|Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank (19 km)|
Wast Water - Wander
Wast Water - Scafells
Patterdale - Helvellyn
Moorland furniture on Crinkle End - plaque, view indicator and massive memorial seat.
At last the Cleveland Hills are under your feet - a fitting reward for the tantalising views from the Vale of Mowbray. The climb onto the moors and the frequent dips into the dales between them are not hard going and deserve to be savoured. The day is short enough to think about a visit to the majestic ruins of Mount Grace Priory (if you did not visit them the preceding day). Much of this journey has been covered in my previous pages on The Cleveland Way starting at Osmotherley.
|The Blue Bell||Pub||01609 882272|
|Ingleby House||B&B||01609 882433|
|North York Moors Adventure Centre||B&B & camping||01609 882571|
Take the road from the village green, passing the Blue Bell pub and then crossing the A172 road to a leafy lane. The fine buildings of Arnecliffe Church and Hall are passed to the left as the lane rises. Where it turns to follow the slope, take a gate straight ahead and up into Arnecliffe Woods. Turn right along a forest road to pass Park House which is run as the North York Moors Adventure Centre and provides various services to the Coast to Coast walker.
Just beyond Park House is a junction. If you want to visit Mount Grace Priory then head along the low level branch and enter the priory grounds at a gate - remember to to pay the entrance fee at the former priory guest house on the other side of the ruins (this is a National Trust property). These are the most extensive Carthusian ruins in the country (founded in 1398). Take special note of the tiny restored monk cells with the holes for food trays cunningly angled so that the inhabitants could not see the providers thus making it even easier to obey their vows of silence. Return to the Coast to Coast Walk via the forest track heading uphill from the gate into the woods.
The Coast to Coast Walk makes a rising traverse of the hillside from the junction up to a wide zigzag and then joins a higher forest road. Turn right to the edge of the woods and a junction with a track climbing upwards. The village of Osmotherley can be found by continuing to the right into the fields to join a lane. The clay track through the woods looks as if it could be slippery and muddy in wet weather but soon reaches the hill top. The scrub woodland provides easy going along the level top. The shock appearance of the forest of masts at the British Telecom booster station is quickly passed. Once past the station, the route re-enters woodland - there is a good place for a morning break in some grassy clearings overlooking an old quarry. Keep an eye over the stone wall on your right where an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar marks the summit of Beacon Hill (299 metres) and the traditional beginning of the Lyke Wake Walk. The challenge of this 64 kilometre (40 mile) walk is to do it within 24 hours. It parallels the Coast to Coast Walk until near Lion Inn.
|4 Belle Vue Cottages||B&B||01609 883435|
|Cote Ghyll Caravan Park||Camping||01609 883425|
|Osmotherley||YH||0870 770 5982|
|Osmotherley Walking Shop||B&B||01609 883818|
|King's Head Hotel||Pub||01609 883207|
|Oak Garth Farm||B&B||01609 883314|
|Queen Catherine Hotel||Pub||01609 883209|
|4 School Lane||B&B||01609 883706|
|Vane House||B&B||01609 883448|
The path now descends and breaks out into open moors (Scarth Wood Moor which is owned by the National Trust). Ahead you can see the nab ends (promontories) of the Cleveland Hills - you will soon have a closer acquaintance with these. The moor is crossed to meet a new stone wall (completed in 1988) and then drops to Scarth Nick via some steps in the hillside. Scarth Nick was formed by the overflow from melting glaciers on the moors after the last Ice Age (10,000 years ago) and also used as part of the Drove Road from Yarm in the north to York in the south. The reason why the drovers took this high-level route instead of the gentler route down the Vale of Mowbray was to avoid the toll charges levied on the plain roads.
The Coast to Coast Walk crosses the road and takes a forest track on the other side until a viewpoint (with a seat) over Swainby village is reached. Take care on the steep slope that the track descends afterwards - this is compensated for by the delightful route along a woodland edge, across fields and up a country lane to a T-junction near Huthwaite Green. Straight across the road is a gate that gives access to an enclosed path along the edge of a plantation. In about 500 metres the path takes the steepest climb of the day where it rises straight up through the plantation via a stepped sheep drift (used to allow sheep to get to the moors above). On emerging onto Live Moor, the climb continues until you reach the side of Round Hill and begin to contour around the hillside.
Level walking then takes the walker all the way to Carlton Moor (there is a gentle dip down from Live Moor and back up onto the moor). Expect to be distracted by the panoramic views over the Cleveland Plains (Vale of Mowbray). The heather landscape is interrupted by the bare glider station runway extending south from the gliding club buildings. Skirt the edge of the runway to reach an OS pillar and waystone at the summit of the moor - both sadly covered in graffiti. The grassy slopes to the west of the stones provide a good spot for a break.
A 107 metre descent down to the Carlton Bank road is quickly over but be sure to take care where the path passes near by the edges of old alum quarries. There is an opportunity for refreshment here by walking a few metres right along the road to a small cafe craftily hidden in the hillside. The Coast to Coast Walk passes a small plantation and then takes a clear, slightly steep path up to Cringle End - the nab of Cringle Moor. There is a good set of moorland "furniture" here - a stone seat commemorating Alec Falconer (a founding member of the Middlesborough Rambling Club and promoter of what became the The Cleveland Way), a boundary stone and a view indicator. The views are well worth the climb.
However if the weather is bad then you can avoid the climb by taking the Jet Miner's Track. This departs to the left from the small plantation and crosses fields to sidle along the side of Cringle Moor. It rejoins the Cleveland Way at the foot of Cold Moor.
From Cringle End the trail takes a good flagstoned path along the top of Kirby Bank - the stones were laid to prevent any further erosion along this popular walk. The flagstones on the drop down from the moor should have been replaced by now. The last time I was there, they had been laid incorrectly with lots of tiny steps (just right for twisting ankles). However work was in progress to replace the stones with large and safer steps.
|The Wainstones from Cold Moor|
There is a minor choice of route at the beck at the foot of Cold Moor. If you are desperate to avoid the climb and descent over Cold Moor then you can continue straight on along a forestry track and rejoin the Coast to Coast Walk at Garfit Gap. The route however crosses the beck and immediately turns right to cross a stile into the field beyond. The fairly steep climb up onto Cold Moor (more good views - especially south into the moors) should be easier by now since work was in progress to stop the erosion. An equally steep drop into Garfit Gap follows with the rock pinnacles of the Wainstones on the hillside ahead. The Wainstones are a scattering of large boulders around a couple of rock pillars (10 metres high) and a rocky 15 metre cliff. These provide one of the few local rock climbing areas, so expect to see people clambering all over them.
The Coast to Coast Walk winds through the left-hand boulders and climbs above the Wainstones to reach the top of Hasty Bank. The level walking along the arc of the cliffs (more dramatic views) ends with a steep drop down to the Stokesley to Helmsley road at Clay Bank. There is a chance of refreshments at the carpark 200 metres down the road.
The nearest "luxury" accommodation is in Great Broughton which can be accessed via the road (rather busy with fast downhill traffic and with narrow verges). However I recommend a quieter route taken on a previous walk. Just below the carpark there is a gate on the left which leads you onto a forestry road. This is followed over a crossroads and ignoring a branch to the left until a sharp hairpin turn to the right takes you down to join Bank Lane. The lane continues north to join the main road and Great Broughton is an easy kilometre along the road. You can even avoid the road altogether by taking a side lane from the top of Bank Lane to Solomon's Porch farmhouse and then field paths for 2 kilometres into Great Broughton.
On the other hand, a nearby farm (Holme Farm) provides a camping site and is just a kilometre the other way along the road. The farmer provides a field, some provisions and a well-maintained toilet. The hamlet of Chop Gate is 3 kilometres further down the road (2 miles from Clay Bank) and has some B&B spread around the countryside.