Thursday, 27 June 2013


Saltburn-by-the-Sea → Marske-by-the-Sea

beach-cricket.png Distance: 2.33 miles
Ascent: 21 metres
Duration: 53 minutes

Oh I do like to be ...
« Runswick | Middlesbrough »

We may have finished the Cleveland Way for the week, but since we're staying in Marske there was still a short walk along the beach to finish the day off.

The tide was out so we stayed on the beach. With Saltburn pier behind us, it began to rain. This didn't seem to deter the group of people playing cricket on the sand though. "The perfect English summer image," Em observed.


Marske itself is a curious place, a coastal village with no real presence on the coast. It's mostly hidden behind dunes and low cliffs with just one slipway to give away its existence. The village is functional rather than dressing: somewhere to sleep, not necessarily somewhere to play.

Posted by pab at 17:00 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!

Cleveland Way , Coastwalk

Runswick → Saltburn-by-the-Sea

repus.png Distance: 12.50 miles
Ascent: 427 metres
Duration: 4 hours 40 minutes

Towards industry
« Robin Hood's Bay | Marske-by-the-Sea »

This was our final walk on the Cleveland Way for now. (I imagine we'll be back to complete the inland stretch of the National Trail some time in the future.)

staithes.pngWhile a pleasant enough walk, it felt like we were just ticking off what we've come to expect of the North Yorkshire coast today. In Staithes we had a traditional fishing village turned tourist trap, complete with steep and winding cobbled streets and narrow fisherman's cottages arranged in the gap in the cliffs.

boulby-mine.pngAs we approached the village, the dragon's-breath steam from Boulby Mine drifted into view in the distance, marking a distinct transition into more industrial territory. This potash mine is the second deepest mine in Europe, making it the ideal place for a deep dark matter laboratory.

boulby-cliff.pngSoon the mine was out of view and we were climbing Boulby Cliff, often cited as the highest point on the East Coast. We descended towards Skinningrove, overlooked by a large steel works, and the drizzle began to fall. We were certainly heading towards a more industrial landscape.

pigeon-fanciers.pngIn the village, three large wooden sculptures serve as reminders of the area's past. We were particularly taken with one outside the pigeon fanciers' loft; keeping pigeons has long been a regional tradition, and the memorial here marks the importance of carrier pigeons during the war. There was something quite moving about the story of how local skills and knowledge were placed at the centre of national security.

orchid.pngWe made a mistake leaving Skinningrove. Rather than follow the path at the back of the dunes, we stayed on the beach and had to double-back to find the route up the cliffs. As a reward for the extra effort we were treated to a dune populated with wild orchids.

charm-bracelet.pngAtop the cliff, the path takes a broad sweep around Warsett Hill, and it's worth stopping here to look out for the several sculptures placed near the cliff edge, perhaps trying to distract visitors from the freight railway that threatens to push the path over the edge.

cliff-railway.pngRounding the corner, more industry came into view: Redcar, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool promise to be a steady progression of pipes and chimneys. First through is Saltburn, and here the Cleveland Way leaves the coast at the popular Victorian spa resort, but we'll be continuing ahead with a few miles of wide sand and an unbroken view out to the North Sea.

Posted by pab at 16:59 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!