Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Photo Review of the Year 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, I thought it would be nice to look back at some of the highlights of my walking year.  What follows then is a month-by-month reminiscence of the year, in pictures.


The first walk of the year was a cold and blustery trudge across the North York Moors from Goathland, past Fylingdales and over Sneaton Moor, back to Goathland.  Even the sheep looked cold.

The going was tough, with long stretches of frozen mud and puddles on the higher ground.


We began February with a Yorkshire Wolds circular route, from Pocklington to the pretty village of Great Givendale.  The paths were muddy.

But some welcome winter sunshine gave us a very pleasant walk in this pretty part of the Yorkshire Wolds.

In mid February we walked from Sutton Bank, on a cold, crisp morning, starting with that all too familiar view.

And continuing in a circular route, including a visit to Rievaulx Abbey.

We ended the month with a cold and dreary circular walk from the moorland village of Hutton-le-Hole, starting by the Ryedale Folk Museum.

The highlight of this walk was our discovery of the wonderful Yorkshire Blackout beer, brewed at the New Inn, Cropton.


Early in March we completed a 13 mile circuit of Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire, starting and finishing at the seaside town of Bridlington.


As the weather improved with the onset of Spring we headed off to the Yorkshire Dales for our first weekend break of the year, at the lovely little village of Kettlewell, from where we climbed Great Whernside in less than perfect conditions.

The second day of the weekend saw an improvement in the weather, and we completed a circular walk through Wharfedale, visiting the villages of Starbotton and Arncliffe.

The very next weekend we headed out to the Dales again, this time to Swaledale where we completed a circular walk from Reeth through Arkengarthdale.

With a highly enjoyable walk from Gunnerside the next day, visiting the charmingly named ruin of Crackpot Hall and returning along the banks of the River Swale.

At the end of March we parked our car at the railway station in the little Yorkshire seaside town of Filey, then caught a train to Scarborough, walking the ten miles back to Filey along the cliff top course of the Cleveland Way.


Spring had well and truly sprung when we completed a circular walk starting in the North York Moors valley of Farndale, famed for its daffodil reserve.

After crossing Blakey Ridge we walked through Rosedale and back across the moors to the Farndale village of High Mill.


May was the month we'd scheduled to walk the Yorkshire Wolds Way.  But first we needed a warm-up and so early in the month we spent an enjoyable weekend in Bilsdale, staying at the Buck Inn, Chop Gate.  The highlight of the weekend was a walk across the moors to the Wain Stones.

The following weekend we returned to Bilsdale for a walk to the highest point on the North York Moors at Urra Moor, walking across the moors to Bransdale and back.  Along the way we passed a valley carpeted with bluebells.

The highlight of May though (in fact, quite possibly the highlight of our walking year) was our completion of the Yorkshire Wolds Way - all 79 miles of it from the Humber Bridge to Filey Brigg.  An ambition I'd held for 17 years...job done!


At Market Weighton the Wolds Way divides, offering walkers a choice of route, which meant there was a short section we hadn't actually walked.  And so the following weekend we returned, to incorporate the "missing link" into a circular walk from the village of Goodmanham.

At the end of June we visited the Cleveland market town of Guisborough and walked around the Cleveland Hills, visiting the Captain Cook Monument and ending with a climb of Roseberry Topping.


In July we spent a very pleasant week in the Lake District town of Keswick.  We began the week with a most enjoyable climb of Blencathra.

The next day we had a rather dramatic encounter with Great Gable - a mountain I've resolved to climb again, in more favourable conditions.

The weather was kinder the following day, when we spent a happy day exploring the very beautiful Haystacks with its delightful group of tarns.

Our week of Lakeland climbs ended with a wonderful day spent on and around Skiddaw - the perfect way to spend my birthday!

At the end of July we completed a circular walk from the North Yorkshire town of Kirbymoorside, culminating with a visit to the very pretty St Gregory's Minster in Kirkdale.


Early August saw us back in the Lake District for a weekend at Coniston and a climb of The Old Man of Coniston.

Along the way we passed some fascinating old mining ruins.

The summit though was shrouded in cloud, robbing us of a view.

In August the heather blooms on the North York Moors, and to make the most of this we walked from Rosedale to Lastingham, visiting Ana Cross.


We returned to the Lakes in early September, staying at the town of Penrith from where we headed to Haweswater for a climb of High Street, Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell.

The weather was glorious and the climbing superb.

The following weekend we returned to the Yorkshire Wolds for a very pleasant circular walk from the little village of Settrington.

We ended September with a circular walk from Sutton Bank via Boltby, Gormire Lake, climbing back via the Kilburn White Horse.


October began with a walk from the Hole of Horcum on the North York Moors.

We saw plenty of steam trains along the valley of Newtondale.

And walked across the moors to visit the ancient Lilla Cross.

A weekend away in mid October started with a walk in the Yorkshire Dales visiting the fascinating Norber Erratics.

And the staggeringly beautiful Maughton Scar.

The second day of our weekend was spent exploring the Howgill Fells (full blog to follow).

With a circular walk to the summit of The Calf.

Returning via Cautley Spout.

The following weekend we visited the Lakes once again, this time staying in the town of Cockermouth.  The weather was far from ideal, with strong winds and rain, but we managed to struggle to the top of Grasmoor, despite being blown over several times.  My blog about this walk will be published early in the New Year.


The highlight of November was a return trip to the Lakes, with a short break in Keswick and an enjoyable walk, beginning with an ascent of Latrigg.

And concluding with a climb of Lonscale Fell, in less than ideal conditions.

Although when the cloud parted, we were treated to some spectacular views.

The month ended with a return to Chop Gate and a lovely late autum walk, revisiting a walk we had completed in May, along Cold Moor and out to Carlton Bank.


As Christmas approached we found ourselves with very little time available, and just managed to fit in one cold and blustery moorland walk, starting at The Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge and following the course of the old Rosedale Railway.

I've enjoyed writing my blogs throughout the year, almost as much as I've enjoyed the walks themselves.  2014 has been an excellent year and,  sorting through all my photos from our walks has not only brought back some great memories but it has also whetted my appetite for the year ahead.  I'm hoping 2015 will be just as much fun (if not more) and, with luck, will see us complete at least one long distance trail.  

In conclusion, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2015!



  1. A year to treasure. Thank you for sharing your walks and your stunning photos. I will be back to your blog in 2015!

  2. Thank you for your blog in 2014, I've really enjoyed reading it! It even persuaded me to complete the Wolds Way myself. Looking forward to 2015 and the many blogs!

    1. Thank you Matt. That's really great! Later in the year I'm hoping to complete the Dales Way as this year's long distance challenge. That's 80 miles from Ilkley to Bowness-in-Windermere.


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