Tim Scotts Coast to Coast walk September 2017 travel blog

Looking back from Round hill

Selfie on my coffee break

Not so famous grouse

The moorland en route to Blakey ridge

A pint at the Lion Blakey Ridge

Not a bad spot for a coffee or two

Day 15 almost 9 miles We arranged to have breakfast at 8 am and then get a lift back to Clay bank. The Fields and I began the ascent from Clay Bank after briefly conversing with a kiwi couple I'd met before being dropped off by their B & B owner a white haired and bearded specimen who they described as 'set in the 60's' as was his overnight stay....phew landed lucky there! Being kiwis they'd found an alternative C to C route so we bid them farewell. Our little party of 3 began a well paved ascent still on the Cleveland way to'Round Hill' the highest point of the days walk and indeed the highest point of the remainder of the walk at just under 1500 feet. Although cooler the whole day was due to be dry for us.

We continued on the easy to walk Cleveland way which we parted company with at Bosworth crossing at 1274 feet. If that sounds like a railway crossing it was from 1861 to 1929 bringing iron ore down from the mines to Teesdale to be smelted. The Coast to coast path to our final destination to-day would all be on that disused railway and it was hard not to think of all those miners and engine drivers who made a hard living in this countryside in the time of our grandparents and great grandparents. Now not being the most social of people I announced when a suitable place became apparent on the side of the route I intended to have a coffee break. I of course offered to share my coffee but hoped not to be taken up on the offer as nearly 2 hours had passed since my morning cafetierre so I announced plans to stop at a suitable place I found a nice spot overlooking a valley to rest my 'bones' on my camping seat.

I lingered a while in the pale sunshine eating a snack and polishing off my days coffee ration and enjoyed also a roll and butter left after our 'gut busting' meal the previous night....well it was paid for so had to be purloined.

Duly refreshed I continued alone amid the commotion of noisy grouse on the moors. I noticed too several grouse butts lined across the hillside, For the uninitiated these are like little stone bunkers wherein season beaters brush the heather to encourage the poor creatures towards an artillery of fire power and flying lead shot. I'm not sure if this is by the gentry, 'hooray Henries' from the city, or game keepers but I thought I should warn the avian fellows of the perils they face using my basic conversational grouse I referred to the previous day

Once again I felt my warnings had gone unheeded and I might as well have been speaking 'Pidgeon English'

The route continued at a steady elevation of about 1250 feet until the Lion Inn on Blakey ridge became visible above. It is the 4th highest pub in Britain and having visited the top 3 in the Dales and Peak district I was pleased to ascend a muddy uphill path and cross a field from the old railway track to reach it in early afternoon

Time for a couple of pints in the busy pub which served the delicious Wainwrights gold that has become a real favourite and a brief talk to the Fields who had booked in there....that's the couple not the green arable things you see in the country. Time for a quick selfie although I'm not vain of course!

As there was no accommodation available when I booked in July Packhorse holidays had arranged for the B & B owners from Rosedale abbey to pick me up at Blakey and return me there the next morning. So knowing I needed to allow a few minutes I rang Bill owner of the White horse farm inn who was soon with me and ran me to the pub, probably 15 minutes off route. Once again a lovely double room much better than most 4 stars I'd stayed in with a lovely en suite with shower and bath. I booked Dinner and thoroughly enjoyed a starter of freshly battered fish goujons followed by a wonderful steak dinner

Tomorrow it's back several miles with the gaffer after breakfast a £10 fare having been agreed to Blakey to pick up the trail. For older readers its impossible to think of 'Blakey' without thinking of the character on 'On the buses' that awful 70's sitcom and his catchphrase 'I'll get you Butler'

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