Leader : Jan & Elaine. Distance : 8.5 miles
When Roseberry Topping wears a cap, Let Cleveland then beware a clap
The famous local hill known in Viking days as Odensherg and in more recent times as the Yorkshire Matterhorn was one of our targets for the day but unfortunately due to family illness our scheduled leader Maz was unable to guide us on our way. So much was her presence missed that it took a trio of somewhat confused fellow members, all complete with maps, to take her place. However alarm bells began to ring when one of the anointed three was unable to find the exit from the car park. Should we be worried?
We left. At first we wandered through a little bit of suburbia before a sharp right turn literally between two houses saw us follow a short track that lead us over open fields and to cross the local branch railway that terminates at the nearby Battersby Junction some 1.5 miles south west. We were now on the walk ˜proper” as we entered Newton Wood, dense in places and with an undulating track occasionally made slightly tricky by overgrown tree roots complicating the surface. We had now left Great Ayton in our wake where as we all learned at school a young James Cook, one of 8 children, attended school before going on to travel the world and become one of the great British explorers.
There had had been gently climb for some time through the woods and soon we reached what could loosely be called the point of no return – our bridges would be burnt. A sharp right turn had heralded the beginning of a 570ft scramble up uneven stone steps to the top of the hill and one by one we duly emerged over the brow, blowing just a little, but to be greeted with staggering panoramic views over Teeside and the adjacent moors.
The obligatory group photograph was taken alongside the now redundant trig point and then we were off again this time descending the hill via the erratically winding east stone staircase only to be confronted then with another climb to the ridge that forms part of Newton and Great Ayton Moors. Lunch though was in sight as we tramped the undulating path and we gradually dropped down slightly to the popular picnic spot at Gribdale Terrace. Hooray, but hey, this walk is on the programme as Moderate!!
Ere long the two minute Claxton sounded and we were off again walking some 230ft up the track that just brushed the edge of Coate Moor. Our target this time was the obelisk monument to the great Sir James Cook, the man who brought fame to the region and breathed his last on foreign soil in far away Hawaii.
A brief pause and then again those famous words rang out “It’s all downhill from here” and to be fair on this occasion the words rang pretty true and apart from one minor ˜up”we quickly arrived back in suburbia emerging rather abruptly through a small gate onto the rather busy minor road leading back to town.
Our post ramble ˜aperitif” was taken in the Royal Oak which hostelry was considered by most to be just a little over enthusiastic with their aperitif pricing.
Notwithstanding that it was yet another lovely day out with friends on the glorious North York Moors. We sixteen had enjoyed the tramp and despite earlier concerns our three- or was it two -guides did us and Maz proud.