Saturday, 16 February 2013

Moor of the same; ups and downs on the North Yorkshire Moors....................February 15th

This walk is a repeat of On the Moors again March 2012.
The snow has gone, supposedly, the temperature has risen a few degrees and six gadgies have decided to head for the North Yorkshire Moors and walk from Chop Gate.
Two cars, holding music, vogel, blog, pun, route and halfmarathon driving from Newcastle down the A19, A174, A172 and B1257 to meet in the car park just south of Chop Gate. My guess a year was slightly out, the village name means "Peddlers Path".
Sadly there is not a tea room to dispense  breakfast so we have no alternative but to start the walk as soon as we are booted.
A map is advisable OL 26 covers the whole walk on two sides of the sheet.Careful if it's windy, or you can always laminate.....
The car park is at SE559993

 Useful tables provided in the car park........

                          .............................and pleasant view through the trees.
The walk started at the back of the car park, a sign post directing us towards the south west initially, across fields and with a steep climb until we arrived on moorland.  This area is a grouse moor and there are several rows of butts.
A pretty basic shooting butt, but unlike the rather flash stone built ones in the Cheviots it can be used to defend from attacks on either side.
This area also has many ancient sites, the first we came across being Cock Howe, burial site of a bronze age chief, at least that's what Dave said, donning his archaeologist hat. Not much further along we came across another, Green Howe.

Cock Howe Burial Cairn.
Now we were on Barker's Ridge, heading north on a track that alternated between heavy mud and snow up to one foot deep. Either surface slowed our progress and conditions did not improve as we passed the remains of the old Gliding Club headquarters, looking abandoned and vandalised.
                                          Run down and neglected if not abandoned, the gliding club buildings.
Beyond the wreckage of the Gliding Club the track joined the  Cleveland Way, a long distance path and we headed down into Raisdale where we made a welcome Herbie Spot stop. Ben's ginger biscuits were of their usual high quality and the pork pies made up, in some small way,for the lack of bacon.
                                           Harry's left foot, Ben and Brian at the Herbie Spot
Back on the road we climbed up Cringle Moor, pausing to admire the distant views of industrial Teeside before dipping down again, up again, down again and then on to the Wain Stones,an interesting rocky outcrop providing  a bit of a scramble for a change from the mud.
                                                     Wain Stones, high point of the day.
From here the Cleveland Way continued east on the edge of the moors, still offering views of Middlesborough under the smog, until the path descended to cross the B1257 and begin the last ascent onto Urra Moor. Apparently Urra was the Celtic goddess of heather and this place  has many ancient remains, standing stones, menhirs cup markings and the long dyke that follows the western edge of the moor.
                                   Ancient Urra's Dyke shows up well in the afternoon sun.
                Its real purpose is unknown but it is quite long. For defence or a boundary?
Leaving the moor by a path that is not too easy to spot he descended to Bilsdale Hall where the path became a track and eventually a metalled road.
The verges of the track were covered in snowdrops with some aconites and daffodils with tight buds.
Spring is here, as Old Blue Eyes sings.
                                              Snowdrops,must return with a spade...................
Soon we were back on the road, turned left and walked through the village, past the Buck Hotel and back to the car park. Changed we returned to the Buck which had Wainstones Ales on offer, sadly I was the designated driver, as was Harry so we had coffee. The others were not over impressed with the beer but the surroundings were reminiscent of the Anglers Arms,  a fire to sit round before we headed home. In my car we had the joy of the latest compilation to listen to. Numbers, with some real gems: The night has a thousand eyes; She was only sixteen: When I'm 64; Eight days a week and so on.
The Matrix MMDVII
                                                                           steps                       miles
ASDAPED                                                        21874                      10.28    hopeless
Higear                                                                31394                      14.845*
Daves ASDA                                                     32050                      14.16*
LIDLUSB                                                          30932                      13.66*
OUTDOORS GPS                                                                             12.21
Measured                                                                                           12.5
Considering the muddy, snowy conditions and several ups and downs these three readings are quite reasonable.
Having problems with the pictures today, computer flatly refuses to enlarge any after the first two.

Bird of the blog on a day when there was not a lot for ornithologists.
A grouse, waiting for August 12th.  You may eat it, or if you come across a famous one, drink it.
The Dad
Drivers. Me and Harry