Friday, 28 June 2013

Coastwalk , Teesdale Way

Marske-by-the-Sea → Middlesbrough

stormy-sea.png Distance: 13.49 miles
Ascent: 77 metres
Duration: 4 hours 35 minutes

The Black Path was green
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We set off in the drizzle, but by the time we reached Redcar the rain was solid.

redcar-prom.pngRedcar is another town that's the lucky recipient of a smartened-up prom. And like many such towns, it tends to just draw my eye away from the prom and into the town. Redcar is another town that could do with smartening up more than the prom.

Almost synonymous with the steel industry, the town celebrated when the blast furnaces were re-lit in recent years. Hopefully this return to industry will continue.

Out of the town it was industry all the way to Middlesbrough. The coast walker has two equally unpleasant options: either walk on the side of a dual carriageway, or take the "Black Path". We chose the latter. After all, it's part of the waymarked "Teesdale Way" - it should be beautiful, right?

The Black Path is a historic route that's now squeezed between various heavy industries. Traffic free, and largely full of overgrown shrubs, waist-high grass and brambles luscious greenery, it could be a really interesting walk. Unfortunately the heavy rain meant that we were struggling through soaking undergrowth, and at one point found the path completely flooded. Even the planks of wood which others had used to get across were floating uselessly in the middle of a black pond.


Eventually we gave up. When we reached the Tees Dock Road we started looking for ways off the path and onto the highway. There are two places where lattice footbridges provide a safe route between path and road without having to clamber over the many pipes. (One pipe labelled "Heavy Fuel" was adjacent to another labelled "Oxygen". What could possibly go wrong?)

middlesbrough.pngFrom there it was a road walk all the way to the Transporter Bridge over the River Tees, where we elected to stop: exhausted and soaked through.

That's more than enough for this week. We'll be back to tackle more industry as we cross the Tees and head towards Hartlepool, Sunderland and The Tyne next time.

Notes for future walkers:

  • Keep a close lookout for the place the bridleway turns south across the Cleveland Golf Course at NZ 580 255 — when we walked it the post was there, but the waymark disc was missing. Looking across the fairway we saw a complete waymarked post which confirmed the route.
  • The start of the Teesdale Way at NZ 582 250 could be easily missed. Look out for a small alley by a substation.
  • If you must walk The Black Path, be prepared to moan about it.
  • If you've had enough, it's possible to leave the Black Path onto the A1053 Tees Dock Road at NZ 552 221.
  • From the Tees Dock Road we walked south to the A66, which we crossed. We then walked parallel on Bolckow Road before crossing the dual carriageway again to follow Eston Road, then Puddlers Road and Normanby Road to South Bank railway station. After crossing the railway we followed Smith's Dock Road, Dockside Road and The Leeway to the football stadium before turning right up an alley to join Shepherdsdon Way. From the end we crossed the dock gates on the new footbridge and followed Scott's Road, Vulcan Road and Ferry Road to the Transporter Bridge.
Posted by pab at 16:13 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!