Jo’s Monday walk : gliding high!

Hello-o-o, up there!

Hello-o-o, up there!

You’re probably thinking that lack of sunshine has gone to my head!  No, I’m not planning a sky walk this week.  What I would like to do is to take you up Sutton Bank, on the Yorkshire Moors, to the glider school.  I actually took this walk a couple of weeks ago when I was out searching for purple heather on the moors.  A road diversion had us approaching from the wrong direction, and by a very roundabout route, so that I was in despair of finding any blooming heather.  What I did find, though, was gliders!  I guess it’s an ok substitute.

The heather has already bloomed and waned, but the gliders still fly high.  You won’t need to do any climbing to see them.  I hope you’re game to come with me?

Oh, really?

Oh, really?

We parked at the Visitor Centre on Sutton Bank, properly known as Roulston Scar.  When I spotted a sign- ‘The finest view in England’- my expectations were pretty high.  At the viewing platform binoculars were clasped in several hands, but the day was heavily overcast.  I admit, I was a little disappointed.  Still, you couldn’t fault the other half’s enterprise in bringing me here. Perhaps the clouds would lift?

Promising, but not spectacular?

Promising, but not spectacular?

Not destined to be my favourite

Not destined to be my favourite view

But there was a choice on the signposts

But there was a choice on the signposts

And so, the White Horse it was to be.  Sound more promising to you?  The trouble is, The White Horse is better seen from afar.  Never mind.  I’ll do my best!  In the meantime, I was approaching the glider station.  Surely there wouldn’t be much to see from up there on a day like today?

The sign is full of promise

The sign looks full of promise

And there was a glider at the ready

And there was a glider at the ready

Control tower ready?

Control tower also ready?

The sky was starting to clear a little

The sky was even beginning to clear a little

And the beauty revealed

Revealing the beauty of the countryside

The path is level and it’s just as well because you’re constantly stopping and gazing skyward. There’s a low drone as the plane tows the glider past you and in seconds they’re airborne. Soaring out over the cliffs, it’s a heart stopping moment as the plane leads the glider ever higher and then releases into a thermal or rising air current.

The plane whizzes past, towing the glider

The plane whizzes past, towing the glider

Clinging on, in search of a thermal

Clinging on, in search of a thermal

Freedom!  And a patch of blue

Then freedom! And a patch of blue sky!

Back at ground level, the path continues on.  The White Horse of Kilburn is not far away.  I’m not sure what kind of view of it I will have, as it lies on the cliff face below me.

This is an aerial view

The sign shows an aerial view

As half expected, it's easier to get a wild flower shot

As half expected, it’s easier to get a wild flower shot

Steps lead down the cliff to a car park far below.  I look back at my husband, who shrugs and turns to walk away.  I start down the steps in search of a better view.

This is the best I can do!

This is the best I can do!

There's a bench, thanks to Fred Banks

Or this bench, thanks to Fred Banks

And a lovely patch of heather

And a lovely patch of heather

Unless you want a long descent down the steps, and then an aching clamber back up, this will have to do for now.  You could, of course, be enterprising and drive to the car park below.  I’m sorry to tell you that we didn’t.  The clouds closed in again- that’s the nature of the moors- and it was time for a hasty retreat from a squall of rain.

But at least I'd had a glimpse of 'England's finest view'

But at least I’d had a glimpse of ‘England’s finest view’

And a little moorland heather

And a little moorland heather

I hope you enjoyed our walk?  This link to Wikipedia will give you a few more details of the whereabouts and geology of the horse, and the village of Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, where I remember a rather nice pub.

walking logo

I won’t be home till teatime today, but I’m hoping you will still have received this walk, which I scheduled.  Early or late, I’ll definitely be there. Once again, I have some wonderful shares for you. Many thanks to all of you who take part.

My first walk this week is very fittingly titled but, more importantly, it’s full of wonderful photos. Thank you so much, Meg.  This is beautiful!


The Cardinal took us to Petra in Jordan, for the sunniest of smiles  :

Street Portrait

Paula knows us Scorpios don’t mind water, or even occasionally…

Getting Wet 

If you haven’t seen any of Amy’s photography lately, you’re missing a treat.  Goodbye Summer!  :

It’s last Beauty

Drake was back on Samsoe this week, with some Norwegian love  :

Vikings, potatoes and Norwegian love

Hands up those of you who’ve been to Odessa?  No- I thought not!  Jouena has a lovely share  :

Mosaic in Odessa

You can share a walk with me any day of the week.  The details are all in my logo.  Have a great week and happy walking!


  1. I like the atmospheric photos with the cloudy skies, Jo. It captures the mood of the moors. I’m sorry we didn’t get to see the white horse through your eyes, but at least we got to see what I thought were beautiful views and the gliders. I would have liked to have seen you go up in the gliders though. 🙂


    1. Thank you for all your precious time this morning, Cathy. I know you don’t have a lot. I’d love the experience of gliding but not sure if I’d have the nerve. Just walking is a challenge sometimes 🙂


  2. The patchwork of green in the last two shots is gorgeous! We were forced onto a glider by friends in the air force base here in Chennai ages ago. It was exhilarating!! I was bolder then, and very much younger of course. Wouldn’t dare to get on one now 🙂


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