Tuesday, 22 September 2009

C-Walking: Slapewath Solace

Our walks today were located in the eastern area of the North York Moors. They provided us with a pleasant combination of both coastal and inland walking. Today's C-Walk expedition took us from Loftus {NZ 715 184} to Skinningrove, along the coast to Saltburn and then inland to Slapewath via North Skelton.

We set off from Loftus Bank Top at about 10.35 am. There were sixteen people in the group. PB led the walk.

From our drop-off point {NZ 715 184} (see the above picture) we headed north (towards the coast) along Deepdale Road. As we went, we passed Deepdale Pentecostal Church on our left and the Mars Inn on our right. After passing Loftus Leisure Centre (on our right) we followed a good track downhill to meet Skinningrove Beck on our left. We followed this into the village of Skinningrove where we joined the Cleveland Way (CW). Turning left, we followed this in a north-westerly direction pass the jetty and across the sand dunes at Cattersty Sands to reach {NZ 708 205} where we had our first climb of the day (about 130 feet) up onto Cattersty Cliff.

As we travelled north along the CW, we had some wonderful views of the sea and coastline on our right. To the left, Warsett Hill {NZ 692 214} figured prominently in the visual scene. As we reached the (now dis-used) site of the Huntcliff Ironstone Mine, we stopped briefly to explore the old fan-house. The mine was operational during the period 1872 through 1906 and employed a 'Guibal Fan' (see here) to ventilate the mine.

A little further along the CW, at {NZ 696 216}, we encountered some interesting examples of 'monumental' iron work1 - see the picture below (called 'Circle on Huntcliff')2. Because of the wonderful coastal views from this point, we decided to take our lunch stop here.

Iron-work Monument
After lunch we continued our trek along the CW, passing further examples of monumental iron-work as we went3. As we walked along the high-ground near Hunt Cliff we had some 'good' (?) views of the 'industryscape' that makes up industrial Teesside and Teesmouth. Just after we passed the Huntcliff Roman Signal Station {NZ 687 220}, we started to loose height as we made our gradual descent to the Ship Inn at Saltburn {NZ 670 216}.

After crossing Saltburn Road, we turned left and followed a footpath to Saltburn Gill - which was its characteristic 'yellow' colour. We followed the course of the beck (upstream) in a south-easterly direction to a bridge at {NZ 674 206}. We used this to cross the stream and then made our way in a north-westerly direction to emerge from the woods at {NZ 673 208}. Changing to a south-westerly bearing we made our way to a minor road (Saltburn Lane) at {NZ 670 207}. We followed this to (NZ 669 204} where we picked up a public footpath that took us to a round-about on the A174 road at {NZ 671 197} near Hagg Farm. We continued on a south-easterly trek (through an industrial estate near Wand Hills) to reach a footpath at {NZ 673 192}. We followed this downhill to {NZ 676 190} where we had a short tea-stop sitting in the glorious sunshine.

Continuing on our south-easterly bearing, we reached a minor road at {NZ 677 187} where we turned right in order to go to North Skelton. Just before the railway bridge, at {NZ 677 186}, we joined the Cleveland Street Trail. We now followed this in a south-westerly direction. After crossing Holme Beck, we made our way to White Cross Beck and Stanghow Road {NZ 668 182}. From here, we went across the fields - still maintaining our south-westerly bearing - passing Skelton Green on our right. After a short climb, we then reached Boosbeck Road {NZ 659 178}. Staying with the route of the Cleveland Street Trail, we continued onwards to Slapewath {NZ 642 158} where the walk terminated at the Fox and Hounds Inn (see the following picture).

Despite its variability during the week, the weather was very kind to us today. We experienced some wonderful sunshine which, combined with the tremendous coastal views, meant we had a really enjoyable expedition.

Use the buttons below to see where we went and some of the things that we saw.



1 As we walked up the Cleveland Way between Skinningrove and Saltburn we encountered some interesting examples of Richard Farrington's 'iron work' - see the second of the above three pictures. The date on this piece was 1996. This made me realise that it must be about 13 years since I last walked along this particular section of the CW - as this was the first time for me to see this (and the other 'iron works') in this area. The last time I was in this area (about a year ago) I led an A-Walk and we took a route that involved going over Warsett Hill - which would have meant that we would not have seen any of these interesting 'iron sculptures'.

2 Details on the sculptor (Richard Farrington) who created the metal sculptures on the Cleveland Way near Hunt Cliff can be found here. From the initial page select Public Art followed by Circle on Huntcliff.

3 The location of the other two metal sculptures is {NZ 692 217} - see Photographs 14 and 15 in the 'Photo Gallery' for this expedition.



At 22 September 2009 at 17:34 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Phil. We all had grand day out with all the that lovely sea-air and sunshine, pity I did'nt a ice-cream in Saltburn. Good photos too.

At 23 September 2009 at 08:19 , Blogger philbee said...

Hi Martin,
It was rather grand wasn't it. However, you forgot to mention all the wonderful culture that we were exposed to. For example, those wonderful iron sculptures on Hunt Cliff - to commememorate the age of the ironstone mining in the area. If you follow my link to Richard Farrington's Web site, there are lots of other great photographs on the 'Circle on Huncliff'.

Are you coming to Alnwick this weekend?

At 23 September 2009 at 16:57 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved to of been going to Alnwick, but I'm instead going up on the North Yorkshire Moors with the mountain bike, doing my reckky for the A-walk I'm leading in January. Bit soon, I know. But I want to get it out of the way now. See in fortnight's time, have a good walk.


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