Captain James Cook on the village green at Great Ayton
I still have Paris stories to tell and photos to share, but life moves on, doesn’t it? Late Summer is the most beautiful time of year on the North York Moors and I’ve been there several times in the past few weeks. I wish I’d had blue skies like the one above for this week’s walk, but we’ll have to settle for ‘head in the clouds’.
‘Where do you want to go?’ asked the long suffering other half, last Monday. ‘Somewhere with heather. Lots of heather!’ I replied. And where do you find the most heather? On the very tops of the Moors, of course. So, strong legs needed this week, but I’m in the Algarve next week so you can all have a lovely rest. Are you ready? Come on, then!
This is our start point
I’m starting out from the free car park at Gribdale Gate, just beyond the village of Little Ayton. You have several choices from this point but they’re all in an upwards direction.
This is ours!
That’s the target- the little spike above the tree line!
Always on the Moors you are aware of nature
While beneath our feet the bracken fades
You’re following a woodland trail and steadily you will gain height
With occasional diversions on the edges of the path
Your first reward- Roseberry Topping on the horizon
Roseberry Topping is an iconic landmark in these parts. The combination of geological fault and a mining collapse in 1912 created its distinctive shape. The link will take you to the National Trust website with lots of spectacular views. Joe Cornish is one of my favourite photographers.
Looking back you can see the moorland trail you have followed
A memorial beside the path
Ahead, the Monument
Captain Cook’s Monument is a 16 metre high obelisk, located on Easby Moor and visible for miles around. It was constructed of local sandstone and has stood on this spot since 1827. It bears an inscription celebrating Captain James Cook, who was born locally at Marton- “a man of nautical knowledge inferior to none”.
The heather stretches for miles
It is the most glorious sight at this time of year, and well worth the climb, which can be taken slowly, with frequent pauses to look back. Many families with quite young children were making the pilgrimage, so how hard can it be? I wasn’t so sure about this next activity though.
Getting the heart rate going is one thing, but…..
He made it- thank goodness!
The Monument and Roseberry Topping in the same frame
You can continue on across the Moors and down into Kildale in the next valley. The total distance is only 2 and a half miles, but you would then have to make the return journey. I was content to simply descend the hill, much more rapidly than my ascent!
Just a little more heather!
And a last look at the Monument
Did I mention the heather?
There is a railway station at Little Ayton, on the Esk Valley Line, but I’m assuming you arrived by car. It’s all downhill back to the main village of Great Ayton, where James Cook spent many of his boyhood years. It’s a very attractive village, with the river running through it, and a good pub, the ‘Royal Oak’, on the village green.
You could visit Captain Cook’s Schoolroom Museum if you have the time. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t managed it yet. I’d better make that a project for the winter. I apologise for the sullen skies but the heather is only at it’s purple best for a few weeks. As we drove home the sky began to clear, of course, and I leapt nimbly out of the car to frolic with the sheep.
He’s giving me a very suspicious look!
As I mentioned at the start of this walk, I’m going to the Algarve today and won’t be around to post a walk next Monday. I’ll be back the following one, 15th September, so if you have any walks you’d like to share, feel free to leave them in the Comments as usual. I’ll feature them the following week. Any doubts, click on my logo above. It explains how I run Jo’s Monday walks. Till then, happy walking! I’m off to put the kettle on and visit all these lovely people.
My first walk this week is from a lady you might not know? Say ‘hello’ to Jill, at Jill’s Scene :
Drake takes us to lovely Ribe in Denmark, and climbs a tower, too! Energetic, like me :
Step back time
Amy has the BEST photo of a cross mother swan in this post :
Zilker Park, Austin
I’ve always enjoyed ’tilting at windmills’. Jude has the most beautiful one I’ve seen in a while :
Tilting at Windmills
Some fabulous footage of the Azores from Cardinal Guzman, also joining us for the first time :
Horta- Azorean Islands
Take care and ‘bye for now!