We did a lot of walking in the North York Moors – even when we were ‘going’ somewhere! So this post will deal with 1 of the days that we were, sort of at least, heading somewhere and I will do a separate post for the days we actually set out just to walk (to the top of Roseberry Topping and to see Captain Cook’s Monument to be precise).
On day 2 in the Moors we headed to the nearest decent sized town, Stokesley, which turned out to be extremely pleasant. The parking system was disc parking and, not having a disc, we drove through and parked as soon as we could, giving us a short walk back into town. There are an awful lot of old buildings in Stokesley and the centre has a really nice feel about it, with lots of independent shops and several butchers, bakers and greengrocers.
We also found a dedicated running shop here (I needed a new water bottle). The 1st bottle they showed me was £35 – I politely explained I wasn’t actually THAT much of a runner! I did get what I wanted though, and then realised that I recognised the couple from my previous morning’s ‘run’ – I had stopped to wait for them to pass me with their 4 dogs as I was embarrassed by my shambling and didn’t want them to observe it! These 2 are proper runners – he went up the hill like it was a Sunday afternoon stroll, whereas I had to bully myself up this hill (all 20m or so of it…). The shop is called Let’s Run, and they are very involved in coaching and getting beginners out with groups.
From here we headed towards Middlesborough as we both wanted to see the Transporter Bridge that crosses the Tees there.
We found it, and we went across the river on it (£1.30!), a very quick crossing after which we found ourselves in an area called Port Clarence, which used to be very busy, but which is now less so.
We had a quick drive around Middlesborough and were impressed by the evidence of past grandeur, and also the clear evidence of ongoing regeneration.
Making our way back the, slightly long way, we saw another bridge that appears to lift. I have since discovered this to be the Newport Vertical Lift Bridge which is no longer in use, so no chance of seeing it in action unfortunately 😦
A couple of days later we decided to head south through the moors towards Helmsley. Our route took us east first towards the National Park centre; we had to turn round and find somewhere suitable to park off the road (the car park charges in the National Parks are ridiculous – anything between £2.40 & £4, regardless of how long you’re staying – 10 minutes or 10 hours…)
The centre itself was interesting though, and we think that you must be able to book accommodation there as we heard the cashier asking for some astronomical sums of money! (£324/£687..) Or they were buying truckloads of pencils, notebooks and mugs 🙂
We travelled down through Danby and headed for Rosedale Abbey, a pleasant little village where we stopped for a cuppa. There used to be a priory here, for nuns, and there are the remains of a tower from this period in the church yard. The church itself isn’t actually particularly old. There is also a school building that really confused us, as the front looked like houses but the end like a school! Also the public footpath actually passes through the playground (although the gate is locked when the children are actually as school!
An old guy we were talking to in the café did tell us how many children attended the school – unfortunately I can’t remember how many, but we do know it was very few!
From here we took the road that DIDN’T avoid the steep hill. We were so glad we did as at the top of the peak we found a number of structures that turned out to be the remains of old roasting kilns of Bank Top. We spent a short time exploring these, together with a number of others who had been lucky enough to find them (or maybe they already knew about them..)
We then drove through Hutton-le-Hole, a really pretty little village with a brook babbling through it and the ubiquitous tea shops! We would have loved to stop, but the same problem with parking raised it’s head and there wasn’t anywhere else suitable to park in the village. We are honestly not skinflints, but with the amount of places we’re visiting we can easily stop 4, 5 or 6 times in a day. If the car park tickets aren’t transferable between car parks (which they aren’t usually) this could cost between £10 & £25 per day depending on where you are….
Next stop was Helmsley, a lovely market town with it’s own castle (English Heritage). We visited here, as usual quite late in the day! It was quite interesting, in particular 1 of the rooms which still had the original panelling and frieze in place. In the shop I found some recipe cards which I picked up and also bought some ginger curd to make one of the cheesecakes. The recipe cards have since gone missing…. We’re now on the hunt to replace them!
As we left Helmsley we noticed that there were signs up for motorhome parking, so we investigated. Motorhomes are indeed welcome to park overnight between 6.30pm and 9am – free 🙂
By now we were pleasantly shattered so headed home – via the Chip Shop in Great Ayton. Long queue; lovely dinner!
Keep travelling! 🙂