Wednesday 19 September 2018. The weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse. No sooner had the remnants of ex-storm Helene blown through before Storm Ali arrived. The strong winds have made walking unpleasant. I didn’t venture out yesterday and today has been confined to a dash to the site shop for some milk. It seems as if these inclement conditions are here to stay for a while although the forecast for Saturday morning doesn’t look too bad.
Towing a caravan in these conditions is not only inadvisable but could be downright dangerous. I’ll therefore be cutting this holiday short and making a dash for home during the predicted lull on Saturday morning. If there is anything good to come out of this, then I can always come back at some other time to do all of the walks that I had planned.
Monday 17 September 2018. I’ve decided to do the last 20 miles or so of this walk over 3 legs which will eventually end in Whitby. Today’s leg was from Castleton to Lealholm. 7.7 miles with a total ascent of 890ft. Public transport in this part of the North Yorks Moors National Park is very limited and meant an early start in order to catch the 09:18 train (£2.70) from the end of the walk at Lealholm to the start in Castleton.
The first 3 miles to the visitor centre at Danby were quite nice although the views south to Danby Dale and Great Fryup Dale were rapidly disappearing as they became enveloped in low cloud. I think that this was the result of the moisture in the air coming my way as a consequence of the remnants of Storm Helene. The caravan will be rocking tonight if the predicted strong winds materialise. I made my only stop on this walk at the Danby visitor centre for a coffee and the second bacon butty of the holiday.
I had been looking forward to doing this walk but, for me, it didn’t live up to expectations. From Danby there was some road walking followed by a steep uphill track onto Lealholm Moor and then more uphill road walking to Danby Beacon. This is a prominent viewpoint but the views were spoiled by the low cloud that restricted the views south. Leaving the Beacon, I walk along a very straight and stoney moorland track and hated every minute of it. The walk ended with a very steep road walk into Lealholm. My thighs were burning and I was glad when it came to and end.
I’ve managed to get through the worst of the summer avoiding an outbreak herpes simplex. This is triggered by excessive exposure to sunlight/UV and I have to admit to having a touch of sunburn following my walk from Ravenscar last week. I’m forbidden from posting pictures of body parts but I’ve taken on a resemblance to Rudolph with painful sores on my nose. I’ve bought some Zovirax today and this usually clears it up in a few days – I hope so.
Castleton – walk route
Saturday 15 September 2018. I’ve been watching Simon‘s YouTube vlogs for quite a while now and, by chance, he was holding an exhibition of his work at a small hotel just outside of Helmsley. The opportunity to meet him and view his work was too good to miss so I joined 60 or 70 others this morning at the Laskill House Country hotel. In truth, there were too many there to really meet Simon, other than to say hello, but he had quite a few of his pictures on display. They were well out of my price range, starting at about £200 and going up to £700 for a very large framed print.
I stopped of in Helmsley on the way and was pleased to find a deli selling Fountains Gold cheddar cheese made by the Wensleydale Creamery. I first tried this when staying in Hawes this May and it has become a favourite.
I’m having the weekend off from walking in order to spend some time pulling the Fenland Ramblers winter walking programme together but hope to resume on Monday with the first leg of the Esk Valley Walk from Castleton to Lealholm.
Thursday 13 September 2018. Having previously walked from Whitby, through Robin Hood’s Bay, to Ravenscar and from the caravan site into Scarborough, I needed to do this walk to fill in a gap on the Cleveland Way. I caught the 10:23 bus from my caravan site for the 20 minute ride to Ravenscar. It would take me 5 hours to walk back!
The elevated position of Ravenscar provides a good view north across Robin Hood’s Bay. Photos taken, it was time to head south. I hadn’t walked a mile when I came upon the Ravenscar tea rooms and couldn’t pass on the opportunity for a pot of tea and the obligatory holiday bacon butty. It was a good job that I fuelled up here as the next suitable stopping point was a further 5 miles down the coast.
Benches on this section of the path were few and far between and the first one that I came upon at Petard Point was already taken. It was here that the coastal path had been diverted inland as the original route was unsafe due to a landslip. I rejoined the Cleveland Way at Hayburn Wyke. I’d descended almost to sea level and had a very steep climb to get back to the cliff tops. This was to be the first of about 8 similar downs and ups which made the walk much tougher than I had anticipated.
My lunch stop was at the Roger Trod viewpoint. I still had another 4 miles and many downs and ups to go. My energies were rapidly depleting and I had to stop for a final rest at Long Nab before making the final push for home. I wasn’t surprised to find that I’d walked 9.8 miles but the total ascent of 1,600ft and a total descent of 2,000ft was something of a shock. My Fitbit counted that I’d made 29,000 steps; well above my 10,000 step target. I can’t remember when I last did such an arduous walk and suspect that my legs will ache in the morning.
Ravenscar – walk route
Wednesday 12 September 2018. The weather forecast for yesterday was a little out in its timing. It suggested that the morning rain would clear before noon leaving a dry and sunny day. This put me off walking but it turned out that the rain stopped before 9am and I could have gone walking after all. Not wanting to have a completely wasted day, I caught the 9:55am bus from the caravan site entrance into Scarborough. A free ride of just 25 minutes avoiding the hassle and cost of parking in Scarborough town centre.
To my surprise, my caravan site which has more than 300 pitches, is at least 85% full and this was reflected in the number of people wandering about the town centre. I was glad to get out, although I ordered something from Boots which meant that I would have to return today to take collection.
Rather than using the bus, I walked from my caravan to the Cleveland Way footpath which runs up the coast from Filey, through Scarborough and Whitby to Saltburn-by-the-Sea before turning inland; ending in Helmsley. It was less than 10 minutes to the coastal path where I turned south heading for the centre of Scarborough. The grass track soon gave way to tarmac as I approached the North Bay. This is much quieter than the more commercialised South Bay with its candy floss, amusement arcades and countless fish & chip shops.
There was a steady climb out of the South Bay as I headed up towards the Castle. I had considered looking around until I discovered that it is managed by English Heritage with an admission price of £6.50. Having passed the Castle gates I descended to Scarborough harbour before climbing again up through the town to Boots. I didn’t want to retrace my steps so caught the bus back to the caravan site. The walk was just 4 miles with a total ascent of 500ft.
Scarborough – walk route