The Wainstones Walk, Cleveland Way, Bilsdale, North York Moors

A walk on the Cleveland Way to the Wainstones in Bilsdale, North York Moors

Walking on the Cleveland Way to the Wainstones, North York Moors
Walking along the Cleveland Way to the Wainstones, North York Moors

With a couple of hours spare on a sunny afternoon, and a catch up with a mate on the cards, it seemed the perfect time to do our first walk to the Wainstones, a rather unusual (for the North-York Moors) rocky out crop. I'd heard it was a good, relatively easy local walk, and would also make for some good pictures. I'd seen some stunning sunset pictures from the Wainstones, so this would be a good time to familiarise myself with them. Also the heather was in full bloom - it was a sunny day, so perfect conditions. 

The Wainstones themselves are a prominent feature at the western end of Hasty Bank, and overlook the quaint village of Great Broughton (by the way - if you fancy some food or a pint in this area - check out the Bay Horse pub in Great Broughton - you can't miss it as you drive through it). The Wainstones are quite well-known in the area, and are popular with walkers, climbers & photographers a like. 

For a bit of history, the name "Wainstones" may have been used to represent a "Wain" or "Wagon" which the stones may have looked like at one time.  However local legend also says a Danish Chieftain was slain there. If this is the case, then the name 'Wainstones' may have come from the Saxon verb 'Wanian' meaning to lament or grieve. I think the latter is a more fascinating account - so I'd like to think that one is true :-)

Start of the Wainstones Walk:

The best place to start this Walk is from Clay Bank Car Park (free to park), from which you can easily get onto the Cleveland way and head up Hasty Bank. To get to the car park - head for Stokesley & then Great Broughton. Clay Bank Car Park is 2 miles south of Great Broughton on the B1257 Stokesley to Helmsley Road. (By the way - it's also a great Countryside drive if you continue right on to Helmsley). Right at the Car Park - it itself has a superb view towards Roseberry Topping, Below.

Start of the Cleveland Way path, just off the road, near Clay Bank Car Park, which leads you up Hasty Bank. After a 10 minute walk up hill, the path then completely levels out on top of the Moors, from which you can quite easily walk to the Wainstones.

It doesn't take long to get up on the Moors. This shot is looking back over the full Cleveland Way which stretches right into the distance

The carpet of flowing heather is a spectacular sight on the North York Moors
The carpet of flowering heather is a spectacular sight on the North York Moors

Looking back along the Cleveland Way whilst on our way to the Wainstones, North York Moors

You can just about make out Roseberry Topping in the distance to the right

On top of the North York Moors heading to the Wainstones in the direction of Carlton Bank
On top of the North York Moors heading to the Wainstones in the direction of Carlton Bank. Weirdly it's completely flat up here - almost like someone has sliced the top off the hill.

The Wainstones:

First glimpse of the Wainstones looking west

Looking south towards bilsdale

I'd seen a superb sunset photo in this composition on the internet, with the evening glow of the sun illuminating the surrounding rock. I believe the sun sets right in the middle of this composition around march/october time. I'll maybe come back.....

Looking east towards Roseberry Topping

I'm hoping to revisit this particular scene late one evening to capture a sunset behind silhouetted the Wainstones
I am the Walrus (or a seal?) - someone drew teeth and an eye on the rock :)

Again a carpet of heather looking east towards roseberry topping

Returning back, east,  along the Cleveland Way to Clay Bank

This butterfly decided to land right next to the car, so why not take a pic!

Wainstones Additional (Evening/Sunset)Walk:

After a really enjoyable first visit to the Wainstones, I thought it would be a great place to return to to try and get some pics of the setting sun, so another trip was made. I didn't get the roaring sunset pic I was hoping for (lack of clouds in the right place and the right time) but it was still a special place to be as the sun was setting after another glorious day.

Cracking views over to Roseberry Topping again

Blinded by the Sun on the way to the Wainstones

The setting sun producing a warm evening glow on the Wainstones
The setting sun producing a warm evening glow on the Wainstones 

With a fairly clear sky as the sun went down - there wasn't much glowing clouds - apart from these in the opposite direction to the Wainstones!

sunset over the wainstones, cleveland way, north york moors
This was the composition I was hoping to get with clouds glowing yellows, oranges, reds & purples behind - but on this occasion - not many clouds in the sky! You just can't plan for special sunsets - which I guess is why they are as awesome as they are when they do happen. I'll definitely be back up to try and capture a more dramatic sunset one day. As a side note - most will know that the sun sets in a slightly different place on the horizon every day - so to capture this shot with the sun setting in just the right place means there is only a window of opportunity through the year to do this. This photo was taken in september - and anytime in august or september would be a good time to try and capture this shot again. A tool I find really useful is http://www.suncalc.net -which lets you plot a location and see which direction the sun sets (and rises) on any given day of the year. Really useful for photographers in trying to plan sunset pictures! Unfortunately exact cloud formation is a little harder to predict :-)

Wainstones Route & Map:

This is the simple & short route I took on this occasion (in the blue box it's the highlighted yellow bit along the cleveland way (red diamond dashed line) - starting from the car park on the Clay bank road (look for P sign in the blue box) From here you can walk to the Wainstones in 30mins or so.

Due to time constraints, the route I took on my first Wainstones Walk was rather short, as you can see above. However a quick search on the internet will lead you to much longer routes. I found the below route on www.mywainwrights.co.uk

It is rather longer at 7.5 miles, and would take around 4 hours

Wainstones Walking route taking in more of Bilsdale
Wainstones Walking route taking in more of Bilsdale - taken from http://www.mywainwrights.co.uk/2009walks/210609/bilsdale.htm - check the web-page out for pics and commentary.

Anyway - I hope this post inspires you to check out this area of the North York Moors!
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