Friday, 27 September 2013

More Moor walks and a castle

On Sunday we dropped one of the heritage sites from our list as we knew that we had too many to fit into a single day. Pickering Castle was the obvious choice as it was close to home base and was open from Thursday to Monday. Today, being Thursday, we headed off to tick off this last remaining castle.

Of course it was a ruin. Situation normal.

The introduction to the castle features states:

The grassy mound and  teh curtain walls punctuated by tall towers are the most prominent features of this royal fortress. The mound was raised by William the Conqueror. The stonework on the mound and around the inner courtyard or ward is of early thirteenth-century date and was built for Henry III when the castle was a necessary defence against the Scots. The outer entrance, the curtain wall and its three towers were built on the orders of edward II in 1323-26. These were the last additions to the defences. Later improvements concerned the New Hall and the Constable's Lodging, reflecting the castle's role as a centre for hunting in the Forest of Pickering and for the administration of its local territory. By the time of the Civil [when many of the other castles we have seen over the past week were destroyed] its military purpose had long been abandoned and most of the castle was in decay.
The mound was quite impressive.

Here is a selection of my photos of Pickering Castle.

Outer wall


Bit of the structure that remains on the top of the very substantial mound
A tower in the outer wall. This one has three levels

Trevor standing in the doorway at the bottom of the tower. The doorway is at the end of the path in the previous photo.

There was a significant area between the inner and outer walls
Having done the castle we headed off to the Moors. Our first walk commenced above the small settlement of Rosedale Abbey. It was supposed to take us in a circuit that took in the Rosedale Moor but something went wrong and we found ourselves in Rosedale Abbey with quite a hike back to the car and only part of the walk actually done.

Still, the scenery was pleasant and the day was reasonably warm.

View across the valley and up to the moor from our starting point
Black and white spotty sheep
We have seen a wide variety of sheep over the past four weeks but these moorland sheep were new to us. They are horned and were spotty.

Having managed to not do the first walk according to the walk description we decided that it was time for lunch. This took us across the moors.

The valleys continued to look very pretty.

The heather is well past it peak however there are still some flowers to be seen. The moors must look spectacular when it is out in full flower.
And then we came across a mob of black sheep with curly horns. They were quite happy to occupy the road and had no concern at all for the traffic.

Our second walk was starting from a village called Lastingham. There are some great place names in this area. Cropton, Spaunton, Hutton-le-Hole were all on our path.

Even though it is quite a small village there were still a number of lunch options and we opted for the one which was recommended in our guide book. The food lived up to expectations and suitably replete we headed out for walk #2.

Across England there are paths that cross farmland and other property. This does not permit ramblers to walk wherever they choose however you can end up in some funny spots. We walked through a couple of farm yards today.

Trevor walking through a farm yard. Note the shed full of big, round bales of hay
The views across the green fields to the moors beyond continued.

On Tuesday we had come across a well maintained dry wall. Today we walked along beside one that was in desperate need of some tender loving care. even then it may still be terminal.

Yet another valley view
A few times I have mentioned the pheasants wandering all over the place. Over the past couple of days more and more dead pheasants are appearing on the roads. Not surprising as they really are dumb birds. Today we came across a lot of pheasants including a whole bunch in on the the fields that we passed.

Can you see the pheasants?
The track we took meander through a couple of areas of forest. The forests have tended to be very mixed with some quite old trees alongside yonnger ones. The understory is anyones guess.

A section of the path going through a woodland
There were a lot of other walkers out today. Most people were walking in pairs with the odd solo walker.

I'm not sure why there are great gouges out of what would normally be the village green in Hutton-le-Hole but that may explain the name
We stopped and got an icecream in Hutton-le-hole. There were a lot of walker ambling through or enjoying an icecream or a spot of afternoon tea.

Just as we were leaving Hutton-le-Hole we noticed a bunch of people on bikes heading out of the village.

We did come across more of the horned black sheep. trying to get them to stand still to get a decent photo was another matter altogether.

As we neared the end of the walk there was one final gate to go through ... the last for this trip.

This is the end of our Yorkshire stay. Tomorrow we will be dropping off the car and catching the train back to London and hotfooting it out to Heathrow for our flight through to Jordan.

I'll post updates on our Jordan trip just as often as I have internet access.

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