Post 275: 19 July 2018, Circular Walk from Coneysthorpe near Castle Howard.
We were still on our ‘summer recess’ from long walks and with the hot weather persisting decided to do a local walk so as to finish before or soon after the heat of the midday sun struck us down with exhaustion.
It was with some sadness that we were transported in Alf’s second car, his ‘runaround’. It had recently passed 100,000 miles and after a joyous celebration of two minutes we were informed that it had a terminal illness and would not pass its next MOT. It had been suffering for years from a red warning light which usely means, if you continue driving, the engine will explode. However, this is not a normal car – air conditioning involves opening the windows. The red light hadn’t been a problem under the old MOT rules but, under new rules recently introduced, on its next MOT it will be seized and transported to a scrap yard in somewhere like Siberia. Given that we are keen environmentalists, unlike Trump, and like most of us is trying to save the planet Alf has no choice but to accept the outcome. The new MOT rules are something to do with car emissions. Now we are not saying that Alf’s car doesn’t give off emissions and we agree that given that is well over 10 years old it can’t compete with the emissions of newer cars, especially VW’s where the figures were ‘doctored’. Hopefully, following huge fines in America, this has been stopped.
We turned off the A64 at the much improved junction leading towards Castle Howard. It has a reputation for being a dangerous junction if coming from Castle Howard as cars hurtle along the A64 at 70-80 mph desperate to get to the coast asap after having being stuck in traffic jams for hours around York. Our quick assessment of the junction is that it is still dangerous and so we will be returning by a different route. Highways seems to love spending a few millions on improvements that are tinkering with the problem rather than doing a proper long term solution; yes cheaper in the short term, but not in the long term.
Arriving at Coneysthorpe we donned our boots and I started looking for my trekking pole. I remember leaving the house with it in my boot bag but it had disappeared. It is strange that when you get to a certain age inanimate objects around you suddenly begin to have a life of their own and seem to move from where you left them. We have a set of car keys in the Lake District because when visiting friends there recently I put my wives car keys down on a book for her to collect and half way back to Yorkshire we realised we hadn’t got them. After much searching by our friends they found somehow the keys had moved from the book to down the back of a sofa. Incredible. It’s a good job our friends are visiting us soon and will return them.
So without my trekking pole we headed through the grounds of Castle Howard towards the Temple of Four Winds. Apparently, the interior walls are decorated with a type of artificial marble called scagliola and Castle Howard is believed to be the first place in England where this has been used.
We continued to the New River Bridge.From where there are fine views towards Castle Howard, And on the other side towards the Mausoleum.The Earls of Carlisle and their families are buried in the crypt. A little further on the Pyramid came into view. This contains a large bust of Lord William Howard (1563-1640) from whom the Castle Howard branch of the Howard family originates. We then entered Pretty Wood to reach the folly of Four Faces.We were on the route of of the previous walk and again passed King Oak. This time Geordie Caz was with us so the tree got a hug.We then went through an overgrown area which for me in shorts was a bit tricky as nettles encroached on the path. At Hutton Hill Farm we reached arable land, which was much easier to walk through. In effect we were circling the mausoleum. A bit further on Alf looked as though he had gone to the toilet. We were in fact looking for a lunch spot. He had found a bench on which only he could sit. For some reason he looked so pleased. Only trouble was that it was in the sun and so we moved on……After lunch on a log in the woods on the Ridge of Entrenchments, where flies were a bit annoying, we headed back to the car and a temporary water pipe indicated that we were indeed in a drought. It was after midday and certainly very hot – over 25 degrees. We finally arrived home and look what I found in my garden alongside the drive! My trekking pole had gone for an early walk and jumped out of my boot bag. As I said earlier when you get to a certain age inanimate objects find a way of moving about on their own.
Miles Walked 10.1