Day 15 – Powered by Gloopy Jam, Knights Templars, The Finest View in England, Heroes and Wasters.

Post 237: 22 February 2018, The Inn Way, Hamilton Drove Road to Cold Kirby. 

It was some relief that one of my blog readers, who makes home-made jam, was able to re-supply me. It is made to a ‘strict specification’ that it is not too runny and does not ‘soak’ into my home-made roll. Gloopy jam is ideal.

Now you may wonder what is so important about jam. Well when you get to my ‘bus pass age’ you need all the help you can get on these walks and jam is great at providing fairly immediate energy after lunch. Cheese, bacon, ham, chicken etc etc tend to take too long to digest and do not give energy when it is most needed.

IMG_3178We arrived at Cold Kirby at about 9.00am and it was a balmy 1 degrees. Cold Kirby is often much colder, hence the name, due its exposed location.

St Michael’s Church dates from the twelve century and was rebuilt in 1841. it was originally ministered by the Order of the Knights Templars, a religious group that supported pilgrims and knights during the Holy Land Crusades in the 12th-14th centuries.

Leaving Cold Kirby we soon came across some majestic restored stone walls.

P1100176After passing Murton Heights fine views emerged


P1100178The Easterside Hills near Hawnby and beyond, from where we had walked in previous weeks, could be seen.

P1100179After a coffee and banana break below Noodle East we ascended to what remains of it, with great views back.

Noodle East 

P1100185P1100186We reached the Hamilton Drove Road to rejoin The Inn Way. We then joined the Cleveland Way to follow it to High Paradise Farm (see previous blog for opening times for refreshments etc). We were now on the Mosaic Walk where one of the many mosaics along the 36 miles route was in evidence. This is a circular route from Sutton Bank.

P1100187Just beyond a special gate Sid the Yorkshireman and Alf posed where James Herriot was photographed for the front of his biography. With no dog, Alf just made dog noises.


P1100190Near High Barn lunch was beckoning, but due to a cold easterly which was being sucked over and down the ridge we carried onto the nearby quarry for some shelter.

P1100191P1100192Rejoining the Cleveland Way along the escarpment the expansive views were stunning.

P1100193P1100195It was a bit further along from here at Sutton Bank where Alf Wight (James Herriot) said ‘The Finest View in England’ was. On a foggy day you have to make do with me as a German walking friend once found out. Not quite the same!

P1070771We reached Whitestone Cliff and with rays of light the views were pretty impressive.

William Wordsworth and his new wife Mary Hutchinson watched the sunset from the escarpment on their wedding night.

“Every day is different up here  and often the far hills are dreamlike with distance, but there are other times, on the frosty mornings or after a night’s wind, when you can almost reach out and touch the flat top of Penhill, when you can look down Wensleydale and peep into the entrance of Coverdale with the long summit of Great Whernside rearing above its neighbours. On those days the mighty plain seems like a narrow valley between the two ranges of hills. (J. Herriot ‘James Herriot’s Yorkshire 1979).

I converted todays view to black and white.

P1100204Gormire Lake was far below us.

P1100203Alf below was rightly proud to announce that he, with a colleague, had carried the oak bench from Sutton Bank (nearly a mile) and fixed it in position (as below) above Garbutt Wood. We decided to give Alf an honorary hero award.

P1100197There is a tiny memorial plaque on the bench. P1100200It is said that from here, when steam trains were in use, you could follow a train all the way from York to Darlington. 

P1100202The Inn Way leaves the escarpment at this point to head towards Dialstone Farm. Sid the Yorkshireman got quite pedantic as to which gate we should go through even though they were only about 100 yards apart. By the time he had finished pontificating on the matter we were ready to throw him off Whitestone Cliff,  just where a knight on horseback was reputedly lured over the cliff on his white horse, by the Devil dressed as the Abbott of Rievaulx. 

We passed Dialstone Farm, which was once an inn on the drover’s road. From the 17th century The Hambleton Races used to take place here and were bigger than York or Newmarket races. It is still a training area for horses.

If we didn’t find the Devil today on the escarpment, we did find he or his friends work on the final mile road section back to Cold Kirby. We managed to fill a bag of rubbish to take for recycling that had been thrown mainly out of cars, as well as an abandoned road sign and kitchen fan. Unbelievable.


A sign in the village summed it all up!

P1100208Apart from the last mile it was a fine walk. Somewhat flatter and easier than many of our previous winter walks on The Inn Way 

Miles Walked 10.2

Steps 23,000

Calories Burnt 3,300






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