In a change to long-laid plans, we started our walk in Carlton-in-Cleveland on the edge of the North York Moors. Both Group A and Group B headed south-east down Main Street. Group B veered off south-west on lonely ancient tracks. Our path wound to Faceby underneath spreading oaks with hawthorn, elderberry and sloe bright in the hedgerow. Just below Whorlton Hill, Group B stopped at Whorlton Holy Cross Old Church, shrouded from view by yew. It looks in ruins, but amazingly still has occasional services. In the graveyard among the yew, we found a pirate’s grave, complete with skull and cross bones.
A short walk later and Group B stopped at Whorlton Castle. It was built in the 11th century intended to destroy northern folk. Today only the gatehouse and vaults remain. It made a very nice spot for our lunch.
Group A had loftier things in mind. They continued onwards and upwards through forested Bonny Cliff, leaving civilisation behind. They joined the Cleveland Way at Carlton Moor. Lunch was taken basking in the sunshine with glorious views over the Vale of Mowbray and Middlesborough in the distance. Next, they headed south-west.
After lunch, Group B continued to Swainby. There was lots of interest here. The village is made up of miners’ cottages built back when they did things proper. In the village centre Swainby Old Cross Church sat in pleasing juxtaposition with the packhorse bridge and Potto Beck. Round the corner was a vintage car showroom. Group C were spotted coming out of the café. Rested and refreshed, Group B made the steep climb up to the Cleveland Way. With an end in sight, they descended through Arncliffe Wood. By now Group A were hot on their heels. Everybody was pleased to reach the end of our morning walk at Ingleby Cross, with a pint at The Bluebell or an ice-cream at the café and a slice of cake for Phil’s birthday. Happy birthday Phil!
Phil warned us that the afternoon route was tough. We retraced our steps to Arncliffe Wood. We headed south on Tire Bank to re-join the Cleveland Way, For ages and ages we walked with pheasants fleeing in our path, then descended to Osmotherley where we rested our legs before walking out to the bus.
Thank you to Phil and Josh for leading Group A and to Len and Viv for leading Group B. The photos here were kindly shared by Carol, Begona, Pippa and Viv. Our next walk is in Hathersage on Sunday 6th October and will be lead by Carol and Ash. Contact email@example.com if you would like to join us.
“In perfect health he went from home, and little thought his glass was run, but dying in a short space, I hope his soul’s in a good place.”