Links on Walking Places
Deborah and Gwen's
Coast to Coast Diary
DAY 13 – a day of contrasts and Deb takes a tumble
Saturday 29th July
Ingleby Arncliffe to Blakey Ridge – 21 miles
We woke at 6.30, dozed a little but were out of bed in time to get packed up before breakfast. From our bedroom window in the annex we saw the conservatory doors open on the dot of 7.45 a.m. A table for 4 was beautifully laid up with a whole row of homemade jams and marmalades in pots prettily topped with red and white checked fabric. Josephine soon appeared with a large loaf of homemade bread and invited us to sample the cereal and yoghurts from the side table, unfortunately the milk in the jug was well on its way to becoming yoghurt but it was soon replaced. We were joined by the two ladies from Milton Keynes and made polite conversation over a very large portion of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. We finished with toast and some of the preserves but they were all much too sweet. We didn’t dare comment as Josephine was so proud of her produce. She did however make an excellent packed lunch complete with little extras such as sachets of salt and pepper and a few glacier mints. Oh dear, it sounds as if we are being very critical but Mum had been a home economics teacher and had occasionally been a judge for the W.I. so has very high standards.
We were away by 8.30, past the Blue Bell again and on into Arncliffe Woods. Josephine was right, it was cooler – HURRAY! A gentle undulating climb on forestry tracks brought us to the edge of the wood where we doubled back to join the Cleveland Way. This would be our companion for the next 15 miles. At last the Cleveland Hills provided some contrast to the walking of the previous few days. There was certainly a lot more ascent and descent but the weather was much fresher and conditions were definitely more comfortable. As we reached our first summit, views of the Great Cleveland Plain opened up, we could see for miles – as far as Roseberry Topping – a funny pointed hill at the end of the moors looking like a punctuation mark. We walked passed a rather ugly radio and TV station and saw the trig point that marks the start of the Lyke Wake Walk. The route continued over moor land, through forestry and over some farmland. At a viewpoint on one of the forest trails, just past Scarth Nick, we nearly went wrong because the signpost mentioned in the guidebook was nowhere to be seen. We spotted our mistake just in time and descended into Scugdale then climbed back up over Carlton Bank. For the first time we experienced quite windy conditions but I suppose the stiff breeze explains why there is a glider station situated at this point on the moor. A steep descent followed down to a road and a slight detour brought us to the famous Lord Stones Café. It’s a good job the café was mentioned in our guidebook; it was completely invisible from the path. We ordered coffee at ate half our lunch in the company of one very noisy guinea fowl. We met up with the Dutch lads for the very last time and now regret that we never did ask them their names.
Consulting our guidebook over lunch it described an easier route that traversed around the north side of Cringle Moor, Mum thought it prudent to go with this as we still had a long way to go. Unfortunately over the past few days Mum had been complaining of a stiff neck and shoulders. We concluded it was because she has to jut her chin forward in order to focus on her feet through the bifocal lenses in her glasses. As we were traversing along the wide path around Cringle Moor I suggested that she should try walking with her eyes focussed on the middle distance rather than on the ground, thinking that this might give her neck and shoulders a rest. Whilst demonstrating this principle I immediately tripped over my own feet and fell heavily onto my right knee. Once Mum realised that I was OK she was quick to point out that she would be declining to take any advice from her daughter on where she should place her focus! The versatile flannel came out of the pack and I scrubbed most of the grit and dirt out of my rather bloody knee and then refrained from offering any more advice.
Our traversing path continued alongside the Broughton plantation to meet the road at Clay Bank Top but on spotting the Wainstones, high on the ridge to our right, I couldn’t resist nipping up to see the rocks. Being away from the crags of the Peak District I was missing the feeling of ‘hand on rock’ so I arranged with Mum to meet her at the road, ½ mile further along the route. I attempted to run up to the rocks but soon gave up and returned to a fast walk. I met some rock climbers on the top and took a few photos. Whilst descending, I spotted Mum on the lower track and had to run down the final section to catch up with her – not very comfortable whilst carrying a big pack. We met an elderly Gent on a seat just above Clay Bank Top; he gave us some encouragement about the route ahead whilst we changed our socks. No chance of a paddle today!
The climb onto Urra Moor was steep at first but then eased as we kept a lookout for the ancient marker stones. We spotted several including the Hand Stone and the Face Stone. At one point Mum shouted too look up and I was just quick enough to photograph a large aeroplane flying low above our heads. It was making a low droning sound as it slowly passed overhead, we thought it might have been a Lancaster Bomber as it reminded us of the Damn Busters film but I’m sure someone with more aeronautical knowledge will let us know if we were wrong. We were aiming to reach Bloworth Crossing on the former Rosedale Railway by 5 p.m. This would give us 2 hours to complete the final 5 miles and get to the Lion Inn by 7.00. We reached the crossing 15 minutes early so treated ourselves to a brief sit down and we finished off the sandwiches. By now it was much cooler, and over the next two hours it even threatened to rain a couple of times. It never did rain and the final 5 miles were walked on a slightly descending cinder track which snaked its way around the contours of Farndale Moor. On the only straight section we timed ourselves and we were walking at just 3 miles per hour. It was hard to keep going at times and I made a slight miscalculation on the distance we still had to cover. For about ¼ mile we thought we still had 3 miles to go whereas it was actually only 1 ½ miles. Once we realised the end was closer than we thought we speeded up a bit. On rounding the last curve the red tiled roof of the Lion Inn came into view on the horizon and was a most welcome sight. We arrived at 6.55 p.m. hot, sticky and very dusty from the cinder track. We had a table booked in the restaurant area for 7.00 but the landlady took one look at us and suggested that we take the time to ‘freshen up’ first. Thank goodness I had been advised to book – being a Saturday night, the bar was heaving, very hot and filled with tobacco smoke.
We were in the smallest room in the Inn, only just enough space for two single beds, and we had to share a bathroom with guests from two other bedrooms. We had to queue for the bathroom so when it became vacant we went in together. As there was no shower we chose to rinse our mucky legs over the sink before sharing the bath water – not at the same time, before you ask! One of us did the washing in the sink whilst the other was in the bath then we swapped and we made it down to dinner by 8.00. We were shown both the bar menu and the A La Carte menu, both enticing but each table is only allowed to order from one or the other – something to do with being served from different kitchens. This was not a problem for the two of us but we could see it was causing concern to some of the bigger groups dining tonight, especially those with children. We treated ourselves to the A La Carte menu. I chose a vegetable coconut curry and Mum tried the Sea Bass. The famous homemade chips were nothing special but the main courses were excellent. We enjoyed our meal at a very relaxed pace and felt we deserved a dessert after our 21 miles today. All I could manage was the sorbet which was very refreshing if a little sugary, Mum was tempted by the raspberry meringue but it was a case of eyes bigger than belly and she was defeated by the mounds of ice cream and whipped cream over very little fruit. After depositing our damp socks in the bathroom airing cupboard we were in bed by 10.30, very pleased to have completed today’s walk.
Thought for the day:
© Copyright Walking Places 2006