North York Moors

Six word Saturday

Tickled Pink on the Yorkshire Moors

There’s no resisting it!  It’s time for September Squares with Becky.  I was amusing myself at Poet’s Cottage garden centre, in the North Yorkshire village Lealholm, last week.  Check the captions.  Do these fit the bill for In the Pink?

On a more serious subject, lifeboats do an amazing job, don’t they?  I live by the sea and am in awe of the courage and skill the crews exhibit.  Join Debbie with Six Words and watch the video.  And have a happy Saturday!

Jo’s Monday walk : Osmotherley and beyond

Shall we share some fresh moorland air today?  Many of you in the UK will be having one last summer jaunt over the Bank Holiday weekend.  I hope the weather holds fair.  It’s a week or two since I was up on the York Moors but the colours were those wonderful shades of rose and lilac that I love.  The village of Osmotherley is just a 40 minute drive from me, less with a tail wind.  You need only turn right at the crossroads and, a little way beyond the village, you can find some delightful walking.  Come to think of it, the same applies if you turn left, but then I cannot guarantee heather.

Follow the footpath sign opposite the cottage, where refreshments used to be provided in the summer.  Maybe business wasn’t so good, or maybe year on year of baking lost its charm.  It’s a shame because I know you would have appreciated a warm scone.  I hope you’ve got water and a little something in your backpack.  And don’t forget to close the gate!

In seconds you’re surrounded.  Leggy Rosebay Willowherb wafts on the breeze, while sturdy heather hugs the contours of these wild spaces.  Clouds sweep across, plunging the landscape into shadow.  Sunlight blazes ahead over the fields.

The path drops down towards woodland and I step aside to let a tractor trundle past.  The driver nods cheerfully.  My husband remarks that he was carrying a gun.  “Was he?” I ask.  “We’d best behave!”  Not that we wouldn’t.

We follow the path into the woods, through dappled shade.  As we start to climb back out again we encounter a group of lady dog walkers, perched on a bit of wall for a picnic.  We exchange the look that says ‘we forgot again!’ and carry on.  They had the perfect spot, overlooking the reservoir.

Over the bridge we go and up the other side, not too sure if this is the right direction.  ‘Of course it is- it’s upwards!’  We clamber up, glad of the stone slabs, and pausing often to admire far reaching views.  At our feet, tiny flowers nestle in crevices, ferns patterning the time-whorled stones.

A little puffing and panting later, and we’ve reached the top.  It strikes me that I would rather have come gently up than descend this footpath.  And then we’re back amongst the heather.  A curious sheep looks on as we rejoin the road and head back towards the cottage.

I’m starting to feel nostalgic for the beauty of the English countryside, and I haven’t even left it yet!  Thank you for joining me.  Link up any time here on Jo’s Monday walk.  I’m always glad of company.  Kettle on now, because it’s sharing time again.

I can always rely on Debs to lift my spirits, as well as my eye level :

Views over Nimes

Lady Lee shares another beautiful weekend away :

Our weekend in Das Kranzbach

Let’s finish off that lovely walk with Janet :

Monday walk…around the lake 2

What does Jackie do every morning?

Rise and Shine

Eunice likes to get out and about too- mostly in lovely countryside like this :

Firwood Fold’s hidden lake

Call me soft, if you like, but this one scares me!  No thanks, Alice!  🙂

Okefenokee Swamp, natures treasure chest

Much happier in Rupali’s tranquil garden :

A short visit to botanical garden

No better place to linger than a sunset with Irene :

A Walk at Sunset

But if you want a climb with stunning views, this is the one!

Hiking: Harry’s Ridge

Lisa shares 2000 years of history with us on a walk through the fascinating city of Acre :

The Port City of Acre 

Cathy has been keeping me company with some awesome walks this past few weeks.  This one is no exception.  Simply phenomenal!

The Grand View Overlook Trail in Canyonlands

Looking back to see what I’d posted about Osmotherley and surrounds, I came upon this walk, from the other side of the village.  Off to Guisborough with the group today.  Sunny, too!  Have a great week!

Six word Saturday

Out on the wiley, windy moors…

We’d roll and fall in green

I couldn’t resist one more romp on the moors before the heather lost it’s glow.  It was a day of low cloud and mist as we clambered up the hillside, startling sheep.  A long pause on the tops, to get our breath back, and on past the boulders.

Then plunging back down… and up again!  Alarm bells sounded when I saw the ford sign. Would the water be high?  But I needn’t have worried.

The last slog back up the hill, though, was almost a step too far.  Good thing I was surrounded by beauty, somewhere along the Esk Valley Way.

Hope you fill your Saturday with beauty.  Debbie usually does!  Why not go and join her with six words? 

Six word Saturday

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What a strange world this is!

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One week you’re in Edinburgh, meeting a blogger from Cornwall, the next, admiring the beauty of Roseberry Topping on the North York Moors, with a blogger all the way from Australia.  When Carol (that’s The Eternal Traveller to you) suggested a stop off on my local patch during her whistle stop tour of England… well, it would have been churlish not to offer the lady a cuppa and a view, wouldn’t it?

Great Ayton seemed the perfect venue for someone interested in Captain Cook, as he spent much of his childhood there.  Carol had already been to Whitby, where he served his seaman’s apprenticeship, but Cook was born locally and lived in a farmhouse in Great Ayton.  It isn’t possible to visit Cook’s Cottage as it was moved to Melbourne in 1934, and reassembled there brick by brick.  Cook received 5 years of paid education in this village and the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum tells the story of his early life.

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Cook was also known to have loved Roseberry Topping but, as this is a bit of a steep climb, we opted instead to hike up Easby Moor to visit the Monument to him, constructed in 1827.  The views are sweeping, across to the Topping and down on Great Ayton itself.

Of course, I needed sustenance, in the form of a very crumbly scone, but Justin Beaver didn’t seem to mind my table manners too much.

Thanks to Carol and her lovely family for keeping us company.  Wishing them a safe and happy onward journey.

It’s Saturday again and almost sunny.  I hope that wherever you are the weekend is kind to you.  I will be back on Monday for one more walk before I head south for a two week break.  Take care till then!

P.S.  ‘Strictly’ starts again this weekend and I can’t help but remember my good friend Viv, who loved it so.  And please don’t forget your six words!

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Jo’s Monday walk : Rosedale, sheep and heather

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The North York Moors are all about the sheep!  They have a very important role to play in managing these moors.  In late summer, plum and purple swathes of heather swaddle the moorland.  Cocooned in this bounty, red grouse nest, feeding their young on juicy shoots of heather.  For centuries sheep grazing has been the traditional way of keeping the heather short and encouraging new growth. Without the heather, highly invasive bracken would take over, destroying the habitat.

I love the wildness of the Moors and can’t get enough of them in their rose-hued mantle. The weather up there has a mind of its own, and I was a little disappointed to leave sunshine at home and descend into Rosedale in gloom.  Nothing for it but to hope that the rain kept off.

The calves were feeling frisky, the field of sweetcorn swayed in the breeze, and at the camp site someone had the kettle ready.  As luck would have it, the wind eventually swept away the clouds, but you can never be quite sure.

The walk starts beside Sycamore Farm, just before the village of Rosedale Abbey.  A track leads downhill and over a stream.  Crossing a field, Blakey Ridge looms ahead.  Don’t worry!  I don’t expect you to climb to the heights.  Instead, turn right to follow a lane through the tiny hamlet of Thorgill.

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Suddenly the sun peeps out, and what could be more tempting than this flight of steps?  My husband shakes his head.  The sign says Farndale, and that means up and over the top.  I can’t resist just a quick look at the tumble of cottages.  And a plum tree, alone in a field.

Over the top?  Maybe another day.  For now it’s gently upwards through Rosedale’s peaceful valley.  And look how blue the sky has become!

Looking over the drystone wall, I spotted some Rosebay Willowherb.  A fancy name for a wildflower.  You probably don’t remember but there was a big clump of it in my last walk. Badfish asked me jokingly if you could smoke it.  His latest post reveals a much more serious side. Don’t miss it!

Such a rural landscape and yet there are still traces of an industrial past.  If you look into the distance you can see the dramatic remains of the East Mines, and the colour of the water in the River Seven might give you a clue what was mined there.

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Rosedale East Mines opened in 1865.  Visible today are the remains of the calcining kilns, where ironstone was roasted to eliminate impurities and reduce its weight.  The iron ore was taken by rail from Rosedale over the moorland to Ingleby, where it was lowered down the northern edge of the moors by tramway on the 1-in-5 gradient Ingleby Incline.  It would have been anything but peaceful as up to 15 wagons at a time were steam hauled around the top of the valley.

It was brutally hard work in the mines.  It has been described as a ‘regular slaughter place’ where ‘both men and horses are getting killed and lamed every day’.  Despite this the mines continued in operation until the General Strike of 1926.

These days the silence is only broken by birdsong, cows lowing and the occasional growl of a tractor.  The farm with an idyllic view had a runaway mother hen as I passed by.  She clucked anxiously back and forth, trying to chivvy her offspring back through the fence.  I watched at a discreet distance till I was sure all were safe, before heading past the former miner’s cottages and back to my start point.

The village of Rosedale Abbey is barely a mile down the road.  It was named for a Cistercian Priory, founded in 1158, of which only a fragment remains today.  The main attraction is the village green, and a choice of two cafes or a pub.  I can highly recommend Graze on the Green.  One of the best scones I’ve ever eaten. (and you know I’ve had my share!)

Nutrition accomplished, it’s time to go and seek out some of that glorious heather.  The road back across the moors dips and twirls, offering up breathtaking views as you crest Blakey Ridge.   ‘Pull in, pull in!’ I admonished the partner, careless of what might be behind us on the narrow road.

Some of you know what happens next.  The edges of the moors road have a little ditch where the rain drains off.  Out I leapt and straight into a ditch, with a sickening jar to my ankle.  Why do these things happen to me?  Careless, that’s why!  It was some minutes before I could take the desired photos, but here they are.  The sheep never even blinked.

I’m still a bit of a hop-along but I’m getting there.  So glad you could join me.  The Rosedale Abbey website offers a wealth of helpful details, and I even noted a ‘Tea Shop walk’.  Sound promising?

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Huge thanks to everybody for offering up your walks to share, and for ambling along on mine.  I love your company.  If you’d like to join me, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo.  Settle in now for a good read!

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Inspiration must surely be Drake’s middle name :

Whence inspiration arises

Food, fun and frolics in Canada, with Jackie :

Let’s Go to The EX!

If you’re still hungry, head on over to Violet’s place :

Ribfest

Nothing I like more than a touch of Capability Brown!  And fuzzy sheep!  Thanks, Elaine :

Charlecote Park

A lovely old house and a sculpture trail sounds good to me.  BiTi will show you round :

Ballymaloe House- Part 1 

A Yorkshireman in NZ has found a place that looks like home.  Please go and say hi?

Pineapple Track, Dunedin

My favourite early riser takes us for a twirl by the Wisła.  Thanks, Meg.  You’re always a joy to accompany :

Vignettes from a morning walk, 8

Random, but comprehensive!  That’s Prague through Cardinal’s lens :

A Walk Through Praha

From Italy next I’d like to introduce Discovermarche, with a fun walk :

Li Vurgacci : among waterfalls and rock monsters 

And if you’ve always wondered about the German capital, take a trip with Kathrin :

Berlin, I love you!

That’s it for another week.  I’m hoping to post on Thursday but I might be a bit slow with my comments.  I’ll be in Edinburgh, waiting to meet up with the delectable Jude.  Take care till then!

 

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Captain Cook’s Monument

Captain James Cook on the village green at Great Ayton

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

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!

This is ours!

That's the target! The little spike above the tree line

That’s the target- the little spike above the tree line!

Always on the Moors you are aware of nature

Always on the Moors you are aware of nature

Beneath our feet the bracken fades

While beneath our feet the bracken fades

You're following a woodland trail and steadily you will gain height

You’re following a woodland trail and steadily you will gain height

There are occasional diversions on the edges of the path

With occasional diversions on the edges of the path

Your first reward- Roseberry Topping on the horizon

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

Looking back you can see the moorland trail you have followed

A memorial beside the path

A memorial beside the path

Ahead, the Monument

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

The heather stretches for miles

And miles!

And 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.....

Getting the heart rate going is one thing, but…..

He made it- thank goodness!

He made it- thank goodness!

The Monument and Roseberry Topping in the same frame

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!

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!

He’s giving me a very suspicious look!

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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  :

Breckenridge, Minnesota

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!

Jo’s Monday walk : Sheepwash and the Moors

Got any sheep you want washing? Here's the place!

Got any sheep you need washing? This is the place!

And now, as they say, for something completely different.  In more senses than one because some of you will know that this isn’t the walk I originally intended taking you on this week. Fortunately, I have walks to spare!  I’ll tell you the story first, before we head to Sheepwash.

Last Monday I was at Carlton-in-Cleveland with my walking friends.  The area is pretty steep and, as it half-promised to be a warm day, I decided to take water with me in my newly acquired, hands-free, sling over the shoulder, cool bag.  Foolishly I slipped my camera inside, without any cover or protection.  When I came to extract it an hour later, it felt a little moist.  Keen to get snapping, I gave it a swift rub with a tissue and off I went.  The brave and obedient camera performed as usual for the first few shots, then suddenly it ‘locked up’.  When I looked at it properly, the screen was all misted.  The poor soul had drowned!

In these kind of circumstances (yes, I am pretty careless!) I normally hand the camera to Michael, and with a bit of ‘tutting’ he resuscitates it.  Not this time!  We took turns at snuggling it in our pockets, hoping to dry it out and breathe new life into it.  Quite understandably, the camera refused to respond.  I have to say that it ruined my walk, through magnificent countryside, but just maybe I’ve been taught a lesson.  With love and affection (and a warm seat on the radiator) the camera finally came back to life the following day.  Will I ever learn!

I hope you like my substitute walk, from Sheepwash.  I haven’t ever actually seen a sheep being washed in the stream, but that is where the name derives from.  Cod Beck is a small tributary of the River Swale and the picturesque area known as Sheepwash is a popular picnic spot.

The National Trust has its priorities right in this area!

The National Trust has its priorities right in this area!

As the walkers set off, I crouched in the grass to inspect this little beauty

As the walkers set off, I crouched in the grass to inspect this little beauty

Soon we are climbing up the hillside, away from the road

Soon we are climbing up the hillside, away from the road

The countryside drops away below us

The countryside falls away below us

And we're walking on the Cleveland Way

And we’re walking on the Cleveland Way

Sheepwash is situated just outside the pretty North Yorkshire village of Osmotherley.  From the village centre, take North End and continue on to Quarry Lane, passing Cod Beck reservoir on the way.  There are a couple of parking bays, just beyond Sheepwash.

North Yorkshire is a superb place for walking.  The Lyke Wake Walk starts on the moors above Osmotherley and ends down the coast at Ravenscar.  Bill Cowley, a local farmer, claimed that you could walk these 40 miles on heather all the way, except for crossing a couple of roads.  For me, there is no finer sight than the vast sweep of purple heather in Summer.  Osmotherley is also on the 110 mile long Cleveland Way, from Helmsley to Filey, just skirting the Moors.

A solitary sheep keeps his distance across the field- no sheep wash for him!

A solitary sheep keeps his distance across the field- no sheep wash for him!

The waymarked trail leads off across the moors

The waymarked trail leads off across the moors

With runnels to help the rains to drain away

With runnels to help the rains to drain away

And interesting whorls beneath your feet

The grasses a tapestry of colours

A tree, braving the elements, alone

It’s a bit of a steep haul up the trail but you can always stop to admire the view.  A bench awaits for the weary, or you can continue on through the gate, and turn left.  It’s downhill from here.

The resting place

The gate at the top of the hill

The name says it all.  That’s Michael, caught on the phone, in the background

The path drops back down towards Quarry Lane, with views over Cod Beck reservoir, our next destination.  Cross straight over the road and take the path down to your right.  There’s a caravan park at the bottom which always looks inviting, but we continue over the bridge and then left through the trees, which brings you out at the reservoir.  But first, the waterfall!

I always pause to look at the waterfall on Cod Beck

Cod Beck chuckles as it races down the steps

Two shiny red canoes! A rarity at the reservoir

Two shiny red canoes! A rarity at the reservoir

Today they have company- it's a school trip

Today they have company- it’s a school trip

But the goslings don't mind

But the goslings don’t appear to mind

The gorse is plentiful too

The gorse is plentiful too

With just a few mallows at the water's edge

With just a few mallows at the water’s edge

Walking the length of the reservoir will bring you back to Sheepwash.  Maybe you’ll stop for a picnic, or return to Osmotherley for something more substantial at one of the village’s three pubs. It depends a little on the weather.  Today was perfect!

I hope you enjoyed walking with me.  I like a bit of company so if you have a walk you’d like to share, please do join in.  All you need to do is leave a link in the Comments below this post, or if you prefer, link to any of my walks from your own post.  Normally I will round all the links up and post them at the bottom of next week’s walk, so everyone gets a chance to see them.  Next Monday I’ll be in the Algarve and I won’t have any technical stuff with me (just the camera, if I’m lucky!) so there’ll be no walk posted.  Sorry!  I’ll try to add your links to this week’s post before I go, but any I miss I’ll add to the following week.

I already have a superb selection of walks from last week, so put the kettle on and let’s go armchair walking!  First we have Paula, at lovely Lake Lugano :

http://bopaula.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/a-walk-around-a-lake-for-jo/

Then Sue, slightly crazy in Calgary! :

http://traveltalesoflife.com/2014/05/26/hazards-of-spring-running-beavers-geese-and-killer-bunnies/

And Drake, in the serenity of Samso :

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/sunshine-walking/

Cardinal is in Jerusalem- a place I’d love to visit! :

http://artishorseshit.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/elephant-0987/

http://cardinalguzman.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/follow-the-arrow/

Beautiful and British, stately homes with Elaine :

http://elainemcnulty.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/woburn-abbey-deer-park-and-gardens/

Pauline takes us ‘down under’ :

http://pommepal.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/mullewa-meander-walking-with-jo/

And Jude, in leafy green Ludlow :

http://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/priors-halton-loop/

And from this week’s walkers, we have Paula again, feeling energetic in London, this time :

http://bopaula.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/first-impressions-of-london/

And Drake is taking me to the cemetery.  But don’t worry, it’s by a lovely route! :

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/the-shade-of-the-history/

If you’ve ever wanted to see the fabulous Lost gardens of Heligan, Jude has the shots!  :

http://smallbluegreenflowers.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/garden-portrait-the-lost-gardens-of-heligan-part-i/

I’m blessed this week.  My travelling Australian friend, Christine, has joined in from the Alpujarras in Spain  :

http://dadirridreaming.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/walk-around-berchules/

Yvette can tell you all about olive oil! :

http://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/monday-walk-with-jo-olive-oil-and-flower-walk-by/

And wow!  I am so honoured.  Madhu has been walking in Bologna, in the rain too!  :

http://theurgetowander.com/2014/06/02/bologna-a-walk-in-the-rain/

 

Happy walking folks!  Take care till next time.