Saturday, 6 December 2014

Reach for the pies..... December 5th 
For the third week running family commitments have prevented me from joining my fellow gadgies for the Friday walk/lunch/drink. And I am not happy about it as the walk included a visit to the famous pie shop in Great Ayton and it was a beautiful day for a winter walk, blue sky, crisp, cold, perfect.
GB has kindly sent me an account of the day. It is very similar to "Absolutely Topping Walk James Old Fruit" blogged on 19th of May 2012  which happens to be the second  most read of my blogs.
Even more infuriating is the meeting with The Times photographer as I'm the only one who subscribes to the Thunderer, have even sent them a couple of walks. (Unpublished of course; "Nicely written but our readers prefer blah blah blah.. ") Never mind
A Sign of the Times                
(aka The Pie walk)
Friday 5th December 2014

Today’s walk around Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook’s Monument in the North York Moors took place in cool temperatures but lovely winter sunshine.

There were 4 gadgies out today: Ray, Dave, John H and Brian.  Our first stop was in Great Ayton at the No 5 Coffee House. This excellent establishment provides friendly service, good quality products but you have to be there on a Saturday morning if you want a bacon sandwich – 1 point deducted.

We couldn’t go to Great Ayton without a visit to Petch’s butchers and their great range of pies. (hence the alternative title of this walk).  Dave availed himself of a large steak pie and Brian a smaller pork and red onion.

The walk started a short drive took us to the car park (NZ 570 129).  From the car park the route takes you east along a lane to the foot of Roseberry Topping followed by a very steep ascent, along good path, to the very summit of the hill.  The views are extensive particularly on such a clear day.  There were only 4 of us on top plus a chap with a substantial camera.  He worked for “The Times” newspaper and was doing a piece on winter walking and asked if he could take some pictures of us descending the hill.  Naturally being shy, retiring types we said yes.

The descent of Roseberry Toppping

The path then ascends steeply again onto Newton Moor.  We were heading generally in an east-north east direction towards Highcliffe Farm.

A tree with tinsel on Newton Moor

We had a short viewpoint detour onto Highcliff Nab before returning to the day’s Herbiespot on the edge of the woodland.  Brian had his pie and there was carrot cake from Dave, chocolate covered biscuit from John and Mrs A’s “walking fruitcake”. (Normally how she describes Brian). 

Ray, Dave and John post lunch
(human interest for Cathy from Goole)

At this spot Dave spotted a large flock of Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla).  These Scandinavian visitors are very similar to Chaffinches but make next to no noise.  They land in a tree then seemingly just plummet to the ground.  They are very attractive, as was the Robin which was hanging around waiting to finish our crumbs.


We now turned south west, past the track to Sleddale farm and meeting a road at NZ613 113, where we turned right. Soon afterwards there is an Iron Age Hut Circle with a dedication plaque to its excavator entitled Roland’s Close bit, I have to admit, I didn’t notice him.  The person in the photo is Dave.

A few more lumps

At the end of the road we turned left and followed the path down to the car park at Gribdale Gate which is the start of the ascent up to Captain Cook’s Monument.  There are fine panoramic views from this spot.

Captain Cook’s Monument

Gadgie explorers

Roseberry Topping from the monument

We returned to Gribdale Gate, climbed out of the valley and followed the escarpment back to Roseberry Topping which we avoided to the right and followed tracks back to the car park, arriving at 4:15.

                                                              The moon rises and Dave is packed

It is just a short drive to the King’s Head which provided us with a fine blonde beer.


Brian’s GPS            10.9 miles
Multimap               10.6
Daves Peds            10.6
Contains OS Data copyright. Crown copyright and data base right 2014.

The day after the walk, leaving my mother in my wife's tender care I went to watch Newcastle v Chelsea with Gadgie Dave. He couldn't stop telling me what a great day out it had been with the lads, how good the pies were, how good the weather was.......................