Peering through Yorkshire village windows


What a nice gesture!  The village hall in Boltby, North Yorkshire, is left on the latch.  There are no amenities in this lovely village so, if you’re passing by and need to use the loo, you can pop in.  There’s a kitchen too, and you’re welcome to put the kettle on.  If only I’d thought to bring some cake!

Boltby is on the western edge of the North York Moors, and I was there to follow Gurtof Beck in the direction of Gormire Lake.  There’s a wonderful humpbacked stone bridge for pedestrians at the centre of the village, and right beside it, two mosaics.

They are part of 23 such markers on the  36 mile long Hambleton Hillside Mosaic Walk. Now, don’t worry!  I didn’t undertake the whole distance, and I stopped to admire a few cottages along the way.  And Boltby’s pretty 19th century chapel.

Beyond the village it’s a pleasant rolling landscape, with impressive Whitestone Cliff a distant backdrop.  Sheep gambol in the fields, and overhead, gliders ride the thermals.  I’d love to have their bird’s eye view.

Gormire Lake is accessible only on foot, and was formed after the last Ice Age, when an ice sheet covered the Vale of York.  I’ve previously only seen it from the cliff top, a dark and mysterious green expanse, surrounded by woodland. It’s not a place to go after dusk, for it’s said to be haunted by a knight who plunged from the cliff to his death. He was riding the white mare on whom the famous White Horse of Kilburn is thought to be based.


I never much like to retrace my steps, and so it was that I found tiny Thirlby.  The village nestles round a ford, always a source of delight to me.  No stepping stones for this one, just a huddle of pretty cottages.  Apparently James Herriot, veterinarian and author, once lived here.  Pear Tree House, home to a master cabinet maker, came as a real surprise.  Bob Hunter uses the symbol of a wren to distinguish his furniture.

Boltby and Thirlby are just a couple of miles apart, and easy walking.  A short drive away, the village of Kilburn was home to another, more famous, craftsman.  Robert Thompson, or Mouseman as he became known, came from a family ‘as poor as church mice’. Astonishingly, he taught himself the craft of carving and joinery.  I’ve long promised myself a visit.

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There are tearooms too, but you really don’t want to see another scone with jam and cream, do you?  Just picture it!

Have you seen Dawn’s A Lingering Look at Windows this month?



  1. What a charming place to wander around. Love the beautiful green landscapes the most. it always amazes me that Britain with all its immigrants and crowded cities still manages to have rolling green hills and so much farm land. It truly is a ‘green and pleasant land’. 😃


  2. If I ever need an interesting and peaceful walk, I need look no further than your blog archives. Such a treasure trove. 🙂


  3. Such pretty photos, Jo. Here in England, the homes are so close to the road and I find myself peering in for a sticky beak, which is something I would never do at home. I try not to get caught out though. That would be embarrassing.


  4. What a glorious and relaxing walk, Jo (and I’m glad there is a loo somewhere along the way) 😉 I’ve always wanted to have a house with all that ivy growing on it, but people tell me it’s full of spiders and can crack the bricks – oh well, I’ll just keep dreaming! 😀


      1. Not going too bad, thanks so much for asking Jo. I’m just going through a bit of an in-law struggle at the moment which is quite complex and may require a lawyer if I’m to keep the RUC and not lose all the money I’ve put into it. It’s draining and at times very frustrating, but hopefully I’ll get there in the end 😉 I’ll write about it on my blog one day, but not now in case it does turn legal xxx


  5. I loved this post, Jo – both villages sound delightful. There is something so peaceful sounding about village life like this, and they each have their own personalities that shine through in the little details. It looks like it was a great day to explore!


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