Saturday, 18 March 2017

Exploring the Offa's Dyke Trail

Long distance trails have always held an interest to me, partly because I like the whole concept of spanning a large span of countryside on foot, but also because of the lack of limitations it places upon you to start off from somewhere and end up somewhere entirely separate, without any plans beyond getting from A to B.

Despite this I have never actually completed a long distance trail and had very rarely attempted a prolonged period of walking until my Dad asked me if I would be interested in a walking a ~60 mile stretch of the Offa's Dyke over the summer of 2016.

I said that yes, I would be interested, and so in July of that summer we set off from Knighton, heading southwards down to Monmouth over 3 and a half days. As a day walker, I found the repeated days over the steep terrain heavier going than I would like to admit, but I also loved waking up every morning, breakfasting and heading out with only one goal in mind... reaching the next major town before the end of the day.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Kildale to Whitby via the Esk Valley Walk

It is late April and I've for some time been planning my first true summer walk of the year, and with this in mind I have a new route planned that will take me all the way from the hills up in Kildale down to the coastal down of Whitby where I'll be able to enjoy some fish and chips before heading back home.

With this in mind I've been dusting off the shorts and I'm heading out nice and early in order to find some dazzling sunshine and heatwaves to warm my winter soaked legs. 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Battersby to Gillamoor and Back (Along Rudland Rigg)

I have often been out and about in the Battersby area and had always seen and noted the Rutland Rigg that heads down South from Battersby into the heart of the moors and curious about it I decided to follow it end-to-end to find out more about this part of the North York Moors.

At the same time this acts as a scouting mission to understand the lay of the land in anticipation of an attempt to walk from Battersby to Thirsk heading South through the moors to Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey through to Sutton Bank, opening up a new unexplored section of the moors.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Battersby to Thirsk Along Cleveland Way (via Osmotherley)

This route follows the Cleveland Way along its roughest, hilliest and most rugged stretch between Battersby and down almost to Sutton Bank, pulling off at Thirsk and featuring some of the most dramatic landscapes along the Cleveland Way.

This walk forms part of a three-part series of walks that cover the ground from Thirsk all the way down to Whitby; via the Esk Valley, passing through the Falling Foss waterfall and Robin Hood's Bay, with the other parts in this series stretching from Battersby to Grosmont and from Grosmont to Whitby (the scenic route).

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Battersby Incline Along Cleveland Hills and Back To Battersby

This walk focuses on the hilly section around Battersby and makes use of the old railway incline up onto the moors. This was also a final opportunity to catch some of the last snow of the year before it all melted away.

Remarkably given the snow at the start of the walk, by the end of the day it was bright sunshine and lovely spring conditions!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Thirsk to Thirsk (via Lake Gormire and Sutton Bank - Winter Edition)

Winter Time!
It can be a challenge getting out and about during the winter season, but with it being mid-December I'm tired of being kept inside and so have decided to head out and do a winter repeat of my favoured Thirsk loop (heading up to Sutton Bank).

I was aware that it would be cold, but there was no snow about on the ground so this trip turned out to be a little colder than expected, but that is the joy of heading out and about in winter!

On this day I'm heading out on the train down to Thirsk getting off at the station before heading off through town on a bit of a wet and cold day.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Grosmont to Whitby (via Robin Hood's Bay)

Climbing Out of Grosmont
This walk provides a fitting end to previous walks I'd completed from Battersby round to Thirsk and from Battersby round to Grosmont, creating a staggered three part walk from Thirsk round the Cleveland Way, dropping off down the beautiful Esk Valley and on to Robin Hood's Bay and then back to Whitby along the stunning North East coastline.

This walk provides a chance to take in the coast along the North East with the smuggler's town of Robin Hood's Bay being one of the highlights along the route, whilst also joining up the North York Moors and the North East coast whilst travelling along parts of the coast-to-coast route.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Exploring the Eskdale

The River Esk is a lovely little river that runs from the hills up on the North York Moors along a 28 mile course down through the Eskdale, whose steep valley sides were created by glaciers during the last major ice age, and out into the sea at Whitby.

Providing passage through this spectacular landscape is the Esk Valley Walk, which in full runs for 35 miles (56km) from the head of the Esk up on the Moors and then down and out to meet with the sea down in Whitby.

Today I will not be walking the full length of this path, but will be heading out from Battersby train station to climb up and join with the very beginnings of the River Esk and the Esk Valley Walk that I will then follow down through the Eskdale to finish at Grosmont and head back home on the train.

This route will not take me through the final phases to Whitby, but will take in some of the finest countryside Britain has to offer, taking in some seriously good views.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Exploring Sutton Bank From Thirsk

When heading out for a long walk through the countryside, I find that it is always better - if you can - to be able to avoid retracing your steps, and so I - as far as possible - try to plan my routes to run from one point to another separate point; taking in the changes in the general scenery as the landscape evolves across the course of the day. 

As a philosophy, this can be particularly worthwhile when heading from an area with one particular geology to another with an entirely completely different character and feel, but sticking only to good point-to-point routes is an approach that sometimes leaves you unable to reach some of the more spectacular sites.

Sutton Bank is such a case in point, being one of the sites in the North York Moors most worthy of a visit, whilst remaining one of the trickier places to explore using only the combination of feet and public transport (part of the routes of all these trips I'm afraid in order to keep it interesting). Instead the only viable means of attack is from Thirsk train station, from which with the aid of a car or taxi, it would be a simple 7 mile drive up to Sutton Bank on the main road.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


I consider myself fortunate to be able to count myself among those people who can be found early on a Saturday morning - while everyone else remains comfortably wrapped up in bed - stepping out into the fresh (and often bracing) air with a pack upon my back and a day’s walking laid out before my feet.

Occasionally such a beginning will be held at the start of a glorious sunny day, but come rain, shine, wind or snow I’ll still often be found up bright and early, tying up my shoes and heading out; off to have my next great adventure in the great outdoors.

Walking is a major part of all our lives, ever since that moment when we decide that we no longer can achieve all we want to achieve via the crawl, but it has become more of an activity of mine ever since I moved up north to the country town of Yarm back in late 2012, to begin my first spell of employment following University.