Day 1 – My 54th Long-distance Walk, 17,600 Pints of Beer a Day. A Bridge Too Far (Dangerous). A Buddha.

Post 217: 23 November 2017, The Inn Way, Hemsley to Wombleton. 

I eventually got my car back after the pothole saga (see previous blogs) and fortunately only a new tyre was required, not a new wheel.

After a week off from long-distance walk projects, Sid the Yorkshireman and myself finally decided on our next long-distance walk and my 54th.

With my booked trip to the Bavarian Alps in Germany next year and a visit to Munich’s greatest tourist attraction planned, the Inn Way seemed the obvious suitable training walk to do over the winter.



You may ask why?

Munich’s greatest tourist attraction is Hofbrauhaus. This is described in tourist books as the epitome of the Bavarian lifestyle. An inn, it formed part of the Royal Brewery that was founded by Wilhelm V in 1589. It is highly recommended by walking friend Dan who attends the opera in Munich from time to time. My German friend and guide to my trip next year has said we can pop in there. It holds about 2,300 drinkers and every day 10,000 litres (17,600 pints) of beer are consumed!

Now we don’t plan to consume much beer on The Inn Way as it tends affect the walking, but I may and try and photograph every pub en-route. We will certainly have to have a pint or two at the end.

We started walking at Helmsley at 9.00am

We passed three of the pubs, The Feathers, Black Swan and Royal Oak  and the fourth, The Crown Inn, had been converted to a clothes shop, The Fatface.

The Castle peeped at us from above the house roofs.


After some tricky walking alongside the River Rye, in which it would have been easy to slide into the river on the mud and leaves, we reached flatter ground with swans alongside on the river.


There were some unusual concrete ‘barriers’ near what used to be a ford.


Arriving at Harome we had to climb over some fencing on the right of way to access a bridge. We stopped for a coffee and banana break.


Having crossed the bridge, we discovered there were signs saying the bridge was dangerous.


When we surmised that there were no signs at the start of the footpath to point out the path was closed, Alf said:

‘There was a sign but I hadn’t got my glasses on so didn’t read it!’

We then visited the Star Inn passing a Buddha on the way and the church.

Shortly after migrating geese passed us above in formation – a wonderful sight.

The final pub on the Inn Way section of the walk was the Plough at Wombleton.


Here we had our packed lunches in a bus stop. It was sheltered and dry. When the rain arrived Sid the Yorkshireman suggesting catching a bus back to Helmsley and has been put on report by the Ethics Committee. Carol says it is because he likes using his bus pass. Sid the Yorkshireman likes using anything that is free!

This is not allowed and we had to walk the five miles back through rain, mud and wind, with some sun at the end.  Character building.

Miles Walked 12.8 

Steps 31,246

Calories burnt 4,072. 






The Pothole Saga Continues. Mud Everywhere.

Post 216: 16 November 2017, A Walk on the Yorkshire Wolds 

After hitting a large pothole in heaven rain on the Yorkshire Wolds (see previous blog) my car had to go back to the garage for the second time to find out why a tyre had gone down for a second time overnight.

IMG_2715 (1)

Sid the Yorkshireman and myself decided to go to the Wolds to see if we could find the offending pothole in preparation for a compensation claim against the North Yorkshire County Council, especially if I might need a new wheel and tyre at over £350.

We soon found the offending pothole, which was 5 inches deep and over 2 foot long! It was on a narrow single track road so even if it had been visible (it wasn’t because of the heavy rain) it would be difficult to avoid.

Job done the next day we decided to do a walk on the Yorkshire Wolds with Alf from nearby Thixendale.

We initially followed the Wolds Way and then the Centenary Way to Toisland Farm and Birdsall Brow where there were expansive views.


We then descended to Birdsall. The Manor House could be seen in the distance. P1090202

The trees were still clinging on to their Autumn colours.

We passed the imposing church.


After a coffee and banana break we found a danger pothole sign!! However, this would not have helped me to avoid the offending pothole as we had approached it from a different direction.


We left the lane to pass through some very wet and muddy fields near Mill Beck, but managed to overtake 3 other walkers. We passed under the old dismantled railway line at North Grimston.


We found a new bench in memory of a local farmer, which had excellent views for a lunch stop, but was a bit exposed to the winds.


We had a look at one of Alf’s Yorkshire Wildlife Trust sites.


Before having a brief stop at the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy.


A muddy path led back towards Thixendale.


Miles Walked 12.7 

Calories Burnt 1,900

Average Pace 13.11 Minutes per Mile (Alf sets as fast pace!)

Maximum 10 Minutes per Mile

Steps 31,000




COT COMBO -Day 10 – 53rd Long-distance Walk Completed, Still Pot-holed, No Spare, Kate Humble.

Post 215: 14 November 2017, The COT COMBO WALK, Scalby to Scarborough

As we only had 5 miles to walk today we decided to leave home late at 9.30am with the aim of finishing my 53rd long-distance walk at around lunch time for celebratory fish and chips at the Plough in Scalby. It had excellent reports on trip advisor.

I looked out of the window at about 7.30am to see that the tyre on my car, which had hit a pot-hole on Sunday, had gone down again despite the garage checking it the day before and unable to find any fault. I suspect it could be wheel damage that is causing a slow leak. Expensive if it is! A quick phone call to the garage and it is booked in for tomorrow again and Volvo Assistance will pick it up. It was much easier when car manufacturers provided a spare wheel with the car! Whoever thought up it was alright to not have a spare wheel needs their head examining. It is not uncommon for us to be parked on the Moors with no telephone reception. What happens in the middle of winter if we have a flat then?

When Sid the Yorkshireman picked me up he was non too happy to have picked up a speeding fine for doing 35 in a 30mph area a few days earlier, which was not in a built up or particularly residential area. The little white police vans pop up all over the place around York in the most unexpected and quiet places imaginable. The locations seem to be identified more as likely places where drivers will err over the speed limit, rather than based on safety considerations. Certainly major cash injection for the Police.

We parked outside the Plough in Scalby and walked the couple or so miles to the coast and Scarborough Castle soon came into view near Scalby Beck.


A rainbow appeared over the sea as though welcoming us to the end of the walk.


There was a final descent to the promenade past the Sea Life Centre.



At the end of the promenade we had a coffee and banana break and recalled completion of another long-distance walk from Helmsley in 10 circular walks, combining The North of England Walk, The Tabular Hills Walk and the Missing Link. 

It had been a fine walk with lots of interest and some new discoveries. Mostly the weather had been kind.

All that remained was to walk back to the Plough, eat our fish and chips and be surprised to see Kate Humble there! She was filming lobsters in the area for Springwatch.

You never know who or what you might come across on a long-distance walk……

Now where will be my 54th long-distance walk?

Miles Walked 5.5. 

Calories Burnt 620

Steps Taken 10,900

Average Pace 17.58 Minutes per Mile 

Maximum Pace 13.52 Minutes per Mile

Elevation Gain 257 Feet 

Minimum Elevation 9.7 Feet

Maximum Elevation 167 Feet 






A Walk from Rievaulx Abbey to Helmsley. Pot-holed! The First and only Briton to climb the World’s Highest Mountains.

Post 214: 12 November 2017

On the second day our visitors were with us from the Lake District, the ladies again decided on a shopping morning, this time in Helmsley. I decided to take John on a short walk near Rievaulx Abbey and then to Helmsley to then meet the ladies for lunch.

We were greeted at the Abbey by a somewhat aggressive pheasant, which pursued us for food.


We eventually escaped from the persistent bird to pass Rievaulx Abbey.

The Cistercian Abbey was founded by Walter L’Espec in 1132. Its importance can be judged by the fact that thirty-five years after it was founded there were 140 monks, 249 lay brothers and 260 hired laymen, a large community. The Abbey nestles in a tree-covered valley whose narrowness accounts for the fact that the church is aligned from north to south instead of from the usual east to west. The monks created great wealth, from sheep farming (at one time they owned 14,000 sheep), iron working, fishing and salt production on the coast. Canals were used for floating blocks of stone on rafts from the River Rye to the Abbey for carving. Around the time of the Dissolution, however, the abbey declined and fell into debt and by 1536 only twenty-two monks remained. After 400 years of life, the site was eventually stripped for building stone and, in due course passed to the Duncombe family. It was acquired by the state in 1918, and is now superbly looked after by English Heritage.


We crossed the River Rye at a bridge and then ascended the hillside on the opposite side of the river from the Abbey.  There were delightful views in bright sunshine.


A temple on Rievaulx Terrace high above peeped out through the trees.



We eventually reached the quiet lane leading over Rievaulx Bridge to join The North of England Way and Cleveland Way leading to Helmsley.

We then reached a ‘traffic jam’ of horses.


Before a final look back towards Rievaulx Abbey.


Afte passing through Blackdale Howl Wood we made the final descent to Helmsley with a fine view of the castle.

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.

We went to Mannion’s for lunch and I had the best pork belly I had ever had in a sandwich.


We then drove to the Robert Fuller Gallery in Thixendale ( but on the way the heavens opened and on a very narrow lane we hit, with an big bump, an enormous pothole which was hidden by the rain. The next day a tyre was deflated but after air was pumped into it the garage checked it but couldn’t find a leak. A bit of a mystery.

The next morning a new DVD, which I had pre-ordered, arrived. It is well worth purchasing from as it relates the life of Alan Hinkes who remains the first and only Briton to climb the 14 highest mountains in the World over 8,000 metres. An incredible feat.


Miles Walked 5






Shopping versus a Walk around Castle Howard.

Post 213: 12 November 2017 A Walk around Castle Howard

Having completed the Country Walking Magazine 1000 Mile 2017 Challenge and my first fit-bit challenge it felt a bit strange not having to think about mileage to be achieved. I could just go for a walk.

With some visitors from the Lake District, I decided the first walk should be around Castle Howard which John hadn’t done before. Meanwhile Christine and Celia would go shopping – no change there! The latter is an opportunity for them to encourage each other to shop without husbands acting as a restraint. Invariably they return with more bags of shopping than normal. When asked why this is they say they value the opinion of the other particularly when choosing clothes, which has much more validity than the husbands opinion which invariably just wants them to spend the minimum. They have a point.

So we drove up the ‘drive’ of Castle Howard. This would have impressed visitors in days gone by when they arrived by horse and cart.


We stopped to admire the view back across the lake to Castle Howard. Rather annoyingly the owners of what used to be a car park have closed it off so it is no longer possible  to park for long and look at the view. Just a quick photograph then it is time to move on.

Castle Howard was designed by playwright Sir John Vanbrugh and it was the first building he ever planned. Construction began in 1700 but when he died in 1726 the building was still not finished and the later West Wing was the design of Thomas Robinson. It was the first private house in England to have a large dome. Also it faces north to south instead of facing the more normal then east to west, so getting more sunlight.


We started walking at Coneysthorpe and entered the grounds of Castle Howard to pass Ray Wood. The latter has existed since before 1563 and now has over 500 species of rhododendrons and 300 hybrids. We then reached The Temple of Four Winds.

The Temple of Four Winds


We crossed the bridge with distant views to Castle Howard on the right.


And the Mausoleum on our left.


After The Temple of Four Faces in Pretty Wood we passed a huge ancient tree.


The paths hereabouts were very muddy but in the November sunlight the views were a delight


We stopped for lunch near a Holy Well, which took some finding amongst the trees and overgrowth.


We ascended to the Howardian Ridge from where there were extensive views towards the North York Moors in the far distance.


We made the final descent towards Coneysthorpe.


A track then led to a dilapidated barn and the village.


A lovely days walking and n the sunlight surprisingly warm.

Miles Walked 10. 






THE COT COMBO – Day 9 – The Black Death returns to Yorkshire, Paw Patrol, The Kiss of Life, The Sea Cut, Where are all the Other Walkers?

Post 212: 6 November 2017, The COT COMBO WALK, Langdale End to Scalby. 

I awoke at 6.00am to a distinct chill in the air. After breakfast I went to load the car with my walking gear and found the first hard frost of the winter had arrived.


Feeling happy with myself for escaping the Black Death, Norovirus or whatever it was that had made my son in law, two grandsons, mother and wife sick, on Sunday I had popped down to the village newsagent to get a newspaper only to find that the newsagent had the sickness. I mentioned this to Sid the Yorkshireman who had escaped to Cumbria to avoid catching anything. Despite this he returned to Yorkshire and when I went to pick him up he had his anti-bacterial hand gel ready at the door. Clearly he had been on a Fred Olsen cruise, who give excellent training on how to avoid Norovirus!

So arriving at Langdale End at about 8.30am we found the car park covered in iced pools. We made a steep ascent on The North of England Way towards Broxa and looked back to fine views.



We descended towards Hackness and got the first glimpse of the attractive Church of St Peter, which is thought to be the oldest church in Scarborough Deanery. Much of the church is 12th Century. There is an outstanding font, with a tall oak cover carved in 1480. Of particular interest are the carved stalls with misericords.


We decided it was an ideal stop for our banana and coffee break, except Sid the Yorkshireman had run out of bananas. We found a bench, only to discover Paw Patrol had already been there.


Not only cats were attracted to the bench area. Spiders were too.


We left the church to pass a walled garden.


Then Hackness Hall

Despite the sun, in the valley bottom the frost persisted.


We soon got our first view of Scarborough in far distance, the end of the COT COMBO WALK.


We were surprised to find the National Union of Miners still had buildings in the vicinity of Scalby.


We went into the grounds of the Church of St Lawrence and on leaving came across  a memorial to a very brave lady Jane Harrison.


After lunch in Scalby, we then followed a sea cut on The Tabular Hills Walk to Mowthorpe Farm. Fooding used to be a serious problem in the Vale of Pickering as the River Derwent flowed from the Moors into the meadows below. In wet weather the River Derwent had to carry as much as 50 times more water than during the dry periods. Sir George Cayley organised the building of a cutting between 1800 and 1810, the work being done by hand. The Sea Cut takes surplus water from the Derwent across to Scalby Beck which flows into the North Sea and so reduces the flooding on the Vale. An amazing structure.

On the opposite side of the cut we saw a deer and at the bridge we saw a heron take off.

There was about a mile of road walking before we ascended steeply into the forests. At this point I checked my fitbit to see what my pulse rate was. However, there was no reading so I said I must be dead. At which point Carol offered the kiss of life. However, I had to point point out I could be the carrier of the Black Death or whatever the bug was and that wouldn’t be a good idea. Eventually the reading appeared and my pulse had gone from 58 resting to 109 – a big ascent.


A descent along Moor Road followed.


Here Sid the Yorkshireman, also known as Kia King and formerly known as Skoda King, thought about replacing his current car at a bargain price.


But in the end this one wouldn’t start for some reason.

There were some very big trees in this area.


There was one final ascent and descent back to the car.



We had missed a viewpoint (looking over a fence/wall) at Broxa so drove back to see it. A fine end to a great days walking.


Miles Walked 14 

Steps 31,000

Calories burnt 3,300

We saw no other walkers all day! 






1,000 Miles Completed, First Fit-Bit Challenge Completed. The Magnificent 7? Billy No-Mates.

Post 211: 3 November 2017, Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay and Back. 

I had seven miles to walk to complete my boots only Country Walking Magazine 1,000 Mile 2017 Challenge and one more day of my first ever 5 day fit-bit challenge.

So what to do? I initially thought it would be good to finish the 1,000 mile challenge at Scarborough, the end of my coast to coast.

However, a friend had just lent me his book The Times Britain’s Best Walks – 200 classic walks from The Times, by Christopher Somerville. A few months ago I had bought a ticket for one of his talks in the village but had to miss it due to some family illness. I noticed that the walk was 7 miles. Perfect, I could finish my walk at Robin Hood’s Bay a delightful place. I could return on the dismantled railway line called the cinder track, which I had cycled along about a month ago. Then I could finish with fish and chips and a well earned knickerbocker glory!!

Christopher has a very good writing style and described admirably a walk I know.


It was an early start following on from the previous 4 days of energetic walking on the fit bit challenge. I managed to get one of the last free parking spots in Whitby near the harbour. I have been well schooled by Sid the Yorkshireman, who knows where every free space is! He had of course skipped the county to go to Cumbria as he was worried the Black Death Plague had returned to Yorkshire and he was keeping me in quarantine (see previous blogs), even though I hadn’t even caught any of the sickness bugs and viruses flying about everywhere. Now I was Billy No-Mates.

I had driven through mist over the Moors and it was still a bit claggy as I walked along Whitby harbour at 9.15am


There is always plenty of interest around Whitby harbour with boats coming and going and in for repair.



If Whitby was good enough for Turner to paint it’s good enough for me. However, it is certainly a lot busier than it was then, now with hordes of tourists and day visitors coming even in weekdays and even in winter.


I crossed the swing bridge built in 1909.


With an early start I was able to photograph the 199 steps with no one else on them – a rare occurrence. Those steps would add to my fit-bit challenge!


I then passed the 12th Century Church of St Mary, which was designated a world heritage site on 23 February 1954.


Followed by Whitby Abbey, a 7th Century Christian monastery that later became a Benedictine Abbey.  It was made famous in fiction by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, as Dracula came ashore as a creature resembling a large dog and proceeded to climb the 199 steps which lead up to the ruins. The area is now popular for Goth weekends and dog walkers!


It is always good to reach the coastal footpath above the cliffs, with a fresh breeze. A recent walking German visitor made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have the coast within just over an hours drive as she lives 4 hours from the nearest coastline. She desperately wanted to go to the coast in England.


Saltwick Bay was passed and school parties were descending to explore the beach and probably look for fossils.


I then spotted the ‘submarine‘ and the wreck of the Rohilla. Launched on 6 September 1906 the Rohilla became a hospital ship on 6th August 1914. At 4am on 29th October 1914 she struck rocks at Saltwick Nab with 229 people on board. A rescue attempt lasted for several days, but due to bad weather over 80 people perished.


After a coffee and banana break in the shelter of some rocks, I continued to Whitby Lighthouse, which opened in 1858 having cost £8,000. It is possible to book holiday accommodation there in the adjoining Whitby Fog Signal.

I was enjoying the coastal views


I arrived at the point where Wainwright’s Coast to Coast joins the coast and the Cleveland Way.


Arriving at a patch of mud my mapmywalk app told me I had walked 7 miles and therefore I had reached my 1,000 miles (boots only) for the year, two months ahead to meet the challenge. I could only think it was due to the walk from where the car was parked that had added to the mileage. P1090020I did wonder if my German walking friend had a premonition a month or so ago?! Hardly the spot I had envisaged!!P1080116Not to worry I would hold the ‘formal’ completion ceremony in Robin Hood’s Bay a little further on.

P1090021P1090022This was delayed as the tide was in and I had to walk extra up and down stairs to get to the beach – my legs groaned.


However, I eventually reached the beach.

P1090025P1090026P1090028P1090029It was time for a quick lunch stop, an ice-cream and then the steep climb out of the village. It was then a bit of a route march along the cinder track back to Whitby well above the coastal path.

P1090032P1090034At this point five days of walking started to catch up on me and my legs started to feel tired. However, at just after 3pm Whitby came into view and the end of the walk was in sight.

P1090035P1090036A quick change of my very muddy boots at the car and then it was off to Trenchers. Who cares if I was Billy No-Mates today?  Look what I had to myself!  A well earned reward as two challenges completed.



However, I hadn’t quite finished walking as I decided to have a slow walk along to the pier to add to my steps and walk some of the huge meal off. It was dark at just before 5pm!!!!


With regard to the fit-bit challenge the tortoise seems to have kept ahead of the hares.


I recorded the most steps I had ever done in a day 36,447 (fit-bit), beating my previous best of 35,000, so am pleased. Celia my wife thinks I am mad, but did buy me a cake to celebrate the 1,000 miles.


It was a Magnificent 7 plus Miles. 

Mapmywalk (Boots only) 

Miles Walked 15.25

Steps 31,400

Calories Burnt 1,700

Average Pace 18.48 Minute per Mile

Maximum Pace 9.4 Minutes per Mile

Elevation Gain 1,157 Feet. 

Minimum Elevation 7.9 Feet!!!!!!

Maximum Elevation 434 Feet. 








We were all Flying today! Up and Down. Back on Top. 993 Miles Completed

Post 210: 2 November 2017, Huthwaite Green to the bottom of Hasty Bank and back.  

I decided to do my ‘training’ walk today, which I have traditionally used to get fit for my 3 coast to coast walks and other long distance walks. It is always a good measure of how fit I feel and is probably one of the toughest sections on the North York Moors with lots of accents and descents. Alan Hinkes from Northallerton, the only Briton to climb all 14 of the world’s highest mountains over 8,000 metres, also used the area for his training. Except he often ran it at night!

It was quite eerie with mist just after 9am when we started walking from Huthwaite Green.


The walk starts with an immediate ascent up Roundhill – no time to warm up.  However, there were also fairly immediate superb views.



We were surprised to find we had company on the path, which is part of the Cleveland Way and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. .


We took the opportunity to have a breather after our ascent and watch the para-gliders. On this section they said it was too windy and kept getting blown back onto the escarpment.


Further on the wind dropped and some got properly airborne.


Afte a banana and coffee break just after Carlton Bank we began another ascent, this time up Cringle Moor. There were fine views back.


We reached the Alec Falconer viewpoint from where Roseberry Topping, the Yorkshire Matterhorn could be just be seen in the far distance.


After a further descent and ascent we reached the Wainstones. 



Before descending to a sheltered bench for lunch. Within 5 minutes three sets of walkers all appeared hoping to sit on the same bench. We had timed it perfectly! We made the decision not to carry on to the highest point of the Moors as we felt we would run out of light. We would save that for the spring.

Returning back along the lower route we had fine views still.


The para-gliders started to appear again



The weather, views and light had become very pleasant indeed.


We passed a bronze age burial mound.

We were relieved to reach the top of our final ascent and enjoy the fresh cooling air and descending sun.


The final descent was through a line of trees.


A great days walking.

Position on Workweek Hustle Challenge – back on top – for now! 



Miles Walked 13

Calories Burnt 1,500

Steps 24,900

Average Pace 16.26 Minutes per Mile 

Maximum Pace 12.42. 

Elevation Gain – up and down, up and down over 14 times there and back  




                                        7 TO GO 

Fish and Chips and Knickerbocker Glory at Trenchers in Whitby beckons tomorrow! 







Back to Wacky Races and the Workweek Hustle.

Post 209: 1 November 2017.

Having had my lead as the ‘tortoise’ taken back by the ‘hares’, probably at the gym in the evening, it was time this morning to get out today and do a few more steps. It really is Wacky Races as you have to be a bit Wacky to do these fit-bit challenges.  It is the first time for me that walking has become competitive.  However, going with the flow I thought I might as well give it a go.

The plus is that I got some nice views today around my local woods.




As the light began to fade it was a lovely evening and sunset. Perhaps challenges aren’t so bad after all. The light and colours changed as time moved on. It was just after 4.30 when the last photograph was taken. The nights really are drawing in! Now where is my head torch?


Still I did enough to set the hares running again tonight so my objective was reached.


What will tomorrow bring? Definitely a proper walk on the North York Moors with lots of ascents and descents.  Sanity will return.

Mapmywalk (boots only) 

Miles walked 11

Calories 1248

Steps 22,000

Average Pace 17.50 Minutes per Mile 

Max Pace 7.58 Minutes per Mile

Total Boots Only Mileage 1,000 Mile 2017 Challenge 980