North York Moors Walks
The Cleveland Hills
Date: 1st June 2014
Distance: 14.5 miles
Time: 7 hours 25 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE558993
A superb but challenging circular walk starting from Chop Gate in Bilsdale and including the highest summits in the Cleveland Hills.
Route Summary: Chop Gate - Noon Hill - Barker's Ridge - Barker's Crags - Brian's Pond - Carlton Bank - Carlton Moor - Green Bank - Cringle Moor - Cold Moor - Wain Stones - Hasty Bank - Carr Ridge - Urra Moor - Bilsdale Hall - Seave Green - Chop Gate
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: After enjoying a nice ramble in the Howardian Hills the previous day I hadn't expected to go out for another walk over the weekend. However, Lisa thought that since I'd finally got round to registering for the 22 mile Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge at the end of June I should really get out for a couple of long practice walks beforehand. Hardly needing any encouragement to go for a walk I decided on this walk in the Cleveland Hills which was of decent length with a number of steep ups and downs.
Starting from Chop Gate I immediately began the climb up on to Noon Hill, the highest point of West Bilsdale Moor, and the first of no less than six hills on my route. This was a top I'd first visited one evening the previous summer. The climb up via Trennet proved to be easy enough with some lovely views of upper Bilsdale. After visiting the boundary stones on Cock Howe and Green Howe I continued north along a track to drop down on to Barker's Ridge. This part of the route was unfamiliar to me and a real highlight of the walk was the moment when the full length of Scugdale appeared in view ahead of me.
At the end of Barker's Ridge I had a little bit of a potter about and exploration of Barker's Crags where I enjoyed some more superb views of Scugdale. Finally leaving the crags behind I set off for the top of Carlton Moor. About half a mile after passing Brian's Pond I took a track cutting north-west across the moor, below the gliding club, to reach the Cleveland Way on Carlton Bank.
In route terms the Cleveland Way was to be my guide over the next five summits, firstly Carlton Moor itself followed by Cringle Moor, Cold Moor, Hasty Bank and Urra Moor. It was a beautiful day and the following miles over the main Cleveland Hills escarpment was pure hill walking bliss. The views across the hills and north over Cleveland were stunning and it was particularly gratifying to have a view from Cringle Moor. My only previous visit to that particular top had been in thick hill fog.
From Hasty Bank to the top of Urra Moor, the highest point in the North York Moors, the sun was temporarily blocked by a bank of cloud. However, after finally leaving the Cleveland Way on Urra Moor to follow the bridleway heading for Seave Green it came back out again just in time for me to enjoy a glorious descent into Bilsdale. It was a super end to what had undoubtedly been one of the highlights of my walking year to date.