Thursday, 1 July 2010

Lost in the woods

Just been sorting my pics of my latest trip up north. My sister and her husband were staying in their caravan, near Stokesley in North Yorkshire, so I went to visit them. On monday Bryn went to meet his friends, they fly their model aircraft, me and Anna went to have a look round Yarm near Stockton on Tees. Bye the way, I'm glad you enjoyed my skating pics on the car park at Yarm. I think Anna was a bit embarrassed by my antics, but I didn't care, no one knew us there.

Yarm has two bridges quite close together, this is the railway viaduct with two of it's arches spanning the river Tees, it has 43 arches in total. It was built between 1849 and 1851, seven million bricks were used in it's construction, and it is 2,280 feet long.

This is the road bridge just a few yards away.

I like looking up at the underneath of the arches, isn't it clever how they remain standing for so long. The sun shimering on the water reflects on the roof of this one.

The small Town Hall in the High Street was built in 1710. There are lots of these flower towers dotted about everywhere, they look so pretty.

Parking is a nightmare though. There are cobbled areas on both sides of the wide street, and they have a disc system. You get a free cardboard wheel which you put on your dashboard to indicate the time you arrived. You are allowed two hours free, then you must move, but you can't go from one side to the other. You can go into the Sainsbury's car park for one hour then return. The warden told us of a street with no restrictions, so we found a space there.
We saw this house in a side street, above the garage is the mark of where the water levels came to during the flood of 1881. Hard to imagine it really.

That's all the photo's I took of Yarm. We had a nice pub lunch and wandered around the shops. There was only two charity shops and one of those was very poorly stocked. It's quite a posh area, a lot of clothes shops with astronomical prices. A £150 dress would keep me in food for three months, I don't know how they can justify them. A couple of yards of fabric :-O crazy!
I stopped overnight at Osmotherley Youth Hostel, this is on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, close to the Cleveland Way, a popular long distance path. Next morning I checked out and set off for a days walking. Up Swinstye Hill, past these redundant animal shelters. A sunny start to the day.

It was beginning to cloud over by the time I reached the BT radio and television masts.

I did a left turn to pick up the Cleveland Way on the edge of Arncliffe Wood. I was expecting to see a lot of trees on my right as I skirted round the edge of the wood, but all I saw was carnage where the trees had been obliterated. Such a sad sight to see so much destruction. I'm sure there must be a reason for it, but a depressing sight never the less. Below I could see the main A19 trunk road.

I did find some trees still standing just before I came out of the bottom end of South Wood.

More chopped down here.

Don't you just love cows, beautiful animals.

This broken tree looks a gun keeping watch over the Kingdom of North Yorkshire.

Up a path, and a stile to a secret place.

Foxgloves peep out of the hedgerows.

This is the secret place. The Lady Chapel.

All around there are wooden crosses, the gardens are immaculately kept.

A lot of the building has been renovated but they are still raising money to repair the cottage next door. It is a place of solitude and reflection, very spiritual. There are lots of benches in quiet corners where people sit in silence.

Back into Osmotherley, this is St Peters Church.

A nice place to sit and eat my lunch, amongst the flowers growing through the bench, and listen to the happy children playing at the school opposite.

Off again to follow the Cleveland way, towards Oak Dale and Square Corner. I thought these trees were interesting how they had all been chopped down, some of them had re grown and some had died. Very symbolic I thought just like everything in life, some flourish and some fall by the wayside.

Here I am walking by Oakdale Reservoir, and an opportunity for a quirky photo.

I have put the second photo in so you can see where the falling water is coming from. A bit of guess work positioning the camera as the pipe was on a slope coming out of the ground.

Looking back at the reservoir, heading towards Square Corner over Thimbleby Moor.

Then I left the Cleveland Way and joined Route 65 of the National Cycleway, going through Nether Stilton Moor. More scenes of devastation, it's like a graveyard.

At last something living to look at.

Out of the woods and on my way to Over Stilton. there is a church in a field but I haven't time to go and look, must press on. More beautiful cows.

Arriving in Over Stilton I saw a sign for a bridleway to Thimbleby, this would take me back to Osmotherley. Off I went, eager to get back, thinking about the two hour drive home. The sign said 1.5 miles, but I seemed to be walking for ages looking for a left turn that wasn't there. I was back in the forest and I didn't want to be. All the tracks looked the same.
Oh bother, I hadn't brought my compass to check my direction. At last I saw the A19 in the distance, that was where I should be heading towards, I need to get out of these bloody trees, help! Can't find the path, should I call out the rescue people, where am I :-O Only one thing for it, backtrack to the village.
Two hours later.....asking a man in his garden where is the bridleway to Thimbleby? Just up there at the end of the lane, turn sharp left, he said. I had seen that turn but dismissed it because there was no chance of getting a horse up there, and that's what I thought bridleways were for, horse riders. the track was narrow, steep, and full of boulders, lo and behold, it was the right way. Here is a picture of Hanging Stone which I should have passed ages ago.
I arrived back at my car at 7.30pm, bother, I have missed the Archers, again. I don't know how I managed to trudge those last couple of miles, all of me was aching.
Anyway, finishing late had it's compensations. I got to Tesco at 9.30pm, worth a look in to see if there is any reduced stuff left, I can just about find the energy to drag myself around. Bingo, I hit the jackpot.
Walnut bread 40p - was £1.59
French bread 9p - was 38p
Seed Panini 7p - was 67p - bought two
Big bag potatoes 10p - was 99p
Loose kiwi fruit 2p - was 24p - bought five
Blueberry muffins 40p - was £1.58
Bag citrus fruits 15p - was £1.50
Cookies 25p - was £1
Peaches 10p - was £1
Total real price £10.58
My price £1.73

That's my bonus for the day. Fresh air, excercise, and cheap food. I am a happy bunny. Oops, just remembered, walking mileage checked, 15.24, or there abouts taking into account the wandering around lost.


  1. Those enormous swathes of devastation where the trees have been cut down are always a bit unsettling.
    I guess it's easy to forget that they're really just another crop, so when they're "ripe", they get harvested.

    Try thinking of it as stubble ;)

  2. Hi, Ilona - I really admire your courage, just to walk and `get lost`. I`m a real wuss, and don`t have the confidence to walk alone locally, never mind in a strange area.

  3. I can never get those kind of bargains in my Tesco. I`m wondering if this is ssomething to do with region. I`ve heard that the north of the country still benefit from reasonable prices. Down here, in the South I can not even get such reductions on food. You are lucky!

  4. We too in the South East of England never get to see bargains like that in our Tesco either :o( I loved the photos, especially the one of the cows, bless them, they're gorgeous creatures aren't they. So happy that I am vegetarian now and don't eat them. :o)

  5. Hi Lynn, I suppose my adventurous spirit comes from a lifetime of singleness, always having to do everythuing for myself. I am not sure where you are but if you were close to me I would take you with me and and show you what fun it is.

  6. Fantastic pics Ilona, you should make them into postcards or a calendar !
    Twiggy x