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Runswick Bay seen from the disused railway track
Runswick Bay seen from the disused railway track

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Route No 48 - 6 July 2002
Sandsend, Mulgrave Woods, Mickleby
Cleveland Way circuit - 18 km
North York Moors

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern Area. 1:25000


Setting out from Sandsend. We seem to have had showery weather for weeks but the forecast was for a dry, cloudy bright day to-day. I met a group of friends at Sandsend a couple of miles north of Whitby this morning at 10.30 and we set off for Mulgrave Woods. The footpaths in this area have been closed until quite recently because of continuing foot & mouth disease scares, so we haven't walked this route for a couple of years. On the south side of Sandsend rigg we crossed the river by the road bridge and imediately turned left to the entrance to Mulgrave Woods.Part of Mulgrave Castle. The woods are privately owned and are open to the public at weekends and on wednesdays, but are closed all of May. We climbed up through the woods to the ruins of Mulgrave Castle (the ruins were renovated to prevent further decay in 1998/99 with the help of a lottery grant).A blackthorn branch loaded with sloes at Mickleby. Even if you don't want a long walk it's worth a stroll up to the castle and back. At the western edge of the woods we took the path by a farm called 'Barmby Sleights' to a farm called 'Low Broom House' where we turned onto the road to Ugthorpe. Just before we reached the village we turned right on to a path across the valley to the village of Mickleby. In the village there were some blackthorn bushes absolutely loaded down with sloes. I have never seen such a heavy crop! From the village we took the lane north to the B1266 and walked a hundred metres to the junction with the A174. At the junction there is a footpath from the north side of the A174 to Westfields Farm. There is a council land fill site at the start of the path but it's well filled and screened now so is not too intrusive and the path soon drops into some pleasant oak woods before crossing the fields to the farm. (This is the route we took but please see alternative route shown on my map - From the farm we took the path heading north towards Runswick Bay. After about 300metres the path crosses the disused coastal railway. Just before reaching the railway we followed a farm track down the hedge side to a gate onto the railway. This part of the railway is not a public right of way but the 'Right to Roam' act will put that right - surely? Well no it didn't so I suggest that you use the alternative route shown on my map).A mole - victim of the recents heavy rain? We walked along the old railway track for about a kilometre until it met the Cleveland way coastal path and followed the coastal path for about 6 km back to our starting point on the sea front at Sandsend. Along the way we saw several dead moles. They all seemed to be in good condition (except that they were dead). I wondered if they had been victims of the recent heavy thundery rain? The whole route was about 18km and took us four and a half hours including three stops to admire the views and have a drink and a sandwich. We also had a cup of tea and a cake at the tea shop by the car park in Sandsend - we do like our creature comforts.

The cliffs approaching Sandsend from the north
The cliffs approaching Sandsend from the north

Part of the outer wall of Mulgrave Castle
Part of the outer wall of Mulgrave Castle