Snow, Get the Thermals Out, Mosaics, James Herriot’s Gate and a Beautiful Stained Glass Window

Post 79: 8 November 2016. Cleveland Circles 5. 

The forecast was for snow at the end of the day so as we drove out towards Boltby on the North York Moors we didn’t expect to see snow, but there it was in the far distance on the highest area of the Moors towards Urra Moor.  Fortunately, it was not in the area in which we were walking on the escarpment of the Moors. However, it was a wise decision to put my thermal base layer on as it was certainly a lot colder than in recent times. There was a feel of winter arrival and autumn departure.

On arrival at the tiny village of Boltby we were surprised to find roadworks making car parking a little tricky. Having parked our car tucked away in no ones way, we got a scowling look from one lady and another asked if we had to park our car there. ‘Couldn’t you park in a car park up the hill?’, she asked.

It was nearly a mile up a steep hill. In such an isolated area it would be a security risk.  We declined her offer!

Neither do you expect to see a kingfisher. Sarah Tate aged 13 chose this Mosaic in Boltby as her contribution to a Mosaic Walk in the area as her father often sees a kingfisher on their farm. Aren’t they lucky!

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Jessica Tate aged 8 chose a duck as many farms in Boltby keep ducks.

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Having admired the mosaics it was time to leave the village on a tiny bridge and head up to the Moors by the road, ignoring the public footpath sign.

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We recall there used to be a mosaic on this tree trunk but it has disappeared.

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We soon arrived at the point where my North of England Way route joins the path. They will have walked over 142 miles from the Irish Sea to arrive at this point. I remember in 1993, after the heavy rain, it was a challenge climbing up the slippy, muddy path to the escarpment above.

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Greendale Farm was below us.

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We arrived at a grand tree and remembered a previous occasion when heavy snow had fallen.

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We finally arrived at the escarpment and progress became easier and quicker and we could see Boltby, the start of the walk, way below us.

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After a coffee and banana break at High Barn near the trees in the distance, we arrived at a rather significant gate location.

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It is the gate location (although the gate has been replaced) that features on the cover of the book The Real James Herriot. Identifiable by the landscape to the right of the gate in the distance.

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My editor Jenny Dereham was also James Herriot’s.

At High Paradise Farm we came a cross another mosaic. Farms such as this stable horses. 300 years ago races such as the Queen Anne Cup were held at the racecourse near Sutton Bank.

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Arriving onto open moorland we reached Steeple Cross just beyond the Cleveland Way sign as shown.

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Lunch was on a tree stump on Cowesby Moor. What better place? Yes the weather was cold (about 2 to 4 degrees)  but with two extra layers (a body warmer and waterproof jacket) of Rohan Clothing on top of the three I already had on, plus lined trousers, I was as warm as toast. I also had two pairs of gloves. A cut off mitten pair for photography and eating and an extra pair to go on top when walking.

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At Brickshed Cottage a Mallard Drake mosaic appeared. They feed on tiny plants in the water and often nest in trees besides pools. There is such a pond opposite the mosaic.

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We arrived at Kirby Knowle church, an imposing and impressive building for such a small village. It was built in 1873 for £1300.

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There is a fine boundary cross in the churchyard.

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There is a very beautiful stained glass window, added in 2014, in memory of Jane Rajan, who by all accounts was a remarkable lady.

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There was also a reminder that there are folks much less fortunate than some of us and in one of the richest economies in the world have to rely on food banks. A box destined for Middlesbrough.

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After 11 miles of walking Boltby, the end of our walk, appeared through the trees.

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Time for some more Mosaic hunting! Hannah Peters chose a dragonfly because in summer they often fly into her conservatory. With large wings and enormous eyes, dragonflies are well adapted as hunters. They feed on almost any insects they can find flying.

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Mary Peters was inspired  when she glanced out of her window to see her garden covered in molehills. Moles thrive in clay soils which are rich in worms.

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Before heading home, we had a final visit to Holy Trinity Church, the first chapel being built in 1409 and rebuilt in 1802.

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One thing we have noticed on this series of walks is that the A roads around York to get to the start of our walks are getting increasingly congested. We have therefore decided to leave earlier in the mornings at 7.30am instead of 8.am and, using the ‘Morley technique’, make more use of the B and other smaller roads. We can’t waste time in traffic jams when we have so many walks to look forward to.

On this walk today we saw no other walkers, other than some dog walkers near the villages. Yorkshire is the place to be!

Miles walked  11

Calories burnt 1,300

Average pace 18.39 minutes per mile. 

Fastest 2 mile split at 6-8 miles 17.56 minutes per mile

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