Tuesday, August 28, 2007

more moors

Expanded version of earlier post with a new link to the Yorkshire photos, as the first lot only seemed to upload partially. A few accompanying observations which may be of interest:

Sunday: The Spurn peninsula is (to me anyway) a unique and fascinating geographical phenomenon; formed by longshore drift and the constant washing of sediment down the coast from the soft shoreline south of Flamborough Head, then eventually, as the same process narrows the neck of the spit, completely destroyed and washed away every 250 years or so, only for the process to immediately begin again a bit further north and west of the previous spit. By this timetable the current peninsula should have been destroyed in around 1850, but various groynes and other strengthening activities have increased its lifespan by another 150+ years. But this is only delaying the inevitable; driving along it now you can see where the peninsula road has been constantly re-routed over the years. Some time soon, probably within a few decades, Spurn as we know it will be gone. And then in another century or so it'll be back. Permanent sand spits can be much much bigger, a couple of good examples are in the Baltic. So as long as you can speak Lithuanian you'll be fine.

Monday: We stayed at the campsite at Middlewood Farm - very nice, but a bit windswept if the weather's a bit damp and breezy, which it was. While it was a bit nicer, in the morning, we walked along the track of the old Whitby to Scarborough railway between Fylingthorpe and the bricked-up tunnel at Ravenscar, stopped at the old alum works for lunch and then headed back to Robin Hood's Bay for an ice-cream and a pint. Lots of plaques etc. referring to the town being the end-point of Wainwright's Coast To Coast Walk. You can even get a plaque of your own to take away with you, if you like, just in case you have the sort of friends who, after you've been away walking for a fortnight and return exhausted and mud-spattered, choose not to believe you unless you can produce an engraved souvenir plate of some sort. Frankly in those circumstances you might be better off investing in some new friends.

Tuesday: Whitby Abbey is quite atmospheric in the fog - seems somehow appropriate as this is where Count Dracula came ashore (in the form of a giant hound) in Bram Stoker's novel. There is a Dracula Experience in the town, which I was expecting to be some sort of museum of literary delights, but turns out to be some sort of ghost train ride with people clanking chains and making woo-woo noises. The lunchtime fish and chips was very nice, though.

Wednesday: The highest point on the North York Moors is Round Hill on Urra Moor at approximately 1490 feet. So naturally I wanted to go and stand on top of it; this proved less easy than you might imagine in thick fog on a fairly featureless heathery plateau. We found it eventually, though. We had a sadly abortive attempt at cheese racing in the evening - Morrison's cheese slices have sadly inadequate seam sealing, though, resulting in fatal leaking of cheese.

Thursday: We stayed at the campsite at Spiers House for the second half of the week. On Thursday we took the waymarked 9-mile walk from the campsite around the Rosedale valley, and extended it by a couple of miles to the New Inn at Cropton, which has its own brewery out the back! And the beer is very nice, though calling their basic ale Two Pints (two pints of Two Pints, please) is a little bit arch and cutesy for its own good.

Friday: The North York Moors Railway claims to be the most popular heritage railway in the country. After all, they've got the village out of Heartbeat and Harry Potter (Goathland aka Aidensfield aka Hogsmeade). Far more importantly, the local co-operative shop in Grosmont sells excellent steak pies.

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