Thursday, 31 December 2015

Photo Review of the Year 2015

All too quickly 2015 is drawing to a close.  It has been a very busy and eventful year and, when it has come to writing about walks for my blog, time has got the better of me.  I'm way behind!  But I will eventually catch up and, in the meantime, I'd like to share with everyone a brief review of my walking year in pictures.


We started our walking year in early January with a cold and windy walk alongside the Pocklington Canal.

Pocklington Canal

In spite of icy blasts of wind and flurries of sleet, along the way we were surprised to see a batch of newborn lambs.

Very early lambs


In February we took a snowy Yorkshire Wolds circular walk, starting out with a climb out of the village of Thixendale.

Snowy Thixendale

The walk took a little longer than we'd anticipated and the sun had set long before we got back to our car, making us thankful that we'd had the sense to pack our head torches.

Sunset over the Yorkshire Wolds


Early in March we set out from Goathland on a bright and sunny but very windy day for a circular walk over the moors.

Route of the Lyke Wake Walk above Goathland

Towards the end of the walk the clouds suddenly gathered and before we had got back to our car the ground was already thickly carpeted with snow, leaving us with something of a slippery drive out of the village and back to the clearer main road.

Snow settles on Goathland

A week later and we were back in the North York Moors National Park, starting out from Ravenscar with a lovely view over to Robin Hood's Bay.

Robin Hood's Bay from Ravenscar

The route took us through woodlands and along the edge of Jugger Howe.  We didn't pass another person for the entirety of this walk and it was very peaceful.

Boardwalks below Jugger Howe

Towards the end of the month we visited Robin Hood's Bay and walked along the clifftop route of the Cleveland Way to Whitby.
On the Cleveland Way between Robin Hoods' Bay and Whitby

The day had been cloudy to begin with but had brightened by the time we reached Whitby, which was crowded with visitors.  Our return route was via the "Cinder Track", the cycle track which was once the route of the old Scarborough to Whitby railway line.

Whitby's 199 Steps

In early April we visited the moorland village of Egton Bridge from where we struck out on a circular walk, starting by the side of the River Esk where daffodils gave us the first signs of Spring.

Spring by the River Esk

We then continued to the higher moors, walking along Glaisdale Rigg before returning to Egton Bridge via Egton High Moor.

On Glaisdale Rigg

The following week we enjoyed a short break in the Yorkshire Dales and a walk from the Wensleydale village of Bainbridge

Bainbridge in Wensleydale

This route took us along a former Roman road before returning to Bainbridge via the shorts of Semerwater.


In mid April we returned to the North York Moors for a walk from the National Park Centre at Danby in search of the Hanging Stone which can be found on the moors above the village of Botton.

The Hanging Stone

We concluded April with a visit to the Derbyshire Peak District where we spent a couple of nights in the village of Castleton.  On the first day we set out from Castleton and walked through the very picturesque Cave Dale.

Cave Dale

We then climbed Mam Tor and walked along the Great Ridge before returning to Castleton via Hope.

Along the Great Ridge from Mam Tor

 On the second day we walked from Castleton to the start of Pennine Way in the village of Edale from where we enjoyed a rocky ascent of Kinder Scout.

Climbing Kinder Scout

On the top of Kinder Downfall there were magnificent views.

On top of Kinder Downfall

And our return route to Castleton was via Rushup Edge.

Rushup Edge


We began May by completing our first long distance walk of the year - the 20 mile long Headland Way which follows the coast between Bridlington in East Yorkshire and Filey in North Yorkshire.

Flamborough Head

In mid May we visited the little market town of Helmsley where we parked by the castle.

Helmsley Castle

And from where we set off to follow a section of the Cleveland Way before turning into Bilsdale.


June was all about the Dales Way.  We set out on the 13th and spent a full week covering the 80 or so miles of this long distance path from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere.

The Dales Way

Along the way we enjoyed some spectacular Dales scenery.


And, on the whole, the weather was very kind to us.



In July we returned to the North York Moors.  The heather was just beginning to flower as we set off on a circular walk from the Hole of Horcum on the Pickering to Whitby road.

The Hole of Horcum

Along the way we visited Mauley Cross, one of several stone crosses to be found around the moors.

Mauley Cross

In July I celebrated my birthday with a short break on the North York Moors, beginning with a stay at Cropton and a visit to the nearby site of Cawthorn Roman Camps.

Cawthorn Roman Camps

From here we were treated to wonderful views across the forest and the moorland beyond.

Cropton Forest

The next day we stayed in Bilsdale and enjoyed a couple of days walking, starting out with a visit to the Wainstones.

The Wainstones

And the following day completing a long circular walk from Bilsdale and along a section of the Cleveland Way.

On the Cleveland Way


The highlight of August was our completion of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge with our nephew Cameron.  But first we had to do a spot of training and, for the second time in the year, we completed the Headland Way from Filey to Bridlington.

Back on the Headland Way

The day we chose to complete the Y3P was hot and sunny.

Peak No. 1 - Pen-y-Ghent

It was tough going at times, but 11 year old Cameron completed it with ease and we all thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

Descending Peak No.3 - Ingleborough


In early September we enjoyed a fantastic week's holiday in the Lake District, staying in Keswick, from where we started the week by completing a 16 mile circular walk taking in Causey Pike, Sail, Crag Hill and Grasmoor.

Causey Pike

The next day we ascended Blencathra via Scales Fell and descending via Blease Fell before walking back to Keswick.

Approaching Sharp Edge, Blencathra

On the third day we took a short trip by launch across Derwentwater to Brandelhow from where we walked to Grange and onwards for an ascent of Castle Crag.  On the way up we had a wonderful view of Borrowdale.

Borrowdale viewed from Castle Crag

From Castle Crag we walked back to Keswick along the shores of Derwentwater, all the while enjoying beautiful views of Skiddaw.

Skiddaw from the shores of Derwentwater

Our fourth day should have been a rest day, but the glorious weather was set to continue and the mountains were calling.  Setting out at 5 a.m. we climbed Skiddaw, in darkness by the light of headtorches to begin with.  The cloud cover was low and as we reached the summit we walked out of the clouds to be greeted with a magnificent cloud inversion.

Cloud inversion from the summit of Skiddaw

And, for the first time in my life, I saw a Brocken Spectre - my shadow surrounded by a rainbow halo.  It was truly magical.

My Brocken Spectre

For our final day of walking we took a bus from Keswick to Buttermere and then walked back, along the way climbing Robinson, Hindscarth, Dale Head, High Spy and Maiden Moor. 

The magnificent cairn on the summit of Dale Head

It was an epic week of walking made all the more memorable by the fantastic weather.

Wonderful weather - Happy me!

At the end of September, as the nights began to draw in, we completed a circular walk of 20 miles starting out from Blakey Ridge and walking to Bloworth Crossing before turning to walk through Baysdale.


By the time we got back to Blakey Ridge the sun had set and a harvest moon was shining over Rosedale.

Harvest moon over Rosedale


October began with a trip to West Yorkshire where we enjoyed a short break at Haworth.  On the first day we walked alongside the Leeds Liverpool Canal from Bingley to Saltaire and back.

Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath

The next day we walked from Haworth to visit the Bronte Waterfalls and Top Withins, the ruined farmhouse which is supposed to have provided the inspiration for Wuthering Heights.  It was a very bleak and drab day with the worst kind of lighting for photos.

Quite possibly the worst photo of Top Withins...ever!


Our walking year ended in November this year as work and family commitments prevented us from venturing far from home.  Therefore our final walk of the year was in mid November when we paid our second visit of the year to Bilsdale.  When we set off from Chop Gate to climb up to Barkers Crags the valley bottoms were filled with mist.

Mist in the valley

The day soon warmed up though and by the time we had reached the Lordstones we were wearing t-shirts and recorded a temperature of 21 degrees.

The Lordstones


And so another year draws to a close.  Although I didn't complete any lengthy walks this month I continued to walk around four miles every day and by the middle of the month I had completed my goal to walk 1,500 miles in the year.  I hope to repeat this goal in 2016 and also to complete at least one long distance route in the year ahead. 

All that remains is for me to wish all my readers and Facebook followers a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2016.  
Happy New Year!