Day 13            Clay Bank Top to Blakey Ridge

9.6 miles                               Fair and breezy

After breakfast the three of us piled into our host's car for a lift to Clay Bank, slowing just past the farm gate to watch a pair of stoats fighting/mating/playing, who knows which, but it was a nice start to the day.

Setting off from the car park we joined a few other C2C walkers spread out over the climb to Urra Moor.  Most had been staying in Great Broughton and like us had been transported back to Clay Bank by their respective hosts.  Ahead we saw the Geordies and Keiran, making slow progress uphill.  They told us they were suffering from terrible hangovers as a result of last night spent in the fleshpots of Great Broughton.

Carole climbing to Urra Moor

Looking back and the Geordies and Keiran are taking it slow on the climb to Urra Moor

Brian strides out across Urra Moor

This was the first and last real climb of today's easier walk and reaching the top we strolled along enjoying the mass of different colours of the moorland grasses, ferns and heathers with occasional splashes of white bog cotton flowers.

Various colours on the moor

Cotton flowers

There are a lot of standing stones on the moors here, some erected by ancient man and some which were boundary stones in the middle ages.  We paused to examine the 'Hand Stone' with its crude hand carved on front and back, and the Face Stone.

The Hand Stone

Face Stone

Near Bloworth Crossing

We meet the Americans again

Fairly soon the path followed the track of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway and this is level, easy walking with the embankments avoiding the need to negotiate boggy moor. Attractive views of Farndale and Westerdale break up the monotony of the moor.

The Lion Inn eventually came into sight across the moor.  A surprisingly large building, which is also accessible by road, it is 400 years old and must have seen a lot of changes.  We were glad to arrive and enjoyed a pint of Wainwright and a sandwich before booking in to our room for the evening.

Looking down into Farndale
Disused railway makes a good track over the moor

The Lion appears in the distance

Me with The Lion behind

The Lion at Blakey

We had a family room at The Lion, which looked out onto Cockpit Hill, an ancient tumulus which had been dug out centuries ago to make a cock-fighting pit.  It was a comfortable room and we soaked ourselves in the bath to ease aching muscles.  Later, at dinner, we were sat at adjacent tables to the American couple we had seen on the moor and an Australian couple who we would see repeatedly over the last couple of days. These Aussies were doing the C2C over 17 days, taking three rest days.  All were pleased to have overcome the majority of the walk and were enjoying plenty to eat and drink and were amusing company.