Monthly Archives: April 2015

Courtyard Farm, Norfolk walk

10 ramblers set off in slightly cool and overcast conditions for a figure-of-eight 7 mile walk around Courtyard farm to see the cowslips.

We started by walking on a grassy path between fields of cowslips. This theme continued for most of the walk interspersed with country tracks and some road walking. We looked out towards the coast at one point and could see the wind turbine farms on the horizon. On one of the paths we came across two dead moles and found a cluster of pink primulas in flower among the yellow ones that we expected to see.

Towards the end of the walk the cloud was replaced by clear blue skies with oilseed rape flowering in fields nearby.

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West Ayton

Sunday 26 April 2015. Red sky at night Shepherd’s delight certainly came true today after the glorious sunset of yesterday. Clear blue skies but with ice on my car this morning. I waited until just before 9am to go for a walk straight from my caravan site. I’d planned a longer walk but cut it short at 6.4 miles with just 986ft of ascent.

My outward leg followed the top of the Forge Valley heading north. I’d walked the opposite way through the bottom of the valley last week and it was good to be able to see it from a different perspective. I stopped briefly just beyond Spiker Hill Farm for coffee and to take in the view looking towards the sea at Scalby, just north of Scarborough. From here there was a steady descent of 200ft to North Stile Cottage and on to Cockrah Foot.

This was more or less and out and back walk with the return leg starting with a climb of 320ft to Coverdale Moor, the high point of the walk. It was all downhill from here back to the caravan site.

Having walked on 12 out of the 13 days of my stay, I have amassed a total mileage of 99.80. It has been a wonderful holiday in fantastic weather for this time of the year.

West Ayton walk route

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Yorkshire Sunset

Saturday 25 April 2015. After 11 consecutive days walking I think that I was due a rest. The weather today wasn’t so good with showers by late morning developing into more sustained rain throughout the afternoon. The bonus though was when it did eventually stop raining, it gave way to a magnificent sunset. I thought that I might be too late to capture it at its best when I eventually dragged myself out of the caravan and up to the site entrance to see the last few minutes of what had been a wonderful display. The colours in these two pictures are so vivid that doubters might think that they have been digitally enhanced but they are just as I took them with my point and shoot camera.

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Staithes to Sandsend

Friday 24 April 2015. Karen went home today leaving just Amanda, Josephine and me to do today’s final walk. They will be staggered when they see the stats as the walk turned out to be 8.9 miles with 2,356ft of ascent and 2,469ft of descent. I knew that coastal walking often has many ups and downs and this one was no different.

We drove to Staithes to start the walk and immediately went down to sea level to explore the village before climbing to follow the route of the Cleveland Way. We stopped for coffee above High Nab looking back towards Staithes. Many ups & downs followed before we descended back to sea level for lunch in Runswick Bay. A film crew was working here recoding Old Jack’s Boat for CBeebies. A walk along the beach brought us to a series of steps which saw us climb 250ft up to the cliff tops once again.

At one point we were 350ft above the sea but had to descend steeply towards Sandsend before following a disused railway line into town. We arrived just in time to catch the 16:12 bus back to Staithes. The tea shop had closed by the time that we got back so we stopped for fish & chips in Sleights on the drive home.

Staithes to Sandsend walk route

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I’ve had a little more time since posting this report to produce the following picture which graphically shows, through the profile, the number of ups and downs we encountered on this walk. None of them were particularly high but added together they make an impressive total.



Thursday 23 April 2015. It was misty on the drive to Farndale today and, as we were in no hurry, we stopped off for morning coffee/tea & bacon sandwiches/toasted teacakes in Hutton-le-Hole. After a look around the village craft shops it was almost 11:45 and the weather had improved considerably with blue skies and sunshine as we set off for a 7.4 mile walk with 1,400ft of ascent.

Farndale is famous for its wild daffodils but we were a week or two too late to see them at their best. The River Dove runs through the middle of the dale and it should, perhaps, have been called Dovedale instead of Farndale. The name has Brittonic Celtic origins and means dark river.

Our walk headed north from Lowna up the eastern and more wooded side of the valley. Our first rest stop was taken just before Ewecote Farm looking across to Harland Moor which we would cross later in the walk. A steady descent took us down to Low Mill in the valley bottom before a steep 600ft climb up onto the ridge of Harland Moor. This western side of the valley is in stark contrast to the eastern side being almost entirely covered by heather and providing a home for grouse. From here we could see across to the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge where I stayed when doing my Coast-to-Coast walk almost 4 years ago.

A mile and a half of moorland walking took us to the road up the western side of the valley which we crossed to make our way down to Dale End Bridge and then to retrace our steps back to the car.

Farndale walk route


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Hole of Horcum

Wednesday 22 April 2015. Amanda had a day off walking today and when she sees the stats she will think that it was a wise decision. The walk turned out to be 9.25 miles with 1,800ft if ascent.

Starting from the car park on the A169 above the Hole of Horcum we made our way across Levisham Moor stopping for coffee at the top of Dundale Griff. Griff being a local name for a steep sided valley. Leaving the moors behind we passed through the small village of Levisham and descended steeply to the bottom of the valley through which Levisham beck flows. Having gone down one side of the valley, we then climbed steeply up the other side to stop for lunch just outside of Lockton.

Our route then took us through Wedland Slack to cross over Levisham beck, once again, before climbing up to the top of Levisham Brow. It was here that navigation became something of a problem as the footpath on the ground didn’t match that on the map. This disparity continued along the length of Levisham Brow until we stopped for a rest at the bottom of Dundale Griff.

The path now opened up as we walked along the bottom of the Hole of Horcum before making a final climb of 400ft back up to the rim and the car park on the A169. It was a tough walk but enjoyable in the continuing fine weather.

Hole of Horcum walk route


Roseberry Topping

Tuesday 21 April 2015. It was a 50 mile drive to the start of today’s walk from Great Ayton which made it a long day but well worthwhile. We didn’t start the walk until 11.28 and quickly left the built up area of Great Ayton heading for Newton Wood where, although we had only been walking for 45 minutes, we stopped for lunch. Whilst having lunch we heard the first Cuckoo of the year and saw numerous other woodland birds.

Soon after, the main climb of the day began up to the top of Roseberry Topping which peaks out at a little over 1,000ft. The climb of 600ft was steep for most of the way up well constructed stone steps. It was a beautifully sunny day and the climb was hard work, necessitating several stops on the way up. The view from the summit was fabulous although a little hazy in the far distance. We had a second lunch break on Roseberry Topping to enjoy the views before dropping a couple of hundred feet off the eastern side and then climbing a further 200ft up to Newton Moor.

The next mile and half was fairly level before dropping down to the car park at Newton Gate and then climbing another 300ft up to Captain Cook’s Monument where we had another rest. Continuing the up and down theme of the walk, we next had a very steep descent of 300ft through Ayton Bank Wood. Our route next took us up a small lane which had been closed to traffic for resurfacing. The tarmac was freshly laid but took our weight without sinking in.

The last leg was through Cliff Ridge Wood and across fields back to Great Ayton, The walk turned out to be 7.6 miles with 1,660ft of ascent undertaken in beautiful weather conditions. Clear blue skies and warm sunshine.

On the way back we stopped off in Whitby for a fish & chip tea at the renowned Magpie restaurant.

Roseberry Topping walk route

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