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Roseberry Topping as we began the climb from the top edge of Newton Wood
Roseberry Topping as we began the climb from the top edge of Newton Wood

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Route No. 620 - Thursday 5 May 2016
Aireyholme Lane, Cliff Rigg Quarry, Roseberry
Topping, Newton Wood, Cliff Ridge Wood
circuit - 6km, Cleveland Hills . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


Ewes and their lambs in the field next to our parking spot on Aireyholme Lane
Ewes and their lambs in the field next to our parking spot on Aireyholme Lane

Setting off along Aireyholme Lane
Setting off along Aireyholme Lane

The field path around the edge of the wood
The field path around the edge of the wood

The lane is wider here and there is room to park several cars on the roadside with out obstructing the lane. From our parking spot we walked up the lane towards Aireyholme Farm and then about 50m before we reached the farm we turned left off the lane to follow a public footpath climbing up the field along the edge of the woodland.

This morning my neighbough, Jim, & I drove to Great Ayton on the northern edge of the North York Moors. We drove out of Great Ayton along Station Road and turned left off Station Road along Aireyholme Lane. We parked on the lane at map ref. NZ 578 112, about 150m before the lane reaches Aireyholme Farm.

Turning off Aireyholme Lane to the path across the field
Turning off Aireyholme Lane to the path across the field

The field path around the edge of the wood
The field path around the edge of the wood

Path by the possible site of the Cook family cottage at Aireyholme Farm
Path by the possible site of the Cook family cottage at Aireyholme Farm

Stile to the information board at Cook family cottage site
Stile to the information board at Cook family cottage site

James Cook's father was the foreman at Aireyholme Farm from 1736 and would have lived in a cottage on the farm. From the information board we followed the footpath along the edge of a larch plantation to a stile where the public footpath continued towards Roseberry Topping. We did not cross the stile but instead we turned left to climb the feint path by the fence up a steep grassy bank.

We continued along the edge of the woodland to map ref. NZ 576 114. We crossed the stile here and turned right to continue along the path. Just over the stile there is an information board about Captain James Cook whose family lived hereabouts. There was an archaeological dig in progress next to the path where they hoped to find the foundations of the Cook family cottage.

Climbing the grassy bank to Cliff Rigg Quarry
Climbing the grassy bank to Cliff Rigg Quarry

Fenced path around the edge of Cliff Rigg Quarry
Fenced path around the edge of Cliff Rigg Quarry

Cliff Rigg Quarry where the whinsill was taken for roadstone
Cliff Rigg Quarry where the whinsill was taken for roadstone

Looking across Cliff Rigg Quarry
Looking across Cliff Rigg Quarry

Larch tree in flower
Larch tree in flower

Then we turned right and followed the path down the hillside for about 50m to cross a public footpath coming from Aireyholme Farm, about 600m to our right. There is a steel sculpture here. It's a picture frame on a tripod with a view of Roseberry Topping seen through the frame.

At the top we came to the edge of Cliff Rigg Quarry (this is another part of the cross country Whinstone intrusion that has been excavated for road stone). We continued along a fenced path around the rim of the quarry for about 250m.


Path around Cliff Rigg Quarry

Path from Cliff Rigg Quarry around the edge of the wood
Path from Cliff Rigg Quarry around the edge of the wood

Picture frame sculpture
Picture frame sculpture

Bank covered in bluebells under the trees
Bank covered in bluebells under the trees

Path through the bluebell wood
Path through the bluebell wood

There's a seat here where a path goes off to the right climbing up to the top of Roseberry Topping. We sat on the seat for a drink and then set off along the path to the right to tackle the climb up to Roseberry Topping.

We continued following a footpath around the eastern edge of the woodland. The grassy banks under the trees here are covered with bluebells. It was a glorious sight in the warm spring sunshine. We followed this path along the edge of the bluebell woods for about 600m to map ref. NZ 576 123.

More bluebells in Newton Wood
More bluebells in Newton Wood

A seat & a drink before tackling Roseberry Topping
A seat & a drink before tackling Roseberry Topping


"The Shooting Box"

Path up Roseberry Topping
Path up Roseberry Topping

"The Shooting Box" is a refuge for shooting parties to have their lunch and to shelter from the weather. We continued along the path climbing up Roseberry Topping. This is a National Trust property and there is a good paved track zig-zagging up the steep hillside to the rocky summit with its trig point on top.

As we set off there was a grassy bank to our right with an ornamental stone building on top. When we reached the top of this bank we walked over to the building to investigate. It turned out to be a "The Shooting Box", built near the end of the 1700's.

Plaque on The Shooting Box
Plaque on The Shooting Box

The cobbled path up Roseberry Topping near the summit
The cobbled path up Roseberry Topping near the summit

Trig point at the top of Roseberry Topping
Trig point at the top of Roseberry Topping

Looking down to the Shooting Box from Roseberry Topping
Looking down to the Shooting Box from Roseberry Topping

Starting the descent from the summit
Starting the descent from the summit

Then we began the descent from the rocky summit. The path we took was heading north west from the summit and there had been a cobbled path. Unfortunately the cobbled path has suffered a good deal of erosion and the steep descent is very awkward under foot (particularly with my wonky knees!).

There were a lot of people there already as we stood by the trig point looking out to the Tees estuary and the sea. We found a comfortable rock step to sit on for a few minutes. What a wonderful place to just sit and enjoy the view.

Looking out to the coast from Roseberry Topping
Looking out to the coast from Roseberry Topping

Cobbled path down from Roseberry Topping
Cobbled path down from Roseberry Topping

Cobbled path down from Roseberry Topping
Cobbled path down from Roseberry Topping

Seat at the top edge of Newton Wood
Seat at the top edge of Newton Wood

Path down through Newton Wood
Path down through Newton Wood

From the seat we continued down the steep path and around the northern end of Newton Wood. We passed above the entrance to the wood from Roseberry Lane (a muddy track coming from the Newton-under Roseberry car park).

It took me around 25minutes to get down from the trig point to the gate back into the woodland at map ref. NZ 576 128. There's another seat here so we took the opportunity for another short break and a drink.

Path down through Newton Wood
Path down through Newton Wood

More bluebells
More bluebells

There were banks of bluebells under the trees by the path through Newton Wood
There were banks of bluebells under the trees by the path through Newton Wood

Path along the lower edge of Newton Wood
Path along the lower edge of Newton Wood

Wild garlic or ramsons
Wild garlic or ramsons

Wood anemonies by the path
Wood anemones by the path

We continued along the path now heading south westwards and there were other woodland spring flowers including celandine's, wood sorrel, stitchwort and wood anemones.

The woods are full of informal paths and we continued along a path that dropped down to the western edge of the wood. There were still large drifts of bluebells and as we progressed southwards there were large areas of wild garlic (ramsons) just coming into flower.

Wood Sorrell by the path
Wood Sorrel by the path

Boardwalk over a boggy bit
Boardwalk over a boggy bit

Stitchwort by the path
Stitchwort by the path

The track following the lower edge of Newton Wood
The track following the lower edge of Newton Wood

About to turn left at the south west corner of the wood
About to turn left at the south west corner of the wood

A gully by the path full of bluebells
A gully by the path full of bluebells

We followed the public footpath along the southern edge of Cliff Ridge Wood. As we progressed along this track there were large areas of bluebells up the hillside to our left.

We followed the path to the south west corner of the wood at map ref. NZ 567 118 just 200m from the railway and there we turned sharp left on to a public footpath.

Bearing left to follow the path along Cliff Crag Wood
Bearing left to follow the path along Cliff Crag Wood

Approaching the fields at the edge of the wood
Approaching the fields at the edge of the wood

Stile from the woodland path into the fields
Stile from the woodland path into the fields

Following the path by the fence across the fields
Following the path by the fence across the fields

Stile from the field down to Aireyholms Lane
Stile from the field down to Aireyholme Lane

The whole route is only about 6km but there is also the little matter of the climb over Roseberry Topping. We had a couple of stops on convenient seats for a drink and lots of pauses to take photos and just to look at the spring flowers so the walk took us about three and a half hours.

The track emerged from the wood into sheep pastures at map ref. NZ 576 113. We followed the path next to the fence between two fields full of ewes and their lambs, until we cam to a complicated stile & steps down on to Aireyholme Lane. At the lane we turned left and walked up the lane for about 150m back to the car and the end of our walk.

Ewes & their lambs in the fields by the path
Ewes & their lambs in the fields by the path

Stile from the field down to Aireyholms Lane
Stile from the field down to Aireyholme Lane

Returning to our parking spot on Aireyholme Lane at the end of our walk
Returning to our parking spot on Aireyholme Lane at the end of our walk

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