Saturday, 2 July 2016

Danby and  Riggs or follow the fish              (North Yorks Moors)*   July 1st
Sounds like a TV police show.
Holidays and family continue to hit numbers. Only three out today, John H., Dave and me, perhaps we have no friends.
Dave has come up with a walk on the North Yorks Moors, starting from Danby. The maps, yes there are two, are OS OL26 and 27, North Yorks Moors, West and East divisions. To get to the start from Newcastle, you need to follow the A19 south from Newcastle, the A174 and the A171 and turn off on the right, eventually, for Danby. In the village turn left, pass the Danby Health food shop and carry on to the North Yorks Moors car park. £4.50 for a day and the reference is NZ717083 approx.
Classy car park with a café not too far away but today we booted up and set off.
                            North Yorks Car Park at Danby.
 We started our walk from the park. Across the road from the entrance a small gate took us on to the footpath, part of the Esk Valley Walk. We crossed a footbridge and the railway line, taking great care of course as the crossing was unmanned, not the one on the main east coast line at Belford with its phones and permissions. When we got to the road we turned left and headed for the Duck Bridge, a medieval pack horse bridge, beautifully preserved. We crossed the river on the new bridge next to it. Not far away are the ruins of Danby Castle, 14th century and the home of Catherine Parr, Mrs Henry VIII  number 6. (Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded survived!)

Duck Bridge and a well worn coat of arms.
We continued along Lawns Road and shortly after mile 1turned right up the lane to Crag Farm. Here we turned south west along a muddy farm track across several fields past Forester's Lodge to Stonebeck Gate Farm. Here we joined a minor road, turned right and walked a few hundred yards uphill to a road junction with this brilliant sign.
               The great British fryup includes bacon, egg, sausage, blackpudding, beans, mushrooms.......
and one of the best is the "eight item breakfast" at the COOP café on Lerwick quayside.
Near the signpost we took the footpath up the side of Ainthorpe Rigg to the moorland plateau. (mile 4). There are lots of piles of stones here, ancient field systems, cairns and standing stones. Surprisingly Dave didn't make us stop to examine them.

            Views from Ainthorpe Ridge. If anyone can explain why the farmers have cut the grass round edges only please let me know.
At a paths crossroads we turned through about 160 degrees and headed south west. A disused quarry provided an excellent Herbie Spot out of the wind and we settled down for a break.
                                        Large standing stone
          Lunch spot. We exchanged chocolate chip cookies, pork pies and Racer chocolate bars from ALDI. ALDI is a German based supermarket chain that has challenged the British big four successfully. The remainers told the leaver they might withdraw from Britain after the Brexit vote and no more Racer bars for us.
Lunch over we continued for a short while before finding a "trod", ancient stone pathway that took us down to North End Farm. (Mile 5)
                Dave and John admire an ancient marker
Interesting remains at North End Farm.
From the farm we walked up a narrow lane, crossed Tofts Lane and walked another lane until we spotted the sign for the Esk Valley Walk.
 If it's blue it's a Bridle Way.......................
                             ............................if it's yellow it's a footpath.
From this point the footpath crosses fields to Castleton. Most of the fields were uncut meadows, long lush grass studded with buttercups and clover. It reminded me of childhood days on my uncle's farm.
HRH Prince Charles is pushing for a return to old English meadows with flowers. Quite right too.
                               An interesting gate post?
Arriving at High Castleton we walked down the street before crossing the road and following a footpath towards the village railway station.
                 Better than the usual gnomes.
The road goes under the railway. If you spot it there is an unmarked footpath on the right which cuts off a corner and brings walkers back to the Esk Valley Walk. From here the path goes through Danby Park, a wood mainly planted with birch trees. A man leaning on his garden gate warned us to watch out for adders but even though it was sunny we didn't spot any.
                                        Garden near Danby Park
                         Fox gloves in Danby Park
Emerging from the wood we crossed several fields before reaching Danby (Mile 9) near the station. We turned left up the hill and turned right at the Duke of Wellington pub and walked back to the Moors Park Centre where we stopped for an ice cream before heading back to the car park.
To avoid the "rush hour" traffic around Middlesborough (it was about 3.45 pm on a Friday, POETS day) we didn't stop for a drink but headed back to Newcastle and went to the Collingwood in Jesmond, an old fashioned pub with a selection of real ales, the London Pride was in top condition.
This is a very enjoyable walk, woodland, moorland, open fields, superb views and lots to see. Agood walk as the Times would say. I hope we can find more Eskdale walks too.
And thanks to Anne Lott for kind comments. Nice to hear from anybody who enjoys our walks.

The Matrix MMXVI                 V
                                                                                   steps                          miles
NAK                                                                         29136                         11.07 (need calibrating)
LIDL 3D                                                                  20874                          10.02
Dave's 3D                                                                 22326                         9.82
  "  USB                                                                    21572                         9.87
 "  NAK                                                                    21429                         9.81
etrex                                                                                                            10,29
OUTDOORS                                                                                               10.2

Walking time  3hrs 36 minutes     Talking time 1hr 19 minutes
Height climbed 1835 feet (???????????????)
Contains OS data copyright Crown copyright and database right 2016

Sorry about the map, printer running out of colour.
Sorry about photo quality. Not a clue

* I have decided to put a region after each title, Cheviots, Northumberland etc. It will take a while to work through them.