We visited the North York Moors for two vastly different days, two days in a row, but so very different. On the first, the wind was howling – close to 70 mph on the highest reaches of the moors. The next day was serene.
Being out in the wild weather seemed to appeal to everyone, especially as it was a dry wind with no rain. We had lunch at The Lion Pub high on the moors with many walkers who were braving the elements to take the footpaths across the bleak moors with only an ordnance map and the boundary markers to show them the way. Later when we went up to Danby Beacon, we paused along the way so I could get pictures looking down at the village of Danby. We were surprised and delighted to find a group of friends playing both cricket and bowls on the steep moor side. I trust the beer they had with them helped ease the pain of chasing the cricket ball down the hill time and again. Everyone was laughing and thrilling in the wind.
Danby Beacon is where in older days signal fires were set. From the clear spot there, the view is miles in every direction. It’s also where we encountered the highest winds. I could barely stay on my feet, and the wind was so loud howling around my hood that the pictures seem too calm and quiet for me. The wind was so strong that puddles had waves in them. You can see how the grass bent in the wind.
The stone in the center of the picture is a boundary marker to show where Danby Estate property begins/ends.
That day, we went out to the sea to enjoy even more wind and whitecaps. We decided to have supper in Robin Hood’s Bay. The town is the end point for the cross-England walk which starts to the west in the Lake District. The walk is about 200 miles long – various signs list different lengths. The village is set on step cliffs where the sidewalks are often stairs.
The street ends in the bay. The evening we were there, we were astonished to see wind blowing spray backwards from the whitecaps.
The next day, Monday, was calm, and we went back to see another section of the moors. It’s so much fun to drive along single track roads where I had to get out and open and close gates that cut across the road. Also there are fords where you drive your car carefully through. Upright markers – showing depths up to 6 feet – are a guide for how much water is on the road.
We were thrilled to see a hawk flying across the road. I tried snapping it, but from the car, the pictures are less than wonderful. But I thought I’d share one…just because it’s a hawk.
It is flying over the heather that was just showing its first tinges of purple. We keep talking about going back to the moors either in August when the heather is at its peak or in late April for the amazing daffodils in Farndale.
But the sky was clear and the wind had become a teasing breeze, so we visited Chimney Bank, the steepest hill down off the moors…and rumored to be the steepest road in England. The chimneys were actually kilns for making ironstone pottery. Such chimneys are scattered across the moors, but these are the most accessible from the road. Bill is standing on top to give you some idea of their size.
And here is the view from the top down off the moors.
To finish off the day, we went to Lastingham. In a previous post “Release Day…and visiting places in the book!” (March 2008), I posted a photo of the crypt beneath the church in Lastingham. We went back to the Blacksmith’s Arms pub across the road from the church, but first we stopped at the holy well for St. Cedd who, legend says, is buried in the church crypt. Water still trickles from the lion’s mouth, so we paused and ran our fingers through it before going off to enjoy some steak and ale pie.