North York Moors website (scroll down to Children’s Story Competition).
Have you seen this man wandering the moors?
Many times people have asked Lyke Wake Club secretary Gerry Orchard how many Lyke Wake crossings he has done – He says “I have to give the same old answer…………… I don’t actually know. I know it is well over 160 and possibly as high as 200.”
So Gerry has launched an appeal (and no, it does not involve giving him money…). If you have done a crosssing with him, please get in touch. More details here.
Also, during 2013, Gerry Orchard is planning to complete a crossing of the Lyke Wake walk in each month of the year. Assuming that injury doesn’t intervene, the Summer crossings should be relatively straightforward affairs ( yea – right !! ), however those in the winter months promise to offer a somewhat unpredictable challenge. Given that he already has many weekends devoted to matters non Lyke Wake that can’t be moved, 2013 could well be an “interesting” year…………………………….
The Lyke Wake Walk Elevation Chart: The latest addition to our range of things to buy is the Elevation Chart (picture on the things to buy page) showing the ups and downs and highlights of your walk, available as a glossy A4 photograph or an A3 canvas print. Wicking T-shirt: Another recent addition to our range of things to buy is this wicking T-shirt: ideal to wear when walking, very light, wicking and soft to the touch. More information about both of these on the things to buy page.
Osmotherley Youth Hostel has a new future: Osmotherley Youth Hostel, which was to close at the end of the 2011 season, has been saved. Jon and Helen Hill, who run the neighbouring Cote Ghyll campsite, have agreed a partnership with YHA so that Osmotherley Hostel will continue to operate as before but now in private ownership, and renamed Cote Ghyll Mill. The new owners are familiar with the needs of Lyke Wake Walkers as they meet many who use the campsite at the start or finish of their journey and they look forward to meeting many more in the Hostel. Read more about Cote Ghyll Mill.
As usual, please respect the moors (Countryside Code) taking particular care during periods of adverse weather. During hot weather there can be a severe fire risk and the route may be closed at short notice – more about this on the Preparations page. Winter can be equally challenging: the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge was cut off for eight days in December 2010.
Please avoid any disturbance to people who live on or near the route. Please refrain from bringing vehicles into Osmotherley and Ravenscar during ‘antisocial’ hours and likewise avoid making noise near residential areas such as Scugdale.
Equally, please take care not to disturb wildlife on this fragile environment that is home to a number of rare and important species. This is particularly true on Fylingdales Moor, which is now managed for conservation by the Hawk and Owl Trust.
Here you will find all the information you need to:
- tell you about the Walk;
- organise and achieve your crossing successfuly and safely;
- report your crossing to the Club;
- buy badges, clothing etc to celebrate your crossing, and
- come to Wakes to socialise with others who have made the crossing.
In addition you can:
- Read about Bill Cowley who, with others, made the first crossing and founded the original Club;
- Discover the history of the Lyke Wake Walk;
- learn more about the Lyke Wake Dirge;
- Read about the Club’s exhibition at the Ryedale Folk Museum.
- Read the Club's Objectives and Rules
The new club, a members' club, is a non-profit-making body whose stated objects are: -
- promoting interest in the North Yorkshire Moors, their history and folklore.
- assisting in safeguarding the moorland environment.
- encouraging the sports of long-distance walking and running.
- providing advice and fellowship for those taking part.
With the new Club on a sound financial footing, we intend to use the Club's future income from merchandise sales etc to the advantage of the Lyke Wake community. So far the Club has made a donation to help with the upkeep of the route in the area of the Lords Stone Café, and in 2009 substantial amounts were presented to the two Search and Rescue teams which cover the North York Moors. We are now offering modest grants to young Dirgers and Witches who are unemployed or in full time education, in order to help them participate in an adventurous activity, project or training. More information is on our grants page.
THE NEW LYKE WAKE CLUB is dedicated to the memory of the late BILL COWLEY, who, with others, made the first crossing of the LYKE WAKE WALK on 1st October 1955.
Bill died on 14th August 1994. The ‘Old’ Lyke Wake Club closed down on its 50th anniversary on 1st October 2005. We regret the closure of the ‘Old’ club, but look forward to the future. We believe the ‘New’ Lyke Wake Club has a valuable function in recording crossings, arranging meetings in the form of Wakes for like-minded individuals and in campaigning for responsible access to the Cleveland moors under the CROW Act 2000.
THE COUNCIL OF ELDERS
The club is managed by a Council, which consists of the elected officers plus every Past Master and Past Mistress. The council of Elders meets formally at least once a year, but discusses issues informally on an ongoing basis.
The club supports
- reducing moorland erosion.
- defining the Lyke Wake Walk as a right-of-way.
- marking the Lyke Wake Walk on Ordnance Survey maps.
- discouraging excessively large groups on the Lyke Wake Walk.
- creating and implementing a programme for path repair and waymarking.
ALL EXISTING DIRGERS AND WITCHES are entitled to membership of the new club. Please fill out this contact slip and send it or email it to the hon. secretary.
You might also be able to help us to find other dirgers. Bill Cowley's filing system consisted of a tea-chest into which he threw letters after he had replied to them. When the tea-chest was full Bill made a bonfire of the contents and started again. Not much has changed since. Consequently our mailing list started out somewhat scanty. We shall be most grateful for any names and addresses you can let us have.
If you have a website please link to us! This will also help lost dirgers and witches to find us. The address to link to is http://www.lykewake.org
To be kept informed of Club events, please either:
- (Preferably) send your email address to our contact email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- send a small pile of SAEs to our contact address:
Gerry Orchard, General Secretary NLWC,
Angram Grange, Cold Kirby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire YO7 2HL
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE CLUB AND ITS MEMBERS
The club maintains this website www.lykewake.org which is regularly updated. The secretary, Gerry Orchard, is happy to reply to E-mails sent to We know that not all members have an E-mail address. For members with a postal address the club prints off the website information as a Newsletter and this is always available. Please write to Gerry Orchard, enclosing an A5 stamped, self-addressed envelope. We are sorry but because of the high cost of postage, it is impractical to send out a postal Newsletter to everyone each time we update the website