Monthly Archives: July 2010

North Yorks Moors Reflections

I was able to walk on 7 out of 10 days at whilst at Wombleton and on one of the other days I took the steam train to Whitby. All in all the weather wasn’t too bad and if I hadn’t taken notice of a poor weather forecast, I could have squeezed in another days walking. Unless you are mad keen on steam trains then I wouldn’t recommend the journey from Pickering to Whitby as the first half is in wooded valleys with restricted views, it’s too slow and costs £21 return. The walking in the Helmsley area was largely the same with many of the walks that I had chosen following access tracks on the moor tops for grouse shooting. There is certainly a lot of space and very few other walkers. During the holiday, I walked a 47½ miles with 7,600ft of ascent bring the season’s total to 275½ miles and 53,600ft of ascent (almost twice the height of Everest).

Farndale

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Farndale will be known be many for its daffodils which attract huge numbers of visitors in the spring. Besides this, it offers great walking opportunities and today’s 6 mile route with 1,100 ft of ascent was probably the best walk of the holiday, if only for the variety of countryside and wonderful views. Starting from Low Mill, there was a steady and continuous climb to the high point of the walk at West Gill Head (1,200ft). From here there was a good moorland walk before descending to the side of the River Dove at Upper Mill. From the Daffy Café at Upper Mill the last leg of the walk was alongside the Dove back to Low Mill.

Rosedale Abbey

Today’s walk was based in and around the small village of Rosedale Abbey. Despite its name, there has never been an abbey here! There was, however, a small Cistercian nunnery of which only a stone turret or belfry can be seen today. The walk was 5?? miles with 850ft of ascent. Unlike recent walks, this was largely farming countryside with some wooded areas. As I stopped for refreshments at the half way point, I could see rain advancing down the valley towards me. So, for the first time for a while, I pulled on the waterproofs to protect me against the impending downpour. Luckily, it only lasted for about 5 minutes, but without the waterproofs, I would have got extremely wet, even in this short time.

Helmsley Moor

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Today’s walk was supposed to be 5 miles but due to navigational issues, I ended up by doing 6 miles with 550ft of ascent. The walk around Helmsley Moor included an unmarked section of open moorland which, when combined with minimal instructions, meant that although I was roughly walking the intended route, I did it in the reverse direction to that planned. At one point, despite the aid of GPS, I took out my compass but didn’t need to resort to it as the landmark of Piethorn Farm came into view. I was glad of good visibility as it would have been far more difficult in the mist.

Rievaulx Abbey

Today’s walk was 6 miles with 1,200ft of ascent based on Rievaulx Abbey. I was reliving a walk of some 40 years or more ago when I was last here with the Boy Scouts. Obviously, I couldn’t remember the exact route of my youth, but I do recall walking from past Rievaulx Abbey on route to Helmsley. The first half of today’s walk was on minor roads and on paths in a steep wooded valley and wasn’t that great. There was a short climb to Old Byland where I exited the valley and had some good views of the surrounding countryside. The second half of the route in Ryedale was far more scenic and ended with good views of Rievaulx Abbey without having to pay the English Heritage admission fee.

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Woodnewton and Apethorpe

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In cooler weather today 12 members started at the Church at Woodnewton to begin the 6 and a half mile walk .

??We walked through the village past the pub?? and several cottages with thatched roofs to begin the walk proper along?? the side of ploughed fields, uncut crops?? to the village pub at Apethorpe where we stopped for lunch on the grass and then into the pub and shop.

As we walked we saw several red kites in flight often too far away for a picture, but finally managed to get one. In the hedge rows we found numerous butterflies blues and white ones?? including one called the gate keeper. Walking around the field we did find some hilly areas and took several drink stops as the weather got hotter?? with no rain.

When we returned to the Church a visit to the grave of Coco the clown was made as an ending to the walk.

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Wide Open Spaces

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Apart from being the title of a song by the Dixie Chicks, “Wide Open Spaces” best describes today’s 8 mile & 1,500ft walk from Bank Foot on the northern edge of the NY Moors. As with many of these walks, there is a fairly steep climb up to the moorland plateau. Once on the top, it was a fairly gentle circuit of Battersby & Ingleby moors with a sharp down and up at Baysdale Abbey. The return leg of the walk was along part of the Cleveland Way and the picture shows the view to the north on the descent with Roseberry Topping in the distance.