Day 10 Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top

“The End in Sight!”

Today’s title testifies that, from the Cleveland Hills, I saw the North Sea for the first time; the end truly was in sight! The profile shows that after two days on the flat I was “back to the hills” again. Here are the Day 10 stats:

Left Ingleby Cross: 09:05 Arrived Clay Bank Top: 13:45
Distance (kms): 19.70 Distance (mls): 12.31
Moving Time: 4:11 Minimum Altitude (m): 75.4
Stopped Time: 0:15 Maximum Altitude (m): 422.1
Moving Average (kph): 4.7 Total Ascent (m): 977.5
Overall Average (kph): 4.4 Total Descent (m): 812.8

Day 10 GPX file: c2c10 (right mouse click and “Save link as…”) – with both the planned and actual routes. For a change I didn’t go wrong all day; mind you it would have been rather difficult to have done so!

Margaret and Len

“Margaret and Len” seems rather an odd sub-title for the day’s walk. Let me explain. Apart from the walks themselves there is always something special about each day of the C2C – not all good, I might add. At Richmond it was the luxurious swim in the town’s excellent pool, on the leg to Reeth it was the abiding memory of the sheep with its horns trapped in the gate, from Shap it was the prayer beside the path. Well, the abiding “non-walk” memory of today were Margaret and Len; more later.

Somerset House Farm is a wonderful B&B and despite it being right beside the busy A19 we had a great night’s sleep. For the second morning is a row I thought of my forthcoming blood cholesterol test (oh yeah?) and opted for scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes, with baked beans, of course! The eggs were especially good and “our host” told The Boss later that they were in fact duck eggs from their own ducks; and he gave her one to take away. If the B&B at Muker hadn’t been so bloody fantastic, Somerset House Farm would have won my B&B of the C2C award. As it is, it gets a very special “mention in dispatches”.

I set off on the comparatively short (11 miles according to Martin Wainwright) walk across the Cleveland Hills to Clay Bank Top, walking down a side road right outside the B&B and into Ingleby Cross, noting an Arts and Crafts Gallery opposite the cross itself and wondering if The Boss would “sniff it out” (she did!). After crossing the A172 the path started to climb past Arncliffe Hall and uphill into Arncliffe Woods, which I though were lovely, considering that they are Forestry Commission – mixed deciduous species rather than the usual regimented lines of conifers. Halfway up the C2C joins the Cleveland Way and stays with it all of the day and part of the next. During the next few hours I was to meet a few “Cleveland Wayers”, including another “Angel”.

The path rose steeply through the woods and in bright sunshine on a warm day it was wonderfully exhilarating. I was very glad that, for the first time in several days, I’d bared by arms and legs to all; yes, folks, I was in shorts and tee shirt all day and it was GREAT! Towards the end of the climb I came upon a large TV, radio transmitter, mobile phone mast, etc. site which tends to spoil the ambiance somewhat. AW Wainwright refers to it as “a TV booster station of revolting appearance” and if anyone can e-mail me and say in all honesty that they don’t watch TV, make a phone call or use a mobile, then I’ll join the campaign to have it removed. As it is, I suppose that this is just part of the price we have to pay for the so-called comforts of modern life! As I continued the climb I met a guy from Godalming, obviously The Stockbroker, who I hadn’t seen before on the C2C. He was hoping to finish on Thursday which meant he had about 47 miles to do in just two days. I was impressed. I approached a couple walking hand in hand (ahhhh!) who turned out to be Cleveland Wayers and chatted a bit to them before continuing.

Unusually, I started to suffer a bit from a sore on one of my left toes and this became an increasing problem. So much so that I had to stop by the path, take my boot off and wrap the offending digit in a piece of tissue in an attempt to cushion it a bit. I’d even thought of knocking on a door of one of the nearby houses and seeing if someone had a plaster but then the “hand in hand (ahhhh!)” couple came along and she very kindly gave me one of those special anti-blister plasters and that was the problem over for the day. She became my “Angel” of the walk as, many days before, Giant Haystacks had become my “Guardian Angel”.

The rest of the walk was a real roller coaster with hard climbs up and almost as hard (for me) descents. As the path dropped down to a road, there was the famous watering hole (no, NOT that type of “watering hole”), a hidden café (The Lord Stones Café) which is supposed to be wonderful and I now regret very much that, in my haste to meet The Boss at Clay Bank Top, I passed it by. However, there’s no point crying over spilt milk, or in the case of The Lord Stones Café, over a missed black pudding muffin; but don’t you do the same!

The roller coaster continued over Cringle Moor and, for the very first time, I could just see the east coast, probably at Teesport or somewhere similarly post-industrial. I paused at the Alec Falconer memorial seat and plaque; I’ve not been able to find out much about him but Wainwright (the dead one, that is) records that he lived from 1884 – 1968 and under the pseudonym of “Rambler” was a champion of walkers’ interests. Further on I met up with the NW Walkers who last night had berated me for my “short walk” today, as they were carrying on to The Lion Inn at Blakey. I must admit that, at that moment, I wished that I’d planned things better and had headed there too. But had I done that I’d have missed one of the most special B&Bs on the whole C2C.

Shortly after I left them behind, after trading the usual good natured insults, it started to rain but, with only about half an hour to go showing on my GPS, neither it nor the very strong winds on the tops were going to make me put my bloody sweat-inducing waterproofs on. In any case, the rain soon went away and just after one thirty I reached the B1257 at Clay Bank Top, where there seems to be nothing but a lay by. I walked along the road for about ¼mile and met The Boss at the car park where we sat on one of the benches of the picnic area in the cool wind (“bloody freezing”, she said!) and shared my lunch box – nice!

Afterwards we drove the couple of miles to Great Broughton, the nearest place we could find a B&B, and eventually found Ingle Hill and eventually, eventually found Margaret Sutcliffe (83 years old tomorrow) who runs it with her husband Len (88) who tends the most beautiful of gardens. They are a wonderfully chatty couple, even though Len is a bit hard of hearing, and we sat in their conservatory drinking tea and eating Margaret’s homemade cakes – absolutely scrumptious. We chatted about ourselves and they about themselves and their family. Their elder daughter, who tragically passed away six years ago, had been a nanny to Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall’s children and Jerry still keeps in touch. Proudly amongst their photos was one from Jerry with special words on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary, cheek by jowl with one from the Queen! We weren’t sure of which they were most proud; but I know which would be my choice!

Their B&B is great with lovely views from our spacious room. Sadly it seems that Margaret has had a few health problems in the last year and she said that she is giving up “this B&B lark” but I got the impression that there will still be beds for C2Cers for a couple of more years yet. Stay there, it’s wonderful! After our tea and cakes, I showered, did my “essentials” and then we went off to Great Broughton to do a bit of shopping, get butties for tomorrow, etc.

Later, The Boss confessed that she had indeed found the Arts and Crafts Gallery at Ingleby Cross and had bought a wooden vase from one of the craftsmen there for £175. After regaining my breath and the colour to my cheeks I said “Oh, it must be nice”. So she got it out of the boot of the car and unwrapped it. And, indeed, it was beautiful – turned from a single piece of wood with all the lustrous grains of the elm tree from which it had come and smooth as a piece of ceramic.

We walked to the strangely named Jet Miners’ Inn just down the road from Ingle Hill and had an excellent meal with very good beer. Well, you can’t get much better than Charles Wells Bombardier Bitter, especially as it used to be the official beer of the Cambridge Folk Festival (Budweiser is the official beer of the Glastonbury Festival – says it all in my humble opinion!).

When we got back to Margaret and Len’s place he was still out doing gardening in the gathering gloom and she was chasing him inside. Sometimes life is just so beautiful! And to cap it all, we had a wonderful night’s sleep. Must be something to do with all this walking!

AccommodationBeverages & Comestibles
Ingle Hill
Great Broughton
North Yorkshire

01642 712449
Garlic Mushrooms (starter)
Spaghetti Arabiatta (John)
Scampi (The Boss)
(Both excellent 9/10)

Charles Wells Bombardier Bitter

Some Day 10 Photos