North Yorkshire

Jo’s Monday walk : Ruswarp to Whitby (and back)

Memory is a strange thing, isn’t it?  I was sure I’d walked this walk with you, from Ruswarp to Whitby and back again.  I even remember telling how I was like a drowned rat when the skies opened on the way back.  Sitting in a puddle, eating a cheese sandwich and looking out of the pub window at the rain is not my idea of fun.  The Guinness was good, but it was a sunny riverside setting I had in mind.  Apparently my memory lies.  Nowhere could I find that original post!  Nor photos to accompany it.  Strange tricks memory plays!

I walked this way again recently, with a sunnier ending, and this time I’m determined to share it with you.  It’s tinged with sadness today, because it’s a year ago that Dad died.  There was nothing he liked better, if he had company, than to whisk them into his car and off over the Moors to Whitby.  Fish and chips and a pint and he was happy with life.  He couldn’t walk far but was always fiercely independent (in a soft, gentlemanly way).  The last time we were there together he parked the car on the cliff top.  Somehow we ended up down at street level, and then were faced with the challenge of getting back up there again.  I seriously doubted we’d ever make it but, with many pauses, we did.

Ruswarp is a charming village, a little over a mile inland from Whitby, along the River Esk.  The Esk Valley Railway runs through the village and sometimes you’re treated to the sight and sound of steam.  By the riverside you can hire rowing boats and canoes, and take canoeing lessons.  This gentle walk is signposted off the main street and follows a stone pannierway, known locally as Monk’s Trod.  Watch out for a bit of an uphill haul as you leave the river and approach Whitby, on the Esk Valley Walk.

You have a couple of choices for leaving the walk to enter Whitby.  Last time I followed the Cinder Track but this time I opted for West Cliff.  Either option will bring you close to Pannell Park and from there you’re close to the seafront, and the monument to the bombardment.

This is where Dad parked, close by the monument to James Cook, looking across to Whitby Abbey and near to the whalebone arch.  I remember the relief with which he subsided onto a bench when we made it back up that cliff.

I was lucky to be heading downwards, admiring the views on the way.  Into the ‘Screaming tunnel’, alleged to have been used by Dracula to frighten his victims, and out the other side.  Best done in daylight.

Down on the harbourside the seagulls are in raucous control, while St. Mary’s church looks down with the serenity of centuries.

The swing bridge remains locked in position, while Whitby is full of its usual bustle.  To escape the crowd for a while we duck into our favourite little eating place, tucked away in the quiet of Sander’s Yard.  Healthy food, you’ll note! (I won’t show you his chips)  And  I only looked at the cup cakes.

Leaving the bucket and spade brigade behind, it’s time to carry on, past the marina and down to the very end of the car park.  There you will find a footpath that runs between the railway and a boatyard.  Hold on- you’re in for a treat!  Look what’s coming!

It’s always a sight to gladden the heart, and I watch it disappear into the distance before turning my gaze back to the river.  At this point we have lovely views back to Whitby, while ahead lies the 120 foot high viaduct, built to carry the Whitby-Scarborough railway.  The route was closed in 1965 and the Cinder Track walking and cycling path I mentioned earlier now runs across it.

The River Esk was used to power corn mills in the village of Ruswarp, though the last closed in 1962.  The weir built to channel water into a mill-race has been adapted to power a hydro-electric project on the south bank.  As I follow the river, suddenly I can hear a whooping and a hollering.  Looking over the hedge I’m amused to see what looks like a scene from ‘Swallows and Amazons’.  The schoolkids are having a whale of a time.

I’m almost back to my start point when there’s the hoot of a whistle behind me.  Spinning round I’m delighted to see the engine racing along, black steam pouring from its funnel.  Steam trains don’t stop in Ruswarp, but slow at the level crossing where our trail ends.

Five minutes later and we’re back on the riverbank, where we began.  I hope you enjoyed coming along with me.

Yesterday we did what Dad would have wanted.  The family got together in a pub that he liked, and we talked and we laughed.  It was easy to imagine him there with us.  Today it’s all just memories.  God bless, Dad!

 

Thank you all for your company.  I hope you can find a little more time to visit these walks that people have kindly contributed.  If you’d like to join in, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  I’ll make you very welcome.  Time to put the kettle on now.

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Let’s start with an introduction.  Melodie lives in Manchester and she loves tea :

Hike around Edale, Peak District

You’ll enjoy Jude’s stroll in the YSP.  I certainly did!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park : Part Two

Maybe you should bring a blow-up boat for this walk with Violet :

The Fishing Islands

Jackie’s raring to go, as ever!  And well supplied :

Chuck Wagon

Fitbits are all the rage, aren’t they?  Marsha has it under control!

How to Get an Easy 10,000 steps in Sedona, AZ

Sometimes you can simply overdo it.  Believe me, Liesbet, I know!

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM- Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque

Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque

Janet shares some fascinating details of this National Park :

The Badlands 1

The Badlands 2 

While Lady Lee is living the good life!

Being pampered in Das Kranzbach

You have to get up early for peace and quiet in Singapore, but you’ll be welcome to join Ju-Lyn :

Running to stillness on Orchard Road

Kathrin’s planning on some physical hiking in Yosemite.  I’d love to join her :

Places in California : Q is for…

While Woolly has some fun with the birds :

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I’m ending today with my lovely friend, Gilly, showing us yet another side to beautiful Firenze :

A walk in the Oltrarno

Many thanks to you all, and wishing you a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : Yarn bombing in Yorkshire

I do love a bit of enthusiasm, don’t you?  Last year, when the Tour de Yorkshire came to Thirsk, the celebrations included a colorful yarn bombing of the market square.  Flushed with success, they did it all over again this year, for Yorkshire Day, on August 1st.

In all honesty, I’d quite forgotten about it.  I was merely entertaining myself with a bit of a walk, my husband being hard at work in nearby South Kilvington.  With a little more foresight I could have chosen one of a number of walks, available through Thirsk Tourist Information.  But, as often happens, I opted to follow my nose, in the rough direction of the town centre.

At a mini roundabout I chose Stammergate over Long Street, and the gentle curve of St. James Green.  A sign in the window, “If you want the best seat in the house- move the dog”, made me smile.  I followed the dog walker down a narrow path and found myself on the banks of Cod Beck.  The name derives from Cold Beck, a beck being smaller than a river, and it runs deep between the banks of the stream, so is always fairly cool.  It flows from Cod Beck Reservoir at Osmotherley, on the edge of the North York Moors, for 22 miles, passing through the centre of Thirsk and finally joining with the River Swale.

It’s unusual to find a young woman, fishing on her own.  Not so unusual to find a small girl entranced by the tumbling waters of the weir.  A signboard tells me that this area is known as The Holmes, where a grove of straight stemmed willows were once used for basket making.  I turned back at the weir, heading for 15th century St. Mary’s Church, opposite The Marage, the site of a former fishpond and recreational area.

Unfortunately there was a service in progress in the church, so I turned into Kirkgate, discovering my first hint of yarn bombing at Thirsk Hall.

Kirkgate is also home to the World of James Herriot.  You may remember the TV series ‘All creatures great and small’, based on the books by James Herriot about the life of a vet in the Yorkshire Dales.  Thomas Lord, founder of Lord’s Cricket Club in London, was born in 1755 in the house on Kirkgate that now houses Thirsk Museum.

Thirsk is built around a large medieval market square, established in 1145, and the market continues to function every Monday and Saturday. Today it’s enhanced by something warm and whimsical.  Sit back and enjoy!

Wonderful, aren’t they?  I expect I’ve missed a few, but traffic and awkward angles didn’t help. The Tourist Information office is in Market Place, but closed on Sundays.  I wandered round into Millgate and found myself surrounded by ducks as I admired the bridge.  Once a corn mill was sited here, fed by a mill race and regulated by sluice gates.  All that remains today is the weir we saw earlier.

But inevitably I’m drawn back to Market Place.  It’s time for a cuppa, don’t you think?

It’s an interesting place and I hope you enjoyed our wander.  Do you have anywhere nearby where the yarn bombers have been busy?  The first place I ever saw it was Hunstanton in Norfolk, but since then I’ve even seen it in the Algarve!  And, of course, my favourite little seaside town, Saltburn, dazzles every year.  Let’s pop the kettle on now!  Time for a read.

Thanks, everybody!  Once again I have some wonderful contributions.  You never let me down. Please try to find time to visit these lovely people. You won’t be disappointed.  And if you can join me next week, that’d be great too.  Details, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

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Absolutely my kind of walk!  Hell, it certainly isn’t, Jude!

A Walk to Hell’s Mouth

And it’s heaven on the beach, with Meg this week.  Wordlessly!

Wordless walk : Potato Point Beach at sunrise

Who’d have thought inland Australia could look like this?  A truly fabulous post from Miriam!

The Rim of Life : King’s Canyon

Did you know Jesh runs a challenge?  Join in, if you’d like to :

September Changes

Jackie’s off on another jaunt!

Food, Fuel, Lodging, Attractions

I’ve always wanted to visit Yosemite!  Marsha gives us a few tips on the National Parks :

What is One of the Most Popular Destinations in California?

And who hasn’t wanted to walk at least part of the Camino?  Andrew, I hope you’re paying attention?  Good luck to you, Jill!

Day five on the Camino de Santiago : Larrasoana to Cizur Menor

Liesbet gets into some strange places on this one!

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM- Bandelier National Monument

Some folks are a bit lazy when it comes to walking.  Not you, Becky, of course!

A stroll between Lisbon’s three funiculars

Another post from Northumberland, by David.  And did you find that photo, Sue?

Craster- Dunstanburgh Castle- Embleton Bay & back again

Where’s Drake got to this week?  Take a look!

Down by the corner

Woolly brings us more heartbreak from France :

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And finally, are there any better cities for walking in?  Just ask Carol!

London Walking

That’s it for another week!  I’m off up to Durham with the group this morning.  Take care till next time!

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Hovingham

There’s no two ways about it!  England has some of the finest villages you could hope to find, and Hovingham, in North Yorkshire, is a prime example.  In summertime it’s the perfect place to amble past old stone cottages, festooned with fabulous hollyhocks, to peer over the church wall.

In reality it was one of those days when summer is reluctant to parade itself for our pleasure, but I was still hopeful.  We had passed through the village, on the Helmsley to Malton road, in search of Yorkshire Lavender.  No amount of grey sky could dim that glory!  Returning the same way, it seemed churlish not to stop the car and explore a little.  Keep me company?

Beside the village green, the unusual Grade II listed school draws the eye.  Ivy swaddles many of the buildings and colour cascades, at curb and much higher, to combat the grey.  Locally grown tomatoes advertise their presence alongside fresh eggs.  A breakfast here must be a total pleasure. I wonder what the gents at the cafe had.

Set back behind the main road stands magnificent Hovingham Hall.  This Grade 1 listed Palladian style mansion was designed and built by Thomas Worsley between 1750 and 1770. The house is only opened to the public between 1st and 28th June each year, and I was sorry to have missed it. Entrance is unique in being through the former riding school, where George III was taught to ride.  In front of the house, the oldest privately owned cricket pitch in England.  I snuck as close as I dared for a look.

Over the garden wall I could see the Saxon tower of the parish church, All Saints.  The name Hovingham has an interesting derivation, combining a ‘place of graves’ with a settlement in a ‘meadow near a river’.  No sign of the river, but I could see some graves.

I was pleased to find that the church door was unlocked.  Quiet reverence inside, an unusual font and beautifully carved organ pipes, lots of kneelers and some exquisite stained glass.  Was there a significance to the dragon?

Crossing back towards the village green, my eyes lit up at the sight of a rocking horse, waiting impatiently at the window for its owner to return.

In a corner of the green, another church, very different in character.  Methodist, with a ‘welcome’ sign on the door, I couldn’t spurn the invitation.

This village is full of surprises.  Quite suddenly I came upon a ford, crossing Marr’s Beck and leading to the elusive River Rye.  A neat little cafe and bakery sits alongside.  The locals, undetered that it was closed, had brought a picnic to their favoured spot.

As if in celebration, just then the sun contrived to make an appearance, transforming the old stone and setting the hollyhocks nodding.

Isn’t England bonny in the Summer?  I walked the length of the beck, beside the cottages and back to the main street.

How better to finish than with a bee, rolling in ecstasy?  I hope you enjoyed our wander today.

It was touch and go this week, a router problem knocking the Internet out for countless hours, but I made it!  Many thanks to all of you who’ve stuck with me.  I had to get the job done so I could showcase these walks, didn’t I?  Please take the time to visit them, if you possibly can. Pop the kettle on first?  And do join in if you have a walk to share.  The details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

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First up is Violet, with another attractive bridge for us to cross :

A bridge to cross

Then a hodge podge of food and stuff from Jackie :

Food@home

I rather think Lady Lee had a good weekend!

Happy Sunday

Want to hear a ghost story?  Then Drake’s your man!

In the middle of the history

Kathrin has her own version of scaling the Hollywood heights :

Hike to the Hollywood sign

While Ann Christine likes to take it more gently :

A Walk at Lindo – In the Best Company

And our Meg is wordless, but inimitable :

Wordless walk: Hervey Bay Botanical Gardens

Where’s Woolly this week?  He’s found a very large hole :

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We finish with something rather unusual, recommended to me by Sheri, a keen walker herself :

Letterbox Walks

Well, not quite finish, because I have to include Carol’s latest.  Not totally a walk, but you may recognise someone :

Meeting James and Jo

I’m in two minds about next Monday because I shall be traveling to Shropshire (and hopefully meeting up with someone else you know).  I do have another walk I’m desperate to share though.  I’ll keep you posted.  Have a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : Mallyan Spout revisited

The village of Goathland, in North Yorkshire, has any number of attractions, just one of which is the waterfall, Mallyan Spout.  At the bottom of a ravine, with a 70 foot drop, in full spate it is a beautiful sight.

The start point of my walk is beside the hotel of the same name, highly rated on Trip Advisor, for those of you who pay attention to such things.  I pass through the gate adjoining the coffee shop with scarcely a glance, eager to set eyes on the waterfall.  Almost immediately the path starts to drop downwards, and down some more, and then down again.  I’m not even thinking about the inevitable climb back up when my eyes alight on a perfect cluster of palest pink, wild orchids.

I listen hard for the telltale chuckle of water as I descend still further.  Finally I can hear it and, a few moments later, there it is.

Now I can’t pretend to anybody that this is an easy walk but, in not too damp conditions, it is perfectly possible to negotiate the stepped path down to the waterfall.  Turning left at the bottom, you need only follow the beck for a matter of yards to be within sight and sound.  It’s up to you how close you want to go.  To get a good look, a bit of scrambling over rocks will be needed, but there were families with quite young children making the trip.  Watch out for the ‘coin’ trees, shown above, set deep into the rocks.

How can you not love being in this leafy dell?  When you have gazed your fill, you have a choice to make.  You can retrace your steps to the bottom of the path that led downwards, and then continue to the right, alongside the beck.  This will take you on a 3 mile circular walk, via Beck Hole, as detailed in the link at the start.  Or you can be a bit more adventurous.

The walk I was following crosses the waterfall and continues along a ‘sometimes difficult’ footpath, and over two footbridges, according to my guidebook.  Sound challenging?  It only had a medium level of difficulty.  I thought that passing the waterfall might prove tricky, but the rocks weren’t too slippy and with the help of a steadying hand I managed it.  Balance is not my strong point.

There was a sense that the valley bottom had shifted, leaving behind the pedestal on which the first footbridge rested.  The second had a gentle curve, the pedestal still loosely attached.  Tree roots and boulders didn’t make for an easy walk, but it was the dampness underfoot that was my undoing.  Just beyond the footbridges a sign pointed upwards to Goathland, half a mile away, up a stepped incline.  It didn’t seem too bad an idea to me, but my companion was scathing.  Half a mile?  That’s not a walk!

A further sign, pointing out that erosion had affected the footpath ahead, did nothing to reassure.  A deep breath and on we went, slithering a bit in muddy patches and clambering around rocks and endless tree roots.  I was grateful for any handhold I could get and clung fiercely to ferns, roots, boulders, anything that would give me purchase.  Inevitably it happened. Stepping forward onto ‘firm’ ground, suddenly my foot had slid from beneath me and I dangled over the edge, in a less than comfortable version of the sideways splits.

I hauled myself up, with a little help, and stood there shaking for a minute or two.  The way back was just as fraught as the way ahead might be.  We looked at each other, recognising the folly of our situation.  As I limped forward, I was astounded to hear the sound of voices behind us.  Another foolhardy couple had disregarded the warning.  How reassuring, their presence. We exchanged a few words together, and then we carried on, leaving them resting beside the water.

The way ahead was no easier, sometimes promising to climb back out of the valley, only to drop you back down to the water’s edge.  I decided that the other couple must have turned back as there was no further sight nor sound of them.  My legs were growing weary when finally we stepped out of the undergrowth, and onto a narrow road.  An old stone bridge spanned the stream and we slumped against it.  A few minutes later, who should emerge from the woods but our couple, grinning triumphantly.

I have few photos of that latter part of the walk.  I was too busy hanging on, and hoping.  We stood chatting companionably to our fellow walkers for quite some time, relief in our laughter. They were from Dorset, on a first visit to Yorkshire, and traveling in a campervan.  We discussed good places to visit, and consulted each of our maps before agreeing to take slightly different routes back to Goathland.  Theirs appeared longer and we joked that whoever was back first should buy the beers.

Our route climbed gently through a forest of ferns, until at last we crested the hill.  Just the faintest hint of sunshine lit the rolling expanse ahead. Still we had to toil upwards, and upwards some more, but it no longer mattered.  We were free of the canyon.

Up above the woods it looked a long way down to the valley floor.  At the top of the stepped incline we had chosen not to climb, there was a map.  If you look closely you will see that there are two paths marked.  The one we followed, beside the beck, and an alternative ‘permissive’ path, a little higher up.  With hindsight….

Almost back to the village, something a little unusual caught our eye, through a gap in the stone wall.  Can you see what they are?

Alpaca!  I was prepared for moorland sheep, but this was a bit of a surprise.  The sheep were busy munching, and kept themselves to themselves.

Arriving at the long village green, we spotted, far ahead of us, our couple who had taken the ‘longer’ route.  No hurry to catch them up.  St. Mary’s Church was open, inviting a quick look inside.  Simple, but beautiful.  The stained glass, beacons of light.

I was wrong, of course.  There was a hurry!  We arrived at the pub at 2.40pm, only to find that they stopped serving food at 2.30pm.  The menu, tantalising, but out of bounds.  If you’re thinking that this walk was a disaster, start to finish, well, I might be tempted to agree with you. But that wouldn’t be true.  It was taxing, no doubt, but it gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have enjoyed.

You know, from the title of this post, that I’ve been here a time or two before.  For a look at Goathland itself, and details of the Rail Trail, take a look back at Steam’s up in North Yorkshire. I think I’ve earned a week off now, don’t you?

I’m away to the Algarve on Thursday, so that gives me plenty of time to catch up with everybody before I go.  I won’t be posting a walk next Monday, because I don’t have Wifi in Tavira.  I suspect it will be too warm to think about walking far.  I’ll be back the following week, though, and more than happy to have your company.  Details, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Many thanks to all of you who follow along so loyally, and to my lovely contributors, who make this all possible.  And now, enough of me- let’s put the kettle on!

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We start with sunny September memories from Jude.  A swathe of beauty, fit for a queen :

Garden Portrait : Glamis Castle Walled Garden

And a walk to improve your photographic skills, with lovely Debbie :

A walk around quirky Bordeaux

Swirling mists in the Pyrenees, accompany Drake :

Like an upstair jungle

What mischief is Jackie up to, back in Toronto?

Hot Plate

Lady Lee makes Malta look irresistible again!

Our Malta experience 2

More beautiful memories from Becky!  She knows all too well that I love this place :

An evening stroll in Mertola

Agness hails originally from Poland, but she likes to keep on the move!

Mapping Melbourne- a Walking Tour around the City Sights

Cheryl conquers her fear of heights for some magnificent views.  Braver than me!

Hiking Inwangsan in Summer

And Woolly?  He’s lingering with the war graves :

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I couldn’t choose a better traveling companion than Gilly.  Let her show you her home turf :

Views of Dartmouth

And for a jaunty Irish stroll, wouldn’t you just like to be beside Ann Christine?

Early Morning Kilkenny 

Let’s finish with another garden.  A classic beauty from Cady Luck Leedy :

Jo’s Monday walk : A Visit to Sissinghurst

That’s it for a little while.  Enjoy Summer, if you’re here in the UK.  I’ll be eating strawberries and trying to keep up with Wimbledon.  Take good care, all of you!  I’ll try to bring back some cake.

 

Six word Saturday

It’s that time of year again!

Very cute, our seahorse, isn’t he?  Yet again the good folks of Saltburn by the Sea have decorated their pier with yarn bombing.  It’s a Summer tradition.  Are they in good Order?  I think I should let you be the judge of that.

There are some wild hairdo’s, aren’t there?  You can probably tell that there was a fresh breeze that day, but still lots of people.

Let’s end with a bit of a gallop, down by the sea.  Such skilled handiwork, as well as being completely adorable.

That’s it for another year.  The next day it simply poured, and has continued to do so.  The shopaholics amongst you will adore Debbie’s Six Word Saturday this week.  Me, I just want to go to Madrid!  Wishing you a happy weekend!

Focus on Fountain’s Abbey

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I very often lack focus and tend to meander through my life.  Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, in Yorkshire, were a case in point.  Looking for somewhere to admire snowdrops, I ventured there last week.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Swathes of them nestled beneath the trees.  I captured one or two shots, but I was soon drawn into the magnificence of the water gardens.

It was a gloomy old day and I stopped to read the cheerful sign inside the fishing tabernacles. They are part of the balustrade and cascade into the lake and date back to 1719.  Probably designed as a base for fishing excursions, they cleverly concealed the sluices used to drain the canal quickly in time of flooding.

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The water gardens must be one of the finest sights in England, and neither I nor the swans allowed ourselves to be depressed by the weather, while the pheasants seemed positively immune.  Not well focused though!

It wasn’t long before I was ambling among the ruins of the Abbey, smitten by the hues in the aged stones.  Snowdrops there were aplenty but I’m afraid that they played second fiddle.

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Fountains Abbey, 3 miles south west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, is one of the largest and best preserved Cistercian monasteries in England. Founded in 1132, it had an active life until 1539, when Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

A full history can be found here.  Today the Abbey and Water Gardens are successfully managed by the National Trust and they have some delightfully focused snowdrops on their site.

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Paula focused on black and white photography in her Traces of the Past on Sunday.  It’s not my forte, so I’m compromising.  But I would love to draw your attention to her very beautiful Focus in Thursday’s Special.

Jo’s Monday walk : Flamboyant Autumn at Easby Abbey

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Today’s walk is the reverse of one I took you on a couple of years ago.  Remember the story of the little Drummer Boy?  It really hadn’t been my intention to walk to Easby Abbey, but as the sun burst forth over the Autumn foliage I couldn’t imagine a finer place to be.  Such a contrast with the creeping mist that enshrouded me last time.

This walk starts from The Station at Richmond, now a fine exhibition space with a rather nice eatery, ‘Seasons’.  Have I been neglecting your stomachs lately?  I know there has been a dearth of cream scones on here, but maybe you can make up for it later.  Incentive to get you walking! From the rear of The Station a trail signed for Easby Abbey leads off into the woods.

The gurgle of water accompanies your footsteps, as you are walking above the fast flowing River Swale.  Glimpses of it flaunt themselves through gaps in the trees, along with the wider view to the countryside beyond.  Soon you come to a bridge.  This morning it is rhymed with frost so tread a little carefully.  Recent rain has ensured the boisterous nature of the water.

Once over the bridge the trail bends to the left and you are following the river more closely.  My heart always goes pitter pat at the sight and sound of rushing water.  Autumn finery weaves it’s own spell.

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Bathed in sunlight, you can make out a grand looking residence through the trees, and soon you are in sight of the Abbey.  The gatehouse stands silently, beyond a field where grazing horses sport their winter garb.  The woolly sheep don’t seem to feel the same need.

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Pastoral England at it’s finest, isn’t it?  Let’s slip through the metal gate into the churchyard.  The hamlet of Easby dates back to the Domesday survey of 1086, and the parish church of St. Agatha predates the Abbey.  It also provides a wonderful vantage point over the Abbey ruins.

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Easby Abbey was founded in about 1152, by Roald, a constable of Richmond in North Yorkshire.  It was established as a Premonstratension monastery, whose origin came from Premontre in France.  Most monks follow the 6th century Rule of St. Benedict, renouncing the world for a life of contemplation.  The Easby monks followed the older rule of St. Augustine, meaning they served the community by preaching, teaching and charitable work, and could become parish priests.  They lived communally but did not take monastic vows.  They were ordained as canons (or priests), with the authority to celebrate mass and administer sacraments.

From the earliest times, sheep farming seems to have been a mainstay of Abbey life.  Roald’s descendants continued to hold the constableship of Richmond and its lands throughout the 12th and 13th centuries.  They were variously known as de Burton or de Richmond.  By the 14th century the estates had been sold to the Scrope family, knights based at Bolton in neighbouring Wensleydale.  The Scropes made Easby their burial place and the chancel of the Abbey church was lengthened.  Prosperity seems to have continued until the suppression of the monasteries in 1536. Richmond defended its monks, but in retribution Henry VIII wrote that “St. Agatha and such other places as have made resistance… shall without pity or circumstance… be tied up (hanged) without further delay”.  Destruction followed, but the remaining ruins are hauntingly beautiful.

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Turning up the lane, another grandiloquent property looks down on you.  I imagine much doffing of caps went on at St. Agatha’s House.

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The field drops down towards the river again, and this time I find I can get really close.  Leaf strewn steps lead down almost to the water’s edge and I am awash in Autumn’s tumultuous hues.  Knotty tree roots protrude and I have to mind my step, but it’s like being in an enchanted forest.

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Always before I have taken the higher route.  My reward, a glimpse of a modern day Hansel and Gretel cottage, nestled in the woods.

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The path meets the higher route at the Drummer Boy stone, and soon you can see distant Richmond Castle through the trees.  Water trickles and drips down the mossy stone.  It feels almost primeval.

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Back at The Station, pause for refreshments, or carry on, as I do.  I can never resist the lure of the falls, and there’s a bonus.  Look who I found!

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The tumult of the falls is breathtaking.  As I walk back towards The Station, another little guy is watching me from the safety of a branch.

I hope you enjoyed sharing these last moments of Autumn.  English Heritage provide a comprehensive history of the Abbey on their website, plus details of how to get there.  I’d rather like to share this walk with Jude too. Her November theme for the Garden Challenge is Trees, and I think I’ve managed to find one or two.  Let’s put the kettle on and settle in for a read now, shall we?

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Huge thanks to all of you for the support I receive on here.  Yet again I have a wonderful selection of walks to share. Please visit as many as you can. And if you happen to have a walk you’d like to share, well, what are you waiting for? Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page, or you can click on the logo above.

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I have so many Gaudi favourites!  How about you?  Lady Lee showcases this one beautifully :

Casa Batllo 

Woolly’s strolling from the shopping centre this week :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk- Barwon Heads

Jude tries her hand at landscapes in Constable country, and makes a lovely job of it :

Walking in an artist’s footsteps

Kingston, Jamaica it’s not, but Stephanie makes her current home look very appealing :

A Walk through Downtown Kingston, WA

Jackie, meanwhile, is on the trail of more history in Virginia :

October 2016- Williamsburg, VA

While Liesbet explores California, with a very cute canine friend :

Sunny Sacramento

Yvette is never shy about sharing her views, but she shares a lot of love too :

Our Lady of Victory Basilica Lackawanna, NY

Another of those dreams I haven’t yet made come true.  Thanks, BiTi!

Big Sur

Much more intimate, but no less delightful, Drake’s childhood home :

Big, big small world

Stamina or coffee!  Which do I need to walk in Badfish’s footsteps?  Don’t miss it!

One long road to Bratislava : Part II

I’m considering myself invited to the south coast so I can do this walk with Gilly.  Any offers?

A South West Coast Path Walk

And finally, anyone up for a little skateboarding?  Or you can just stroll, with Kathrin :

Skateboarding in Huntingdon Beach

Fantastic, aren’t they?  That’s it for Autumn posts from me.  Not sure where I’ll take you next week, but I hope you can come along.  In the meantime, have a great week, and to all my US friends, Happy Thanksgiving!