I’ve been recording these weekends for some time. Since the time when many of those attending brought their children along. Those parents are now free to take longer walks as the children are ensconced in various types of further education. So Saturday’s team that walked directly from the hostel was a very jolly nonet of obsolete parents (except Janet – who was very much in demand).
Others went for a bath in some slurry near Chop Gate, but the following picture shows the the muddiest the path up Ash Dale got.
Several plantations were negotiated as the paths gradually narrowed.
We emerged from woodland to discover masses of happy free range animals near Oscar Park Farm. Sue fed them sausages left over from breakfast.
An easy section of roadside verges was rendered a bit scary by racing motor cyclists, but we soon left that to descend to Rievaulx for lunch, either here outside the English Heritage relic (none of us is a member) or in the café by the entrance, where Janet enjoyed the comparative luxury of a proper chair.
Just down the road is Rievaulx Bridge, a structure listed as being of historic interest:
Bridge. C18. Limestone ashlar. 3 segmental arches, central one being wider and taller, with 2 cutwaters to each side. Band above arches and plain chamfered parapets. Pevsner, Yorkshire: The North Riding, 1966.
Looking back, we admired the remains of the Abbey. It started life in 1132 and had a rich history up to 1538, when at the time of its dissolution it was said to consist of 72 buildings occupied by the abbot and 21 monks, with 102 lay employees, and an income of £351 a year. The abbey owned a prototype blast furnace at Laskill, producing cast iron as efficiently as a modern blast furnace.
From Rievaulx it’s an easy walk back to Helmsley along the pretty Cleveland Way path.
Everything is still pretty green, so we can expect the remaining leaves to fall during the next few weeks. We haven’t had much frost yet, so it still feels quite summery. (Today in Timperley the cafés were making full use of their pavement tables.)
I hadn’t noticed many flowers, so on the walk into Helmsley I kept an eye out for them. Here are some that I spotted::
I managed to snap these Magic Mushrooms just before Neal and Jenny ran off with them and found a bench on which to hallucinate.
By then we were close to Helmsley, so we could dash down past the castle that has a long history since its construction from wood in 1120.
Borough Beck runs through the centre of the market town.
There’s an impressive church.
The ‘Sugared Butterfly’ provided a suitable antidote, from where we drifted in various ways back to the Youth Hostel, depending on shopping preferences.
It was an 18 km walk, with about 300 metres ascent, taking about 6.5 hours, of which my Garmin gadget reports us as having been stationary for about two hours.
The evening meal at the hostel was a little disappointing. My soup was excellent, but the veggie cannelloni could be likened to a pool of sludge, and I noticed that Janet just got a plate of scrapings! The apple crumble was good though. I later discovered that the YHA is now outsourcing its food, so it’s not cooked on site. I think we may revert to self-cooking in future.
Sunday saw most of the people that Sue and I had walked with on Saturday heading off in other directions, as did Colin (pregnancy pains), Paul (leg pains) and Chris and Alys (Megan and Joe pains). So there was only one walk, also from the hostel, outside which we milled around for much of the morning.
Eventually we set off, heading by accident along a new footpath to Riccal Dale.
Jess led the way with some very long strides whilst a man looking for deer lumbered along at the back.
A field of sheep chased after us, briefly, then they lost interest and allowed us to enjoy elevenses in the sunshine, though it must have been raining nearby.
After only a very short duplication of yesterday’s route we passed a large group who were lunching at yesterday’s elevenses point, then we headed along excellent paths past a leaping fox (or was it a lynx?) into Beck Dale for lunch at a picnic bench that accommodated six of us. The other five got wet bottoms on a bank.
The sun came out as we continued down Beck Dale past lots of flowers like the ones seen yesterday.
Shortly before Helmsley there’s a good spot for those who need to wash their feet, then a nicely paved path leads into the centre of the town.
We were back soon after one o’clock, after a 14 km stroll with about 200 metres ascent, taking around 3.5 hours.
The easy drive home in two hours contrasted significantly with Friday afternoon’s four hour battle with traffic to reach Helmsley.
A very jolly weekend. I hope others enjoyed it as much as I did.
There’s a slideshow (65 images) here. Click on the first image then click on ‘slideshow’. Sorry about the lack of tractors. Sorry, but Google has recently disabled this function. I’ll have to find another way of sharing the slideshow.
Try this. You may be able to see the pictures, but the captions don’t seem to show. Along with many others I fear I have to abandon what was once a good product for creating public slideshows and use someone other than Google. The forums are full of complaints, but Google don’t seem to care. They just make retrograde ‘updates’.
7 November – I’ve tried to upload to Flickr – see here. Scroll to the top of the screen. For a full screen slideshow, without captions, click on the TV screen icon, third from the left at the right of the screen above the images. To control the speed and see the captions, don’t click the above icon, instead click on the first image and then use the arrows on the screen or your keyboard to scroll through the pictures, below which the caption, if there is one, should appear at the bottom of the screen. If like me you find that it’s obscured by the taskbar (the row of icons at the bottom of the screen) right click the taskbar and click on ‘Taskbar settings’. Turn ‘Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode’ to ‘On’. Note the taskbar reappears when you move your cursor to the bottom of the screen – assuming that’s where you keep your taskbar. Note also that you can scroll down to more information about each picture, and you can add comments.