Thanks to everyone who came for a wander last night it was good to see so many of you out on the trails. Starting from the car park at Lordstones we headed up towards Carlton Moor via the main track that forms part of the Viking Chase route. Though longer it makes for a steadier more runnable climb to the summit than following the Cleveland Way path.
Near to the top we passed the site of the old glider station which was the home of the Newcastle & Teesside Glider Club from the early 60s until the last flight in October 2008.
Nothing now remains of the hangers or any other buildings however you can make out where they had been and remnants of the landing strip still lurks beneath the grass and weeds.
From there we headed up onto the top of Carlton Moor to the triangulation pillar and boundary stone which mark the summit. The evening being clear and bright afforded us expansive views over towards the Durham Dales, nearer to home Roseberry Topping stood out like the fin of a circling shark framed between the trig point and the boundary stone.
Our route then followed the Cleveland Way for about half a mile in the direction of Gold Hill. We then cut back on ourselves and headed over towards Brians pond. As there were no takers for a dip we pushed on leaving the main track to follow a minor trod around the edge of Barkers Crags.
The crags are popular with climbers and extend to over 10 metres in height in places. Once beyond the crags we began to drop down towards Raisdale Mill Plantation. This was a nice descent on what turns into a minor trod which leads to the gate into the plantation. Beside the gate stands Hairy Bobs Cabin. Legend has it that hairy Bob lived there for years without ever visiting a barber... Not sure about the veracity of that tale as the cabin looks more like a metal storage crate for the loggers. Once in the plantation the loggers track drops steadily down towards Raisdale Beck again making for a good fast descent. Once at the bottom we followed a well used footpath to the farm at Staindale which is at the foot of Bilsdale West Moor. The path continues northwards through fields mostly given over to grazing all the way to Thwaites House and eventually emerges on Raisdale Road. Once on the road we trotted up the bank back to the car park.
In all we covered just under 6 miles with circa 800ft of elevation.
All in all a nice little wander topped off by libations at the Blackwell Ox in Carlton-in- Cleveland.
See you all next week...Trot on.