England’s best views: Roseberry Topping

‘Roseberry Topping is a cone at which someone has taken a swipe, a topping without a top, Yorkshire’s own Matterhorn. A mound of red sandstone 320 metres high, its shape had long made it distinctive, visible from across the Vale of York as far as the Pennine dales. Then, in 1912, a geological mishap occurred. Either some subterranean earthquake or centuries of mining led the peak to collapse, leaving a raw wound of cliffs and rocks.

The summit offers views over Teesside, the Vale of York and most of the North York Moors. Most spectacular is towards Teesside with, on a clear day, the Cheviots in the far distance. In the middle distance lies the industrial belt of Thornaby, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar. All this is seen over a landscape of strange serenity ’

Extracted from ‘England’s 100 Best Views’ by Simon Jenkins, to be published by Profile books in October 2013 (£25 hardback)

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