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Walking has become a hugely popular way to pass the time during both lockdowns one and two. It’s vital to get fresh air and exercise at this time – and those lucky enough to have good walks on their doorstep should be sure to make the most of those routes. Express.co.uk has teamed up with the North York Moors National Park to identify some of the best walks near Middlesbrough.
Walk One: Glorious coast and Victorian heritage
Good train links to both Redcar and Saltburn makes this 5.2-mile coastal walk possible without a car. It’s a great day out making the most of a glorious stretch of the England Coast Path and with sights aplenty along the way.
One to look out for is the impressive stone-built Cliff House which was built in the 1800s as a holiday residence for the Pease family who were prominent industrialists in the North East.
Walkers will also pass Saltburn, a town with a rich heritage based on the vision of Henry Pease to create a Victorian seaside resort.
It’s worth spending a bit of time wandering along the promenade to the most northerly pier in Britain and seeing the Cliff Lift in action before you head home.
What’s more, covid restrictions depending, on the second Saturday of each month the Saltburn Farmers’ market takes place in the heart of the town offering a great opportunity to stock up on locally-made goodies.
Distance: 5.2 miles
Duration: Allow two and a half hours
1. Once out of the train doors, turn left along the platform and out of the station at the level crossing.
2. Turn left across the level crossing and along West Dyke Road, passing the Redcar Town Clock and continuing to reach the seafront at the Redcar Beacon (Vertical Pier).
3. Turn right to follow the seafront, passing Paccito’s and the Zetland Lifeboat Museum.
4. At the Zetland Park Roundabout, continue along The Stray/Promenade.
5. As the track turns inland, turn onto the coastal path and follow this all the way towards Marske.
6. The path brings you to the boundary of Cliff House. Turn left onto the tarmac path to skirt around the building.
7. On the other side there is a sandy inlet. Drop down a few steps, across and up the inlet and them climb the stone steps on the other side.
8. Continue across the grassy expanse, eventually passing alongside the wall that marks the boundary of St German’s Churchyard with its distinctive spire.
9. Continue on the path to Saltburn – there may be a few fields to cross which may contain livestock and can be muddy in places.
10. At the third stile cross back onto the coastal path and continue to Saltburn.
11. Drop down the steps, then head along the promenade and finish your walk with a stroll out onto Saltburn’s pier.
Walk Two: Moorland views and ancient history
Again, you can leave the car at home for this walk and instead step on-board the Esk Valley Railway from Middlesbrough to arrive in the village of Castleton 55 minutes later.
This 7.5-mile walk packs a punch in terms of variety – from stretches of high moorland up to Danby Beacon through to the gentle landscape of the Esk Valley at Lealholm.
The route leads walkers through woodland and pastures to Danby, past the Moors National Park Centre (where under normal times, it’s worth popping into the Inspired by… gallery to see the work of artists who have been inspired by the nature and landscape of the North York Moors).
From here it’s a steep pull up the moorland track to Danby Beacon. On a fine day the 360- degree views are outstanding so it’s easy to see why an RAF radar station was located here during World War ll and tracked the first enemy aircraft to be shot down over England.
Further along Oakley Walls, there’s more historical interest with archaeological remains of burial mounds and boundary dykes dating back over 4,000 years providing a fascinating insight into ancient times.
The route then begins descending into the pretty village of Lealholm where the River Esk meanders through and two tearooms offer enticing homemade dishes for those essential post-walk rewards before hopping on the train back to Middlesbrough.
Distance: Seven and a half miles
Duration: Allow four hours
Difficulty: Moderate, requiring a good level of fitness
1. Turn right off the road (just past the tennis court), following the bridleway signposted to Danby. Walk past the houses and carry on straight through the woods of Danby Park.
2. Keep straight on, following the Esk Valley Walk waymark.
3. Where the bridleway meets the road, go left along the road (Danby direction).
4. Turn right through the gate (signposted ‘Public Footpath’) and then left through another gate to walk up a fenced path.
5. Cross the wall-stile and turn right down the road. Bear left over the beck (Methodist Church on your left) and immediately right. Turn right at the road, signposted ‘Lealholm, 5½ miles’.
6. After two bridges, turn left up the bridleway by the converted chapel. At the top turn left, following the road.
7. Turn left through the gate, signposted ‘Danby via Moors Centre’. Cross the railway carefully and continue to the road – The Moors National Park Centre.
8. Turn right along the road.
9. Turn left through the gate and follow the footpath across the field, following the direction of the signpost.
10. At the far side of the field, cross the stile, turn right and go straight on, parallel to the wall (on your left). Cross the stile, keeping the farm on your right, and carry on straight up the track to the next farm. Walk through the farmyard past the house and continue straight along the road.
11. Turn left up the track – it’s a steep climb from here up to the moor.
12. At the road go straight ahead and then turn right at the junction to Danby Beacon, the highest point in the area.
13. At Danby Beacon, bear right along the unmade road towards Lealholm.
14. At the junction turn right and continue to the road.
15. At the road, bear left (ie, continue straight ahead).
16. Turn right at the junction and head down to the village – turn right again for Lealholm railway station just before the railway bridge.
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