Friday, 1 November 2013

Walking on the Coastal Cleveland Way

Although we have made the occasional visit to places such as Saltburn and Whitby, we haven't really explored the North Yorkshire coast in much depth. Following a recent excursion to Staithes, we decided this was a place that warranted further exploration, and so Claire and I booked ourselves a night away in a beautiful little cottage just off the sea front, and a coastal circuit walk with our partner in crime Dave.

Our chosen route would take us in a loop, following the coast southwards before heading inland for the return leg. Seeing as the harbour village of Staithes is tucked below steep cliffs all around the walk started with an inevitable hike upwards, taking us onto the Cleveland Way.

This was just a short ascent though and the rewards were fantastic - from here on the coastal walk was pure pleasure with massive views out to sea.

Looking back we could see the massive cliffs that protect Staithes from the elements. Soon enough we passed Port Mulgrave which has a fascinating mining history. I am sure we will be investigating this part of the coast at some point in the future but for now we pushed onwards until we reached Runswick Bay.

So Runswick Bay - how come I had never heard of this place before?! Aside from the picture postcard village, it boasts a fantastic beach. Conditions were so nice that Dave and I agreed if we had our swimming gear with us we would have gone for a dip - had we brought our trunks I am sure we would have found an excuse not to go in though.

We spent a bit of time on the beach, enjoying the incredible bay and lovely conditions before heading back up to the higher ground along the cliff tops to Kettleness where we stopped for lunch. I think we could have sat there for hours enjoying the views, but we soon pressed on.

The return leg of our walk saw us come away from the coast, following the bed of an old railway track. In order to get there we had to cross a field with an angry looking bull that stared at us the whole time we were in "his" field - we gave him a wide berth!

The rail path took us back to Runswick Bay and here again we swung away from the coast, following the road to Hinderwell and crossing a couple of fields before entering the woodland of Borrowby Dale.

This was a day for lots of varied walking terrain and all of it interesting, but the coastal paths were the definite winners.

The last half mile or so saw us return to Staithes past the row of houses at Cowbar, and this gave us a really spectacular approach back into Staithes and a welcome cold drink at the Cod & Lobster right on the sea front.

An amazing day's walking that really showed off the versatility of the North York Moors and the Cleveland Way.

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