Teesdale Way Section 14b (South Bank to Redcar)
Section 14 is the final section and provides two options for finishing the Teesdale Way. Section 14a goes north to Teesmouth, to finish on the remote breakwater at South Gare. This section, which is a mile shorter, heads more or less directly for the busy coastal resort of Redcar with its facilities and transport links. Both are easy routes but this one offers an easy stroll straight into town either along the edge of the golf course or through the dunes and along the beach. THERE IS A GPS ROUTE FILE AVAILABLE FOR THIS SECTION AS A FREE DOWNLOAD FROM THE SHOP.
Stats at a Glance
Distance 10.5 km (6.5 miles) | Height Gain 27 m/90 ft | Maximum Elevation 11 m/36 ft | Profile Flat | Going Generally good, muddy in places. Quite exposed on trails, tracks and road through a semi-industrialised area, nature reserve and coastal area including beach | General Stores South Bank [0.5 km]; Dormanstown [0.5 km]; Redcar
From the footbridge at South Bank Railway Station, follow the trail east as indicated by the artistic Teesdale Way fingerpost (there are two, but I mean the one with the boots at the foot of the post). This will lead you past the defunct coking ovens on the opposite side of the railway – still proudly displaying the name Dorman Long – where so many local people once worked. After this it’s a disorientating sequence of bridges, tunnels, steps, ramps, walkways and a very wet section emerging from the Lackenby Steelworks. If it’s been wet for an extended period it will almost certainly be flooded in the low area between a high concrete wall and the railway. It’s difficult to pass but can be worked around via the road on the right. Alternatively any means of keeping your feet dry should work as it’s not too deep.
Eventually the trail reaches the wide and busy A1085 trunk road at Lord McGowan Bridge where there’s another Teesdale Way sculpted waymark and a memorial plaque on the bridge to the crew of a Lancaster bomber shot down mistakenly by ‘friendly fire’. The trail then passes Steel House, the former steelworks HQ and, after a kilometre or so, enters Coatham Marsh Nature Reserve. You can leave the reserve – after crossing the railway – by the small car-park where you’ll encounter the last (or first) sculpted waymark, which announces it’s 100 miles to Dufton (neat but not quite that far) on the Teesdale Way.
If you’re not too bothered about ticking off the way-mark, the published route leads out of the reserve without doing a dog-leg to the car-park. Instead, it takes a more direct route to the road in what was once the short-lived village of Warrenby. Turning left, it continues on the road and, just after where the section of preserved railway crosses the road, turns right, onto the golf course (often I’d continue on the road, past the blast furnace when it was operational, then take to the dunes, past some WWII military installations, heading for the beach).
Over the fairway, at about the 1 o’clock position, is a yellow-topped post indicating the footpath which is fairly easy to follow across the course to the dunes. This is where you make your decision: South Gare or Redcar? If you decide on Redcar, you need to turn right either before or after the dunes, it’s a matter of preference – beach, all the way to the finish at Redcar Beacon (which you can’t really miss on the seafront) or grassy trail alongside the golf-course, leading onto the promenade? I suspect most people will choose the beach, but if the tide’s in, the looser sand will be harder work.