Day 11 – Welbury to Clay Bank Top (Lord Stones)

A day of two halves. Firstly a final stretch over the flat farmland of the Vale of Mowbray and then a wet walk along the Cleveland escarpment as I entered the third and final national park – the North York Moors. 

This was also the day I passed 150 miles and 3/4 of the walk distance.

I left Welbury and crossed under the Middlesbrough railway line –  saw a Grand Central train passing. 

I then walked alongside the railway for a short way, striking up a conversation with a network rail track walker who asked if I was doing the C2C!

Unfortunately one of the disbenefits of diverting slightly off the main path (to avoid the flat crossing of the A19 – more on that later) is that the paths tend to be much less used. This path disappeared into a tall meadow! Very slow going. 

Indeed the stile was almost lost to nature!

I eventually fought my way through to this lane. The cows seemed to be the farmer’s prize livestock. 

I met up with uncle for a short walk through the affluent village of West Rounton. 

Selfie time. 

This is East Rounton a short hop across the fields. 

East Rounton is a model village, constructed for Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, the ironmaster on his estate near Rounton Grange. 

This is the lodge. Impressive. 

So, back to the reason for going off piste for the last hour yesterday and this morning. The original route crosses the busy A19 dual carriageway at Ingleby Arncliffe on the flat. This is patently dangerous and there is a campaign for a bridge to be built. However one mile north there is this bridge. 

Fancy running across this road? Not I. It’s absolutely crazy that thousands of walkers do so each year. 

So having crossed on the safe bridge, I headed back to the main route. This started well. 

But soon I was back to the lightly used path problem and fighting my way through the jungle!

But these daisies were pretty at the end of that field. 

This house had its own golf hole. Nice. 

Then I walked through the pretty village of Potto and wondered how many people had called it potato. 

Heading for the hills!

These horses including a tiny Shetland said hello. 

Then the lane led down towards Swainby. 

Via a ford that had luckily been bridged.  

We had lunch at the rusty bike, a cyclist orientated cafe in Swainby. Had an excellent quiche/soup/scone combo. 

But whilst I was stopped it started raining. I pushed on with a visit to the remains of Whorlton castle, built in the 12th century – the gatehouse is quite striking. 

More info here if interested: 

The path then led uphill to a farm which had installed an impressive wind turbine. 

But the path on the map was blocked by nettles so I had to scramble through this hole in the fence. 

A little further on and I was in the NYM national park and climbing up the Cleveland escarpment. 

Once above a certain height the heather moors came into sight. 

The path (also on the Cleveland Way) was excellent. 

But it was wet!

Some grouse led me on for a while. 


On a clear day this would be fabulous. 

The boundary markers reflect the names of the ancient owners. A this side. 

And F this side. 

The path climbed up to a summit. 

Looking back, I could just see where I had come from on the escarpment. 

I pushed on. 

And this was the view from the summit trig point. 

I didn’t linger. This was the way down. 

I met up with uncle on the way down and retired for a hot chocolate at the lord stones cafe. I also met up with Ed and Rufus again (see day 1) and gave him the strawberries (see yesterday). 

This is the accommodation for the night. 

The beers on hand pumps were an interesting and relevant selection of geography – Cumberland from the lakes, wainstones (local) and Wychwood (quite close to home). 

I tried a local Middlesbrough delicacy – chicken Parmesan. 

Stats for the day. 11.2 miles with 1365ft of ascent up to a summit at 1235ft


One thought on “Day 11 – Welbury to Clay Bank Top (Lord Stones)

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  1. love the ascents and descents of this stretch of Cleveland Way (walked this ten years ago) but for it being part of the c2c it was a bit like you found it – wet, misty and foggy with only metres ahead to be seen!! And then several weeks later I introduced my niece to it – what a difference – distant horizons in all directions………hope you get chance to see it again sometime in its glory.


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