Coast to Coast Final Stages With 4 Intrepid Petersfield Ramblers
Day 14: May 2022 Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top
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.
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.
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