Yorkshire in August

This journal entry is a bit of a brief “balancing on two feet” blog before a return to “balancing on two wheels”.  We had an excellent family weekend in Yorkshire, camping and walking.  Followed by a bit of an indulgence from Carol and I; off cycling for a morning when we got home… details…

We had a family camping weekend in the Yorkshire Dales and the weather was kind to us; sunny yet not too hot.  Warm, but with a breeze to cool us on the hilltops.  We stayed near Hawes in Bainbridge Ings campsite, which is a little bit of a risk as they don’t take bookings… but we set off early from Teesside and got there by lunchtime to find a choice of several pitches.  The sun was out we pitched the tent before heading into Hawes for a walk.

On the first day we had a gentle walk to the Green Dragon Inn at Hardraw for a drink and just to stretch the legs, I was getting mobile after a week of deskwork.  The following day we headed out for a more strenuous bit of hill walking around Semerwater in Raydale.  The climb rewarded us with views west of both Raydale and Wensleydale.
 View of Semerwater – a lake created when the melting glacier dumped rock and clay at the foot of the valley and blocking the river.
Abandoned hay barn in Raydale

Wooded walk along the edge of Semerwater

Derelict ancient church building, there are over 750 people buried in the adjoining graveyard.


View of Raydale in the hazy sunshine
On our second day out we headed down to Malham to do a 6.5 mile loop of Malham Tarn and Malham Cove.  We (like many others) were interested in seeing for ourselves the landscape from the Harry Potter movie.
Dry valley – the river is underground now

Another view down the dry valley towards the top of Malham Cove

Limestone pavement

Walking along the valley bottom towards the top of Malham Cove

Family Holdsworth perched precariously on the edge!

Steep drop – no barrier – the edge of the dried up waterfall (70m high)

Looking up from the base of the old waterfall
On returning to Teesside I had one more day annual leave to unpack the tent and get the laundry done… but the bicycle was calling and I persuaded Carol to come for a ride instead.  We set off in the early morning to do a loop to Osmotherley.
It is just a 50km loop which starts out in the gentle Teesside valley before steeply climbing Scarth Nick to Cod Beck reservoir, after this the road undulates to Osmotherley and drops back down to the flat lands and Ellerbeck and back home.
The climb of Scarth Nick stands out clearly on the route profile, but the descent is a wonderful wide open road which allows you to gain a bit of speed.  Carol and I left Ingleby Barwick and crossed the A19 in beautiful weather before stopping at Hilton to make some minor mechanical adjustments.  I had fitted new pedals and the cleats on my shoes needed to be slid forward – also the saddle was tipped nose down which needed correcting – all of this took minutes to straighten out.
After that we got to the gently undulating road past Middleton-in-Teesdale to Rudby where we swooped down to the church at the bottom of Rudby Bank and climbed back to the other side.  Passing through Rudby and taking the second junction to Potto was an alternative route which skipped Potto village but took us straight to Swainby where we stopped for sweeties.  Carol tells me that wine gums and lilt are a taste sensation to be avoided.
From Swainby the road goes up and up and then up a but more, with some seriously steep sections covered in gravel, damp from water running off the hills and where you need to run wide to avoid the stupidly steep inside corners of the vertical hairpins.
Over the top you are rewarded with a view back to the valley and industry of Teesside; this is somewhere I like to ride to and pray.  I like praying over the Tees valley, for my family and friends, for the businesses and people of Teesside living in community.  For the lost and the lonely.  For jobs and careers.  Mainly I say a prayer of thanks, because I live in such a wonderful place with wonderful people.
We kept on past the walkers enjoying the tops of the North Yorkshire Moors and the young families enjoying the easy walks around the reservoir.  We kept on to Osmotherly and then dropped down to Ellerbeck and the busy A684 for a short section before turning north on Featherbed lane.  This takes us past the “Cat and Bagpipes” which wasn’t open (too early) and we were looking forward to enjoying a cafe stop at Roots in East Rounton.  Of course we had forgotten that it is shut on Monday!
Crossing the A19 on the new bridge at Trenholme Bar we were on a final return to Hutton Rudby where we planned a pub stop in one of the two pubs there.
Climbing the “Col d’A19”
Nearing Hutton Rudby – Carol wasn’t riding alone!
Again we were thwarted. The Bay Horse and the Wheatsheaf were both closed!  Darn it.  We just popped into the Spar for a sandwich and sat on the green for our picnic – but it was a bit of a let down from our plans.

Leaving here we retraced steps up Rudby Bank to Hilton and home.  I noticed that the bramble bushes were in flower – something different to the flowers ride I did with Ruth a few weeks ago.
Also the fields were starting to look over-ripe, the corn was drooping and the fields had an over-tanned look.
Coming into Ingleby Barwick the traffic can be a bit unforgiving, so sometimes we use the cycle path next to the Fox Covert.  Traffic free but liable to the occasional bit of broken glass.
Home again… and back to work tomorrow.  A really nice family holiday of walking in the Yorkshire Dales and cycling into the North Yorkshire Moors.

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