The Cleveland Way, Day 5, Great Ayton to Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Actual Hike: As Billed (we walked to our hotel from the trail)
Expected Mileage: 12.5
Actual Mileage: 12.5
Worst Part of the Day: Realizing that my feet are going to be an on going problem
Best Part of the Day: Reaching the sea
Bonus: A nice moderate sized grocery in Saltburn that provided the opportunity to stock up on trail foods

Accommodations: Victorian Guest House
Rating: Nice accommodations, lovely host and hostess
Date: Friday, May 11, 2018

Hey Leslie and Mike!

We made it, Saltburn by the Sea. The North Sea is just down a few blocks, oh and down a cliff from our little B&B.  But I am ahead of myself.

We started hiking this morning around 9:00 am.  One of the hotel owners, drove us from the village of Great Ayton to the parking lot where we ended our hike yesterday, a 4 mile drive. 

Looking back at Cooks Monument as we began our day.

Another steep climb to the top of our final heather covered Moor.

Our last hike up to a Moor. Both happy for our progress and sad to leave the familiar behind.

  We walked a mile or so across the top and came to the turn off trail for one of the “destination points” on the walk, Roseberry Topping. John says Roseberry looks like a Hershey Kiss standing alone in a field.  As much as we would have liked to hike to the top, it was an out and back hike of about 1.5 miles and we had a long day ahead.

Roseberry Topping

The views of the Yorkshire farmlands from the banks of the Moor were spectacular.  We could see lush green grasses with sheep scattered among the fields outlined by ancient stone walls. 

These views never got old.

Every so often large swathes of bright yellow flowers filled the land between the walls.  If we looked hard enough toward the horizon, we could see the North Sea and a water bound windmill farm with about 20 or so windmills twirling in the stiff breeze.  I wish I had the ability to write descriptives to give you a clearer picture of what we saw. So very beautiful. 

Off the Moors and headed to the forests.

All too soon (John says maybe not soon enough) we left the Moors, heather and talking grouse behind and spent the rest of the day in forests, farmland and walking through villages.

Checking the directions. We had just come out of the forest and crossed a very busy highway . We were headed up the embankment behind John. The trail is in the bottom right corner of this photograph.
Yep, sheep and farmland.

While it was slightly warmer today, the wind was…fierce.  Yes, fierce kept rolling off our lips. I couldn’t keep a cap on my head, John had his clinched down tightly.  Every once and a while our poles or our bodies would blow slightly off course.  It was that kind of day.  Sometimes the wind was warm, some times cool.  We wore long pants, layered shirts and lots of sunscreen.  The sun was in and out of the clouds for a while and then it was cloudy.

The trail was mostly well marked and we really only questioned ourselves a couple of times, specifically as we walked across the fields of Airy Hill Farm into the village of Skelton. The field marking was a little sketchy, especially along the farm access road.  “There’s your sign”  one of us would whoop as we spied the white acorn trail marker or wooden arrow sign post.  Unlike day one, we have figured out how to read our guidebook and have our map turned to the right section.  

The path to the village of Skelton

The last couple of miles today were long and a little painful, mostly through woodlands between Skelton and Saltburn then navigating our way through Saltburn to our B&B.  Including our walk through town, we covered just over 12 miles. Oh my weak feet!  

Coming into Skelton
Railway viaduct over Skelton Beck

Our b&b, the Victorian House, is a little different. It is owned by a lady in her early 70’s and her husband.  Our ensuite  room has an outside entrance next to her row house.  With the window and door configuration, we think it may have been a shop at one time. The room is nice, fairly comfy bed, large overstuffed chairs, kitchenette and tv. The water is on a pump system so everytime we turn it on, a pump starts running.  We are at a street crossroad and can definitely hear the traffic.

Our first seaside village, Saltburn by the Sea.
The weather was still too cool to be tourist season….lucky for us!

So Sue, our hostess, gave us this room on the first floor because of our luggage.  We are embarrassed by the size and weight of our luggage, me especially. While everything is underweight, it is WAY more than most people are having transported.  “I was going to put you on the 3rd floor,” Sue told us, “but your luggage is a bit heavy to carry up the steps…”  We are going to rethink our packing lists when we get home.Finally, while our feet and legs did not want to walk down the cliff to the seaside, we sat on a bench overlooking the sea, watching the surfers and enjoying the sights and sounds.  It has been a good day. We are 1/2 done today, 5 more days to walk, all by the sea.

We finally reached the North Sea! I had been waiting for this day! Even though my only trips to the ocean/sea over the last 20 years have involved backpacking or hiking, I love the sites and sounds of the sea.
Between too much wind burn and swollen eyes from too little good rest, we look pretty darn rough. I hesitated to post this picture but realized it was our reality on day 5 of this hike.



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