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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Eating strawberries on Sutton Bank

Good morning, bright and sunny here in North Lincolnshire. I landed back at 6.30pm yesterday, my little family were pleased to see me. Yesterday was a scorcher, almost too hot to walk any distance in it. Lucky then that I stopped to take a short stroll on my journey home. 
Sutton Bank is on the A170 between Thirsk and Helmsley, in North Yorkshire. It is a notorious black spot for large vehicles losing traction and getting stuck on it as they try and climb it. They also need to think very hard on whether it is a good idea to go in the opposite direction down hill, as continually using the brakes can lead to brake fade and they might find they cannot stop. Modern vehicles are much better equipped for tackling such a steep 1 in 4 incline as they are generally equipped with lift axle's, diff lock's, and retarders.  Lorries are not banned from using it, but they need to make the decision whether the vehicle they are driving is capable of negotiating it safely. You wouldn't try it in a fully loaded truck, but an empty light weight trailer with a lift axle would probably be ok. The detour to avoid it is quite long so planning your journey is important, best to take a completely different rote when you are miles away to miss it out altogether. 
Car and caravan's are banned from using this section of the A170, there are big signs at the roundabout before it and at the bottom, NO CARAVANS. A red circle means you must not. As I was crawling up it in my small engined Meriva, in second gear, what did I come across, a car and caravan stopped just round the corner on the hair pin bend. Silly people, can they not read! That will cost them, getting a tow up to the top.  It was lunchtime as I got there, I got a £2.20 ticket out of the machine for two hours parking, and had a bite to eat before I went off bimbling.  

Inside the visitor centre is this rather impressive and quirky wooden sculpture. Two figures standing back to back, and the whole thing has been sliced through vertically with a chain saw. 

I set off to see 'The finest view in England'. It's not far from the White Horse where I was on Tuesday, the Cleveland Way long distance footpath links the two places.

The paths are flat, and are easily accessible to wheelchair users and mums with buggies. Children can look for the wooden sculptures along the way. 

Here we go then, follow the path.
Keep going, a bit further.
Through the trees.

And we are there. The road below is the A170, the one I came up on. Flat for quite a long way before it becomes very steep.

There is a viewing platform which gives you a couple more feet in height. 
I walked along the Cleveland Way for a while and took some more photo's from different angles. The water down there is Gormire Lake.

There is a footpath to go down there, and come back up in a circle, but I didn't have time to do that. It looked very steep and overgrown.

This is Whitestone Cliff, or it's other name, White Mare Cragg. Overhead there were light aircraft taking off from the nearby Yorkshire Gliding club. They tow the gliders up to a good height before they cut them loose to admire the views from above, before they glide gently back to the airfield. 
This is what you must do when you are sitting on top of Sutton Bank, and admiring the best view in England. Take strawberries. Especially big juicy sweet Scottish strawberries.

Oh my, they are divine. And all the more sweeter when they are bought on a yellow sticker, ha ha.

I've had a lovely four day break. Thankful to my friends for looking after my little family. Both Newcastle and Durham are lovely places to visit, well worth another look. Far too much to see in Newcastle in one day. Liz at the B & B was very welcoming, and it is conveniently situated to look round the area using the great transport links. Broom Farm Guest House is here.

Oh well, back to normality. The veggies are growing and need watering. The bags need unpacking. I don't need to go shopping I have enough in for a few days. Stuff the housework, the day is mine. Sunny again, I'm going to enjoy my garden. Have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.


  1. thank you for giving my spirits a lift this morning and other times when I 'pop in' to see what you're up to! you are quite an inspiration at the moment as I'm a bit down in the dumps and having to work hard at motivating myself.I remember sutton bank from my yorkshire childhood - I was always a bit worried we wouldn't make it!

    1. Sorry to hear your dumps are down. My motivation comes and goes, yours will return soon. When you are feeling down, just say, stuff it.

    2. thank you! my daughter says she thinks I have the opposite of SAD, and will be better in the autumn! probably true - being middle aged and menopausal in the heat is not a good combination!!

  2. Wonderful countryside views! Glad you had such good weather for your bimble!

  3. Glad you are safely home! Thanks for taking us along on your travels. Lovely views and yummy looking strawberries.

  4. That road sounds a bit like our Hard Knott Pass, which I believe is the steepest piece of road in England.

    Numerous signs on the approach road warn that it's not fit for caravans, but there's always somebody knows better. Sad part is it's often somebody with a huge 4x4 and big luxury caravan, both this years model, he'll show us locals how it's done. They usually get to the second hair-pin then get stuck. I often wonder how somebody who can't read makes enough money to buy these things?

  5. Ilona, what kind of camera do you use? Is it a camera phone or regular camera? Your photos are all so crisp and clear. You are a good photographer.

    Really beautiful views on your walk today. I've only been to southern England, but maybe someday will make it to northern England. There are so many lovely places to see there.

    1. Hello Barbara. It's a regular point and shoot camera. A Fujifilm 10 mega pixels. I don't understand fancy phones with all the bells and whistles. I carry a camera everywhere with me. I take lots of photo's and dump a good many of them if they are not up to standard. I tweak them on my photo editing programme. To sharpen a picture I put a bit of contrast on it, to enhance the colours I tweak the saturation, and I crop the borders to bring the subject matter closer. I would never publish a photo as it comes from the camera.

    2. Thank you for the information about your camera and photo editing. I'm going to start carrying my camera with me. I do not have a camera phone.

  6. That looks like a great place to visit :)

  7. What a breathtaking view, Barbara. So glad you were able to make it up the steep incline to enjoy it, and the strawberries.

  8. I like your travels - it's like going there oneself. I shall have to give "oh stuff it" a good try. Natalie

  9. Thanks you for sharing your holiday experiences and photos Ilona. Very enjoyable.

  10. Gorgeous photos thanks for sharing Ilona. My hometown is Newcastle which is named after the one in England.
    AussieCheryl : )

  11. I've read several days of your postings and am restored.Lately our house and it's sale has dominated our lives.It is so refreshing to read of your visit to Newcastle across the pond, seeing your visits to the monastery and woodworking shop,your white horse trek and meeting new walking companions,the fantastic views at Mare's Craig and a sense of your Durham's vistas.It's good to know that someone is eating strawberries on a hillside and living life well on holiday.Truly appreciated,regards,Destemona(Newcastle, Ontario neighbours with Durham region, Ontario)Small world,eh?The immigrants to our country surely thought of their mother country when naming places here in Canada, it goes on and on here.

  12. I love the views from the A170 heading over to Scarborough. Did you take the B road from Helmsley through Malton and onto Beverley? I remember it being a scenic route and it saves going back down Sutton Bank which can be unnerving.

  13. I love going along with you on your travels and I enjoyed this one a whole many interesting places.
    Glad you made it back home safely to the comfort of your home and family.
    Can't wait for our next trip!!!


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