NZ 5703/01 Clay Bank to Cringle Moor

This walk takes us west from Clay Bank along the base of the northern escarpment of the moors, before climbing back up onto the Cleveland Way for the return journey. The first part of the walk can be a little muddy, but it does provide us with a very unusual view of the moors, which is well worth the mud. The return journey follows one of the finest paths in the entire moors, running along the top of Cringle Moor, Cold Moor and Hasty Bank, and visiting the Wain Stones, one of the few rocky outcrops on the moors.

Ascent: 1,950ft/ 600m
Length: 6.9 miles/ 11km
Map: Explorer 026 Yorkshire Moors West
Last Walked: 12 August 2007

We start from the very well placed car park at Clay Bank

1 (NZ 572 035)
Starting at the entrance to the Clay Bank car park, cross the road and turn right, heading downhill on the verge. After a short distance a forestry track leaves to the left. Join this track and follow it through the woods. A number of less important tracks branch off from this main track, but ignore them all and stay on the main track as it curves its way around the base of Broughton Bank.
2 (NZ 556 039)
We stay on this first track until it joins another track at a T-junction. Take the right hand junction, heading down the side of the hill towards the level ground. At the edge of the trees this turns into a very rough track, before reaching Bank Lane.
3 (NZ 555 042)
Bank Lane itself heads north towards Great Broughton. We don't want to head in this direction, so turn left onto the rough track that heads west along the base of the moors, running past a series of farms.
4 (NZ 541 041)
After the last of these farms, the track becomes a path, which then emerges at the end of another small lane. Cross over this lane and continue straight ahead along the foot path that runs beside Toft Hill. The path here is well signposted but a little muddy!
5 (NZ 528 040)

We continue along this path as it runs below the base of Cringle Moor. Our turn is a little obscure. There are no farms between Toft Hill and Manor Farm. One field away from Manor Farm, a reasonably distinctive path turns left and climbs diagonally across the field, climbing up on to the western slopes of Cringle Moor. Take this path (the field boundary is marked by a broken down fence with a sign for the right of way heading east towards the farm). At the top of this field the path passes through a gate and into the bracken. Our route here is made more complicated by the presence of a number of bike tracks on the hillside. The temptation is to leave our narrow bracken lined route for the first of the clearer bike tracks, but resist this urge - the bike tracks are not really designed for walking, often climbing awkwardly, and they don't reach our next objective.

Our objective is to reach the Cleveland Way. Where our path reaches the first of the bike tracks, look for a continuation of our original path that leads diagonally off to the right, in something of a dip, climbing up Busby Moor. Follow this path to the top of this steep climb. A side path then curves away to the left, crossing another major bike path, before eventually joining up with the Cleveland Way. This is a very easy path to identify - partly because it is normally very busy and partly because it can be seen running all the way down the edge of Carlton Moor and back up to the top of Cringle Moor.

6 (NZ 531 031)

Turn left onto the Cleveland Way and follow it as it climbs up to the top of Cringle Moor. We follow the Cleveland Way all the way back to the main road through Bilsdale. This is a dramatic switchback of a path, twice dropping down into gaps in the hills and climbing back, first onto Cold Moor and then onto Hasty Bank via the Wain Stones before finally dropping down to the main road.

7 (NZ 572 032)
Turn right onto the road, and using the wide verges walk back to the Clay Bank car park.