Pen-y-ghent, Dog-Dazzers, The Pen-y-ghent cafe, Hull Pot, J.B.Priestly, Gangrene?

Post 135: 6 April 1997: Day 2 – Stainforth Youth Hostel to Buckden – 16 miles, On Foot from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall: Hadrian’s Way.

Next morning, the day of the christening, we crawled out of our bunks to get to breakfast. When most of the party were seated, two suited gentlemen entered the room to loud cheers. It is the first and only time I have seen anyone in a suit and tie in a hostel. Whilst the christening party left to a nearby church, we headed in the direction of Horton-in Ribblesdale.

A steep ascent from Stainforth along the Ribble Way led to the Moor Head Lane, with splendid views ahead of Pen-y-ghent. By skirting it to the west and north we are able to obtain fine views of its great prominence above the surrounding landscape. Of the ‘Three Peaks of Yorkshire’, Pen-y-ghent is the most distinctive in shape but the lowest in height. It was near Pen-y-ghent that I once met a German lady who told me about the time she was walking near Manchester and was bitten by an Alsatian dog. She even had the scars to prove it. I advised her to carry a dog-dazzer which, as previously described, lets out a loud shrieking noise to scare the violent dogs away, although protection is not guaranteed. I used one until I found out it also frightens horses and makes them stampede.

We descended to the River Ribble and followed it to Horton in Ribblesdale, a focal point for walkers and potholers (photographs taken later).

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Horton-in-Ribblesdale

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This walk so far warranted a refreshment stop in the Pen-y-ghent Café, the start and finish of the famous ‘Three Peaks of Yorkshire’ challenge walk.

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The clock used to check Three-Peakers out and back

One of the main attractions of Horton is its medieval 15th-century perpendicular style church dedicated to St Oswald. The church also has notable Norman features in the south door and the font. St Oswald was converted to Christianity on Iona and died in AD642.

Leaving the warm confines of the café, we climbed the track over Horton Scar to the massive chasm of Hull Pot.

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This huge chasm is the biggest natural ground opening in the country, measuring 300 feet in length and 60 feet in width and depth. The chasm marks part of a strata of permeable Carboniferous Limestone to be found in this area at about 1250-1300 feet. It is fed by a stream, which normally sinks into the ground before reaching Hull Pot to re-appear under the floor but, after heavy rain, continues to the edge to form a waterfall; occasionally, after exceptionally heavy rain, it has filled the chasm. Fall down there and you never get out again.

Continuing to the open expanses of Foxup Moor, we were devastated to find that motor-cross bikes had turned areas of Special Scientific Interest into quagmires of mud. Indeed, while we proceeded, the bikes were churning peat and moss high into the air as their wheels spun in anger. It was a moment of despair and the only consolation was seeing one of the bikes sink irretrievably into a peat bog, never to churn up the rare habitat again. We later came across National Park rangers and reported the incident to them. One hopes the National Parks will be able to find the means to protect these areas. Although walkers can cause some erosion damage, such widespread destruction as caused by these bikes does not occur.

It was with relief that we descended into Littondale, a valley of great calm and beauty. At ten miles Halton Gill made a sheltered and pleasant spot for a packed lunch, before climbing the Horse Head Pass which rises to over 1900 feet. One way of deciding if you are a ‘New Man’ is to climb the Horse Head Pass. It is guaranteed to get the heart beating and test your fitness.

An exciting descent into Wharfedale, with views ahead of Buckden Pike, led us to the Norse settlement of Yockenthwaite, from where the River Wharfe was followed to Hubberholme village, with its fine church and inn. The church, dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, is the parish church of the Upper Dale, but originated as a forest chapel and, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, was served by curates from Arncliffe in Littondale. The interior is worth seeing as it has a rood-loft of 1558, one of only two in Yorkshire, carved in oak, painted red, black and gold. Almost all the woodwork in the church is modern oak, made by Robert Thompson of Kilburn in 1934 and his signature, a tiny mouse, can be discreetly identified on many of the pieces. There is also a plaque dedicated to the author and dramatist J. B. Priestley O.M. (1894-1984) whose ashes are buried nearby. He loved the Dales and found Hubberholme to be one of the smallest and pleasantest places in the world. I have to agree with him.

The George Inn used to be the vicarage, remaining church property until 1965. Each New Year’s Day there is the letting of ‘Poor Pasture’, a custom almost 1000 years old, when farmers bid for the tenancy of a 16-acre field behind the inn; the proceeds go to help the elderly people of the village.

A further mile and a half of easy walking led us to the delightful village of Buckden. In the medieval period Buckden was a ‘forester’s village’, being one of a number villages on the edge of a large hunting forest. Nestled below fells, including Buckden Pike (2303 feet) to the north-east, and situated alongside the River Wharfe, Buckden has become popular with tourists, cavers and walkers intent on exploring the higher reaches of Wharfedale.

My ‘new’ walking boots were causing me agony, the top of my big toe had lost all its skin and my foot was starting to swell up. There was only one thing to do and that was to take painkillers. So we popped into Buckden for a meal followed by a visit to the Buck Inn; Guinness would surely remedy my swollen foot? Arriving back at the bed and breakfast, I realised my foot had swollen to twice its normal size. Had gangrene set in? Was this the end of my walk? As a last resort, I adopted the ‘Dales Way technique’ involving keeping the foot as high in the air as possible. When you are asleep this can be difficult but by adept use of blankets and pillows I succeeded and in the morning, by a miracle, blood had been drained from the foot and it was back to its normal size. After a quick dressing of Compeed on the bare skin, I was almost one hundred per cent and the walk was back on again.

In Search of an Ice-cream and Getting a Rocket and Dracula’s Blood.

Post 134: 28 March 2017, Cleveland Circles 23

We started walking at just after 9.00am from Fylingthorpe just outside Robin Hood’s Bay where there was free parking. Not for us the £5 car park charge in Robin Hood’s Bay! Sid the Yorkshireman has an allergy to car park charges. We needed the £5 to pay for an ice-cream we hoped to have in Robin Hood’s Bay towards the end of the walk, provided the required air temperature was reached. We are not cold weather ice-cream eaters.

After heading inland through the hamlet of Raw we came upon our first opportunity for an ice-cream in the middle of nowhere. Sid checked it out but the sign promised a lot more than was available; that is nothing!

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After a brief coffee and banana break at Hawkser, we arrived at the coast and The Cleveland Way to find a delightful bench was available for us to have lunch. This was fortunate as it had been ‘booked’ by someone else on the previous walk. There were views to the sea, which was a little misty. However, for the first course (jam roll) the sun came out, but by the second and third courses (yoghurt and fruit cake) the clouds came over again and the temperature dropped considerably. Time to move on.

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Some delightful coastal walking followed.

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Then we reached the point where Wainwright’s Coast to Coast joined The Cleveland Way .

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It was at this point we came across a fixture for firing rockets. Unfortunately, not being November 5th we didn’t have one with us.

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A noticeboard then explained its purpose, which was to rescue sailors.

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We then arrived at Robin Hood’s Bay, The Bay Hotel and Wainwright’s Bar signifying the end of the Coast to Coast Walk.

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I completed this in 1991 as outlined in previous blogs:

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It was disappointing that it was still too cool for an ice-cream so we carried on.

Just before arriving back at Fylingthorpe, in warm sunshine, we came across a Landrover ice-cream van with free Dracula’s blood, but dracula was no where to be found.

We were to be denied an ice-cream.

With a heavy heart we got into the car for the return journey to York.

However, passing through Sneaton we saw the signs for the Beacon Farm Ice-cream Parlour and, not being a Monday, it was open (opens on Mondays 10 April).

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A great finish to the walk. I had an ‘Easter Special’, with chocolate eggs in the ice-cream. No calories of course.

Miles Walked 11.88

Calories Burnt 1400

Average Pace 19 Minutes Per Mile 

Steps 25,697. 

A New Adventure – Walking to Hadrian’s Wall. The Naked Man and the Naked Women, My Bellows Have Lost Their Wind!

Post 133: April 1997. On Foot from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall: Hadrian’s Way.

Throughout history Hadrian’s Wall has fascinated many people, not least William Hutton who in 1801, at the age of 78 with an umbrella to keep him dry, walked from Birmingham to Hadrian’s Wall, along it twice, then back home; the 601 mile walk being described in his book The History of the Roman Wall published in 1802.

In 1938, at the age of 31, Alfred Wainwright, the ‘master’ fell-walker, walked from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall and back, his experiences on the walk being described in his book A Pennine Journey published many years later in 1986. Whilst waiting for my daughter at her ballet classes, I was fascinated by the book, describing a time just before the Second World War broke out.

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Having pored over Ordnance Survey maps, I decided that his general route – passing through and by named towns, villages and landmarks – was so good, it could not be significantly improved and decided to use it as the basis of my next walk.

It had been some three years since I had started to research the route from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall. I was now ready to try the route out for the first time in its entirety. It is important that the start and finish of a walk must be definite, interesting and inspiring. Hadrian’s Way has these attributes, starting on the Settle – Carlisle railway line, scenically the most dramatic line in England, and finishing at the awe inspiring Hadrian’s Wall. Eric Treacy, Lord Bishop of Wakefield between 1968 and 1976, said that the three man-made wonders of the north of England were the Settle – Carlisle railway line, Hadrian’s Wall and York Minster; the first two of these are on the walk

5 April 1997: Day 1 – Settle to Stainforth Youth Hostel – 3½ mile

Just after lunch Dick and myself arrived in Settle and, with only 3½ miles to walk, spent some time looking around the outdoor shops for a new map case. I think if anyone could make a waterproof map case that lasts for more than a couple of ‘wet seasons’ they would make a fortune.

Settle lies at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales and, situated as it is beside the largest outcrop of limestone in Britain, is an interesting starting point for a walk to Hadrian’s Wall. It is the start of the famous Settle to Carlisle scenic railway line.

The region has many scars, cliffs, caves, underground streams, and potholes and is a geologist’s delight. Prior to the building of a by-pass in 1988 the town was heavily congested with traffic and even now it can get quite busy on Bank Holidays.

Settle has a number of attractions including its folly, its shambles, its small courtyards, narrow streets and alleyways. The Folly, built in 1675, has a considerable number of Jacobean windows as well as elegant masonry. A Georgian warehouse overlooks Cheapside in the centre of the town and other Georgian buildings testify to Settle’s growing importance when the Keighley-Kendal turnpike road brought the coaching traffic to the town. There was resultant need for hotels and inns, which Settle still has to this day. The town also has the unusually named Naked Man Café on the west side of the market place, so named because of the relief figure of a man modestly holding a plaque dated 1633! The Naked Man was originally an inn and two miles away at Langcliffe, also on our route, there is his companion – The Naked Woman.

Near the centre of the town is Settle Church and in the entrance is a marble memorial commemorating those killed during the construction of the Settle – Carlisle railway. The memorial was erected at the joint expense of the Midland Railway Company and fellow workmen of those who died. On your left, as you leave the church, is a grave stone dedicated to the blacksmith Luke Ralph of Settle whose wife Agnes died in 1830 aged 29. The inscription on the stone reads:

My Sledge and Hammer both declined

My Bellows they have lost their wind.

My Fire extinct my Forge decayed

And in the dust my Vice is laid.

My Coals are spent my Iron gone.

My Nails are drove my work is done.

 

The mind boggles as to what will be put on my gravestone.

My Feet and Legs both declined

My Lungs have lost their wind.

My Spirit extinct my Teeth decayed

And in the dust my Compass is laid.

My Muscles are spent my Energy gone

My Boots are drove my work is done.

Leaving the churchyard, we climbed Constitution Hill to emerge on the lush green grass of the Yorkshire Dales. After a brief visit to see Catrigg Force, we descended to Stainforth to locate the youth hostel. The village of Stainforth is delightfully situated near where Stainforth Beck joins the River Ribble and has charming quaint corners, picturesque cottages, a church, delightful stepping stones over the beck, as well as a 17th-century inn. The village derives its name from the ‘stony ford’, which linked Little Stainforth and Stainforth together on opposite sides of the banks of the River Ribble. The village used to be a possession of Sawley Abbey and later a halt on a medieval trade route.

On our arrival at the youth hostel, the warden apologised for the fact there was a christening party in residence. The apology was unnecessary as, if there is one thing you want to liven up a long-distance walk, it is a party or two.  A christening party seemed a little tame until we entered the lounge to immediately be offered free wine, an encouraging sign. In addition, the warden had put on a ‘special’ meal, with the party guests providing the drink; we had dropped lucky on this, our first night. There was one place we needed to visit later in the evening, The Craven Heifer Inn, deriving its name from a exceptionally large cow that the Duke of Devonshire owned in the 18th century in this area known as Craven; there is an engraving above the fireplace recording the details of the heifer.

We noticed on returning to the hostel that one of the rooms was full of rockets and planetarium information. We began to wonder if we had drunk too much. In reality the husband of the warden was a rocket fanatic and on occasions launches eight-foot rockets. I hasten to add, not in the vicinity of the hostel. After a couple of hours of drinking, the chances of being woken up in the night by a crying baby seemed less likely than us landing on the moon.

The youth hostel, situated in attractive grounds on the edge of Stainforth, is an elegant listed Georgian House, built between 1831 and 1848. It featured in the hilarious Victoria Wood programme on camping and youth hostelling; fortunately, the stern, disciplinarian warden featured in the programme was only fictional! The video is available for screening in the hostel. Initially a private residence, it has been a hostel for over 50 years and, in recent years, has been significantly improved. Mike Harding, the comedian and author of walking and travel books, came here from Manchester at the age of fourteen with a friend on a cycling and walking holiday. It was to change his life as he eventually settled in the Yorkshire Dales and trekked to many parts of the world including the Himalayas (Update – sadly the building is no longer a hostel).

Happiness Day, A Wedding, Care and Cleaning of Boots.

Post 132: 20 March 2017, Cleveland Circles 22.

We left home at 7.30am after a very heavy shower on designated Happiness Day. Not a good omen for our happiness. Had our good weather talis-woman Carol let us down this time? I am sure most people going to work on a Monday wondered how this was designated as Happiness Day!

However, the rain started to ease off as we drove over the North York Moors to Sneaton. We parked near St Hilda’s Church at about 8.30am and saw the door open and a hoover going up and down inside! We popped in to see what was going on to find out that there was a wedding blessing later that morning. Well and truly Happiness Day.

That was the good news, but the bad news was that the Beacon Farm ice-cream parlour just along the road was closed for the day (it is closed every Monday until April 10th). We surmised that this is why the wedding was chosen for a Monday as a relative involved in the wedding was from the ice-cream parlour.

It so happens that I also got married on what used to be traditionally ‘wash day’ in 1973 and I am still married and still doing the washing! That is when not walking.

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We went to the back of the church where I knew there was a great view to our destination Whitby.

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Whitby Abbey can just be seen on the hill to the top right.

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In days gone by many walking routes went out from Whitby Abbey along stone monks’ trods.  Many trods still exist, albeit a little worn and hence more slippy. We soon found evidence of the influence of the abbey with sign on a door in Sneaton. No doubt many farms would have served the abbey.

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To emphasise this we came across a monk in Ruswarp!

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We eventually got to Whitby in time for our coffee and banana break.

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and were able to watch the ships and boats coming and going.

Soon it was time to leave Whitby passing the harbour

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and climb the 199 steps towards the abbey

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and church.

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There is an interesting inscription at a tomb at the church.

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Leaving the abbey and church we rejoined The Cleveland Way coastal path wondering if and when the forecasted rain would arrive. The wind was increasing. We passed Saltwick Bay.

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After lunch on the cliffs, gaining some shelter from the wind by sitting against a wall, we left The Cleveland Way and headed inland to High Hawsker and Low Hawsker, which were originally Scandinavian settlements. Hawker is on Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk. When coast to coasters arrive here they only have another 4 miles to walk to the end at Robin Hood’s Bay.

To the north we could see large rain clouds gathering.

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However, every cloud has a silver lining and near Rigg Mill these primroses indicated spring was getting a hold.

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Just along Rigg Mill Beck there was a delightful waterfall and ‘beach’.

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Needless to say we encountered muddy paths towards the end of the walk and this led to discussions about how to look after our boots.

Good leather boots need a lot of care and attention after a walk. Wherever, possible I always try and get mud off near the end of the walk. A stream or puddle is particularly useful.

Needless to say there is never a stream or puddle towards the end of the walk and indeed we find there is almost always a very muddy path. So cleaning has to wait until I get home. First thing is to take the insoles out so that the boots are aired inside. I then use knife to get large chunks of mud off and sponge with lots of cold water to wipe off any remaining mud. I try to include getting mud off the soles as if not removed this adds to weight of the boots on the next walk.

Occasionally, it is a good idea to wipe out the inside of the boots with a damp clean cloth. The boots are now damp and should be dried over a couple of days away from radiators or any other direct heat source. Failure to do that will result in the leather cracking. When completely dry a leather wax can can be applied. However, I prefer to only do this about every 1-2 months and instead use ordinary shoe polish to treat and polish the boots. This I have found again reduces the likelihood of leather cracking, which too much wax can lead to.

We arrived back at Sneaton and the car and no it hadn’t rained! Carol could keep her good weather talis-women status!

Finally, it was reported today that according to a survey Norway is the happiest country in the world. I wouldn’t want to move from York to live there, but do like visiting Norway! The scenery is breathtaking and we have met some lovely Norwegians on our travels there.

Miles Walked 11.1

Steps 24,467

Calories Burnt 1,300

Average Pace 18.76

Fastest split 17.5 Minutes per Mile at 6 Miles.

 

 

 

 

Yorkshire’s Klondike, £3.5 million, Viking Country, Whaling in the Past.

Post 131: 13 March 2017, Cleveland Circles 21

Having walked through’Yorkshire’s Klondike’ on many of our recent walks and ‘bathed’ in the historic remains of the industrial revolution, which helped to make the United Kingdom prosperous, we were now a different sort of area; lovely sandy beaches, ice creams, fish and chips and tourist hotspots!

One of the overriding impressions I have had on this walk is the incredibly hard manual work that many of the workers in this area must have experienced between the mid 19th and 20th centuries, hence many early deaths recorded in some of the graveyards we have been in.  It was with some joy that I had just learnt that there is to be a £3.8 million Land of Iron project (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Park Authority, David Ross foundation and numerous other organisations, including a small army of local historians whose knowledge of the area’s past is unrivalled) over the next five years to revisit the period of industrial growth and exploitation, mainly of ironstone and alum, to record and conserve the various monuments and structures and protect the flora and fauna which went on to reclaim the moorland. It is a fitting tribute to the workers who helped to put the ‘Great’ in Great Britain through sheer hard work and ingenuity.

It was only appropriate that, after leaving York at 7.30am, we started walking at Sandsend at 8.45am with the sun shining. This was after all a proper seaside area.

As this was a figure of eight walk, we were able to leave some food and drinks in the car to reduce our rucksack weight.

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Climbing out of Sandsend along the A174 to Lythe and St Oswald’s Church the reduction in rucksack weight was a bonus. The view back to our eventual destination, Whitby, was lovely.

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We arrived at the church and were surprised to find it open.

There was also a sad gravestone from the 1700s, where four children, two aged 2, and two aged 13 and 19 had all passed before their parents.

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However, the inside of the church was a revelation with information and historical artefacts worthy of a small museum. There was a lot of Viking history with in the past a Viking graveyard being nearby.

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After some muddy but enjoyable inland walking across Overdale, our anticipation grew as we neared the coast. We were not to be disappointed on reaching The Cleveland Way on the coast.

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The tunnel and ledge originally proposed for the railway line to Sandsend can just be spotted in the far distance above the gorse.

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Another section of the railway line tunnel emerged further along the coast towards Sandsend.

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Continuing along the dismantled railway line we came across remains of alum workings, which looked like a moon landscape.

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With changing light there were again beautiful views of Sandsend Beach

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Until we eventually reached the beach and the opportunity for our coffee and banana break.

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We had completed a rather exhilarating 4.5  miles of walking, but still had 8 to do. It was at this point that cloud started to appear and a chill to the air. There were some impressively built sea defences on the beach, reminding us of the strong storms that batter the east coast from time to time. P1060618

We eventually reached Whitby and the Captain Cook monument, with him looking towards the sea, church and abbey. The seagulls showed little respect for the great explorer! He came to Whitby in 1746 as an apprentice to John Walker, the ship owner.

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The earliest record of Whitby as permanent settlement was as Stereancehealh in 657 where Oswy the Christian King of Northumbria founded the first abbey, under abbess Hilda. In 867 the monastery was destroyed by Vikings. Whitby was reported at one time as being the sixth largest port in Britain. In 1828 it was the fifth biggest shipbuilding centre in the country. Cook’s first round the world trip was on Endeavour. Cook made his second and third voyages to the Pacific on Resolution.

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Nearby were whale bones commemorating whaling and brought from Alaska in 2002. At the height of whaling (1753-1833) a total of 2,761 whales were landed here.

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We had lunch on the harbour and watched the ships and visitors pass by.

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After lunch we passed the famous Magpie Cafe which even has signs to tell customers where to queue!

There are a number of excellent fish and chip cafes in Whitby.

After some hard ascending road walking we headed to countryside towards Newholm

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Finally, we passed Dunsley Hall, which is strongly recommended by Sid the Yorkshireman  when it has special winter/spring offers of dinner, bed and breakfast for two for £89. It is an excellent location for getting to Sandsend, Whitby and coastal walks in the area.

Miles Walked 12.5

Calories Burnt 14,000

25,414 Steps

Average Pace 18.13 Minutes per Mile

Fastest Split at over 12 miles 15.59 Minutes per Mile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training for Hadrian’s Wall, Walking in New Boots, Walking on the NHS, Managing Arthritis, The World’s Greatest Living Explorer, Book Publication.

Post 130 On Foot from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall. 

6 January 1997

At last my new boots seem to be loosening up after a 3-mile walk everyday for a week. Always walk new boots in before doing any serious walking.

7 January 1997

Help, my new boots are crippling me – so much for loosening up. They have even bruised my foot. Mind you with feet that have toes shaped like the Pepsi Max in Blackpool it’s not surprising that the boots are causing a few problems. I think it’s another inherited trait.

I often seem to have some sort of ache or pain after Christmas; it seems to be part of the challenge of trying to get fit for my annual Easter long-distance walk. It could be the body rebelling against an increased fitness regime after the Christmas indulgence or it could be psychosomatic – a worry in the subconscious about the prospect of walking 130 miles. Whatever the cause, the spring weather soon heals any aches and pains and, after increasing my pack weight to 30lbs, whilst taking the dog in the morning, at Easter I’m raring to go.

25 January 1997

The Department of Health are spending £9 million on promoting activities to get people fit and healthy, of which walking seems to be the main activity. It has been suggested that Doctors be issued with walking guides of up to 3 miles to issue to patients who might benefit from walking exercise. I wonder if we could get long-distance walks on the National Health? My Doctor will be delighted, as if you go to him with a bad leg or foot and ask if it alright to walk 200-miles, he says ‘yes, nothing better.’ He then goes on to tell you about the time he was horizontal in the Cairngorms due to high winds, only progressing by crawling with the aid of an ice-axe.

Fast forward to 9th March 2017

I read the following poem on Facebook, written by a walking acquaintance and Facebook friend :

Out there I feel so free
Out there I can be me
One day I wont make it here
That`s the day I will so fear
I will dream of the beauty of the fells
Smelling the grass and wind whistling around my ears
Thinking…where have they gone these wonderful years
One day I wont make it here……………………..E B Kaye

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This focussed my mind as I now have a bus pass and have one or two creaks.

So I am well aware that despite the Department of Health’s expenditure in 1997, I may one day not be able to get out for my long walks.

According to the world’s greatest living explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes in his book Fit for Life, published in 1998, arthritis has been around for over 50,000 years, as evidence has been found in the bones of old Neanderthal cave dwellers. It is also the most common disease and is caused by inflation of the joints due to a surplus of uric acid in the body.

Now I haven’t been around quite that long but I have been diagnosed with early arthritis in a hip and in my hands. I first noticed it in 2011, just before I was due to walk the Peddar’s Way with a mileage of 19/20 on a number of the days.

One friend of mine had it so bad she had to have morphine until a hip replacement operation could take place. Indeed on odd occasions whilst relaxed in bed I have had sharp pains that if it continued would have me crying out for morphine.

So what to do?  The worst thing is to reduce mobility. If you don’t use it you loose it. When arthritis was first diagnosed I went to see the Muscular Skeletal Scope Practitioner and when I told him I regularly walk over 10 miles, swim and go to the gym and do mobility exercises he was very pleased and said I was doing his job for him. Carry on. 

Sir Ranulph Fiennes had arthritis at the ‘uncomfortable stage’, partly due to SAS and expedition injuries, and suggested, among a number of things, taking black molasses, dark honey and cider vinegar. His arthritis cleared up.

I have been taking these ghastly tasting products for a number of years now and with regular exercise it has enabled me to continue walking and managing the arthritis. In addition, I take Cod Liver Oil, OptiMSM and Glucosamine and Chondroitin tablets everyday. I have managed to avoid morphine so far!

As well as numerous expeditions, Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first person to visit the North and South Pole by surface means and the first to cross Antartica on foot. In 2007 he climbed the North Face of the Eiger. In May 2009 he climbed Everest at the age 65. He recently climbed the highest peak in Antartica at the age of 72.

Of course now I am aware as per the poem that I have a sell by date or use by date it (we all have). However, this enhances the appreciation and joy of each walk I now do.  It is no longer taken for granted. One advantage of retirement is that I can even choose sunny quiet days to walk, when many others are at work! Guess what I am doing tomorrow on a forecasted sunny warm March day?!

Back to 2 February 1997

When the going gets tough you find out who you can rely on.

On mentioning I wanted to paint my Ordnance Survey column (trig pillar) ready for the grand opening on 6 March of my walk On Foot from Coast to Coast: The North of England Way, Gary and Alf suddenly found they had other commitments.

Penelope tried to use the excuse that she had her laundry to do but, to a ‘New Man’, who does nearly all the laundry, such an excuse was unacceptable.

It was a gorgeous, sunny, but fresh day when we arrived at the trig pillar. After wire brushing the dirty pillar to get the lichen and other deposits off, we then set about painting my adopted lump of concrete, with one of the finest views in England in the background – much better than painting the house. It took about three-quarters of an hour and used up much less paint than I imagined. On completion, it shone like a white beacon in the bright sunshine, then, after a photo call,

Penny painting David's trigwe went to Rievaulx Abbey (photograph taken later),

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and finally Sutton Bank and the White Horse of Kilburn for stupendous views of the sun setting over the Yorkshire Dales and York, the latter over 40 miles away. This was a memorable day.

7 February 1997

At last I received my first copies of my book On Foot from Coast to Coast – The North of England Way. I gave a signed one to Dick and he said in great excitement.

‘It’s the first time I’ve had my name in a book’

‘It’s the first time I’ve had my name in a book!’ I replied.

14 February 1997

The day of my first press interview. Fortunately, the interviewer was a delightful young lady who put me at ease. She was impressed with the book, saying she would go walking tomorrow! Not sure if she did, but I did!

28 February 1997

I have just had a list of Radio interviews for 6 March , Merseyside, York, Jersey, Stoke, and Cumbria, as well as a list of magazines doing interviews articles or reviews.

27 March 1997

Interviewed by Radios Lancashire and Cleveland.

Cold War Bunker, James Herriot’s Holiday Home, Battle of the Crabs, The Train Tunnel to Nowhere.

Post 129: 11 March 2017 Cleveland Circles 20. 

The forecast was for rain arriving at 1pm and so with an hours drive to the start of our 9 mile walk we decided to leave at 7.ooam. Donning our boots at the car park can you guess which boots belong to Sid the Yorkshireman? Not only do his boots leak they are never cleaned properly, the treads wouldn’t pass an MOT and he insists they will not be replaced until walk 30 of this walk. To say he doesn’t like spending money is an understatement!

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Little did we expect on arriving at Goldsborough at just after 8.00am we would see the remains of a Cold War underground bunker. The guard house was badly damaged by fire in 2007.

The mound behind the guard house holds a two storey ROTOR R2 bunker built in 1951, and destroyed by fire in 1958.

Apparently the male occupants used to bus females there from Whitby, so it couldn’t have been that cold!

We then passed Wade’s Stone, which may be linked to the Giant Wade and Saxon Duke Wada who lived at nearby Lythe.

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We could just see our destination Runswick in the distance.

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As we stopped for coffee above Runswick Bay daffodils welcomed us.

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The views of the bay, despite the overcast day, were delightful.

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We walked around the village, which reminded me of parts of St Ives in Cornwall.

It is believed that James Herriot used to stay at this cottage for his holidaysP1060562

What a splendid view it has and ideal for his children to play on the beach. No jetting off abroad for him. Times were so different in the late 1960s.

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Descending to the beach we came across what appeared to be the aftermath of a battle of crabs.

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Continuing along the beach we looked back to Runswick.

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There were some interesting and colourful cliffs. The ‘Hob Holes’ are the remains of some jet mining.

We left the beach along a slippy gulley.

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After many steps to the cliff top we had a final view back of Runswick.

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We arrived at Kettleness for lunch, where a local farmer had made his intentions quite clear.

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The former railway station is now a house.

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Further along the cliffs there are the remains of a tunnel and ledge along which it was intended the railway line would go. However, it was soon discovered that this cliff edge route would not work due to cliff collapses.

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A couple of tunnels further inland were therefore built to enable progress to Sandsend.

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We finally got back got to the car after 12.30, before any rain.

Miles Walked 9.3

Calories Burnt 1,300

Steps 18,949. 

Average Pace 18.34 Minutes per Mile

Fastest Split at 9 Miles, 16.45 Minutes per Mile.