- Aug 2nd, 2013
- Chop Gate Clay Bank Top: Stonecroft B&B, £55 (double room incl breakfast)
The previous day we had an option to detour off the c2c and visit a priory called Mount Grace but we missed the turn off and didn’t realise until we’d already gone too far. So at breakfast in the morning after much discussion we decided to go back and visit the priory. We estimated the walk to be a couple of kilometres but in fact it became a 7 km detour and the path resembled a swamp as well as very high ascents and descents, and it was hot… We did see a dear in the forest though! The path took us through the back of the property, over a stile and into the grounds of the ruins of the 14th century priory. It was a fascinating place but all the visitors were dressed to impress and we were hot, sweaty and covered in mud!
We headed out the same back way we came and started the day’s walk to Clay Bank Top. There were quite a few ups and downs as we entered the North York Moors National Park, the views were terrific and we could see all the way over to the North Sea – our final destination in a few days to come. The last few kilometres were on the Cleveland Way track which was very well signposted and had a well maintained path – it’s a national trail unlike the c2c.
I was staying at Stonecroft B&B for the night and was told to call them once I reached the ‘Wain stones’ landmark because after this point there would be no phone service. There’s no accommodation on the track here so B&Bs in the surrounding villages offer to come pick you up and then drop you off in the morning so you’re on the track again. The village of Chop Gate had one pub and two B&Bs and the pub (The Buck Inn) had the best food I’d eaten so far on the c2c, a delicious venison lasagna and wild game casserole, perfect fuel for the next day’s long hike.