Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Month: April 2024

  • An Ancient Route into Bransdale

    An Ancient Route into Bransdale

    In days of yore, should you find yourself journeying from Stokesley to Bransdale on foot, or perchance on horseback, this very track would have been your chosen descent into the dale. It held sway as a vital route for many a year. This ancient road, depicted on a 1782 estate map under the title ‘from…

  • A Byland Abbey ghost story

    A Byland Abbey ghost story

    When Byland Abbey yielded to Henry VIII’s Suppression Commissioners in 1538, it housed 25 choir monks alongside Abbot John Ledes. A hundred years prior, a monk had settled in the scriptorium to write twelve ghost stories on a blank page appended to a commonplace manuscript of rhetorical and theological works. These tales, in Latin, predominantly…

  • A Duck’s Day Out — Low Barns Nature Reserve

    A Duck’s Day Out — Low Barns Nature Reserve

    A day for ducks, as they say, thus what could be more fitting than a leisurely stroll around a wetlands nature reserve. The Durham Wildlife Trust’s Low Barns reserve is a worthwhile place to visit. Even in the rain. Nestled alongside the River Wear, it boasts woodlands, grasslands, marshes, and ponds. This assortment of habitats renders…

  • Blackthorn’s Starry Flowers Precede the Bluebell Spectacle

    Blackthorn’s Starry Flowers Precede the Bluebell Spectacle

    The bluebell meadows in Newton Wood are on the verge of bursting forth in a hue of cerulean blue. However, it is not their time quite yet. The initial shoots can be seen, but presently it is the blackthorn that commands the spotlight of spring. Masses of blossom, soft and disordered, the twisted thorny shrubs…

  • A Descent to Blea Wyke Point

    A Descent to Blea Wyke Point

    I have never been an adrenaline junkie. The thrills of white-water kayaking or downhill skiing have never quite captivated me. However, present me with a new place to explore, and I find myself wholly satisfied. The bold headland of Blea Wyke at Ravenscar, standing at an elevation of 180 metres, presents terraced undercliffs cascading one…

  • Where am I?

    Where am I?

    I am curious as to how many among you will succeed in locating this photograph without resorting to further reading or consulting the map provided at the bottom of the page. The two cyclists may give it away or else that slither of tarmac on the right. It is, of course, Scarth Nick, a pass…

  • Hutton Moor—A Story of Ownership and Change

    Hutton Moor—A Story of Ownership and Change

    Hutton Moor, with Highcliff Nab and Guisborough in the distance, holds memories of the 1970s when I initially settled in the area. At that time, it bore scars of degradation due to off-road motorcyclists exploiting it as their playground. Under the ownership of the Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate, I found myself compelled to seek…

  • Low Mill, Bilsdale

    Low Mill, Bilsdale

    Low Mill, a small corn mill presently under private ownership, stands beside the swift waters of the River Seph amidst the charming valley of Bilsdale. Historical records date its inception to the 16th century, though subtle signs suggest its presence may extend as early as the 12th century, coinciding with the establishment of Rievaulx Abbey.…

  • Cattersty Sands—From Fretful Sea to Fragile Foam

    Cattersty Sands—From Fretful Sea to Fragile Foam

    A visit to the sea-side. Back at home, we had woken up to a wet but mild morning. However, the scene at Cattersty Sands was a different world. A sea fret unfurled before us, though glimpses of blue peered above sporadically. Typically, the surf maintains a steady rhythm, a predictable ebb and flow. Yet on…

  • The Ghost of Madame Turner

    The Ghost of Madame Turner

    Barely a glimpse of Busby Hall can be gained from the limit of the Public Bridleway which follows the old coach road leading to the estate. Remarkably, this track once served as the main entrance. Presently, entry is gained through the village of Carlton-in-Cleveland. Pevsner, the architectural historian, offers a description of the hall as…