Day 3 (Continued): The COT COMBO WALK, A Remarkable Find at the 1,000 Year Old Crypt, Sniffer Dogs, 800 miles passed on the 1,000 mile challenge. Naked Kitty ‘Sark’. I could get Paranoid – all these women luring men to their deaths (see also the Real Mermaid of Zennor – post 176).

Post 198: 19 September 2017, Lowna Bridge Car Park to Appleton-le-Moors. 

Still on the North of England Way, we ascended a step path out of Hutton-le-Hole to join a pleasant, probably ancient, enclosed way.

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To reach a fine viewpont. On the last of the four photographs it is possible to see Rollgate Bank in the far distance where my trig point is located.

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We then reached the small hamlet of Spaunton with its Pinfold, which would have been used to hold stray animals.

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Just before descending to the beautifully located village of Lastingham at the next junction we diverted to Victoria Cross, just off the road . The Cross was erected in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and the opening up Lidsty Hill on which the cross now stands. Lastingham can be just seen nestled in the hollow below.

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Lastingham was chosen as a site for a monastery by St Cedd in 654, but it was destroyed by the Danes about two hundred years later. In 1078 some monks from Whitby re-founded the abbey but after ten years moved on to York where they founded St Mary’s Abbey. The present church of St Mary Lastingham has a remarkable crypt, which is probably still as it was nearly 1,000 years ago. It is reached down a stairway inside the church and is unique in England in having a nave and side aisles. It is believed to have been used at one time for cockfighting. I particularly enjoy sitting in the crypt on my own and listening to the silence and feeling the sense of history of such a place. There are a number of interesting artefacts including of the Viking period.

The most interesting and remarkable artefact ever found at the church by Sid the Yorkshireman was my North Face hat, which I had lost some 10 days before on my visit to the area with Victoria. Someone had kindly left the hat on the reception desk. I was delighted.

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We had thought about bringing the village sniffer dogs in to locate it.

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After a coffee and banana break we passed St Cedd’s Well.

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Before crossing a delightful bridge over Ings Beck.

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We eventually reached Appleton-le-Moors, where we joined the Tabular Hills Walk for our return journey to Lowna.

We followed very clear tracks back to Hutton-le-Hole, where we had lunch in the sun outside the small church.

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As we were nearing the end of the day’s walk we celebrated a great days walking with a Ryeburn ice-cream. It was also an early celebration as I was about to pass 800 miles ‘boots only’ miles of the Country Walking Magazine 1,000 miles challenge 2017.

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All that remained was to admire yet more fine views of Hutton-le-Hole in afternoon light.

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Before the actual 800 mile walked celebration took place – where’s the champagne? In the fridge for the 1,000 miles?

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We finished off with some delightful walking to the car park near Lowna Bridge.

It was at Lowna in 1786 that Kitty Garthwaite coming home from a mop fair at Kirbymoorside, met Willie Dixon from Hutton-le Hole who took a splinter out of her hand. Her gratitude led, it seems, to her pregnancy, and she was keen to marry Willy. He kept putting off the wedding, though he continued to meet Kitty – but he also courted the daughter of a wealthy farmer. On Whit Sunday 1787, the pair quarrelled and Willie rode off. Next morning, Kitty’s body, clad only in her shift or sark, was seen floating in the river. But Willie had ridden to York for a marriage licence. Upon his return he heard of Kitty’s death and went in search of the body. The following day his body was found in the same dark pool. Three weeks later, local children saw Kitty’s naked apparition sitting in a tree, waving her sark. Over the next 20 years she lured16 young men to a watery grave. She is buried at the nearby Quaker Burial Ground. The hauntings and deaths at Lowna did not stop until 1908, when a clergyman laid her spirit by bell, book and candle at the ford.

There are some days that get etched in the walking memory – this was one of those. 

Miles Walked 11.7

 

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Day 3: The COT COMBO WALK, Peeing into a waterless urinal, the movement of your private parts are monitored by a widget, a place of great beauty.

Post 197: 19 September 2017, Lowna Bridge Car Park to Appleton-le-Moors. 

We arrived at Lowna Bridge car park at about 8pm and already the sun was out and a fine day was in prospect. We went through our normal start procedure, set our MapMyWalks apps, did a time check, ran through what we might have forgotten (this is an age thing) and had a mint. We the headed along a narrow quiet country lane usely occupied by sheep to our first village en route, Hutton-le-Hole. We were following my  North of England Way. 

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I have always felt you can tell a place by its toilets and Hutton-le-Hole, a well manicured and well kept village highlights this. The toilets are spotlessly clean and exceptionally eco friendly as shown by the various notices inside!

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Its great to know you are peeing into a waterless urinal! No splashback!

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That there are automatic water-saving taps.

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It’s interesting to note that the movement of your private parts are being monitored by a widget.

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Welcome to Hutton-le-Hole! 

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Hutton-le-Hole appears as Hoton in the great Domesday survey of 1085/86, thereafter undergoing several name changes from Hege-Hoton, Hoton under Heg and Newton, to Hutton-in-the-Hole by the 17th century; the present form dates from only the 19th century.

Alongside the strong craft tradition in the area, in particular spinning and weaving, other industries such as tanning and milling, lime-burning, and coal mining have left their marks and two centuries ago the village would have seemed a very different place from the quiet and well-manicured spot admired by visitors today.

However, of most interest is the Ryedale Folk Museum ,which won the 1995 National Heritage Museum of the Year award. The museum, spread over 2½ acres of land, contains a reconstructed hamlet of workshops, thatched cottages and a thatched manor house. There are also barns, mills, a medieval glass kiln, an early photographer’s studio and wagon sheds. The museum has a number of special craft demonstration days each year. The Museum also runs an annual Merrills contest, this is an ancient, skilled board game that has been played regularly in the area and is now, in fact, increasing in popularity.

The village evens explains why it charges for car parking as a form of apology.

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As you walk through it on such a fine morning, you are struck by its great beauty.

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It was a shame to leave, but we had over 11 miles to walk. 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 2 of the COT COMBO WALK.

Post 196: 14 September 2017, Gillamoor to Rollgate Bank Trig Point.

We started walking from Gillamoor at just after 9.00am with some prospect of rain as Alf was with us. The only day he could get off work. We were following the well signed Tabular Hills Walk.

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A rainbow soon appeared, which did not bode well.

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We reached Green Lane.

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Before Nawton Tower we came across a sad memorial and departed from the Tabular Hills Walk to head to Wether Cote. 

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Expansive views opened up as we ascended to my adopted trig point on Pockley Bank 

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Maybe this is why it is called Rollgate Bank?!

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We stopped at the memorial bench to DEE for a coffee and banana break.

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Before picking up the North of England Way at my trig point.

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We descended to Otterhill Common.

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With some ominous clouds here abouts.

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At this point the signage was very poor, almost non-existent and confusing. I need to write to the National Park again.

We eventually found our way to Pennyholme. 

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We then headed uphill towards Stonely Woods encountering a huge herd of lively cows, which has a bit disconcerting. We kept ‘calm’ and they did move out of our way.

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Just before reaching Harland Moor we stopped for lunch in the sun.

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But this was soon interrupted by rain.

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Alf had developed a headache at this point and took the direct route along the road back to my car. Sid and myself started to drop down into the valley of Farndale.

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We soon came upon the Lowna Burial Ground 

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Before ascending to Gillamoor and the end of  the walk

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Miles walked 13.8

Steps 33,797

Calories Burnt 3,744

DAY 1 of the COT COMBO WALK, My 53rd Long Distance Walk, William Tell, Had I gone to Paradise Early?

Post 195: 12 September 2017, Helmsley to my adopted Trig Point at Rollgate Bank 

After the intense Best of 31 years of Walking in Yorkshire Condensed into 8 days visit by Victoria, you would have thought I would have been given a few days off to recover. This was not to be the case and I was only given a day off before starting a new Long-distance Walk.

This was to be the COT COMBO WALK.

We had decided to combine three walks along the Southern area of the North York Moors from Helmsley to Scarborough.

C = The Cleveland Way Missing Link

O  = On Foot from Coast to Coast: The North of England Way

T = The Tabular Hills Walk 

We then combined them to make a COMBO. Brilliant.

Sid the Yorkshireman, Carol and myself began walking at 10.30am from the market cross in Helmsley.

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Helmsley lies under the southern edge of the North York Moors and is a typical small market town, with a large market place surrounded by old inns and interesting shops.

Its ruined castle stands high on a mound overlooking the town. It was built in about 1200 and was later besieged by Parliamentary forces after the battle of Marston Moor and the fall of York during the Civil War. The castle was finally surrendered on 22 November 1644 after a three-month siege. Between 1646 and 1647 the castle was made unfit for war with parts of the keep and the walls being destroyed. It is now in the hands of English Heritage.

To emphasise why I prefer my activities on the ‘trail’ in places such as Helmsley rather than a large town or city, a few statistics may prove useful. One can compare crime figures say in Helmsley, Colchester and Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1997, Helmsley had three assaults, three indecent assaults, twenty-two burglaries of buildings which were not houses (a number of these were sheds and garages), one aggravated taking of a vehicle, two thefts from a dwelling, three stolen pedal cycles, seventeen thefts from parked cars, six recorded shoplifting incidents, six stolen cars, four cases of fraud, one case of handling stolen goods, and ten cases of criminal damage. The average crime per year in Colchester is one murder, eight stolen cars a week, more than one thousand two hundred thefts from vehicles, four hundred and thirty one bicycle thefts, thirteen rapes, five hundred and seventy assaults, one thousand six hundred and eighty-seven criminal damage offences and eight hundred and ninety nine shoplifting offences. In 1996, crime in Albuquerque was seventy-two murders, seven thousand one hundred and twenty stolen cars, one thousand five hundred and twenty reported rapes, three thousand one hundred and twenty eight assaults, twenty-three thousand six hundred and sixty eight thefts and robberies, one hundred and sixteen arson cases, three hundred and fifty eight kidnappings and one thousand seven hundred and thirty-two complaints of intimidation. It has been said that Helmsley is one of those towns that makes you feel you don’t want to be anywhere else in the world. This morning it certainly felt like that in warm sunshine and the prospect of a new walk.

It came across as a bit of a surprise therefore that we came across a hate report sign! 20 years on have things in Helmsley changed?

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Another reason I like Helmsley is that it is Volvo country – you see lots of shiny Volvos so I feel at home.

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I had one of the first ever Volvo C30s followed by a second one.

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When our ageing mothers could no longer cope with a two door car, Volvo kindly brought out the 4 door V40 to replace it.

As a Brompton Cyclist we saw a poster that certainly appealed to me – cycling to Lidos! Now with a Brompton I could pop it in the back of the car and drive from Lido to Lido.

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We eventually started walking leaving the delightful Helmsley, with its decorative shops, behind.

However, noting a Mannion’s cafe had recently opened, I would be back before too long.

We were first following the North of England Way and soon came across warnings

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and noted that near Reagarth Farm there was a permanent diversion around the farm.

We descended to the bottom of the delightful Riccal Dale

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to come upon the Ponderosa, from the 1960s (yes I am old enough to remember it!) TV series Bonanza.

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Well actually it is a Scout Camp.

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Sid the Yorkshireman quickly volunteered to be William Tell’s son and had I been able to find a crossbow I would have shot the apple off his head as with the legendary William Tell.  Yes he is balancing that apple on his head not on the wood. However, it fell off a few times, so I ended up with a bruised apple for lunch.

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We stopped for a coffee but weren’t too impressed with the shopping list apart from the chablis – for Scouts?! We weren’t too sure what a fanny pack was either! The Scouts has changed from our day.

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Now Sid the Yorkshireman is known for his generosity, hence the name.  So when there is an opportunity to give Carol FREE flowers left there he jumps at the chance. They were better than from a florist and freshly cut – by whom?

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We climbed out of the valley at Hasty Bank Farm. In heavy rain the water has been known to flow down the track through the kitchen.

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We came to farming country. We had planned to stop here and return to Helmsley, but the weather was so good I persuaded Sid and Carol to continue ‘a few more miles’ to my adopted trig point for lunch.

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We then hit the very straight quiet lane past Middle Farm and High Farm.

There were big skies looking back into the sun.

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Ahead we reached a wood, followed by a heather enclosed track

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Before we reached ‘Paradise’ and my adopted trig point. I have never seen it on a better day.

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We posed at my adopted trig, remembered Penny who is hereabouts, and then went for lunch on the ‘secret’ bench dedicated to DEE (who was Dee?) along from the trig.

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Our lunch time view couldn’t be bettered. The best view of the North York Moors. Sssshhhh….. don’t tell anyone it might get busy. These are Secret Diaries.

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We then carried on our walk along the escarpment of Rollgate Bank, with ever changing views, each one worthy of a painting by Turner. Unfortunately, I don’t think he found this place – most people don’t.

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We then did a short circular walk back to Hasty Bank Farm, ascended a very steep hill through woods and then walked through Ashdale back to Helmsley.

Walking doesn’t get much better than this. 

Miles Walked 16

Steps taken 30,900

Calories Burnt 19,000

Average Pace 16.47 minutes per mile

Max Pace 11.10 minutes per mile

Fastest Split 16.03 minutes per miles 

Elevation Gain 1,358 feet

Minimium Elevation 181 Feet 

Maximum Elevcation 954 Feet. 

With a first day like this on the COT COMBO would it all be downhill from here for the rest of the walk?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8 (Continued). A Great End to the ‘Best of 31 years of Walking in Yorkshire, Condensed into 8 Days’.

Post 194: Hawes attractions and Aysgarth Falls at its best. 

Our descent along the delightful B6255 to Hawes was very different to my walking descent to Hawes on my coast to coast, The North of England Way, in 1993.

Then we descended to Hawes in rain and, not realising that the grass had become like a skating rink, I fell forward with such panache that Torville and Dean would have been impressed. As I aquaplaned down the grassy slope, I entered the record books as one of the few people who had done a section of The Pennine Way and The North of England Way horizontal. With a pack on, gravity has full effect, making it very difficult to stop. By the time Hawes was reached the rain was coming down in torrents.  There is only one thing to do in that sort of weather, go to the pub or a waterfall. At Hardraw, 2 miles outside of Hawes, it is possible to do both. We entered the pub and followed the path past the bandstand to the impressive falls, best seen after heavy rain. The 96-ft high shimmering column of water is reputably the highest above ground in England. It was painted by Turner and every spring it is a natural amphitheatre used for a brass band concert. However, on this wet day a hasty retreat to the inn was the order of the day, how convenient.

Hawes has a number of other attractions, not least the Wensleydale Creamery in Gayle Lane, ‘home’ of the famous Wensleydale cheese, the museum portraying the history of ‘Real Wensleydale Cheese.’ In addition to the museum, there is a viewing gallery where you can watch cheese being made, a cheese shop with free tasting, and a licensed restaurant. Try some Wensleydale Wallace and Gromit cheese or Wensleydale cheese with apricots – absolutely delicious and guaranteed to give you energy for the remainder of any walk!

There is plenty of accommodation in Hawes,  including a Youth Hostel which had a reputation for providing ‘home’ cooked food.

However, Hawes can get busy and, after parking the car, the first pub we went to was full. We found a cafe/retuarant opposite the Crown pub, which provided us with excellent Sunday roasts. Victoria remained true to form and had a pint of beer.

Having got our breath and energy back, where now?  It was now 6.00pm but I didn’t want this 8 days to end. The sun was still out. There was only one place suitable to finish what had been a great 8 days,  Aysgarth Falls, which Turner visited and painted in 1816.

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In my coast to coast book in 1997 I said:

‘Aysgarth Falls are best seen towards the end of the day when all the tourists have gone, or during the long summer evenings. The River Ure, confined between wooded banks, falls over a series of broad, shallow terraces extending over a mile. The falls were at their most impressive, bursting with energy and vitality after the exceptionally heavy overnight rain.’

We were not to be disappointed on this occasion and spent nearly an hour and a half there photographing, admiring and videoing the falls at the best I had ever seen them. One piercing memory for me was the noise of the falls, which was intense and which I captured on video.

We started at the Upper Falls.

Then moved to the Middle Falls

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The walked to the Lower Falls

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Before returning to the bridge over the river

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We were very happy to have caught the falls in spate and in good evening light.

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Returning over Aysgarth Bridge to the south bank we passed Yore Mill on the left. The mill was built in 1784-85 as a corn mill but has a chequered history including being burned down in 1853. Rebuilt to twice the original size it subsequently had a variety of uses; between 1912 and 1959 it was a flour mill. Since 1967 its roomy interior has housed the Yorkshire Carriage Museum, which has a fascinating variety of old coaches and carriages, as well as an unequalled view of the Upper Falls.

Further up the hill, again on the left, is St Andrew’s Church. Although it was largely rebuilt in 1866, its 4½-acre churchyard indicates its earlier importance as the mother-church for the whole of Upper Wensleydale. Inside the church the exquisite wooden screen filling the south side of the chancel was brought to Aysgarth from Jervaulx Abbey at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was carved in about 1506, by members of the famous Ripon School of Carvers.  At its western end is the delicately carved Vicar’s Stall made from two bench-ends from Jervaulx.

However, the day was not quite finished and when we got back to the car a final sunset blessed us again.

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Miles Walked 8

I think Victoria enjoyed her 8 days of the Best of the Yorkshire as she has invited Celia and myself to visit her town in the Bavarian Alps! Needless to say I have accepted and I am looking forward to seeing one of the most beautiful and dramatic parts of Germany and the nearby Austrian Alps in 2018. 

I certainly enjoyed the 8 days which, although being completely different to anything I had ever done before, had parallels with completing a long-distance walk with changing activities, views, vistas and challenges (but pleasant) each day.  We had been blessed with kind weather for all but half a day (shopping day) in Yorkshire and some time in Lancashire.

It was now 19.30 and we had spent nearly an hour and a half absorbed by the falls. It was time to head back to York. I finally arrived home at 21.45pm!   Then it was up early next day to take Victoria to Manchester Airport and back to reality.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the places we visited and that it will encourage you to visit some of them.

It would have been Penny Bolton-Galbraith’s 50th birthday today (21st) had her life not been cut short by illness. She is always remembered and is ‘still walking the fells with me’. A ‘Canadian jewel’, who was a truly international person. Although her trail name was ‘Talks with Sheep’ she lived each day as a Tiger – we should all do that and make the best we can of each day. 

Penny painting David's trig

 

 

 

 

Lancashire! Mud, Rain, Sauna Marquees, The Three Peaks of Yorkshire, The Ribblehead Viaduct.

Post 193: 9 September 2017. Into the unknown of Lancashire, before escaping back to Yorkshire

The plan for today was to go to the Three Peaks area of Yorkshire and climb Pen-y-ghent, before heading further up the valley to the Ribblehead Viaduct area.

However, a friend Dan from Siberia (also known as Suffolk) had a temporary volunteering manager position at Slaidburn Youth Hostel and invited us over there and to the Hodder Valley Agricultural Show.  Despite this being Lancashire, we did not wish to be unfriendly and so decided to leave York at 8am on a Sunday morning.

On a sunny day we stopped at a farm shop just beyond Skipton for coffee and then stopped at the original Rohan Outdoor Clothing shop at Long Preston.

We then entered Lancashire and the heavens opened. This was not a good omen.

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Arriving in Slaidburn we asked a volunteer, who was directing bicycles from the show, where the hostel was but she hadn’t a clue. It was about 100 yards further up the road. However, Dan had prepared two cakes for us and so we felt much better. One each?

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We had a quick tour around the hostel.

 

Then we headed to Dunsop Bridge, where the show was being held.  The area was already like Glastonbury with mud everywhere.

 

Slipping and sliding, we had a look at the various sheep being judged.

 

Followed by the cattle.

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I started to feel light headed and sat down on the only chair available at the first aid area. Victoria came over and kindly fetched me a bottle of water as I thought I was dehydrated due to the heat, an early start and too much coffee.

I then retired to the car and had a snooze, whilst Victoria and Dan went to see the fell running. I was woken by Dan banging on the car window and felt suitably recovered and refreshed.

All we had to do now was get out of the field car park.

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Dan led the way but soon halted to a stop in the mud. My Volvo glided over the mud and we got out. Dan’s VW had to be towed out by a tractor.

We never saw Dan again that day as we sped on out of Lancashire to Yorkshire and the Three Peaks area.

We stopped at the Pen-y-ghent cafe for yet more coffee.

 

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The owner came over for a chat and said he had thought Victoria was my daughter as we looked alike. She soon put him right!

We abandoned our plan to climb Pen-y-ghent as it was now 15.18pm and instead headed further up the valley along what is one of my favourite drives, when the heart starts to beat a little faster at the bends and the prospect of views ahead.

 

Having already passed Pen-y-ghent,

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Ingleborough and Whernside came into view in dramatic light.

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Ingleborough
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Whernside
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Ingleborough

Then the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct.

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It was now 16.28pm and the skies looked ominously dark and so it was time to move on.

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I made a quick decision to head over the dales on the B6255 towards Hawes and Wensleydale, where we could get food and drink and recharge.   There was still plenty to explore. This was after all Victoria’s last day and the dark clouds passed and weather was still holding good now we were back in sunny Yorkshire. 

Day 7 (continued) Leaving Robin Hood’s Bay for my favourite drive over the North York Moors. The best tarmac road in Yorkshire! Yes, we do get out of the car and walk a little!

Post 192:  8 September 2017. My favourite drive over the North York Moors. 

We left Robin Hood’s Bay in the late afternoon to head to the open and remote moors,  via Ruswarp, Sleights, Grosmont, Egton and Egton Bridge.

At Egton Bridge we took a steeply ascending, narrow, hair pinned road towards Rosedale. If you fancy honing your rally driving skills, this is the place to come.

What is amazing is that since the Tour de Yorkshire cycling the road, which hardly ever gets any cars on it, is the best tarmac road in Yorkshire, having been especially resurfaced for cycling. It is wonderful.  But sssh………. keep it a secret as we don’t want it to get busy! These are after all Secret Diaries.

Even better, arriving at the top of the hill immediately after a cattle grid, it is possible to park up and stretch ones legs amongst the heather. Victoria was as elusive as ever.

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The dark clouds had gone, the sun was out again and the views were magnificent. You can even see the sea from whence we had come.  Big skies.

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Glaisdale, on Wainwright’s coast to coast, can also be seen nestled in the valley below.

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There is a further lovely drive to the top of Rosedale, one of my favourite valleys where the views are again magnificent.

We descended steeply to the lovely village of Rosedale Abbey were there are nice cafes but as it was 5.15pm they were closed. An ascent up the steep and winding Rosedale Chimney, legendary amongst cyclists, followed.

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After going over Spaunton Moor, we turned left to head to ‘Black Sheep country’ and the lovely village of Lastingham. We were now back on my own coast coast route.

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A vist to the 1,000 year old underground crypt in St Mary’s Church is essential. It has a very particular ambience and years ago the now illegal practice of cock-fighting used to take place. There are a number of Viking artefacts in the crypt.

Also essential is a visit to the Blacksmith’s Arms pub opposite. P1080171

Leaving Lastingham, we visited the Victoria Cross viewpoint – how could Victoria miss it?

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Finally, we drove through the the picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole.

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Miles Walked 8

A long but splendid day. We arrived home at 7.00pm. Fortunately, dinner was already prepared and we relaxed watching the film, Everest. 

However, dark clouds were on the horizon as tomorrow (Day 8) we had a very early start and briefly had to leave sunny Yorkshire and venture into Lancashire – will we get out again to go to the wonderful Three Peaks area of Yorkshire?

It did not go smoothly.