Jo’s Monday walk : Lealholm to Glaisdale

Did you miss the Duck Race?

Did you miss the Duck Race?

I try for variety in my walks but this week it took a great effort of will not to drag you back to the seaside!  As we’re in that balmy British time of year (no, I didn’t say barmy, but I could well have done) when the villages all have their shows, I thought we should head for Yorkshire.  As luck would have it, we do seem to be having a Summertime this year, so let’s make the most of it. Which brings me to Lealholm and the Duck Race.

Now I feel a bit of a fraud, because I’ve never actually witnessed the Duck Race.  To be honest, I prefer the village peaceful, as it is in the above shot, taken the week before.  Timing’s the thing, isn’t it?  On the church notice board, I saw that I had also missed some ‘Open’ gardens at Glaisdale.   I guess I need a year planner.  Never mind- I can compensate with Poet’s Cottage, the garden centre at Lealholm.  Shall we start there?

How about this for a peony?

How about this for a peony?

Central to the village and on the banks of the River Esk, many people come to Lealholm purely to visit this beautifully laid out shrubbery and plant centre.  Named for John Castillo, a poet and lay preacher, the site was previously home to a paper mill.  You may have arrived by train, but more likely by car, and it’s just a short downhill stroll from the parking to Poet’s Cottage.

As usual, click on any photo to open the galleries

Best of all, truly luscious clematis

Best of all, truly luscious clematis

The gardeners among you satisfied, it’s time to visit Lealholm’s other main attraction- the stepping stones.  Young and old seem to delight in these, and on a sunny day much hand holding and teetering goes on.  It’s a social occasion for all the family and blankets are spread, ready to lounge with a picnic.

I was quite surprised to learn from Wikipedia that a settlement at Lealholm can be traced all the way back to the Domesday Book of 1086.  It has always been a traditional farming community, prosperity developing because it provided a convenient crossing place on the River Esk.

The village sits at the bottom of a glacial U-shaped valley, Crunkly Ghyll.  A fording point existed beside the Board Inn, a coaching inn which dates back to 18th century.  Today children wade and ducks paddle in the shadow of the 17th century arched bridge.  The name Lealholm appears to derive from the Old English for a place of willow trees.  No small part of its charm are the sheep, ambling amicably on the village green.

View from the top of the village

View from the top of the village, over Crunkly Ghyll

Lealholm lies on the Esk Valley Railway Line, which runs from Middlesbrough to Whitby, a distance of 35 miles.  With a little careful planning you can enjoy a day out on the railway, and even fit in a walk between stations.

From beside the bridge, a footpath follows the course of the River Esk towards Glaisdale village, 2 miles away.  The river twists and squirms its way through the valley.  There’s nothing I like better than the company of a river on my walks.

In theory you could catch the train back from Glaisdale, or you could simply retrace your steps.  I hope to show you a little of Glaisdale village and the Beggar’s Bridge in another post.  In the meantime, I’m sure you could be tempted to a slice of delicious cake from Beck View Tea Room, or even one of the ‘specials’ from The Board Inn.  You must have earned it by now.

And, should you be wondering, yes, they do tip a heap of yellow plastic ducks into the river.  If you have one of the fastest ducks you can win a prize, but the event is to raise money for charity.

A date for next year's diary?

A date for next year’s diary?

walking logo

Lots of walks to share again this week, and a huge thank you to everybody for taking the time both to contribute and to read.  Details of how to take part can be found on my Jo’s Monday walk page or on the logo above.  I’ve had 2 cups of coffee already this morning!


Anabel was the first to share this week!  Expect a bench or two.

River Earn and Laggan Hill

Botanic Gardens do vary! Pauline was disappointed in this and I can see why :

A walk in a Botanic garden

Jude is a lady who never disappoints! Take a look at some great Quoit photos!

A walk in the past

Nobody out there sees the world quite like Drake!  Ducks are so endearing :

Above not only the water

More water, boats and a beautiful rainbow, from Ruth :

A walk around Sullivan’s Cove, Hobart

Canal restoration is a subject that I love.  Even in black and white, this is exceptionally beautiful!

Show me the Wey

I like surprises!  This is a really nice one from Violet Sky :

A nice place to live

Starting in the rain, with Geoff… well, it is English Summertime!

Eastbourne to Alfriston and back- a walk of two halves

Something a little unusual for you now.  Thanks a lot, Jaspa!

Three Rivers Petroglyphs, New Mexico

Rosemay is currently in Perth, but she has a lovely London-based daughter :

On the trail of Notting Hill : Portobello Road markets

Exotic and beautiful!   A world I will never know except through Lisa’s eyes :

Vanua Balavu: Walking the Nabavatu Plantation

And more from the Southern Hemisphere.  Some fond memories with Jill :

Come with me along historic Marine Parade, Napier

Let’s round it all off with a bit of drama!

Killing Nanny Meg

I hope you have time to visit all the walks.  Maybe pop back later?  Thanks again everybody, and see you next week.


  1. The Clematis and Peony are the stars of the show for me on this walk. I wish my garden would bloom this way! Love the name of the valley Crunkly Ghyll. It’s great to connect the places that were up and running before Domesday book, thanks for broadening my historic horizons with every walk. There along so many stories to uncover along the British Isles and you do this in a beautiful way Jo. Wishing you a lovely Sunday.


    1. Thank you, Lita. Hope you’re having a good Sunday too. 🙂 I really enjoy doing the walks and the research. Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the week, but that’s not such a bad thing 🙂


      1. Two, Pauline! (if you don’t count the Algarve two 🙂 ) I also drag Mick out and about whenever he’ll let me. You should see the face! I want to go to Saltburn today to check out the yarn bombing but it’s wet! Yes, I do occasionally stay home and do housework 😦


      2. House work? What is that Jo? I’m lucky with a one room studio/granny apartment and also a very relaxed attitude to house work, it doesn’t take me long to, very occasionally, whisk around!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gorgeous village, Jo! Thanks for the walk… I loved the flowers and the charming scenery. I’ve told you before I think… I share the love for the company of a river on my walks too. Will be sending something your way soon… company of the Rhine.
    Was close to your neck of the woods recently… got to sample the barmy English summer. Wasn’t too much fun without airconditioning!


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