Post 221: 18 December 2017: The Inn Way, Newton -on-Rawcliffe to Wardle Rigg
The forecast was for warmer weather. A good job as Carol had fallen on the ice in the road the day before in town! No damage caused as a car stopped rather than running over her! It is more dangerous in town Christmas shopping than being on the Moors. Well that’s my excuse.
However, I found out at 7.00am that rain the previous day had frozen solid all over my car and my wing mirrors wouldn’t open. I sprayed them with defroster to no avail. I drove down to Sid the Yorkshireman’s at 7.30am hoping they would free up or we could use his garaged car only to find he had no diesel in it. He doesn’t like spending money on fuel. No joy with the wing mirrors either so he boiled a kettle – I thought walk cancelled and a cup of tea was on its way! No such luck he just poured boiling water over the wing mirrors and that did the trick.
Arriving at Newton-on-Rawcliffe we saw the gritter arrive, just before the school bus left. Must have been a cold night there too.
We had our usual debate as to whether to wear our Kahtoola microspikes. Carol and myself opted to wear them whilst Sid the Yorkshireman thought he would conserve them as long as possible to save spending another £50 during his lifetime. Carol put hers on the wrong way but I was soon able to sort that one out. By the end of the day Carol and myself had come to the conclusion it was the best £50 we had ever spent as it saved us having to spend Christmas in hospital………
It was The Inn Way so we started outside an Inn, The White Swan
It soon became obvious that our route down to Levisham Station was both very steep and icy. The ground was solid. Sid the Yorkshireman had two falls. After some awkward route finding we arrived at Levisham Station where Sid the Yorkshireman decided it would possibly be the ‘knockout’ if he fell again and decided to put his microspikes on. The road was an ice rink.
We had hoped a Santa special on the North York Moors Railway might come along but a Monday was the wrong day. Santa has a day off.
A climb up to Levisham followed with fine views back to where we had descended and ascended and Levisham Station. It must have been hell of a walk from the station with your luggage to the village!
At Levisham we found a table for our banana and coffee break and found a good use for our banana protectors. I reverted back to my Viking DNA with horns!
The delightful Horseshoe Inn was passed.
Sid the Yorkshireman suddenly got excited and insisted I get my camera out, just as my hands had warmed up again. It was some sort of loader on the road and he informed me it was rare to see one on the road – he is the ‘twitcher’ of tractors and agricultural equipment. Hmmm…..it takes all sorts.
We emerged onto Levisham Moors, which is part of the Levisham Estate and stretches for several miles over 3,350 acres.
There was packed ice again.
We had fabulous views in the now bright sunshine towards Skelton Tower
Again the path was ice.
Skelton Tower was built in 1850 by the Reverend Robert Skelton, as a folly to free up his mind amongst its peace and tranquillity.
The views along Newton Dale Gorge are magnificent, especially if a steam train comes along. It is the finest glacial meltwater channel in England, having been formed some 10,000 years ago.
We continued along the edge of the escarpment with views down to Kidstye Farm from Huggate’s Scar.
The views back, below and ahead were delightful with mists and frozen trees giving it an ‘ethereal quality’. I was on photography overtime, at the same time trying to keep my hands warm; I have mittens without fingers to help plus, when the cameras away, another pair of gloves to go on top.
The Fylingdales early warning system could be just seen on the horizon.
Across the other side of the gorge was my named Pulpit Rock, our lunch-time destination but still some way to go.
Just after Yewtree Scar and Pifelhead Wood we had to descend another tricky steep and icy path, high above a stream.
Crossing the railway line again we then had a steep ascent to Needle Point. Half-way up Carol suddenly realised she had dropped her hat (easily done – I could run a second hand clothes shop with the hats and gloves we find on walks) and had to go back for it.
There followed a level walk along the escarpment (don’t be put off by the signs saying DANGEROUS ROCKS). I think it is aimed at naughty bikers and cyclists who occasionally, illegally, churn up the path. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for children or dogs as you might loose them over the edge.
We finally arrived at Pulpit Rock, which I named after having visited the Norwegian Pulpit Rock (Preikstolen), the last occasion in July.
The Yorkshire Pulpit Rock is not quite so dramatic as the Norwegian Pulpit Rock , but has gorgeous views, steam trains that pass below and a bench for lunch! It is also much less busy.
The bench is a memorial to Professor Frederick Allin Goldsworthy, the father of the famous landscape sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, Andy Goldsworthy OBE. Andy now lives and works in Scotland.
Energies restored it was back to icy paths through the forests.
We did see a fruit picker, but we didn’t see another walker (apart from the odd dog walker) all day!
After leaving The Inn Way at Wardle Rigg, we descend back to the railway line and the Platelayers’ Cottage.
Alongside is the former location of Raindale Mill, which was built in 1712 and has now been moved to alongside the River Foss in York near the Castle Museum!
Arriving back at Newton-on-Rawcliffe at 3pm (we had started at 8.45am) I had to finish with a photograph of ice.
Miles Walked 14
Calories Burnt 3777.
I lost 2lbs on the walk!
Resting Heart Rate 52 – Maximum on day 118