Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 14 - Ingleby Cross to Blakey Ridge

Twenty two miles is a significant distance for me since this was the distance from the town of Maryborough where I grew up to the beach town of Pialba. I never thought I would ever have to walk such a distance in my life, but this was what was scheduled for this day. Originally I had planned to divide the walk into two sections, twelve miles to Clay Bank Top and then 10 miles to Blakey but since the last section of the day was supposed to be walking along a former railway line, I decided to do the long day. You can see the map of it here.

So I headed out of Ingleby Arncliffe after a great breakfast of very yellow scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.

Here was the hill I would climb at the beginning. The route up is a long walk to the right angling up the hill and then heading in the opposite direction to complete the climb.

Aaron had brought Marianne and I passed this intersection on the way to dropping Marianne off with our Whitby friends. I had gazed at that hill as we drove past wondering what it would be like. Now I would find out.

Just before the climb, you walk past this distinguished house, Arncliffe Hall. I talked with a local man outside the house who told me to look at the history of Gertrude Bell who lived there at one stage. She was very influential in the Middle East at the same time as Lawrence of Arabia and knew him well.

Soon I was climbing. It doesn't take long for a view to appear.

The path itself was wide and in good condition. I met quite a few day walkers coming down the hill.

The view near the southern tip of the V (see map).

The top of the hill as walked back on the other leg of the V.

Communications equipment.

The guide book talks of 'a roller coaster' of a walk as you go from ridge to ridge.

The official title of this part of the walk is the Cleveland Way. The Coast 2 Coast follows it for quite a few miles in this region. Signposting is excellent in Yorkshire and there was no doubt where you needed to go.

It is quite deserted up there. While I did meet some other people in the course of the walk, I did not come across any Coast to Coasters.

The path is very good with flagstones most of the way. No bogs to deal with, just the occasional muddy patch.

While it was a nice day, the forecast called for rain late in the day and the clouds were already appearing.

A steep descent back down the hill. My sandals coped wonderfully and my feet feel really good now.

Of course, having reached the bottom of the hill it was now the time to climb the next.

It was really enjoyable climbing up though the trees.

Fox Gloves, not Blue bells.

Yet another view and a chance to sit down.

Well maintained path. Yorkshire has luxurious walking compared to the rigors of Cumbria.

This tree has character.

Most of the time I was completely alone. Occasionally I would meet people on horseback.

Old railway wagon used as a shed near Huthwaite Green.

Steepish path heading up again.

Advice for walkers who do not want to stick to the path across Live Moor.

Way off in the distance through the smog was Teeside. If the day had been clear I probably could have seen the north sea.

It seems like you circle around this distinctive hill for some time.

These are old jet mines in Scagdale.

Radio / TV antenna to the south that is also visible for long parts of the walk.

Distinctive patterns cleared in the heather by the games keepers to promote new growth. The battery in my camera ran out of juice and I had forgotten to include the spare battery in my pack. Fortunately my Android phone can take photos.

I had just past a sign saying 'Claybank 3 1/2 miles'. My initial thought was 'a bit over an hour'. How wrong I was.

The Alec Falconer memorial. He was a famous walker in this area. The view is fabulous even under less than ideal conditions.

This distinctive stone wall is easily visible on Google Earth.

Yet another climb up the rollercoaster.

Followed by a steep descent.

The Wain Stones. There was no obvious path though the stones but a rock climber realized that I was a bit puzzled and led me through. I continue to be amazed at how friendly and helpful people are to hikers, particularly when you tell them you are doing Coast to Coast. Nothing is too much trouble.

This path crosses Hasty Bank.

This descent was particularly steep down to the B1257 road at Clay Bank Top. That 3 mile section took me over two hours and I think it took me 30 minutes to get to the bottom of the hill.

I now had another ten miles to go and so I climbed up to Urra Moor which is the highest moor in the North York Moors. This was a climb where you rested periodically. I am now much fitter than when I started the walk back in St Bees, but I was huffing and puffing.

Despite being so high up, the path was sandy.

Flowers that look like cotton balls.

Eventually the path links up with a disused railway track that you follow for most of the remainder of the day's walk. It makes walking very easy and I picked up speed. From the stats page on the map, I see I was averaging three miles per hour during this section.

Red flowers. I got a better picture of them the next day so I might be able to identify them at some stage.

It was mostly deserted with the occasional bike rider going past at high speed. There were few walkers enjoying the scenery, perhaps because a few drops of rain were starting to fall.

It really was a wonderful experience being up so high looking down at the various dales. This one is Farndale, famous for its daffodils.

If you enlarge the picture, you might be able to see the Lion Inn that marks the official end of this section. I did not go there but headed off down the hill to nearby Church Houses and the Feversham Arms Inn where I had arranged to meet Marianne and our Whitby friends for another round of rabbit pie.

By now it was raining so I brought out the trusty orange umbrella. It really has worked well for me.

I arrived at 5pm and the pub did not open until 6pm so I sat outside in the gloom until Marianne turned up and I could sit in our friend's car.

It had been a long day but I felt better than I looked.

Rabbit pie, chips and a beer. A great reward for a long walk.

Marianne enjoying a new addition to the menu, the Game Pie. I tasted a little and it was good too.

This was a walk to remember.