27 July 2022

  • Date:               27 July 2022
  • Leader:            Lynne Burge
  • Distance:       10 Miles
  • Start:               10:00 am Elsted Village Hall, GR. SU816196

Elated – 10 Hilly Miles

The Group

8 of us, plus a dog began the walk from Elsted Village Hall on a coolish, breezy morning. Having negotiated the narrow village roads as two enormous combines rattled through, we took the quieter road that leads down to Treyford. We soon left the road behind us and took an ancient track along past a couple of fields. Then we began the climb up the aptly named Mount Sinai. This is one of those very steep hills that just as you think you are reaching the top then shows you another sharp incline. By the time the path levelled out the idea that the day was a little chilly was long forgotten and layers were taken off.

The View From Elsted

The fields that we passed were all very parched, in fact for the whole of the walk the ground was rock hard. We descended slightly to meet the South Downs Way, not long after it had passed Buriton Farm, climbing steadily up through trees to where we left the SD path for a while.

As the trail led us downwards, we passed a sign marking the site of Old Monkton Village. Apart from a few bumps in the field nothing else visible is left, the majority of the site being covered by undergrowth and trees. On researching the origins of this village little is known, or even why it was abandoned. After a short stop to refresh ourselves, we continued along the track passing Yew Tree Cottage and meeting a quiet backwater of a road. Passing Staple Ash Farm, we began yet another ascent, walking through large areas covered by the West Dean Estate. They have started to use the local wood to weave their fences and are making habitats for butterflies and other wildlife. We would have read up about it all on an information board but it was old and obscured by damp patches over the time it had been there.

Old Monkton

It was in this area that we came across at least 3 large spheres of chalk of which we were bemused to see. How did they get there? Why there and what were they meant to represent? We had no answers but remembered one of the ramblers, on a previous walk, talking about them being part of a sculpture. On researching at home later in the day I discovered that they were placed there by Andy Goldsworthy and in fact there are a dozen of them scattered in the area. Time for a ‘hunt the chalk sphere’ game?

One of Andy Goldsworth’s Stones
And Another!

It was in this area that we came across at least 3 large spheres of chalk of which we were bemused to see. How did they get there? Why there and what were they meant to represent? We had no answers but remembered one of the ramblers, on a previous walk, talking about them being part of a sculpture. On researching at home later in the day I discovered that they were placed there by Andy Goldsworthy and in fact there are a dozen of them scattered in the area. Time for a ‘hunt the chalk sphere’ game?

Musing over the balls of chalk we reached the South Downs Way again and turned along it, enjoying the views across the countryside.

Sheep Avoiding Us!

After our lunch stop, we descended a steep path that led us to Didling Church, or the church of the shepherd as it is sometimes called. The small building nestles in to the side of the Downs and is well worth a visit. It has no electricity, candles provide light when needed, with ancient pew ends and probably one of the oldest fonts in the country. The bell dates from 1587. A quaint diversion on our walk

Didling Church

Passing easily through the small hamlet of Didling we made our way across the fields back towards Elsted. Having walked across a field full of crops but with huge cracks in the parched earth we came across a large area full of huts and wired runs. This is an area where half a million pheasants are raised each year to supply various shoots. In some of the pens small birds could be seen scuttling around.

The Pheasant Pens

One last haul across the final fields led us to the back of the local pub. Resisting the temptation to sit with a cooling drink we made our way back to the village hall and a welcome change of footwear before wending our way home.

Author and Photographer: Lynne Burge

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 27 July 2022

2 July 2022

  • Date:               July 2022
  • Distance:       10 miles
  • Start:             10:00 Emsworth Recreation Park
  • Leader:          Sandy Arpino

Exploring the south-west corner of Sussex

One Saturday in early July, 15 members of Petersfield Ramblers set off from Emsworth Recreation Ground to explore the most south-westerly corner of West Sussex, walking east through the inland villages before dropping down to the coast to enjoy the sea views. A theme for the ramble was to observe the changes over the past 40 years, since one member had spent a glorious childhood in the area.

The weather was perfect for hiking – sunny but not over hot – and careful planning had ensured that the tide would be in, providing the best views across the bays.

Leaving the busy sports ground – where numerous football matches and exercise classes were underway – our group followed the road down towards Emsworth, before turning off into Brook Meadow nature reserve, a wet meadow consisting of 5 acres of grassland, surrounded by woodlands and flanked by two streams.

We then turned north, following Lumley Mill Lane for a mile into Westbourne. Initially the lane ran alongside a small, crystal-clear stream in which we were enchanted to see small fish. Equally delightful were the quaint cottages lining our route.

Further along we found the impressive white building titled Lumley Mill, a large pseudo-Gothic house built in the mill complex in the early 1800s. The original working mill was built by Lord Lumley in 1760, powered by a canal specially dug for the purpose from the river Ems (and still flowing today) and an iron overshot waterwheel. Burnt down in 1915, the foundations of the working mill could be seen just past the white house.

Further along Mill Lane it was necessary to take a wide bridleway bridge over the busy – and noisy – A27. Built in the late 1980s, this was identified as a very significant change from the days of our member’s childhood.

On reaching Westbourne we took an easterly direction through the village – picturesque with its many thatched cottages – before turning down Cemetery Lane. The extension graveyard and chapel here are distinctive for their tidiness, incorporating some splendid yew topiary.

Our route took us through sprawling Woodmancote village, across wheat fields and through woodland before requiring us to re-cross the A27 via a small bridleway bridge. We then entered Hambrook, after stopping to observe some rather derelict watercress beds.

Far more uplifting was the extensive wild flower meadow that led into a new housing estate in Nutbourne. Continuing in a southerly direction, crossing first the railway and then the A259, we finally left habitation behind. On paths lined with majestic teasel plants, we hastened down to the shore and the beckoning sea.    

As always, the sea did not disappoint. With sunny blue skies and an incoming tide, the Nutbourne / Prinsted coast looked its best. In truth, with the tide out the outlook can be one of endless smelly, grey mud – but, having planned our walk using tide charts and weather forecasts, we were able to appreciate a fine seascape (give or take a line of seaweed at the water’s edge!). 

In fact, the sea appeared so appealing that a handful of bathers had taken to the water. 

Continuing round the sea wall, before turning inland, we passed through Thornham Marina with its assembly of white and blue yachts stretching out from floating pontoons; rigging blown onto masts providing a pleasant background tinkling.

Traversing the headland of Thorney island, we again briefly encountered the sea, looking across to Emsworth, before passing through Emsworth Yatch Harbour with its ‘houses on stilts’. Our local member could recall the transition of her childhood haunt into an embryonic marina in the mid-1960s.

After pausing to avail ourselves of the coffee, cake and facilities offered at The Deck, we retraced our steps up Lumley Mill Lane and beyond to the Recreation Ground, where morning football had been replaced by afternoon cricket.

Author and Photographer: Sandy Arpino

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 July 2022

14 May 2022

  • Date:               14 May 2022
  • Distance:       8.5 miles
  • Start:             10:00 from Hedge Corner on the A32
  • Leader:          Christine Tully

Historical Interest and Spring Flowers

A circular walk starts from Hedge Corner on the A32 and goes to East Tisted, Rotherfield Park, Newton Valence, Colemore and back to Hedge Corner via Becksteddle Farm.

The walk takes the old disused Meon Valley Railway line from Hedge Corner to East Tisted.  The path starts across a field, with no sign of the line.  However, at Hedge Corner there are two laybys, one on each side of the road, forming an S shape.  This was where the old A32 curved to go under the railway line!  The railway bridge and embankment have been completely removed.  At the end of the field, the old line is visible and this is followed to East Tisted, sometimes in cuttings, sometimes on embankments.  The line was difficult and expensive to build and several navvies died in accidents during its construction.  This was because it was built to main line standards with curves and gradients suitable for the passage of trains at express speed. Opened in 1903, it consisted of 22.5 miles from Alton, via Fareham to Gosport and Stokes Bay and was to provide a secondary route from London to Portsmouth.  However, it never fulfilled its original purpose, remaining a backwater; Sunday trains were axed in 1951; the rest of the line closed to passengers on February 5th 1955, with freight services also withdrawn from the middle section of the line.  The remaining freight services were terminated in the 1960s.  Adjoining land-owners purchased the land, filling in cuttings and removing embankments, so that in places the countryside has been restored to its pre-1900 state, as in the field at the beginning of our walk!  There are attractive spring flowers along the banks.

Across the Field
Woodland Track

From East Tisted, we walked through the Rotherfield Park estate.  The country house was constructed in 1815-21 to designs by architect Joseph T Parkinson and is a Grade 1 listed building.  The house was owned by the local MP and High Sheriff of Hampshire James Winter Scott in the 1860s.  The house has been used as a filming location for several films, and, being at the top of a hill, is visible from many parts of our walk.  There are occasional open days as part of the National Garden Scheme, for example, when the bluebells in the wood are in bloom.

From the estate we crossed the A32 and took paths through bluebell woods and fields to Newton Valence.  At one point we crossed the disused railway line again, but the cutting was so deep that the path has to take a U-shape to walk downhill to cross the line and then up hill again on the other side.

Then from Newton Valence we went to Colemore.  The fields, as we approached Colemore, had the most beautiful display of various differently coloured wild flowers.  There is a rewilding scheme, started in 2020 to increase the biodiversity by 30% in four years.  This is to create better conditions for the ground nesting grey partridge.  Their number has decreased by more than 90% since the 1960s, owing to loss of nesting habitat and use of pesticides on farmland.  This project in Colemore is one of 10 demonstration areas spread over 5 participating European countries.

The church of St Peter ad Vincula is a redundant Anglican church in the village of Colemore.  It was built in the 12th century and sits alongside its ancient manor house.  It is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and, although no longer used for regular services, is in good order and cherished.  Notable features include the 12th century Purbeck marble font and 16th century wooden screen.  When in Colemore, it is good to visit the church and sign the visitors’ book.

From Colemore we walked along a lane with wild flowers in the hedgerows.  In early spring this is a good area to see snowdrops. Then we crossed a field to Becksteddle farm, from where we took a path by a field (admiring the bluebells) and through a wood back to the cars.

Author: Christine Tully

Photographs: Various walkers

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 14 May 2022

29 June 2022

The Petersfield Ramblers Annual Outing 29 June 2022

Avebury via Devizes

Weary Walkers Heading Off

Our original plan was to provide a 10 mile walk from Devizes to Avebury and for lesser mortals to proceed from Devizes to Avebury by Coach; also, whilst at Devizes, to visit the famous flight of Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal. Alas, the best laid plans…!

The Famous Lock Ladder

Time dictated that the 10 milers had to depart directly from the Canal Basin at Devizes in order to reach Avebury before home time; from the Canal Basin they headed north to Roundway Hill then, passing The White Horse figure, continued north to join the Wessex Ridgeway, then on over the North Wilts Golf Course successfully avoiding the players. On the top of the hill above the Course there were lovely views northwards towards Calne and south back to Devizes. On, via the Roman Road, to the junction with The Ridgeway, climbing steadily.

Wonderful Views
Way Markers
From the Golf Course

To the left was the Cherhill monument, a National Trust property built as a tribute to Sir William Petty, a local surveyor and surgeon! Continuing downhill to the old Bath Road crossing some Horse Gallops and then to the west of Avebury Trusloe where the Long Stones mark the end of the old avenue of stones long since removed, then through the churchyard and into the Avebury Ring in time for tea and sympathy.

The rest of the party left the Canal Basin in Devizes to see the Caen Hill locks – a flight of 16 locks form the “ladder”; these are preceded by 7 other locks and succeeded by a further 6! raising the canal some 237 feet in a mile or so. This feat of engineering was opened in 1810 and is simply stupendous. We spent far more time here than intended, but it was worth it.

The Coach eventually left for the 20-minute drive to Avebury around 12.30.

Just a Few of the Many Stones

Avebury is the site of one of the pre-historic wonders of the world ; the Sarsen stone circles are the largest in the world ; the Henges which surround them are magnificent , dating back 4600 years ; the surrounding country side , magnificent in itself , contains barrows and smaller stone circles some 6000 years old and there are walks to most of these sites ; Silbury Hill , about half a mile from Avebury , is the largest Prehistoric , man – made structure in Europe. There was, clearly, too much to see in the time available but this did not spoil the enjoyment.

Stones, Stones and More Stones!
Unusual Allium in the Manor House Garden

On the way home a meal at the Harvester in Amesbury completed an enjoyable day.

Authors: Alan & Neville

Photographs: Various members, thanks to all

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 29 June 2022

11 June 2022

  • Date:               11 June 2022
  • Walk Leader: Val Wood
  • Distance:         9 Miles
  • Start:               10:00 am Kingley Vale Nature Reserve CP, GR: SU 824 O87

A Ramble Around the Vicinity of Kingley Vale

15 intrepid ramblers gathered in the car park to join Val’s walk leaving from West Stoke, near Funtingdon around Kingley Vale Nature Reserve.  This walk had been scheduled to take place on the previous Wednesday but the forecast of thunder, lightning and heavy rain for that day, caused a postponement.  There was a cool breeze blowing but with the promise of plenty of sunshine and temperatures climbing, we set off.

The 15 ramblers were regulars plus new member Phil on his first walk with our group.

We noted wild orchids along the way and concluded that this must be a bumper year for them as they have also been prolific on other walks in the area.

We walked uphill through the vale via Bow Hill before we had our coffee stop on Stoughton Down with amazing views over the downs. On this section of our walk, we met countless “runners” (they were often walking, due to the steep ascents) who were participating in the SDW100, a foot race that encompasses the entire South Downs Way National Trail from Winchester to Eastbourne, expected to take under 30hrs.  We were suitably impressed.

After walking down part of the Monarch’s Way, we walked through the lovely village of Stoughton passing the Hare and Hounds before stopping for a picnic lunch in a small field close by.  Lots of convivial chat and banter ensued before continuing on our way after this welcome rest.

View Without walkers
Walkers Capturing the View

We continued through Walderton, back along the other side of Kingley Vale via Stoke Down to the car park, staring into the gloom of the forest of ancient yew trees as we passed.

The walk of 9 miles took 4 1/2 hours on a sunny but windy day with two steep hills and varied countryside and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Common Spotted Orchid

Authors: David Roberts & Linda Farley

Photography: Linda & Paul Farley

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 11 June 2022

18 May 2022

  • Date:               18 May 2022
  • Distance:      2 x 4 – 5 mile walks
  • Start:             10:00 at Chawton GR: SU 708 375
  • Leader:          Sandy Arpino

Petersfield Ramblers explore Jane Austen country

Walkers outside of Jane Austen’s House

On a beautifully sunny Wednesday, eighteen members of Petersfield Ramblers gathered outside Jane Austen’s house in Chawton to explore the rolling countryside that inspired Jane Austen’s writing. As is often the case, we were accompanied by the very friendly Pickle – a golden retriever – who has been an honorary member of our club for many years.

Jane spent the last eight years of her life in this 17th-century house, bought for her by her elder brother Edward, living with her mother and sister Cassandra. This house is the place most associated with her writing, where she revised earlier drafts of her first three novels and wrote three more.

Chawton House

We’d planned a ‘figure of eight’ walk, enabling those who only wanted a shorter walk to join for just one of the 5-mile loops.

On leaving Chawton we passed the village school before seeing striking views of Chawton House on our left. It was here that Jane’s brother Edward lived, and the author was a frequent visitor.

At the end of a dead-end road (with ample parking for Chawton’s many visitors), we turned onto a path through trees then into a field of sheep with lambs. After the inevitable stop to enjoy the antics of the adorable lambs, we climbed gently before reaching a track bordered by enormous Wellington redwoods. As the massive redwoods were replaced by yews, we descended into Upper Farringdon.

Wellington Redwood

And what a delightful village, packed with character buildings and immaculate country gardens. Of particular note was a barn on mushroom pillars and the most impressive topiary, including a huge, majestic swan and some contemporary ‘cloud’ hedging.

Approaching the churchyard, we were taken aback by an imposing brick building, Massey’s Folly. The eccentric Thomas Massey – rector in Farringdon for 62 years and an irrepressible builder – built the Folly over a period of 30 years with minimal help. It is a towering brick structure of three floors and some 12 rooms, totally out of place in this small Hampshire village.

Massey’s Folly

In the churchyard, we found more of great interest: two ancient yew trees, one being over 2000 years old and the other around 1500 years old. The older tree – ranked as one of the ten most important trees in the UK – is now a cause of considerable concern, being fragile and in need of support.

Ancient Yew Tree

After coffee in Upper Farringdon’s delightful Community Garden, we headed back towards Chawton, via the disused Meon Valley railway line, a reminder of our winter walks along the Meon Valley Trail further south.

Meon Valley Railway Line

Arriving at Chawton at lunch time, our group dispersed for refreshments: some enjoyed coffee and cake in the lovely Cassandra Café; some retired to the Greyfriar pub for a pint; while others picnicked in the little park by the car park.

Beech Woodland

For our afternoon loop we followed a tunnel under the busy A31 dual-carriageway, passed by the side of Alton Sports Centre and soon found ourselves in a charming rural setting: fields of sheep with lambs on one side and newly-green woodland on the other. After 2 miles we climbed steeply through woods, reversed direction and headed back to Chawton through lime-green beech woods. It was thrilling to hear the chuffs and whistle of the Watercress line below us, whilst one final surprise was finding ourselves at the Tongham Motor Club circuit where one of our members could remember being taken on a date in the 1970s! 

All in all, our Chawton adventure was packed with interest, the perfect way to spend a sunny May day.

Author & Photographer: Sandy Arpino, Club Treasurer

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 18 May 2022

C2C Day 17 (May 2022)

Coast to Coast Final Stages with 4 Intrepid Petersfield Ramblers

Day 17 – The Last Leg

Starting the Last Leg

How do you start a blog about the last day of such a fantastic journey? The last 15 miles of a 192 mile trek that began with a casual conversation between Christine and Val, resulting in four of us – along with our trusty Sherpas! – walking from St Bees on the West coast to Robin’s Hood Bay in the East.

Photo duly taken before we set off, the route was brutal for the first mile or so. Climbing up the road out of Grosmont it angled sharply up until we entered the moor. Pausing to catch our breath we checked our route and at this stage had decided to deviate from the prepared way. There seemed to be a clear path across the moor which avoided more road walking. Mistake! The path was indistinct, taking us over heather strewn areas which were difficult to walk through. Much consulting of OS maps on phones eventually helped us gain the main road on the far side, then we were off again across more moor with views of Whitby Abbey.

Our First Glimpse of the Sea!

This sight of the sea spurred us on as we dropped down into a delightful valley that took us through a nature reserve alongside a river. We came across a hermit’s hut built in 1792 by George Chubb, out of stone. It did not look inviting! Then we came across a tree that had coins pressed into its bark. Why? We didn’t find out. The path wound its way through the trees and flowers, it would have been great to explore further but Robin Hood’s Bay beckoned. We began to meet tourists the further along the valley we walked as there is a lovely waterfall in the valley with a nearby car park, so people can enjoy it without the long walk.

Plodding On

Another long slog up a road took us back onto the moor, which, due to the rain we had overnight was quite squelchy. Lunch was sorely needed but with nowhere to sit in the dry we ploughed on. Deviations from the path were needed to avoid the wettest patches. All the time Whitby Abbey could still be seen in the distance, a wonderful sight but not the one we were aiming for. Eventually we came across a grassy knoll in the moor, just vacated by other C2Cers, we sat and gratefully ate our lunch in the sunshine.

As we began to descend off the moor sheep became more evident, lots of mums with their lambs, all with completely black faces. The road led us along eventually into a place called High Hawsker, a place that we knew signalled that the coast was not too far away. We came off the road and started to descend to a holiday park and the view of Whitby disappeared. Wending our way through the park we reached the cliff top! Quite an emotional moment. Although we weren’t at our destination we had walked from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, a fantastic feeling. Now all we had to do was manage the last 3 miles to our finishing point.

Nearly Made it! Only 3 Miles to Go

The coastline was lovely, each bend tempting us to think we would see Robin’s Hood Bay, but each time deceiving us. The wind was blowing strongly into us but we knew the end was nearing. Doggedly we continued along the track, savouring the moment that we would finish our long and exciting journey. Then we were descending towards the town, past houses and hotels, wondering when we would meet the beach. Out popped Rob and Alan, two of our trusty Sherpas, from the garden of the hotel we were staying in. Together we all walked steeply, very steeply, down to the bay to find the tide was right in. It didn’t matter. We had accomplished it. Gratefully we dipped our toes in the water, threw the stones we had carried from St Bees into the sea, then with aching muscles climbed back up to the hotel.

Finding Then Throwing our Pebbles from the West Coast into the Sea on the East Coast

Was it worth all the effort? Yes, definitely. Four, shall we say mature, walkers managed 192 miles together through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Yorkshire Moors, navigating together and cementing friendships. We loved every (almost) step of the way and over supper reminisced about our favourite parts. All of this fantastic journey would have been so much harder to organise without our trusty Sherpas – Rob, Alan and Bob- to whom we owe many thanks.

Author & Photographer: Lynne Burge

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on C2C Day 17 (May 2022)

C2C Day 16 (May 2022)

Coast to Coast Final Stages with 4 Intrepid Petersfield Ramblers

Day 16: The Lion Inn To Grosmont

The Lion Inn

It is amazing the different people that you meet walking the same arduous, challenging path as yourself. Within the first hour today we met up with our chap from Seattle, with his two walking sticks and dodgy knees. He had come across here to walk the route and walk he would, at his own pace, slow and steady and he would get there. Next was the young man from the Netherlands, relishing the chance to walk up mountains and hills, then the couple from Perth, Western Australia. They had read about the walk at home and had flown across to do it. Also, the couple from Ohio who had done the trail 20 years ago, it was now almost their 50th wedding anniversary and they were going to celebrate when they reached Robin Hood’s Bay on the day of their anniversary. Plus, plus, plus, others too numerous to mention, but generally visitors to this country.

The walk today left the Lion Inn behind as we walked along the road, following it gently uphill, past one of the many stones with crosses on that mark ancient route ways and off across the moors. With the sun trying to peep out we were able to see the magnificent views across the grouse moors, the heather growing across the hillsides and skylarks making sure that we left their nests alone. Before we knew it, we were across the first part where the path met a road crossing the moorland. After a stop for water and sustenance the path continued along a ridge affording us views of valleys on either side. Down off the moors there were verdant fields, farmhouses looking like toy ones down the hillside and peace everywhere. No noise of cars, vehicles, people (apart from ourselves!), just the gentle wind and the song of birds.

Then the path descended into the village of Glaisdale, a pretty village that had its own shop and butchers. We followed the road past Tailor’s Cottage, the old Forge and other old properties to reach the River Esk. Here we walked through wonderful banks of trees carpeted with bluebells as far as the eye could see. Stopping by the river we ate our lunch and refreshed, followed the path as it continued though the wood, eventually coming to Egton Bridge, a small village with its own railway station and Manor House. Along the way we saw a sign requesting a toll for using the road, a motor car would cost 1/- (one shilling) while a bus would cost 3/- (three shillings).

Happy Hikers

Walking past the Manor House the way took us gently along the valley towards our goal of Grosmont. With a refreshing cup of tea on our mind we made our way along the path, under the railway and down into the town of Grosmont. Sitting on a picnic table by the side of the heritage railway we enjoyed our tea while watching the steam engine getting prepared to move out. Satisfaction began to set in, tomorrow is our last day, 14 miles walked today, approximately 15 to go tomorrow to reach the end of the Coast to Coast.

The Steam Engine
Selfie Time!

Author & Photographer: Lynne Burge

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on C2C Day 16 (May 2022)

C2C Day 15 (May 2022)

Coast to Coast Final Stages With 4 Intrepid Petersfield Ramblers

Day 15:  Clay Bank Top to Blakey Moor

How to sum the day up in three words – mist, moor and rain.

No Comment!

We set off from the road where we finished last night, climbing steadily up along Carr Ridge up to Round Hill at a height of 454 metres, which is the highest point in the North York Moors. Gone were yesterday’s wonderful views, replaced by swirling mist allowing us to see about 20 metres ahead. At this stage of the moor there were some sheep. Later on, the moor became wetter and not capable of feeding them. As we walked along several sheep were baaa-ing loudly and as we watched two lambs appeared out of the mist, ran to their mum and had their breakfast/ mid-morning snack!

Damp Misty Hills

The path along which we walked was very well marked and looked like it had been deliberately made as part of it was banked up above the moor. Research later showed that it was in fact a railway, bringing iron ore off the moors for smelting locally. The remotest part of our walk was at Bloworth Crossing, where two lines crossed each other, both carrying iron ore.

Thankfully, a Clear Path to Follow

The mist continued as we walked, no coffee stop-too wet and no place to rest- in fact no stop at all. Before we knew it were were turning over the pages of our mapped route to find we were on High Blakey Moor and not far from our destination. Occasionally the mist swirled away and we gained insight into the views we might have had. Several times we met with large boards bearing the name of a, presumably local, family marking out their area for grouse shooting.

Rain & Mist

We then met the gentleman from yesterday, with two dodgy knees making his way to the Lion Inn, our finishing place also. He was more verbose today, telling us he came from Seattle specially to do the Coast to Coast path and how he was enjoying the challenge of it. Then came our little side path to the Inn, not clearly marked but one travelled by many Coasters on their way to a refreshing cup of tea or pint.  Following the rutted, bumpy path we came out to a road. No pub! Had we gone wrong? Then consulting maps, we realised it was just along the road but in the mist we couldn’t see it. Thankfully we took off our wet layers and settled down for a hearty bowl of leek and potato soup, discussing the soggy 9 miles that we had just done. Tomorrow the sun is due to shine.

A Welcome Reward

Author & Photographer: Lynne Burge

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on C2C Day 15 (May 2022)

C2C Day 14 (May 2022)

Coast to Coast Final Stages With 4 Intrepid Petersfield Ramblers

Day 14:   May 2022 Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top

Start of the Last Leg

Our excitement and trepidation grew as the cars drew near to Ingleby Cross, our starting point for the final leg of our Coast to Coast epic. Our photo was taken to make the day and off we set along the road and up the inevitable hill. We knew that it was going to be a long haul, 12 miles and, according to OS maps, 7 hours of walking.

Walking steadily we climbed up past Arncliffe Hall, along Tire Bank to join the Cleveland Way- a path that we would follow all day it was interesting to note that Yorkshire is a few weeks behind Hampshire as we saw swathes of bluebells carpeting the ground under the trees.

Gradually we came out of the trees and started across the moors. A gentle stroll took us across Scarth Wood Moor before descending steeply down to a local road. Climbing again we enjoyed the beauty of the trees around us with yet more bluebells nestling on the hillside. The footpath was well marked, so navigation was not a chore, and we continued steeply downhill to the valley and a welcome bench next to a house, a stopping point for water and an cereal bar. Two ewes with their lambs seemed to be escaping from a local farm, last seen running up the road away from the farm, maybe they knew the lorry would be coming for them soon!


Another steady climb took us back onto the moor and some spectacular views the higher we go. As the Cleveland Way is a very popular long distance path (it runs from Helmsley to Saltburn-by-the-sea, a distance of 109 miles) the majority of it has been mended with slabs of stone and large stones, making a clearly defined path that won’t erode with the passage of boots. We continued on our way, climbing up and walking down, there seemed to be very little flat walking today. The wind got up and was gusting across or into us as we made our way past disused quarries and down into another valley where there was a campsite. Looking for somewhere out of the wind we espied a picnic table in a field prepared for caravans and with a few log cabins. With no-one around we enjoyed a comfortable seat out of the wind and ate our lunch.

48 Miles and 4586ft Ascent to go!

Up again we climbed across the delightfully named Cringle Moor up to a viewpoint with a view across the farmland to Middlesborough. More ups and downs eventually took us to the Wainstones, a panoramic viewing point. To attain these heights necessitated rock scrambling to the top, but it was well worth it. We took the sedate route up while some rock climbers took the tricky route.

Top of One of the Ups

Along the way we met many people, some doing the C2C, some out for a day’s walk or an afternoon walk, some fell runners making it all look easy. One gentleman we met was moving slowly, using two poles and seemed to be finding it difficult. We passed him, stopped to have our lunch then passed him again. It turns out that he is doing the full walk, dodgy knees and all, we admired his tenacious spirit. Another man was doing around 18 miles a day and was camping out at times. There is an amazing range of people who undertake this walk, all very interesting to chat to.

Then it was all downhill, being very careful on the stones not to trip, looking forward to our lifts that were waiting at the bottom of the hill to take us to our hotel and a welcoming cup of tea.

Author & Photographer: Lynne Burge

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on C2C Day 14 (May 2022)