Friday, 27 January 2012

Farmland and coastal walk from Whitby

It was a miserable wet day on Tuesday when I set off for a walk. As well as wearing my waterproofs, I decided to take my big rainbow coloured brolly as well, it covers me and my rucksack. I don't let the weather put me off, I've paid for the room, I've driven myself here, so I am jolly well going for a walk.

I decided to walk inland along the river as I didn't think the views would be very good along the coast, due to the drizzle and mist. The Esk Valley Walk is a 35 mile walk from the river source at Castleton Station and ends in Whitby. Looking back, the river and the railway line are down at the bottom.

Follow the leaping salmon, to Ruswarp, crossing the Cinder Track.

This carved statue of Brother William is in the centre of Ruswarp. I've been trying to find out a bit about it but have drawn a blank. Wish I'd have taken more notice of the sign.

The Railway Station in Ruswarp.

St Bartholomews Church

A bit further along the river boats can be hired. These youngsters were having fun under the close supervision of their teachers. I wondered how much health and safety paperwork they had to fill in before they were allowed to teach this activity.

They stopped for a few minutes chat, then off they went towards Whitby.

The Esk Valley Walk leaves the banks of the river a bit further upstream and zigzags across fields and farms to the north of Sleights. I was getting a bit fed up of sloshing through mud, and at one point I resorted to scrambling through a hedge as it was the only way to avoid sinking up to my knees in farmyard slurry. The path took me over the railway line, then the river, and across the main A169 trunk road. Next I reached the village of Aislaby. This is St Margarets Church which was built in 1896.

About half a mile out of Aislaby I joined a minor tarmac road, it was nice to be able to stride out without slithering all over the place. At least the rain has stopped now so that's a blessing.

Just as I was coming into Dunsley I spotted these four little plastic huts. They look like the type which road workers use when they dig a hole, a place to shelter and brew their tea. Each one had a young cow in it, laid on a bed of straw, there were several more dotted around the farm. When I started talking to them, as you do, ha ha, they all got up out of curiosity. Aren't they little cuties, this must be their winter quarters. The mummy cows were close by on the other side of a fence, calling out to their babies.

I wanted to take one home, aren't they gorgeous. I could train it to walk on a lead :o)

This plastic shelter was a bit bigger, there was six living in here, with a bit more space to move around.

I was heading for Sandsend, just a bit further up from Whitby. It was my intention to go back along the Cleveland Way, a popular long distance path. I decided to leave the road and take a path across the field, but after crossing two fields I lost it. There was a sign but it didn't seem to be going in the right direction. I could see the sea up ahead, so I just headed off towards it.

It's a bugger when you traipse across a field then can't find a way out of it. You then walk around the edge looking for an exit. Time was getting on and I saw a derelict cottage not far ahead. There must be a way round it or through the garden. It was surrounded by brambles, but I found a spot that looked like it had been trampled on by others who had probably got lost like myself. I had to scramble over a barbed wire fence and climb over some prickly brambles. I found the slabbed path through the neglected garden and it brought me out at the end of a cul de sac road. That's better. Shame that house has been abandoned though.

Here I am at last at Sandsend, turn right next to the cafe and follow the waters edge back to Whitby. It was a bracing walk along the sea front.

Another night in watching the tele. After having the room to myself the first night, I now had three room mates for the second night. Two young French girls, and a Chinese girl. They were very friendly and chatty, lights went out at a reasonable time and I had a good nights sleep. Todays walk was only 11.25 miles, just a stroll in the park. Toodle pip.


  1. It's lovely scenery.

    I think those little calves in cages might be destined for veal. Yuck! I never eat veal once I found out what it was but I know others aren't as squeamish as I.

  2. Oh, yuck...veal pens. At least your brightened their little short lives by saying hello! I bet they knew you don't eat meat!
    Jane x

  3. what beautiful scenery. Glad you had a lovely day despite the wet weather.

    Gill in Canada

  4. Joyful & Jand and Chris, I too thought, as soon as I saw the photos of those beautiful little creatures penned up with no access to the exercise that they are veal calves and their mothers calling to them are the dairy cows who've had their babies torn away from them - how sad and I'm glad Ilona gave them a little company. But this is a very useful illustration of why eating dairy products is such a bad idea if you have any feeling for animals - if you use dairy you might as well eat veal because veal is a by product of the dairy industry therefore use dairy and accept responsibility for veal production - don't even get me started on egg production and what they do with male chicks which is the "by product" of that industry!

    Sorry for the rant, the walk looked lovely Ilona, I get such a lot of vicarious pleasure from tales of your walks and the photos are great. I've always wanted to visit the Whitby area.

  5. "Farmyard slutty" ewwww. Cute little cows but sad their mothers were trying to call them. I am not a veal eater, but I am not philosophically against it. We eat young things. Why not?

  6. Hi, Ilona, finally coming out of lurkdom. Checked out your monk statue & discovered he is created by a chainsaw artist called Tommy Crags (or was it Craggs?). He has a website with a large gallery of creations - all sculptures made from fallen trees. A man after your own heart, using what's available to create.


  7. Straight away I recognised them as simply posh little veal crates. It's much better when farmers let them live in a barn with access to straw bales, hay and each other and then they can call the meat 'rose veal', at least the little animals have a life.

    The thing is if no veal is bought by consumers these little calves are simply slaughtered at birth, better the open barn method though than the single crates.

    The best thing folk in this country can do is ask for British Rose Veal and NOT buy ANY other kind.

    You're a brave woman walking in all weathers and especially trudging through muddy fields at this time of year. Hope you're still enjoying yourself.

    Sue xx

  8. Hi MQ, glad to have you back !
    I don't eat meat or drink milk and only use soy milk.
    Sadly, we will never change the ways of the world - the majority of people only think of meat/milks etc. as commodities, not much thought is given to the suffering of animals in order to put it on the supermarket shelves.
    I too have heard mother cows calling for their young - it's heartbreaking - but what can we do ? just our own little drop in the ocean I suppose.

  9. @ Sue15cat, I know that if people didn't eat veal these calves would be killed at birth but it's just plain wrong to say that the best we can do is ask for British rose veal - actually the best we can do, as Wean and I do, is not use dairy - there's plenty of perfectly good alternatives and I now sleep at night with a clear conscience. The ignorance with which we are brought up in this culture is bliss but once you know what goes on you can't just unknow it - you either have to take responsibility for the ways those animals are treated and question your humanity or stop using the dairy products that result in such torture - and it is definitely torture for both the cows and the calves, imagine you've been in the maternity unit giving birth and they take your baby away from you, you can hear your baby crying in the next room but you can't get to him, then one day you see a lorry pulling up and your baby being taken away, you know what's going to happen to him. You then have to live with the silence which replaces your baby's call ... until next time when you have to go through it all again. Everyone has a choice (unlike these poor animals), my choice?: I can't stop the torture, but I can make sure that it's NOT IN MY NAME! Watch this and make up your own mind

    I'm not having a go at anyone, I ate meat and dairy myself until the scales fell from my eyes.

  10. annei...would love to read your blog (if you have one), fellow animal lover. I'm vegan...haven't touched meat since 1986.
    Jane x

  11. Whitby looks lovely. I've always fancied visiting and your wonderful photos make me want to go even more. Glad you've enjoyed yourself.

  12. Hi Jane and Chris, thanks for your comment - I don't have a blog (yet) but am always looking for vegan blogs particularly if they have a simple life/frugal bent to them. I'll definitely look your blog up. It's always really great to make the acquaintance of other vegans and thanks again for your comment, it means a lot. :-)

  13. Hi
    I've be following you for a while now and love your little adventures. Do you mind if I copy your pictures of those lovely cows for my near vegan page on FB?

  14. Hello Pat, Yes you can use my cows for your vegan page. Thank you for asking my permission. Send me a link to my email address (on the side bar) and I'll have a look.

  15. Thank you ilona for allowing me to use your pictures for some reason I could sent my page to your email address but here it is