Map based on Ordnance Survey mapping by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. © Crown Copyright.
Distance 4 miles (6.5km)
Map OS Outdoor Leisure 26
Allow 2 hours
Parking Large car park at cafe
Tea Shop Lord Stones Cafe’, Carlton Bank, Nr Stokesley 01642 778227
By far the most unusual café to be found within the North York Moors, this subterranean tea shop certainly blends in with its surroundings; the only give-away is the adjacent car park.
Just behind the cafe lie the remains of the original Three Lords Stone, which once marked the spot where the vast estates of Lords Duncombe of Helmsley, Marwood of Busby Hall and Aylesbury of Snilesworth met centuries ago. It is also the site of some Bronze Age burial mounds, or tumuli, from where many flint arrowheads dating back over 5,000 years were discovered, which can now be seen on display in the cafe.
From the cafe car park, head out away from the road towards the escarpment, turning right after the small copse dedicated to ‘Alec and Annie Falconer 1970’ and along the wide grassy path. The clear path, pitched with stone steps, climbs steeply up alongside the stone wall and fence to the top of Cringle Moor.
What a view! And such a thoughtful place to build a seat and windbreak, complete with brass viewfinder, to the ‘Memory of Alec Falconer 1884-1968, Rambler’. Beneath your feet the escarpment of the Cleveland Hills plunges over 300 metres to the flat Vale of Cleveland, with Roseberry Topping and Teesside clearly visible as well as Swaledale, Ingleborough and even Durham Cathedral on a very clear day.
Follow the clear path along the top of the escarpment with exhilarating views down to your left and heather moorland sweeping away to your right surmounted by a large burial mound known as Drake Howe; ‘howe’ is the Old Norse word for burial mound. After a while the path begins its descent down into Raisdale, gently at first and then very steeply to the bottom of the valley where it meets a stone wall. Turn right along this wall through an area of spoil heaps to reach a gate (waymarkers).
The scars caused by centuries of mining and quarrying for jet, ironstone and alum can still be seen throughout the North York Moors. Alum was extensively mined in this area, particularly during the 17th to 19th centuries, and was used in the textile and tanning industries.
Keep alongside the stone wall, passing a gate in the wall on your left, soon after which the path becomes boggy and unclear through bracken. Continue alongside the wall until a waymarker points you slightly to the right away from the wall. You must now pick your way through the bracken and young trees heading up a slight bank to join the wall again, which is now bending up to the right as well (you should now be opposite the farm on the other side of the valley).
Follow the much clearer path alongside the wall, marked by waymarkers, until you reach a tumbledown wall and old stone gatepost across your path. Head right here up alongside the wall to the top of the hill, then left along a track to reach a gate. Immediately before the gate turn left through a large wall gap and follow the overgrown track alongside the stone wall down to reach High Clay Farm. Keep to the right of the farm buildings to join the farm track by a small pond and follow the track all the way to reach the road.
Turn right along the road for half a mile, passing Low and High Broomflatt Farms, reposing in their idyllic location at the head of the little-known Raisdale, tributary of Bilsdale. 200 yards or so after the turning for High Broomflatt Farm turn left through a gate to ‘Staindale Farm’ and follow the track down through a gate; then as the track bears away down to the left take the path to the right, marked by a signpost and head towards the corner of the stone wall opposite.
Walk alongside this wall, over a railway sleeper footbridge after which bear left down a path to cross the beck over another footbridge and up to a stile. Cross the stile then bear slightly to the left up the hill away from the beck, across the field, to reach a gate in the far left-hand corner of the field. Head up to join a farm track where you turn right and follow this track passing Thwaites House to reach the road. Lord Stones Cafe is a short walk to your left along the road.
From ‘Tea Shop Walks on the North York Moors’ by Mark Reid
The information given in this walk has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a general guide. Whilst all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that details were correct at the time of publication, the author and Country Publications Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies. It is the responsibility of individuals undertaking outdoor activities to approach the activity with caution and, especially if inexperienced, to do so under appropriate supervision. The activity described in this walk is strenuous and individuals should ensure that they are suitably fit before embarking upon it. They should carry the appropriate equipment and maps, be properly clothed and have adequate footwear. They should also take note of weather conditions and forecasts, and leave notice of their intended route and estimated time of return.