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#54443 - 22/03/10 06:42 PM The cleveland way and vertigo
embla Offline
New Member

Registered: 22/03/10
Posts: 3
Loc: norway
My husband and I are thinking of walking parts of the Cleveland Way, but I am slightly afraid of heights... I'm OK as long as I stay about 6 feet away from the edge of a hill/mountain - especially if there is open scenery on the other side.

Has anyone walked the Cleveland Way and can tell me if the trail is very close to edges of the hillsides? The guidebook says that parts of the trail are strenous and close to the cliff's edge, but how close is close?
Thank you very much for any feedback:)

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#54445 - 22/03/10 07:07 PM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: embla]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
The Helmsley to Osmotherly section takes you along the top of the Cleveland Hills, giving fantastic views but always on a good, well made up track away from the steep edges. At no time should vertigo be a problem here. You could miss out the White Horse extension if you feel that there could be a problem here.

Osmotherly to Saltburn. Some climbs but none to worry a vertigo sufferer as the path is wide enough to keep you away from the drops. You are high up so it is heights that worry you or the closeness to an edge? Avoid Roseberry Topping, or at least assess it first.

Your problems will occur after leaving Saltburn and heading down the cliffs. You are, at some points, quite close to the edge and walking on quite a narrow path with a drop to the seaward side. The worst area is around the railway line which curves to the coastline at one point. There are numerous other places where you are close to the edge, albeit perhaps only for a matter of metres..

Plan well in advance and perhaps do a recce and in many cases these can be avoided by a short inland detour. Look at a map and see just where the problems could be and see if there is an alternative inland route. (the X93 bus is useful if you want to miss out a short section)

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#54452 - 23/03/10 09:32 AM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: slowcoach]
embla Offline
New Member

Registered: 22/03/10
Posts: 3
Loc: norway
Thank you so much for the quick reply!

I dont really have a problem with being high up, its only when Im close to the edge I feel veeery uncomfortable. We are Norwegian and walked Aurlandsdalen in Norway last summer, and that was horrible at times. Or scenic, if youre not afraid of heights:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MA05GrBllk

Is the path quite close to the edge all the way from Saltburn to, say, Scarborough, or is it just the first stretch from Saltburn?
I have tried to find videos and pictures from this part of the trail, but they mostly show a wide field on one side with a drop to the sea on the other side... It looks like it is possible to just step off the path and walk a few feet further in. But are there many parts where you have the drop on one side and the cliffs on the other side, so that you have no choice but to walk on a narrow path?

Again: thank you so much for your reply.

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#54456 - 23/03/10 10:41 AM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: embla]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
The distance between the path and the cliff edge varies throughout the Saltburn to Filey section quite a lot. At some places, generally very short sections, you are on the edge itself. But, as the walk is a national trail (as opposed to the C to C which isn't) it attracts government funding to maintain its surface. For short periods you will have a drop quite close to you, and at one point, south of Runswick, you have to negotiate a short scramble up a river channel. However, for the vast majority of the walk there is either a good safety margin on the seaward side or an alternative means of passage at the other side of the field fencing!

To be honest, I wouldn't let it worry you too much unless your vertigo is particularly severe. There are generally alternatives, although they may add a short distance onto the walk. Even the Runswick scramble can be bypassed at some inconvenience. There are no places where you walk for miles with a precipice on one side. You may just have 50m of edge walking within three or four miles of safer walking. And these can be followed by a refreshing cuppa in the next village!

Don't get hung up on this, it really isn't that bad and remember, videos tend to exaggerate everything!

Enjoy the trip!

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#54457 - 23/03/10 11:20 AM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: slowcoach]
embla Offline
New Member

Registered: 22/03/10
Posts: 3
Loc: norway
Well, I think well take the chance:) The trail looks just beautiful and we really want to go, so Ill just have to brace myself.
Thank you so much for the thorough reply - its been a great help!
embla

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#56632 - 28/06/10 07:50 AM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: embla]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
slowcoach. It is some time since I walked the CW and I do suffer from severe fear of heights. There are places along the cliffs very close to the edge (and in some places the edge was half way across the path). But I managed to walk the route, sometimes going inland by 50yds to walk parallel to my mate who was enjoying balancing along the edge. In some places I remember that we had to make quite a detour in land where the earth had completely given way.

I take issue with you about the CW being a National Trail and would be well maintained. I found little evidence of this except where the walk goes along sea front promenades.

Most of the walk I found to be the same as the C2C, wherein it is necessary to find your own way and make your own decisions on where to walk.

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#56643 - 28/06/10 04:15 PM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
There is now a full time Cleveland Way officer (Malcolm Hodgson) and 2 full time field staff whose job is now to maintain the route. Probably when you last did it they weren't in place so you would notice a significant change. The whole route is walked by the full time staff at least once a year. The bogs between Roseberry Topping and Highcliffe Nab have now been flagged. The legal line at the places that you mentioned have been re-established on their correct route and a whole array of new steps built to take you across the sections that were eroding into the sea. Long stretches (about 30 miles!) do still exist where you walk on the cliff edge but this is merely cliff top walking rather than teetering on the edge of the abyss. Only 2 short sections still remain where erosion has not been contained and this is being dealt with at the moment, but neither should hinder the average walker. And, let's face it, if anyone is intending to walk along a cliff top route anywhere in Britain, whilst it should be safe, there should be an expectation of some drops to the seaward side.. viz-a-viz the South West Coast path which has far more challenging cliff sections (have you walked west from Zennor?) and the Pembrokeshire Coastal path which follows a similar pattern.

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#56833 - 30/06/10 07:40 AM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Hi slowcoach. Have not walked the SWC but had a look at it from Google Earth. There looks to be a few "Oh my God" moments.

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#56856 - 30/06/10 10:01 PM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
You either love or hate the SW coast path. People enjoy the scenery, the availability of refreshments along the way and the ever present sea. Others find it interminably boring once they pass Zennor with endless ups and downs and the ever present feeling that there is a long way to go and more of the same. Another problem down in those heathen parts is the great reluctance of bed and breakfasts to accept single night bookings in high (and sometimes mid) season. (There is one refreshment kiosk, near St Agnes I think, which sells hedgehogs. These are gigantic ice creams covered in nuts and other goodies. Not to be missed, even at about 3 a throw!)

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#56880 - 01/07/10 07:22 PM Re: The cleveland way and vertigo [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Slowcoach. Re heathen accommodation. Earlier this year I thought that I would have a weeks walk along the South Downs Way, through West Sussex. I gave it up as a bad job because pubs wanted anything between 120 to 240 p.n.p.p for B&B. Who do they think they are kidding?

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