Sunday, 22 September 2013

What a difference a rail makes.

As you may have noticed by the "More interesting stuff...." links down the right hand side,  I like reading other people's blogs and websites. This is for loads of reasons,  not least because they show me areas and walks that I know nothing about.  This of course leads to me wanting to go and see these places for myself, which then leads to me dragging Peter in whichever direction has taken my fancy this time.  (Not actually true, Peter is always as keen as I am......  after a little bit of pushing)

So this walk is one I ripped off  from Alen's Because they're there....... blog which I very much liked the look of.  Thank you Alen. 

The walk mostly follows a disused railway track around the very lovely valley of Rosedale. (Map on Alen's blog).

We started the walk from the car park just a little south of the Lion Inn.   Following the old railway heading North.
Following an old railway line is easy walking.  It's not boggy, tussocky or uneven, and remains pretty level without steep inclines or descents.  You don't have to concentrate on where you're putting your feet all the time and instead your eyes can soak up the scenery whilst you're walking.  On such a beautiful day, there was loads to soak up.
We have no idea why this little pool of water exists.  Something to do with the railway line I'm sure.  It was crystal clear

Approaching Rosedale Head. As Summer gets ready to handover to Autumn, the colours are wonderful. 
Approaching Reeking Gill .  What a fantastic name
The fantastic thing about Reeking Gill is the enbankment that crosses it. Walkers and cyclists don't have to climb down into the gill and then back up the other side.  You could consider that the countryside would look better without that great bank of earth across the little ravine, and maybe you're right.  But to be honest on today's walk I wasn't really thinking about that, my lazy side was just loving it.

Looking back from Sturdy Bank ( She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes..........)
Just lovely. 
I loved this little ruin.  Such a tiny little building, and I loved the fact the fireplace and chimney were just about intact.  I'm not sure what it was used for.  A signalman perhaps.  There are steps going down to the back of the building as well as a path leading from the front to the railway line.   It all makes you wonder. 
We were now approaching remnants of the ironstone industry and the reason why the railway was built in the first place.  Abandoned Communities. Rosedale  tells the short history.

Calcining kilns set one.  Apparently these didn't work as well as they should, and a different design was tried. 
These huge structures had Peter and I scratching our heads trying to work out what they were.  The English Heritage boards explained that they were kilns used for roasting ironstone to reduce it, (known as calcining).  It was then lighter and easier to take away.
Calcining kilns set two,  a few hundred yards a way from the first.  English Heritage has taken over both sets of  ruins. 
As I said earlier.  The walk follows the railway line around the very lovely Rosedale.  Alen's route then crossed the valley back to Blakey Ridge, although I think you can carry on following the railway route to complete the circle.  We followed Alen's route and descended into Rosedale, past Hill Cottages and the waiting dog (see Only a Rosedale, I give you...), and Craven Garth Farm
Looking back at the remants of an industrial age. 
You can see from all the photographs it was a truly wonderful day. Really sunny and warm. Actually, maybe a little bit too warm, especially on the climb up out of the valley onto Blakey Ridge.
That part of the walk was a little bit of an adventure to be honest.  The bracken had grown high, and neither we, nor the two people walking in front of us, or the three people walking towards us, could work out where the path was.    
Can you see the path...........?  No.........?  Neither could we, but we followed one through that lot anyway. 
We blundered through, and did manage to find something resembling a path.  You can see from the photo that even though seven people had trampled the same invisible path through the bracken,  it remained hidden, ready to defy the next batch of walkers trying to enjoy a simple day out.
Looking back on a beautiful dale at the end of a beautiful day. 
OK, so we got to the top a little bit hot and sticky.  But the whole walk was well worth it, it was a shame for it to come to an end to be honest, but we did have a little treat to make up for it in the shape of a very welcome pint in The Lion Inn.  Considering it's in the middle of nowhere, The Lion Inn is a surprisingly large and well established pub and eatery.  Somewhere to keep in mind for the future.

So a lovely end to a lovely afternoon.  7 ½ miles in record time. The easy walking meant our normally walking speed increased by nearly a third. So that's the difference the rail makes.


  1. I think I walked along a short section of the old railway when I did the Lyke Wake Walk with friends over twenty years ago.

    Some lovely photos taken on a beautiful day.

  2. Hiya Tracey. You had a fantastic day for the walk. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the links. I'll have to get myself back to that area and do some more exploring because there is so much to see.
    Cheers, Alen