Distance: 12.5 miles
Observing the weather conditions from our window at Lion Inn, it appeared as though we were still in for a damp and misty day. Leslie’s aches and pains were not improving so we would just have to take it easy, and I began to wonder if I might have to walk this trek alone. At breakfast we had a great conversation with a German hiker and then we were off to tackle the day.
Leaving the Lion Inn, we soon found that our trail was following the old track bed of the Rosedale Railway. Ironstone mining had been a vibrant industry during the 19th-century in this region of England. Remnants of these steam trains, which carried ore up to 11 miles from distant iron mines to the primary trains in Battersby Junction from 1861 to 1929, are still visible.
Occasionally the mist would lift just enough to allow fairly good views of distant hillsides.
Upon reaching the highest moor, Urra Moor at 1490 feet, we observed old, stone boundary markers and one “face stone” pillar. It is believed that the face stone is prehistoric or of celtic origin. I think the facial expression on the pillar about summed up the way Leslie was feeling.
We had to stay well wrapped up on this cold and dank day on the moors. In spite of it all, the scenery was still remarkable.
Hasty Bank and Cringle Moor were in view as the weather began to improve.
Finally, glorious sunshine broke through the clouds as we peered down over the Tees Valley toward Great Broughton. The yellow rapeseed fields made for a lovely view.
At this point we were in the heart of the Cleveland Hills, with steep ascents and descents that connected the collection of moors. The descent from Clay Bank Top was steep and the morning drizzle left the stones slippery and much care needed to be taken.
We had arranged to call our evening’s B&B for a ride from the base of Clay Bank Top, where the trail intersected the B1527 road. Unfortunately there was no cell reception and we were left with the only alternative: walking the final 2 miles on the road into Great Broughton. When at last we arrived at the very comfortable Newlands House B&B, we were pleased to find that the first package of Leslie’s extra hiking goods which we had sent from Glaisdale via taxi, had been delivered here. The following day my British friends, Jean and Peter, and my mom, June, arrived to walk with us for the day.