Friends, Romans and Countrymen…

Some time ago I suggested to a few friends from outdoorsmagic.com that we should perhaps have a meet on the North York Moors as a change from our usual haunts of Scotland and the Lakes. Having used the campsite at the White Swan in Newton-on-Rawcliffe in May it seemed an ideal location.

We arrived on Friday afternoon after a very wet drive down from Ayrshire. Having said that it did clear up considerably as we crossed the Pennines and the forecast for the weekend had also improved remarkably from a few days earlier. Just goes to prove that God is indeed a Yorkshireman!

We managed to get our new family sized tent (which some likened to an air balloon!) pitched in between the showers. We then retreated to the pub for an excellent meal and one or two (OK, probably five or six!) beers.

Saturday morning saw us wake to fine, dry weather so after a cuppa and breakfast we headed down to Levisham station to catch the train up to Grosmont. Unfortunately a couple of steam trains were being repaired so it was a diesel that took us through the depths of Newtondale.

We arrived at Grosmont just after ten o’clock and were soon on our way towards our first stop of the day, Beck Hole. We very sensibly refrained from alcoholic refreshment at the wonderful Birch Hall Inn instead having coffees outside. We then made our way across the river, pausing to spot trout, and up above the railway line to Darnholm and Goathland station. We continued on into the village past the “Aidensfield Arms” and “Scripps’ Garage” to have lunch on the village green.

Looking down on Grosmont

Looking down on Grosmont

From Goathland we headed onto the heather moors of Two Howes Rigg and down to the forest. Through the forest tracks we eventually found ourselves at Newtondale Halt where Paul decided to get he train back to Levisham. The rest of us crossed under the railway line, climbed up out of Newtondale and made our way along the edge of the valley to Skelton Tower. We had another break for food and admired the fabulous view. A bit of improvised scrambling took place as well!

The motley crew leaving Goathland!

The motley crew leaving Goathland!

Skelton Tower above Newtondale

Skelton Tower above Newtondale

We finally made the drop down to Levisham station for an ice cream before the final pull back up the campsite and another a lovely meal and drinks in the pub.

Sunday saw us having a leisurely breakfast with barbequed sausages (both links and square varieties!) then packing up the tents before heading to Cawthorne Roman Camp for a highly entertaining overview of Roman warfare from Dr Kate Gilliver! We also had a re-enactment of Romans v Celts with replica sword although the outfits might not have been completely authentic!

Sunday morning BBQ breakfast

Sunday morning BBQ breakfast

Celts versus Romans!

Celts versus Romans!

We finished the weekend off with lunch at the excellent New Inn in nearby Cropton. Oh, how I miss good Yorkshire pubs!

Many thanks for all who turned up including Ian, Hilary, Jonathon and Emily from Hornsea who just happened to be staying with friends at the White Swan campsite again – I hope you weren’t too traumatised by meeting what my daughter Jennifer calls our weird internet friends!

Walking towards Skelton Tower

Walking towards Skelton Tower

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