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The Cleveland Way & Missing Link / 9 days / 158 miles (254km)

Cleveland Way → OS Route Map → Map GPX Route file →
Missing Link → OS Route Map → Map GPX Route file →

National Trails website National Trails website

Date: 10 Sep 2002
Start / Finish: Helmsley.
Maps: Outdoor Leisure 26 & 27 North York Moors West & East + Explorer 301 Scarborough & Bridlington.

Day 1Helmsley, Roulston Scar & Sutton Bank12 miles / 780 feet (19.3km / 237m)
Day 2Black Hambleton, Carlton Bank & Cringle Moor20 miles / 2500 feet (32.2km / 762m)
Day 3Wain Stones, Urra Moor & Roseberry Topping19 miles / 2450 feet (30.6km / 746m)
Day 4Skelton, Saltburn & Staithes18 miles / - (29.0km)
Day 5Runswick Bay, Whitby & Robin Hoods Bay21 miles / - (33.8km)
Day 6Hayburn Wyke, Scarborough & Cayton Bay21 miles / - (33.8km)
Day 7Filey Brigg & Blue Man16 miles / 1660 feet (25.8km / 505m)
Day 8Levisham Moor, Cropton Forest & Spaunton Moor20 miles / 1500 feet (32.2km / 457m)
Day 9Beadlam Rigg & Riccal Dale11 miles / 700 feet (17.7km / 213m)

We have now constructed GPX based route maps for both sections, displayed on OS mapping via the above links.

The GPX route for the Missing Link section was produced eighteen years after the walk using our previous rough outline map and now very vague memories of details, we hope it's accurate enough!. The report itself was written long after the walk and therefore only includes a few notes that may be useful to backpackers.

Day 1 - Helmsley, Roulston Scar & Sutton Bank

We carried water for this half-day, but Sutton Bank Visitor Centre toilets had water and there was a picture on the wall done by the local school explaining the water collection process.

Rievaulx Abbey
Rievaulx Abbey (10 Sep 2002__14:19:34)
View NW from escarpment
View NW from escarpment (10 Sep 2002__17:05:27)
Gormire Lake from Sutton Bank
Gormire Lake from Sutton Bank (10 Sep 2002__18:12:22)

Day 2 - Black Hambleton, Carlton Bank & Cringle Moor

Osmotherley has public toilets and the gents has water, not the ladies!.

View from the Hambleton Drove Road
View from the Hambleton Drove Road (11 Sep 2002__08:48:20)
Western edge of Cleveland Hills
Western edge of Cleveland Hills (11 Sep 2002__13:23:10)
View from Carlton Bank
View from Carlton Bank (11 Sep 2002__16:24:10)
Kirby Bank & Cold Moor from Cringle Moor
Kirby Bank & Cold Moor from Cringle Moor (11 Sep 2002__16:24:39)

Day 3 - Wain Stones, Urra Moor & Roseberry Topping

The Post Office shop in Kildale has a small range of supplies including bottled water. We collected excellent water at Spring Wood 618140 - at this point the forest track forks. At the time, the CW was diverted uphill along the upper R fork, to access the spring take the L fork downhill a short way to the point where it levels out then turn back sharp L along an old leafy track, the spring is a short distance along on the L.

Wain Stones
Wain Stones (12 Sep 2002__07:18:17)
Roseberry Topping
Roseberry Topping (12 Sep 2002__14:29:15)

Day 4 - Skelton, Saltburn & Staithes

No problems with supplies from here to Filey!. Coastal sections can be tricky for pitching though, depending how fussy you are about being hidden from view. We pitched on a lower tier of Lingrow cliffs around 808167.

Although it doesn't matter for walking, one point to bear in mind for pitching is that on the coastal sections that are anywhere near a car park, the ground adjacent to the path is basically a linear dog lavatory.

Exit from Saltburn
Exit from Saltburn (13 Sep 2002__11:31:06)
Approaching Staithes
Approaching Staithes (13 Sep 2002__15:27:21)
Old Staithes
Old Staithes (13 Sep 2002__16:01:00)
Old Staithes
Old Staithes (13 Sep 2002__16:01:43)
Headlands near Port Mulgrave
Headlands near Port Mulgrave (13 Sep 2002__16:33:56)

Day 5 - Runswick Bay, Whitby & Robin Hoods Bay

There seem to be alternating stretches where pitching is easy and tricky, and we ended in a tricky one today. We could have crossed the fence into the inviting fields but we thought being on the outside would be a more defensible position!.

Ascent from Runswick Bay beach by Hob Holes
Ascent from Runswick Bay beach by Hob Holes (14 Sep 2002__07:35:05)
Kettle Ness
Kettle Ness (14 Sep 2002__08:18:43)
Saltwick Nab
Saltwick Nab (14 Sep 2002__12:14:46)
Headlands near Robin Hoods Bay
Headlands near Robin Hoods Bay (14 Sep 2002__14:39:14)

Day 6 - Hayburn Wyke, Scarborough & Cayton Bay

There was a diversion in force omitting Newbiggin Cliff, running from the Blue Dolphin holiday park via the A165 and A1039 and the footpath N from Filey Field Farm, which we followed but in hindsight we think we should have ignored it. We are always sceptical about the rationale for these things, often there are no significant problems at all for walkers whatever the powers that be might say. Anyway we made a good pitch on North Cliff.

Scarborough North Bay
Scarborough North Bay (15 Sep 2002__09:14:35)
Scarborough South Bay
Scarborough South Bay (15 Sep 2002__14:01:38)
Cayton Bay
Cayton Bay (15 Sep 2002__14:13:07)
Lebberston Cliff
Lebberston Cliff (15 Sep 2002__15:14:53)
Cayton Bay & South Bay from Lebberston Cliff
Cayton Bay & South Bay from Lebberston Cliff (15 Sep 2002__15:31:10)
Pitch on North Cliff with Filey Bay cliffs
Pitch on North Cliff with Filey Bay cliffs (15 Sep 2002__18:16:10)

Day 7 - Filey Brigg & Blue Man

At Filey Brigg is the end of the official CW and a stroll to the rail station. The Missing Link (ML) starts from Crook Ness and is shown on our outline map as a blue line, but we thought it a little odd as Scarborough is the obvious return point from Filey to start the traverse (other than backtracking for miles along the CW). Our route worked out quite well, starting with a short rail trip to Scarborough and restocking supplies. Less than a mile NW from Scarborough station at 030887 a permitted path, now also a cycle route, runs NW along the line of the dismantled railway to the road through Scalby. Turning L through the centre to the W end at 008902, a path and track run NW then N to join the ML near Beacon Cottage farm.

Filey cliffs
Filey cliffs (16 Sep 2002__07:01:00)
Filey Brigg
Filey Brigg (16 Sep 2002__07:08:21)
The end stone of the Cleveland Way
The end stone of the Cleveland Way (16 Sep 2002__07:17:56)

Climbing NW to Reasty Hill Top we joined the Blue Man route and kept a close eye on the map. Between Barns Cliff End and Crosscliff Forest it can be difficult to keep track of exactly where you are, but there are rewards. This is a route not just of dull forest roads but good views from Langdale Rigg and some pleasant woodland. Having bought water in Scarborough we pitched by a side track in Crosscliff Forest.

Day 8 - Levisham Moor, Cropton Forest & Spaunton Moor

Heading NW along Crosscliff Brow and out to the A169, the scene changes again as a track curves around the Hole of Horcum with broad open views and S to Dundale Pond and a multi-way signpost. We took the route W & SW that bypasses Levisham village and arrives at the station, where the timing was perfect for once as the steam locomotive Braveheart chugged in as we arrived. The ML heads NW to enter and cross Cropton Forest in straightforward fashion and leaves it at Hartoft Bridge. A footpath SW crosses Spaunton Moor, and we bypassed Lastingham and walked to Hutton-le-Hole, where there is a public toilet with water and driers. Taking the road NW to Lowna Bridge the ML heads N up the Dove valley to Dale End Bridge (good water at springs a short way before the bridge) and climbs W to Harland Moor where we made our last pitch.

Dawn sky and Blakey Topping
Dawn sky and Blakey Topping (17 Sep 2002__07:15:15)
'Braveheart' at Levisham station
'Braveheart' at Levisham station (17 Sep 2002__09:37:24)

Day 9 - Beadlam Rigg & Riccal Dale

An easy half-day following the ML footpaths SW to Penny Holme then the track that turns S to Beadlam Rigg. A bridleway turns W to Riccal Dale and Hasty Bank farm leaving valley tracks and paths S to Helmsley.

View W from Beadlam Rigg
View W from Beadlam Rigg (18 Sep 2002__08:56:07)