Day 288: Middlesbrough to Port Mulgrave
Distance: 23.11 miles
Ascent: 4268 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: Wild camp Near Port Mulgrave
I had been looked after so well on my rest day by all of the family, Andy and Sammy who I was staying with had cooked me some lovely meals, Grannie Judie who lives next door had very kindly done my laundry and then just before I left this morning also gave me some sandwiches and Uncle Gary kindly gave me a lift the short distance back to the transporter bridge where I would be restarting today.
There was a slight issue on my rest day in that I developed a fairly significant pain in my hip, making stairs or getting up from seated pretty painful. I was hoping this might walk off, but I was also slightly expecting I may have to shorten today.
I set off passed some docks, some quirky sculptures and the Middlesbrough Football Stadium before joining my rugged path that would follow the railway for the next 4 miles out of Middlesbrough. I was literally wedged between the railway on one side and a mixture of industrial units, pipes and roads on the other. Often the path was a meter wide with security fencing on both sides. This may have not been too scenic, but the various industrial units were fairly interesting though I was happy to finish this section.
I reached Redcar where by the parking area they had obviously had a sand sculpture event at some point, though someone had thought they’d be clever and knock the sand heads of the figures. I stocked up on supplies and had my early lunch.
Looking back, I should have just walked along the beach from Redcar to Marske-by-the-Sea and then probably continued to Saltburn. But I followed the coast path instead which followed the dunes and was quite up and down and ended up on the promenade at Saltburn anyway.
From Saltburn there was a steep climb up onto the cliffs. This was a real test for the hip which though achy had felt much better today whilst walking than when resting yesterday. The weather was good today and this cliff section was stunning with a couple of interesting sculptures thrown in as well. The path down to Skinningrove was incredibly steep and I just knew I was going to have to climb back up the other side.
Skinningrove appeared to be quite a traditional coastal village with less of a holiday cottage vibe than most places. As I guessed there was a very steep climb out using soil/stone steps to slowly climb up onto the even higher cliffs. In fact, the trig point near Boulby signifies the highest point on the East Coast and so every step on the rest of the walk will be lower than this point. The views from up here were incredible.
I had been half hoping to get to Runswick Bay (which has a campsite if I wanted to use it) and back on schedule, but it had become clear this would be a little to far, both because I was tired and it would be getting dark as I got there. So, I made the decision I would get beyond Staithes and then stop at first acceptable point.
Staithes was a lovely looking place almost reminiscent of a Cornish Harbour Town with its buildings crammed together and wedged up the valley. I needed some water for tonight so popped in the pub and they kindly filled it up. I had my final climb, of a fairly up and down day, out of Staithes and the sky was magnificent with a wild array of orange hues.
I found somewhere to pitch, not quite as private as I normally am, literally 3m of the path, but I thought far enough from Staithes to be beyond dog walkers. I had forgotten about Port Mulgrave which I had got nearer than expected so there were 3 dog walkers from that direction that passed the tent, but no one seemed to mind.
The most scenic day in quite a while and my hip didn’t seem to bad and hopefully it doesn’t seize up tonight.