Saturday, 27 November 2010

Test - Memory Map Image

Test to show a memory map image from my PC.

North York Moors. 1:25,000 scale. Blue overlay adjacent to route taken. Click image to enlarge.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

No Moor Today

It was tempting to stay a while longer in Yorkshire but my new found freedom is not so great yet to allow excursions on a whim without regard to the simpler things that must be done at home. Plus, my prayer, which had been answered, had been for four days fair weather - it was fair for November given that there had been no rain during daylight hours. So best not to stretch my fortune.

It was a foggy return journey though, the North South Divide on Friday being where the Sun broke through nearer home.

Back to daydreaming about long distance walks now with no excuse for lack of time to prepare the body to do them.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Levisham Moor - Again

There are more Duchy of Lancaster No Parking signs in Goathland than anyone could point a walking pole at. So, unable to find a decent spot to leave the Grampervan close enough to today's objective - Two Howe Rigg, just south of Goathland, I returned to what has become my forward operating base - Saltergate Car Park on the A169. Ryedale District Council's sign, unlike the aforesaid pesky Duchy's signs, welcomes all. And a particular benefit at this time of the year is that there aren't many "all".

Cross over the road and be not careful and you will fall into The Hole of Horcum! (I must remember that one to frighten the kids or put a curse on a Duchy).

We were careful and made it to the bottom of the hole, then along it, up and around the other side of it. You'll just have to look at the map to see the easy route we took.

I wouldn't like to guess which is the oldest - the bridleway running generally north east from Levisham and partly alongside The Hole (the very same that we trod yesterday) or the dikes that abut it. However, the dikes were constructed about 2000 years ago. In awe, silenced and humbled, I took shelter there, reverently, trying to take in the enormity of two--thousand--years! Which was very tiring so I polished off my cheese sandwiches and hot chocolate.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Levisham Moor

Walking across Levisham Moor today (Wednesday), I was reminded of Max Miller (the celebrated comedian, Cheeky Chappie) and his story regarding Albert, a farmer, ploughing a field when his plough broke. Wondering what to do, and desperate to finish the job he thought; "I know. I'll drive down to Joe's farm - he'll lend me his plough." So off he went on his tractor.
After a while Albert had second thoughts; "What if Joe is using his plough? Then this will have been a wasted journey." (A worrier, Albert.) "Still, best to give it a go." he decided, continuing.
A while later he had more doubts; "Joe's a fussy one. Cautious to lend me the plough, he might say his is broken too." "Well I'm half way there now so I might as well carry on."
Further on and further doubts; "Maybe he just won't want to help me out. Joe can be that way at times." Nevertheless, he drove on.
Then, shortly before arriving, Albert thought; "There's no way that Joe is going to lend me his plough. He's always been that sort."
Arriving at the farm, it was Joe that answered the door, but before he could say a word, Albert shouted; "Well you know what you can do with your bl*!dy plough!" and stormed off.

My version and telling of that joke won't, of course, do justice to the way the great Max Miller told it. But it was brought to mind because, like Albert, I didn't know if I would get what I wanted when I arrived at my destination - The Horseshoe Inn at Levisham in my case. It all depended upon whether or not dogs were allowed on the premises, and I hadn't checked beforehand.

Dogs are allowed in and we both got a very friendly welcome. Holly had a rest by the fire and I got the hot soup and half a pint of Black Sheep Bitter that I had hoped for. Then we returned across the moor on a dry but very windy day to the Saltergate Car Park on the A169, me wondering what to worry about next.

Pictures: The Hole of Horcum; Dundale Pond near Levisham.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Hazelhead Moor

There was a look in Holly's eye, as I got ready for a night out in downtown Thornton-le-dale, that said "I'll stay. Bring me something back pLLease" but I ignored it. On this cold, dank, foggy (Tuesday) evening few would want to venture out but I could see her stretched out by the log fire at The Buck Hotel. And so we went and she comandeered the hearth.

Earlier today we'd left the Grampavan at the Saltergate Carpark - beside the A619 overlooking the Hole of Horcom (as the crow flies, about 6.5 miles NNE of T-le-Dale) whilst we walked a 4 mile circuit of Hazelhead Moor.

It's not a high moor but sufficiently so to be above today's mist, which lingered all day in some areas, and to keep us in bright sunlight. We had fine views from the bridleway which runs along Saltergate Brow in an overall north eastern direction to Whinny Nab and down to the Malo Cross. A footpath goes south from there to a track which connects with Old Wifes Way. That heads northwest and back to the A169.

I can see all that on my Memory Map device. I have yet to work out if and how to reproduce the image here - the way that others do so admirably on their blogs. Laters though, when it's warmer.

Pictures: Blakey Topping from Whinny Nab; Malo Cross

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


We spent the night on a railway line - well, a dismantled one which is now a small caravan site on the southern outskirts of Thornton-le-Dale, which itself is on the southern boundary of The North York Moors National Park. A level pitch in a quiet spot, 16 Amp mains electricity and four nights for the price of three persuaded me to make this my base.

A later than planned departure and delays along the way left little time to explore in daylight. Holly had a quick dip in the stream that runs through the village, she no doubt wondering why I opted for a hot shower later.

Monday evening is not a good time for the traveller looking for dinner here. One (The Buck Hotel) of the two pubs I passed doesn't do food on Mondays, the other's (The New Inn - which advertises that it welcomes dogs) kitchen is closed for a fortnight, the several tea rooms shut shop early and the Chip Shop/Cafe doesn't open Mondays - (that used to be a sign of a good chip shop, along with queues, so good news perhaps). Another pub/hotel - The Hall Inn does not admit dogs.

So, we dined in, and I got into Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth", a book that I have been saving for this trip. The opening line - "Nothing happens the way you plan it".

Friday, 12 November 2010

On A Whim And A Prayer

As I suspected and hoped, retirement is freedom; freedom, amongst other things, to choose if and when to do something. And so, I'm off to Yorkshire on Monday for a few days on a whim and a prayer.

The whim is in the going and the prayer is a common enough English one - for fair weather. Yes, I know it's November but nothing ventured nothing gained.

We're an ageing threesome. Officially, I'll be a Pensioner next year. Holly my 11 year old Border Terrier is probably one now in dog years and the Grampervan (my J Reg, VW T4 Campervan) looks like one.

We are raring to go though. And, no matter if the prayer isn't answered in full. A fresh wind and sleety rain should blow and wash away the cobwebs, and work up a healthy thirst and appetite. Our first stop is Thornton-le-Dale where it is said there are three pubs and a fish and chip shop.