This 9 mile walk starts from the car park in Old Saltburn near to where Skelton Beck flows into the sea.
Distance: 9 miles
Time: 5 hours
Conditions: good, well-marked paths, no steep climbs
Refreshments: Saltburn, Skelton, North Skelton, Brotton
OS Explorer Maps OL26
Originally published: 11 January 2008
For the first half mile we follow the line of the miniature railway as it runs inland parallel to the beck. In about 200 yards look out right for the Albert Memorial commemorating the death of the prince in 1861. It was originally erected as the classical portico for Barnard Castle railway station.
At the end of the line cross the bridge and walk up into the attractive Italian Gardens designed by Joseph Newton for £200 in 1865. Our route continues past the Woodland Centre and upstream through the beautiful Rifts Wood. There's a choice of paths, though only the newly surfaced main route, the Cleveland Way, is mapped here. Prominent on the other side of the beck is the Gothic style Rushpool Hall, now an hotel, built in 1862 for the ironmaster John Bell.
The paths converge just before a junction with the metalled Marske Mill Lane, where turn left, down to the beckside. The scanty remains of the corn mill, which operated from 1649 until 1933, lie a few yards downstream.
We follow the line of the mill race upstream and pass under the 7 arched brick Saltburn Viaduct, built in 1870-72, still in use by potash trains from Boulby Mine. The beck is then recrossed and our path climbs through Crow Wood. It then crosses one field, passes
underneath the A 174 and enters the housing estates on the northern edge of Skelton. Follow the Cleveland Way signs up Derwent Road before turning left to reach High Street.
Cross straight over at the pedestrian lights and climb a flight of steps to a lane which runs along the hillside. Turn right and in 100 yards go left following the Cleveland Way on a well surfaced path. On the right, at the walk's highest point, is a lookout with seat, from where there are panoramic views back to Saltburn and the sea.
Continue along the Cleveland Way for another 100 yards before striking off left on a public byway. This leads between allotments to Trout Lane where go left. It descends as a rough track to the fine 18th century Trout Hall and the road from Skelton to Stanghow. Turn right.
In 100 yards go left on Cleveland Street, a medieval highway that connected Guisborough and its priory with the settlements in east Cleveland. It has been revived as a walking route and, like so many of Redcar and Cleveland's rights of way, is well maintained and easy to follow.
After half a mile you reach North Skelton. Turn right along the main street of 19th century iron mineworkers' houses. Pass under two railway arches, (the second carries the potash line), and then almost immediately go right on Cleveland Street. In 100 yards this branches left as a broad path which crosses several fields, a beck and our railway line before reaching the remains of Bell Brothers' Lumpsey Iron Mine which operated bewteen 1881 and 1954. Demolition work to make it safe and vandalism have reduced it to today's sad spectacle.
Continue ahead. As you climb the next field two landmark round hills are seen to the right. The nearer is the shale tip of the former Kilton Mine. In the distance is Freeborough Hill, preserved by its cap of resistant sandstone.
Go left when the path reaches the lane from Kilton to Brotton and continue over the A 174, past the pit wheel monument to the area's former mining industry, and down into Brotton. Cross the main road, and keeping the Green Tree on the left, continue along Ings Lane. Beyond the last houses the sea comes into view with the looming 600 feet Boulby Cliff away to the right.
The lane leads to Hunley Golf Clubhouse. Go straight ahead here along an avenue of sycamores. The path makes two right angled bends before leaving the golf course at a stile. Ahead, across the National Trust's Warsett Hill, is the dramatically sited gaunt fan house of the former Huntcliff Mine.The mine worked from 1872 to 1906 and was equipped with a huge Guibal fan, 30 feet in diameter and 10 feet wide, worked by a Fowler steam engine.
From the stile two paths, (one past the fan house),lead across the railway and on to the coastal footpath where go left. It's nearly two miles back from here to Saltburn, a dramatic walk across Hunt Cliff with the sea pounding into the rocks some 300 feet below. On a windy
day the path needs care, especially where it runs briefly alongside the railway.
At this point is sited a modern sculpture by Richard Farrington, commissioned by the local council. Made of iron at the local Skinningrove steelworks it carries 10 smaller sculptures all with significant local attributions, like the horse, representing the Cleveland Bay and the wildcat, which is recorded as having been hunted here in the 14th century.
In another half mile you pass the site of a 4th century Roman signal station, now lost to erosion but once one of a series built on the Yorkshire coast to warn of sea borne marauders. Shortly afterwards the grand buildings of Henry Pease's Saltburn of the 1860s come into view on their cliff top way below. The steep descent into Old Saltburn begins in another half mile.