Handsome towns, heather and ‘the finest view in England’: The Cleveland Way at 50

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After a stiff climb up, I silently thanked Alec Falconer for his seat atop Cringle Moor. From the lofty memorial – reading “Rambler, 1884-1968” – the Cleveland Hills escarpment plunged 900-odd feet to the quilted-green vale below; on a less dour day, I might have seen all the way to Durham Cathedral. But I also thanked Alec for his vision: he first proposed a long-distance walk linking Yorkshire’s moors and coast in the Thirties. He died the year before it came to fruition.

The Cleveland Way, opened in May 1969, is now celebrating its 50th. The second of Britain’s National Trails, it’s a bit of an odd one, describing a jiggly, 80-mile (130km) upturned horseshoe between the moorland market town…

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