Day 2 – Sundial dated 1050, Hyenas Cave, Impassable Fords, Black Rod Technique, Rickets, Winkle Up.

Post 218: 5 December 2017, The Inn Way, Wombleton to Gillamoor. 

We started walking on day 2 of The Inn Way from Wombleton with a fine sunrise in the distance.


Just after Welburn we came across the old dismantled railway line from Helmsley to Kirbymoorside. We don’t think this will be one to be re-opened under government plans.


We arrived at the delightful St Gregory’s Minster. A church has been here since the 7th century, although the current one was built in the 11th century with some additions since.


Above the entrance door is a sundial dating from 1050.


A plaque inside the church reads:

Orm son of Gamel bought St Gregory’s when it was completely broken and fallen down and he had made it anew from the ground to Christ and to St Gregory, in the days of King Edward and in the days of Earl Tostig. Hawarth made me: and Brand was the priest. This is the day’s sun-marker at every hour. 

It is significant because it confirms after a century and a half of Viking settlement here that the settler’s descendants were now using English, not Danish or Norwegian, as the appropriate language for monumental inscriptions.


There are also ancient stone crosses in the porch.

Across from the church just off the road beside the ford is a cave which in 1821 was found to have bones belonging to lion, elephant, tiger, bear, hippopotamus (most northerly remains in the world), mammoth, rhinoceros, wolf plus hundreds of hyenas. It was a hyenas den.

The route of The Inn Way then crosses a ford, which on this occasion was not crossable. This meant a half mile diversion back to the road.


Here there was another impassable ford but fortunately it had a footbridge alongside.

We arrived at Hold Caldron, which looks to be a former mill.


Clearing the trees, the impressive Sleightholme Dale Lodge came into view and a first glimpse of the Moors.


We arrived at the village of Fadmoor and, bearing in mind this was The Inn Way, Sid the Yorkshireman thought he could open the pub using the black rod technique.


Shortly afterwards we arrived at Gillamoor, passing someone who was preparing the Christmas decorations for the Royal Oak Inn.


In the village a sundial was erected in 1800 by public subscription. It has four faces, on top of which is a fifth circular sundial, making it the most elaborate sundial in the country.


We passed St Aidan’s Church, a place of worship since the 12th century. Due to the high, winds situated as it is on the escarpment, it has no windows on the north and east sides.


It was time for lunch with a fabulous view towards Farndale and LownaP1090277


Here we left The Inn Way to find a circular route back to the car.

Feeling sorry for an ancient ash tree we sent Carol ahead to give it a hug.


At Kirbymoorside we came across a noticeboard which highlighted that children in the 1900s suffered from various diseases including rickets, poliomyelitis and bacterial TB.


We then encountered the Hemlsey Winkle Club. This was formed in the 1980s and has donated thousands of pounds for local charities. The first Winkle Club was formed in Hastings in the 1900 by fishermen. Each Winkle Club member carries a winkle shell which they must produce when challenged to ‘winkle up’. Winston Churchill was a member of the club.


We arrived back at the impressive Welburn Hall, now a school. Two ‘potential students’ were trying to escape through the gate. This was a Jacobean Hall from 1603 but was largely destroyed by fire two fires. It was rebuilt in 1891.


Miles Walked 13.4

Steps 28,000 

Calories Burnt 3100

Elevation Gained 695 feet

Mininum Elevation 117 Feet

Maximum Elevation 564 Feet 







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




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. 






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!