So Peeps, We’ve got as far as Clay Bank and were definitely ‘challenged’ by some of the ascents, especially at Cringle Moor and Wainstones, but that was yesterday. Today is today and we’re going to Kildale. We’ll learn about the highest point and a railway junction with a history.
We gather at the car park where we left the ‘Way’ last night and produce the usual crop of photos. They are essential as far as I’m concerned as they are the reminders of what happened and when & who we were with. They become the basis for wonderful reminiscences five days, weeks, months, years or even decades hence so please take every opportunity to record your adventures as we’re doing on all our walks and fun times!
Clay Bank to Kildale is not difficult but the first twenty minutes is. We ascend six hundred feet in less than a quarter of a mile but once at the top of Car Ridge there isn’t too much climb or descent. The moors do undulate but that makes them interesting, so does the fact that you can see for miles especially when the wind blows away the haze as it does today.
The highest point is Urra Moor at 1490 feet above sea-level (454 metres) and is beautiful. The Cleveland Way arcs across it to Bloworth Crossing where the tracks divide, one even further across the moor towards the Lion Inn at Blakey another follows the old railway track to Farndale in one direction and ‘Incline Top’ in the other. We’re turning left here and its’s time for a banana break and pee.
From here we’re on a wide obvious track that follows the profile of the Moors in both horizontal and vertical plane. To our left is the wonderful sight of the vales and looking back we can see the Broughton Road although Clay Bank, our starting point, is now obscured by the promontories of Urra Moor.
Up here there are curlews, and peewits swooping about and trying to attract our attention as we get too close to their nests for their comfort. Above us is the continuous chirping of skylarks and I try to teach the others how to catch a glimpse of them by staring into the sky and relaxing eye muscles until there is no focal point; usually, but not always, this results in an identification of movement and your eyes naturally lock onto the moving object. It may be a crow, seagull or kestrel but, if you’re lucky it’ll be the skylark as it flits around the heavens, you’ll find it easier to spot in the future and I have no idea why?
There’s a minor incline as we approach the practically named “Tidy Brown Hill” and bear right to cross Battersby Moor where we settle down to lunch with a view. We’re next to a shooting butt overlooking Battersby Crag. Below us is Battersby Junction.
Originally, (1858) it was called Ingleby Junction when the Ingleby Mining Company linked their private line to the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Railway. In 1878 it was renamed Battersby Junction to avoid confusion with the nearby Ingleby Station. Despite being located along single-track routes, Battersby became a major hub with extensive marshalling sidings and three-road engine shed with turntable. There were also two terraces with 30 cottages to house the workforce and others.
In its heyday, it had three platforms together with two water towers to service the steamers but in 1954 the direct line to the west of Battersby was closed and it is now almost unique in that trains reverse into it and then move forward out. There are still 4 services per day and there are about 1500 passengers per year that use it and that figure seems constant over the last five years.
We finish our sandwiches and brace ourselves for the final hour or so to Kildale largely on tarmac and offering tremendous views of the ridges that had been to our left as we’d walked. It’s a good feeling when you see the distance as a real three ‘D’ geographic view like this, very satisfying.
There was a fair amount of anticipation for a scone, cake or sticky bun at the Glebe Cottage Tea Room in Kildale. Their Facebook Page, Tripadvisor and other internet resources all showed that it was open but we arrive to find a sign in the window saying it wouldn’t be open until the end of the month. I appreciate that some pages on the web are out of their control but it’s really not a big deal to keep your Facebook page up to date. We were at the end of our walk so we just took our cars and went elsewhere anyone planning a walk that includes this as a refreshment stop in the middle of their walk might want to take their own food and drinks just in case.
It is 1335 now and the train from Kildale station leaves at 1425 so not much of a wait for those on the train taking the delightful Esk Valley line home; what a treat!
This leg is just over 10 miles (16km) and apart from the first half-hour, is easy and very rewarding.
Enjoy the snaps…G..x
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