A few weekends ago, I decided to head out for a walk listed on the North York Moors. I decided I’d pick an easy 8/9 mile walk to ease my self into the hiking. The trail itself turned out to be a mix of steep walks and beautiful views. Joined by a couple of friends and another hound companion. This is how we got on.
Upon arrival at the national park carpark, we got prepped for our walk, arriving at around lunchtime the sun was beaming but there was a cold chill. I decided I should put my fleece on for this just in case. We saw a ticket machine and tried to figure out how to use it but it turns out it was out of the paying season so we got free parking for the duration of our walk.
Heading out through the village we followed the directions on the North York moors trail card. Which gave us handy waypoints so we never lost our way. Following the direction of the card we took a corner then as we were about to walk down the road we turned around to notice a really sharp right that we should have taken immediately to pass the church. This almost threw us off and we nearly headed the wrong way. Luckily, we noticed before we got any further. Walking past the church onto a pretty muddy footpath we champed through, it was fairly easy but my friend almost lost their shoe in the mud. It was quiet, the village barely a peep, the silence was broken by the loudest of barks. Unsure where the noise came from we scouted around, all was ok though, it was a guard dog locked away. Although I never actually saw it.
A steep walk
We got past the dirt trail fairly easily and headed off through a couple of gates into the open access land. I kept echo on a lead through here as I didn’t want to disturb the wildlife. As we were walking through I started getting pretty warm, maybe the fleece wasn’t the best decision, we stopped I made up a g-fuel put my coat in my backpack and off I went. We finally got to the top of the first hill where we decided to stop and take a few pictures.
After a few pictures, we headed off back on our walks. Following the trail we came to some stairs, this was some stones in the ground, they weren’t too steep but having a dog that wants to run everywhere attached to your waist isn’t a good idea. After nearly slipping a dozen times we made it to the bottom. Gunshots fired in the distance, Echo wasn’t fond of the loudness of them, which made for a difficult adventure. Time for a break, we sat down on a few rocks to refresh the dogs and to get me another g-fuel. We had quavers, bourbons, and I brought fruit gums. With the remnants secured in our bag, as we didn’t want to litter, we headed off!
To the wainstones we go
Following the path along, we eventually saw the wainstones, they looked great, the climb up to see them wasn’t as strenuous as the previous hill climb. We arrived.
After this we weren’t too sure how to get past the wainstones as it wasn’t clear on our trail card, after walking back and forth for a while we found a small path that lead around the side where we could get up with the dogs, it was almost vertical but filled with grass and a few convenient rocks to be used a foot holes.
Upon reaching the top, we were greeted with a wonderful view. We could see the large hill we just walked over and all of the surrounding countryside. After snapping a few pics, I glanced at them and notice how the clouds looked like they were drawn on with a ruler.
We pressed on, eventually coming to the end of this hill. This one was not as steep but echo still almost pulled me down a few times. Not a great experience but I survived. We could already see the next hill we were meant to be climbing, it looked huge and there was a road separating it from us.
Crossy road and up.
This was the final hill we had to deal with and by this point, I had horrendous blisters on my feet caused by my new boots which I didn’t have time to wear in properly.
As we were heading up the hill, we saw the strangest thing; there was a guy riding a unicycle down, I have to say I was seriously impressed with the level of skill that must require, I wish I had gotten a picture but I was too amazed.
Heading up the hill felt like a challenge, these blisters were excruciating. How did I forget my walking socks? It was a rookie mistake. We made it to the top, it felt like an eternity. We saw a bunch of sheep which just sort of stared at us from a distance. Luckily, sheep are pretty placid and tend not to be an issue. So we pressed on down a public bridleway; taking in the scenery and trying not to lose our shoes in the mud. One of my friends ended up getting cramp in her toes, so we had to stop. This means we were losing ground, something we didn’t really want to do as it was due to get dark soon. The last thing we wanted was to follow a trail, in the dark without a torch. Since then I made sure to purchase some basics like a torch, first aid kit for us, and one for the dogs.
The map said we need to cross a stream further along the path, so when we came to an opening that looked like a stream that had dried up we were convinced that we were on the next step, we were wrong; heading further along we came to an actual stream, as it turns out, this was the stream our trail card mentioned.
Down a hill and seeing houses.
After we crossed the stream we followed the trail around until it was time to take a sharp right and head off the bridleway. We came to an opening that looked like the description and after considering going down there we decided it didn’t look quite right so we pushed on for an extra 50 metres and saw the correct path, this definitely looked like the correct way as we mapped the path to the trail route.
It was windy, with a slight decline; not an issue for a normal walker, a little harder with a dog attached. Heading down this long and winding path we could see some houses. We continued following this route and just hoped to make it to our next waypoint.
Success, the final stretch
We made it back to the road we crossed over at the previous hill, we knew were heading in the right direction. Following the road it felt like it went on forever, I thought it was never going to end. Finally, we saw the first waypoint, we knew we were close. We couldn’t wait to get back just to take the weight off our feet.
After arriving back we all quickly changed from our walking boots to our alternate shoes, we were glad we had finished and maybe next time I’ll remember my walking socks. It was a great walk that I would most certainly do again. If you would like to follow the trail yourself you can get all the details on the north york moors site, or you can click here for a direct link.
Here are a few more pictures I took on the walk.