Lord Stones | Wednesday 1 September 2021

Walk Leader: John Leeman
Participants: 6
Mileage: 11 miles
Ascent: 2,000 ft
Walk Report: John Leeman

The initial planned route had been radically altered during recce when it was found that many rights of way had been rendered impassable through a combination of head-high bracken and nettle beds.  These hazards were now largely avoided.  We met at the spacious Lord Stones Country Park car park opposite the café in weather conditions that didn’t auger well. A fret bordered on drizzle and the high ground was hidden in missed. The turn-out consisted entirely of local people, former members of the Cleveland group.  The start took us straight up onto Cringle Moor close to the trig point that marks the second highest point of the North York Moors. On a fine day the view takes in both the Pennines to the West and the sea in the East. Not so today because of the mist but this gradually lifted during the day. Descending to the lower path we reached Clay Bank after a mid-morning coffee stop, having followed the Coast to Coast route that doubles up here with the Cleveland Way. Crossing the road we reached the hamlet of Urra via some wet overgrown paths, a slippery muddy ascent, and a wobbly style, all negotiated skilfully by our nimble group. The following road descent took us past the isolated church with its spectacular views across the Bilsdale Valley. St Hilda’s dates back to at least 1122 and still holds regular services.

Crossing the B1257 road that runs North/South through the middle of the moors, we headed West cross country to the start of a climb up onto Bilsdale West Moor. Here a lunch stop was taken sitting on some convenient stones that were remnants of an old cottage.  Once on the Moor there was a steady climb back up to the Cleveland Hills near the now defunct Gliding Club and from there straight down to our cars. Before leaving for home, we sat outside with hot drinks ordered from the café, reminiscing  on a fun day that frequently threatened rain but eventually provided sun instead.

Photos by Eva Bowes