Day 3 – A Witch, Two Children Drown, The Duke of Wellington, A Lost Soul, Dicing with Death

Post 219:  11 December 2017, The Inn Way – Gillamoor to Appleton Mill Farm 

Although technically we were restarting The Inn Way at Gillamoor, where we finished last week, for ease of car travel in icy conditions I decided to start at Hutton-le-Hole as part of the circular route. There isn’t any free parking there so I paid my £4.50 at the car park. The first of only two cars to use it. Sid the Yorkshireman doesn’t get his name for nothing and was horrified that I paid for parking. At least it makes a donation to some quite good toilets! You can always tell a place by the standard of its toilets and Hutton-le-Hole’s are top class!

It was minus 5 degrees. A cold start.

There was some debate as to whether microspikes were needed and I opted for them but Carol and Sid didn’t.

P1090347We passed the Crown Inn, one of the pubs on The Inn Way.


There is story of an old woman from nearby Farndale who used to transpose into a black dog, which would terrify farmers and result in their animals becoming ill. The dog was shot one night by a farmer, who later went round to the old lady to see if she was the black dog as was rumoured. She did indeed have gunshot wounds.

Shortly before arriving at the distinctive Blacksmiths Arms pub, we passed Camomile Farm. In 1900 two small children were playing on a grassy slope above a pond at the farm and fell down the bank and drowned.

P1090350There was not time to enter the St Mary’s Church noted for its 1,000 year old underground crypt, where cock fighting used to take place.

P1090351As well as three Holy Wells dedicated to St Cedd, St Chad and St Ovin, there is a plaque in the village to John Jackson RA who was born in the village and lived from 31 May 1778 to 1 June 1831. He became a notable portrait painter, even painting the Duke of Wellington and the explorer John Franklin.

P1090352Here is Carol half expecting a famous painter to come along to paint her portrait. I took a photograph – what more could she expect in this cold!


After walking through a large field full of game, which we in-advertly shunted to one end of the field, we noticed a game hunt was not far from us. Fortunately, they were not shooting until later. However, when we heard the gunfire later from a distance, it sounded like the Somme.

P1090354At Appleton Mill Farm we crossed the bridge which is designed to take horses.

P1090355We now left The Inn Way on a circuitous route back to the car.  Winter offers new opportunities for photography.

P1090357After Appleton-le-Moors we came across the large disused Spaunton Limestone Quarry, which may be developed as a holiday complex. It is certainly well situated, relatively hidden and would re-vitalise the nearby village.

P1090358P1090359We found an al-fresco lunch stop alongside an old barn, Lingmoor. It was in the sun and provided shelter from the wind. It was a bit like a storage heater as some warmth from the sun reflected back off the building. Carol and Steve chose the floor and I chose a stone trough to sit on. Such luxuries. A helper for the shoot, which seemed to be following us around, was surprised to walk to the back of the barn and see us there.

After crossing the main road to Hutton-le-hole, which sheep wander along unfenced, we descended to the ford and footbridge at Trout Farm. 


P1090361A steep climb to Cockshot Plantation, Back of Parks Road , a B.O.A.T (Byway open to all traffic) and footpath led to Gillamoor, where we felt we had earned a 5 minute break on an icy bench.  A bench, even if icy, is a real luxury on such walks. The view was splendid.

P1090362P1090363Descending from Gillamoor we came across the only other walker ‘mad’ (as some people would think)  enough to be out in the cold. Whereas we weren’t mad as our winter gear kept us as warm as toast and we had maps with us, he didn’t appear to have a map and seemed unsure of his route and whereabouts. Sid pointed him in the right direction back to Kirbymoorside, from whence he had walked.

P1090366It was not a day not to know where you were going. A bit nippy.

P1090369In the evening I went to the cinema with my my wife Celia to see a preview of the new documentary film Mountain. Simply breathtaking filming, journeys, scenery, adrenaline pumping activities, and hair raising adventures.

A question and answer session followed with Robert Macfarlane, which was thought provoking on why thousands now go to the mountains, often risking life and limb. Not least the free climbers who don’t use ropes and one slip or mistake and they fall to their death.

The interviewer, who has climbed Everest, for his next adventure intends to climb one of the world’s highest mountains at over 8,000 metres and then intends to jump off with a small paraglider and skis to bounce off snow promontories. He has done a ‘risk assessment’ in the sense that he thinks descents are the most dangerous part of climbing the big mountains (statistics confirm this). Also it takes a long time to descend on foot increasing the risk. Jumping off is much quicker and therefore less risky! Hmmm………….I am not convinced.

I think I will stick to walking on the North York Moors – which incidentally in winter has to be done with care and due regard to prevailing weather conditions. In the wrong conditions or with the wrong clothing the Moors can be dangerous too.

The documentary is out on general release on the 15th.

A great walk and film to finish off the day.

Miles Walked 14

Steps taken 32,000

Average pace 26 Minutes per Mile

Calories Burnt 3,600.  





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