Just before I made off for the Algarve I had time to squeeze in one last walk. I’ve been to the North Yorkshire village of Great Ayton many times, and had not really expected to share with you another walk there. 150 photos proved me wrong, and I think you might like to share one or two of them. Who can resist wobbly, white lambs?
I almost didn’t get there because our walk leader’s car was sick, but I bestowed the walk leader badge on my other half, and off we went.
It was a bit fresh, and misty, but with the bunting flapping wildly, we crossed over the narrow bridge and headed up the side street out of the village. More about the bunting later. There’s a sign pointing out a public footpath, which leads between houses and a big hawthorn fence, round past the cricket pitch, over a field and down to a stream. Are you still with me so far? It’s tricky!
This is where you should end up. Cross over the little bridge and you come out into a country lane. More bunting and a bridge with a scruffy sign, pointing to Easby and Kildale. You don’t want either of those options today, so proceed gently uphill past Brookside Farm.
The goose, though handsome, is the honkiest, noisiest creature. The cow, much more placid. At about this point we were joined by a young ex-army man, out looking for fresh air and exercise. Hadn’t he come to just the right place! We chatted pleasantly along the lane. The conversation was of Pisa and travels abroad, and I totally missed the fact that the farm cafe was open. Not like me, at all! The husband was more alert but didn’t point it out till after we’d parted company with our walker friend. We directed him uphill towards Captain Cook’s Monument. A much sterner test for the legs, and one that we declined that day.
The daffs were everywhere, and a sprinkling of primroses too. As we hailed the morning rider, White Cottage came into view, with a stunning fanfare of rhododendron. The crossroads here lead down to Little Ayton, and continue on into Great Ayton itself. Probably the recommended route for strollers but, if you choose to puff and pant uphill, you will find a footpath off to your left. This takes you across a field. If you’ve timed it right, you could be in for a real treat.
I don’t think I ever saw such bright, white, new ones! One of the little fellas had managed to find his way out of the field, and away from the safety of his mother’s side. He was scrambling frantically to find a way back in, while Ma looked on in exasperation. I stood politely and quietly by, holding the gate just a little ajar for him. I didn’t want any adventurous brothers or sisters skipping out to join him. But I need not have worried. With a twitch of his stubby tail, he was under the gate and gone, with barely a backwards glance.
For us, the trail led on, very muddily, over the railway tracks and back down into the village. Where finally all of that bunting was explained.
The Tour de Yorkshire is coming to the village on May 1st, and the villagers were out in force, bedecking and festooning with bunting and bikes.
And I’m not done yet! Past the cascades and along by the river, romantically trailing willows, still there’s more bunting and bikes to see. I think they’re going to have a high old time on 1st May, don’t you? I almost wish I could be there.
As we returned to our car, parked by the riverside, my husband spied a rather lovely magnolia. I couldn’t quite get close enough for a decent shot, but I found a reward of a different kind. A tiny raised gate led into the churchyard beyond. I had stumbled upon James Cook’s childhood church, All Saints, dating from the 12th century. In this lovely spot, his mother and siblings are buried.
If you happen to be in the area on May 1st, Stage 3 of ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ starts in Middlesbrough and races down over our beautiful Moors, ending at Scarborough on the north east coast. Myself, I will be in Poland, but I might just catch a glimpse on the sports news. A map and full details of the route are contained in the links.
I’m glad I managed to fit in this post, not least because it gives me the opportunity to showcase some amazing walks. Where else will you find Korcula, the Shropshire Hills and Katmandu, all on the same page? Please don’t miss any of them. Huge thanks to all my contributors, and to all of you for your patience in my absence.
I’m going to have to take liberties again, because very early on Thursday I’m off to Poland with Dad. I don’t return until 12th May and will have only limited internet access whilst there. If you would like to share a walk in the meantime, you’re very welcome to do so. Details are, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Just click on the logo above.
If I had to shortlist places to see before I finally vanish, Hawaii might well be on it. You will enjoy this!
And just to totally convince you, Carol’s taking us to a waterfall :
Geoff took me to familiar and much loved haunts with this walk :
Becky gave me the gentlest of nudges before I set off for the Algarve. Isn’t this walking bliss?
Anabel finds the loveliest chateau, and a little bit of mud!
Shakespearean sonnets make for an interesting garden stroll with Trav Trails :
And Jackie is out looking for signs of Spring in Toronto :
Another walk I’d really love to take for myself one day. Say hello to the folks on this lovely island :
I love a walk that’s a bit different, and Karen provides exactly that!
While Gilly takes us for a lunch time romp among the bluebells :
Seriously good ‘value for money’ from Denzil, with a city walk and boat trip too :
A lovely welcome home arrived from Susan. So like one of my own Tavira beach walks :
And what can you say about Tish? An astoundingly beautiful return visit for me, which I thoroughly enjoyed :
I would not have believed it possible to have so much delight on a homecoming. My cup runneth over, Badfish!
So there we have it, for a couple of weeks. I have some lovely Algarve walks to share with you, but they’ll have to wait for a little while. I might try to schedule a post for May 9th, the Monday before I come home, but it would probably be more sensible to wait until 16th. In the meantime, I will visit and share as much as I can. Do look after yourselves, won’t you? And very happy walking!