Anthony BoydellUnited Kingdom
UnspecifiedWelcome...to my Shed!
If you tell a group of fizzing children that on one of the days of their holiday you're going to take them on a lo-ong walk then, I'm afraid, you're going to meet some resistance. There's an arsenal of tricks to be utilized to keep them chivvied along - sweets, drinks, the promise of a toy etc - but we've also discovered that breaking that journey into sections (that can be 'ticked off' as we go) is also very effective: the walking equivalent of the Microsoft progress bar, if you will. Thus, I give you the GROSMONT RAIL TRAIL - four miles from Goathland to Grosmont and ending at the start of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway...
Leg 1: Moor Cottage --> the line of shops in the middle of the village; hang a left at that corner junction taking us down the Village Traffic Only side-road to the gate that marks the start of the GROSMONT RAIL TRAIL proper.
Leg 2: Down the long slope - spying the water treatment works through the trees - to Incline Cottage at the bottom. There is a four-way footpath split going to Mallyan Spout waterfall, deeper into the woods, ahead to Grosmont (that's us!) and right to Beck Hole and the Pub:
Leg 3: Crossing the first stream either by the sturdy, wooden bridge OR using the huge stepping stones (the kids' favourite). Glance at the site of the original Beck Hole station halt and then onward to a brief split in the route: go ahead for a flat walk OR right - into the trees - for a clambering course running along the shore of the river.
Leg 4: The diverging paths meet at the big river crossing - site of at least two previous bridges and a new, walkers' one. We'd lost the boys for a bit - they decided to splash about in the water for a bit - but we were soon back on track.
Leg 5: An open stretch of cinder path with lowland to the left (foundry sites) and an ornate bridge in the middle of a sheep field (the railway passes under it, so the animals have quite the posh journey to grass!).
Leg 6: Another bridge - this time a bigger one - with huge pillars you can clamber onto from the new crossing: another diversion for adventurous children, Ziggy joined the boys on their tower. On the other side, a tunnel of trees and a shady amble passed a lone holiday cottage - we're close to the end of the trail already!
Leg 7: The terrace of cottages faces the embankment upon which sits the track and several frames of signals. A wide, cinder path runs parallel to the track giving us a glimpse of the Engine Sheds - ahead - in the distance. Rusting, electric passenger coaches from the 1950s snooze in the baking midday sun.
Leg 8: No further access to the Sheds ahead so we cut through the Kissing Gate to the rising hill path that overlooks the oily, steaming Works. We usually (mis)time the walk such that we see a train steaming back towards Goathland at this point; had we marched a little quicker and/or left 10 mins earlier, we would've been on that one - the 12.30PM!
Leg 9: We rise to the top of the path and are greeted with my favourite view:
Leg 10: The last bit - passed the Church and the viewing platform with gardens, across the wide river and through the level crossing to Grosmont Station. We now have plenty of time to grab some lunch (and browse the bookshop) until the 13.30PM to Pickering is ready for us!
The rest of the afternoon is spent with head-out-of-window/smuts in the eye as we chuff through the bright day back to Goathland and, thence, to Newtondale Halt and Levisham and the Pickering terminus:
Pickering - the end of the line - is home to a grand Turntable, a wide stock of wagons and a huge, newly-built (and still being finished off) Carriage Shed: a lot has happened since we were here two years ago!
The ice-cream parlour was still open as we trudged up the hill and along the verges toward Moor Cottage: a much-appreciated treat to round off a splendid, if tiring, day.
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
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