Stray off the Cleveland Way between Skinningrove and Staithes and you could find yourself in the long disused Loftus Alum Quarries. (Part of the Boulby Quarries SSSI) The exposed Jurassic shales are a stark contrast to the farmed landscapes on either side and if you don’t mind a bit of a scramble it’s well worth a short detour to explore.
The lunar landscape doesn’t look very hospitable, but patches of dry heath and sheltered hollows provide habitat for wildlife and vibrant splashes of colour.
(As well as opportunities for romantic gestures, as the picture below shows)
Here’s just a few of the species I encountered …
How to find Loftus Alum Quarries:
Grid reference: NZ 73608 19816. Nearest postcode: TS13 4JJ.
On foot: Via Cleveland Way 1.5miles South from Skinningrove or North from Boulby. Access also via public footpath from Upton Hill, on the coast road from Boulby Bank to Skinningrove.
More information: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/yorkshire-coast/things-to-see-and-do/