Friday 25 September, 2015
Great Broughton / Clay Bank Top - Blakey Ridge - 15 kms
4 hours walking
With a shorter day ahead, we didn't rush breakfast. Our transport back to the carpark at Clay Bank Top, had us on trail by 9.15. As we stepped outside the hotel, we were greeted with another glorious blue sky day. In the distance, I could see the Carlton Trig point, that we had hiked passed yesterday.
Once we had made the steep climb to Urra Moor, the terrain was relatively level for the remainder of the day.
Our last view of yesterday's roller coaster moors.
From here on up, the gradient was gentle. There was time and energy to soak up the vast, isolated beauty of these moors.
Grouse, sheep and only a few hikers were our companions.
We were on top of the world in spirit and location.
A land of heather and scattered pillars, that served as ancient direction markers.
Someone had a sense of humour in ancient times - the smiling face marker.
445m trig point
If it weren't for the sandy track, we would have thought we were in a lost land.
Midway through the journey, we arrived at Bloworth Crossing and bid goodbye to the Cleveland Way, joining the old trackbed of the Rosedale Ironstone Railway. Constructed in 1861, it had served its purpose by 1929 and was dismantled. The railway by necessity followed a gentle gradient, so we luxuriated in enjoying fine views to Farndale valley, strolling through old cuttings and along large embankments accompanied by the regular sound of bleating sheep.
Unfortunately it's not always peaceful. Grouse shooting hides were appearing quite regularly.
Along this section, there were rivulets, our first lamb and tiny tarns.
Resting above the cutting, we watched a 'walking train' come through.
They were as surprised as we had been, to glimpse their destination on far Blakey Ridge.
The surprise came as, it seemed so early in the day to be nearing our destination.
Still a kilometre or two to walk, following the gradient of the railway track.
The Lion Inn of Blakey Ridge, sits in total isolation.
The oldest part of the inn was built in 1553, by a group of monks with the name of 'Grouching Friars"
It was a wayside alehouse to raise funds for the order. Later it served the workers of the iron mines,
but when trade fell, the then owner Phillip Johnson, spent most of his time farming. The arrival of the motor car saw trade pick up, but it was only in the late 1970's, that accommodation was added in a higgledy, piggledy fashion.
Winner of the steepest, most awkward staircase award for the C2C.
It was worth maneuvering the bags through the door and dragging them up the stairs, as it was a cosy room, with a deep bath to soak in.
Our room was behind the window with the open curtains.
It got chillier as the day went on, but we were able to sit here long enough, to enjoy a delicious, potato and leek soup.
I'm just loving these moors. I hope you are too. I would love to read your comment.