Showing posts from September, 2014

Coniston and The Old Man (Lake District)

I think walking in the Lakeland fells must be addictive.  Somehow, after a week of altitude, even my favourite stomping ground, the North York Moors, just didn't seem quite the same.  The Lake District had left me with an almost overwhelming urge to climb and the moors were quite simply not high enough.  I'm certain a great many other people share this hankering for hills.  It's why Lakeland is so popular all year round.  And it's why any proposed trip there has to be booked well in advance of a weather forecast with any kind of accuracy.  And this, in turn, is how we came to spend a weekend in Coniston at the same time as the tail end of Hurricane Bertha was predicted to lash across the UK. It was less than a month after our week in Keswick and I was missing the mountains.  I desperately wanted to climb again.  To feel the pull in my leg muscles, to experience the heat and the breathlessness and to push on, ever upwards, ignoring the fatigue, consciously regulating m

Kirbymoorside, Gillamoor and Kirkdale (North York Moors)

Of all the towns and villages within the North York Moors National Park, Kirbymoorside is perhaps the one we pass through the most regularly without actually stopping to visit.  This small market town, which has a population of around 3,000, sits half way between the more popular destinations of Helmsley and Pickering.   Although it was once on the main coaching route between York and Scarborough, today the town centre is bypassed by the A170 which skirts past the southern edge of the town.   I suspect, like us, most visitors to the moors simply drive by on their way from one "honeypot" destination to another, without actually turning into the town itself.  I can't help but wonder if this isn't to the relief of many residents of peaceful Kirbymoorside. Both Helmsley and Pickering are home to impressive castle ruins, and perhaps this is one of the reasons Kirbymoorside has not witnessed the same growth in tourism as its neighbouring towns.  There was a castle here onc