Allison’s personal journey along Yorkshire Wolds Way Walk, which she has been doing to fundraise for our charity
Our Allison Cuthbertson has been at it again – doing what she loves, and what she does best! Taking on fitness challenges is much more than a hobby for Allison. Each time she swims Lake Bala, spends 24 hours strutting on a treadmill, and more recently – trekking the Yorkshire Wolds Way Walk – she dedicates her efforts to Case Training Services. She does it for Case. She thinks of Case while she’s doing it. She keeps us updated on her every adrenaline rush and speed bump, no matter what happens. This adventure was no different. Here’s Allison’s journey along the tough Yorkshire Wolds Way Walk, in her own words.
Thursday 25th March
Day 1 of my adventure: Yorkshire Wolds Way, Hessle to South Cave via the River Humber. The start of Yorkshire Wolds Way.
I set off from the Humber Bridge at around 10am, a beautiful sunny day with the excitement of an adventure before me. The intention was to walk to South Cave. I was to head west along the banks of the River Humber, then inland towards Brantingham and into South Cave. It was a long route, but I couldn’t wait.
Like any challenges of this kind, I hit hiccups. They’re called challenges, after all – I needed to prepare for them and most importantly, be kind to myself. I’d come a long way. As I approached the tide nearing River Humber, the water was too high to follow the route. The tide should have been receding by now, but it wasn’t. I guess you can’t predict natural environments.
“My feet were beginning to feel all those yards I accidentally walked”
I ended up taking the high tide route through North Ferriby. That was OK, some helpful locals gave me directions, but then I got a bit confused and left the route as I walked under the A63 instead of crossing it. After a short while I realised my mistake, I retraced my steps and got back on track. This piled extra steps atop an already rigorous and lengthy walk, and my feet were beginning to feel those yards I accidentally travelled.
I met a couple of guys, also walking the Yorkshire Wolds Way Walk, they had come up from Southampton and intended on taking 7 days to complete it. I walked with them for a short while, but let them wander off into the distance around lunchtime. It was lovely to have the company, and it took my mind off the throbbing sensation in my toes and the soles of my hardworking feet.
The importance of having the support of others really hit me at that moment, and I was reminded of the difficulty I had taken on in doing this challenge alone. I was strong in my mind and body, and I had to remember that no matter how this played out.
“It was the journey, not the destination, that had captured my determination”
I walked up through the woodlands to South Hunsley – past the quarry works – and shortly after, we found the Scout Camp. A group was making pizzas for 27 people – incredible, I thought. Another reminder of teamwork making the dream work! Turning left, we headed for Brantingham then north and up some big hills. With big hills came spectacular views. Wow.
By the time I was approaching South Cave, I spotted the two guys ahead of me and we walked into South Cave together. They went off to find their hotel for the night and I found a very friendly hostelry to quench my thirst before heading home on the bus.
Friday 26th May
Day 2 of my adventure: South Cave to Market Weighton.
I knew this route as I’d walked it previously. It was familiar ground, which helped my confidence. I knew where I was going and I was excited to explore it once more.
Heading East from the centre of South Cave I found the track to the left, up a short hill and into the woodland. I’ve walked this bit a few times with trainees from Case and fond memories flickered through my head. They urged me to keep going when I felt like taking a sooner pit stop.
Heading up the hill then a left turn along the gravel path past the vineyards. The gorgeous, green-spanning space served as a reminder of the secondary reason I was doing this – aside from raising essential funds for Case – because I wanted to feel these rushes. They’re part of my personality… and challenging myself is a trait that’s engrained in me.
“I was uncomfortably warm and my feet began to throb”
Then take a right turn into a field of sheep where I also spot some birds of prey, 4 of them flying high enjoying the thermal waves, below me is a clear water stream. It was just beautiful. I doubled back into more woodland, a respite from the sun, but it was still uncomfortably warm. I left the birds of prey behind me and continued to follow the path around a field and through more fields. I took a quick break to breathe and admire the views. Once I’d rested my feet and topped up on drinking water, I powered on toward the farmland.
In the valley, I came across a field of clover and poppies, a very unexpected sight. In the distance a couple of young deer lay still and turbines whir, cutting through the silence. I reassure myself that I’m walking the right way.
“My sweet friend stopped by to support me. It hit me that I’d been walking all day long”
I stop for lunch at the highest point of today’s walk while the sun is hot. I needed a break; my sandwiches were warm, too – but I ate them anyway. There’s no chance of a Sainsbury’s or Asda Superstore in these parts – and no chance of a new lunch – but refuelling my body was more important. I take note to pack a cooling bag and reusable ice pack for next time.
The final part of the walk was through the farmland at Arram and then along the road from Goodmanham to Market Weighton where I find another hostelry. Brenda, another Case staff member and sweet friend of mine, stopped to say `hello` on her way home from work. It struck me that I’d been walking all day long! I appreciated her support more than words could say.
Day three: heading towards Thixendale.
Today was always going to be the hardest day, and it turned out to be the hottest day, too.
Once I found my directions I set out from Market Weighton. I wanted to complete the Yorkshire Wolds Way Walk in 5 days, so I needed to rethink my route today. Instead of following the route to Millington and then to Thixendale, I decided to go via Warter and Huggate then Fridaythorpe, and finally to Thixendale. This meant a lot of road walking that covered over 20 miles.
§cI filled up my water bottle at the Fish Lake, knowing I’d need it later”
Anyway, off I went, out of Market Weighton and following signs to Huggate. I headed into Warter. As water is at a premium in the Wolds, I stopped at a fish lake and filled up my water filter knowing I’d need it later. Using the resources around you is important when you take on challenges of this ilk, or if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere for real. We need water to maintain basic human functions – and especially in the heat.
Today’s high point had more wonderful views across Yorkshire. The weather was so clear and I could see right across to the west and down to the Humber. The smell of the wild garlic was wonderful but it did lead to hunger. How I craved some freshly baked garlic bread, or a filling pasta! I found a tree to sit under to have more warm sandwiches, instead. The cool of the shade was welcome.
I had another climb ahead of me before a long descent that led me to another tree for a bit more respite from the heat. I spotted a hare hopping merrily by and took note to tell my Trainees about it later.
“I was feeling disheartened; hot, thirsty, and worried about my phone running out of juice”
On to Huggate: I was feeling very disheartened at this point. I was too hot, too thirsty, and worried about my phone charge running out and my feet becoming sore. I was in the middle of nowhere with no way of getting home – and so on I went. Luckily, I had the water bottle that I’d filled at the Fish Lake earlier. I saw a sign for a café. The thought of a cold drink kept me going as I headed into the village. I couldn’t find the café but I did find a hostelry, and what a sight! A place for a good rest and some food, as well as the cold drink we mouth watered for.
I chose ham, egg, and chips – it was a fantastic meal and a good price, the ham was so thick, none of this wafer-thin ham! The protein from the meat and eggs, the salts, plus the carbohydrates of the chips is exactly what my body needed. I couldn’t eat it all so the landlady wrapped up the leftover ham for later. I was being resourceful again!
I left thinking, “if I get to Fridaythorpe I’ll be halfway, so I’ll be happy with that”. The heat lessened so I pushed myself to carry on. As I crossed into North Yorkshire (I didn’t realise I was that far north), I could feel a blister growing on the bottom of my right foot. I headed down Huggate Hill (a 14% hill that seemed to go on forever) but I persevered and found Thixendale and another hostelry.
“My Knight in her Shining Red Corsa came to my rescue”
By now, my right foot was very painful. I thought it would be OK after a night in a hedgerow. But, once my boots were off, it became clear I had to stop. I called for backup. I was cold and sore now, so I opted to walk back up Huggate Hill, which kept me warm and gave me an amazing sunset before my Lady Knight in a Shining Red Corsa came to my rescue.
Day 4: To be continued…
By Sunday morning my right foot was badly swollen and very painful with blisters on blisters and a strange rash on my ankles. Surprisingly, I had no leg pain, and even carrying the heavy backpack I didn’t experience any back pain, but my feet alone screamed at me to call it a day. I’m planning on completing the last stretches to Sherburn and Filey later this year, once my foot has healed.
I’d walked 50 miles in 3 days, and, gosh – the pride I feel outweighs the miles I didn’t conquer. It’s not the end, it’s to be continued.
Thanks for all of the support and donations… I can’t express how much the extra funds mean to Case. The money will be spent sprucing up the outdoor space; it’ll look a lot more inviting soon!
Donate to Allison’s Yorkshire Wolds Way Route (THANK YOU!)
Allison’s other adventures