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?
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
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.
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.
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.
Botanic Gardens do vary! Pauline was disappointed in this and I can see why :
Jude is a lady who never disappoints! Take a look at some great Quoit photos!
Nobody out there sees the world quite like Drake! Ducks are so endearing :
More water, boats and a beautiful rainbow, from Ruth :
Canal restoration is a subject that I love. Even in black and white, this is exceptionally beautiful!
I like surprises! This is a really nice one from Violet Sky :
Starting in the rain, with Geoff… well, it is English Summertime!
Something a little unusual for you now. Thanks a lot, Jaspa!
Rosemay is currently in Perth, but she has a lovely London-based daughter :
Exotic and beautiful! A world I will never know except through Lisa’s eyes :
And more from the Southern Hemisphere. Some fond memories with Jill :
Let’s round it all off with a bit of drama!
I hope you have time to visit all the walks. Maybe pop back later? Thanks again everybody, and see you next week.