Glaisdale and Whitby: a visit to the North York Moors

A weekend with friends in a cottage in the North York Moors National Park? Perfect! Glaisdale is a pretty village, built on a steep valley descending to the River Esk. Our cottage, Thorneywaites View, was the former cow byre of the farm at High Brock Rigg – at the top end of the village as the name suggests. Right down at the bottom near the river was the railway station, which we used to visit Whitby, and the pub, the Arncliffe Arms. We enjoyed a meal there one night – not enjoyed quite so much was the walk back home which was, of course, all uphill.

Crossing the river just beyond the pub and the station is the picturesque Beggar’s Bridge. Legend has it that the inscription on the bridge (1619 and the initials TF) refers to Thomas Ferries, the son of a moorland farmer. When he was courting he had to ford the Esk to meet his young lady, Agnes, whose father considered Thomas too poor for his daughter. Thomas resolved to seek his fortune at sea but, with the river in flood, was unable to cross to kiss his sweetheart goodbye. Returning later, a wealthy man, Thomas married Agnes and built a handsome bridge on the very spot so that other impecunious young lovers would not have the same problem. Maybe not entirely true, but a good photo opportunity. From there, we did a lovely circular walk via Glaisdale and Egton Bridge.

The cottage and its surroundings:

The walk – a perfect arrangement with a pub in the middle and a tearoom at the end:

It must be almost 30 years since I last visited Whitby. Because we took the train, and they weren’t very frequent, we only had a few hours there and spent most of the time at the 13th century abbey perched on its headland:

So, a fabulous weekend with good weather, good food and good company – including John, although that’s not apparent in the pictures because he took them all! Must try harder to include him next time.

In England’s green and pleasant land

I felt very foreign in England this weekend as it celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee. True, there was not as much bunting as I had expected (but still a lot more than I had spotted in Glasgow, i.e. zero). However, we went to a ” Last night of the Proms” style concert in Wetherby and I was astonished at the sea of red, white and blue. It was a very pleasant evening, on the whole, with a picnic followed by music and fireworks, but waving flags to jingoistic nonsense such as Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory makes me distinctly uncomfortable. So I was a grouch and opted out. I consented to stand up and sing along to Jerusalem, which was our school song as my friend reminded me. So earlier in the day we had explored England’s green and pleasant land, quite literally, at Fountains Abbey, and in the evening we visited it metaphorically. I know which I prefer.






Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

Monday was a beautiful sunny day in an otherwise dreich Bank Holiday weekend in Yorkshire. Our friends had planned a walk round Fountains Abbey and Studley Roylal Estate, following this route from the Guardian. As well as the 12th century abbey, this World Heritage Site offers an Elizabethan house, a Georgian water garden, a Victorian church and a beautiful deer park. The weather was perfect for it all. Highlights follow.

St Mary’s church

This is a little gem. Commissioned in 1870 by the first Marquess and Marchioness of Ripon, whose tomb and effigies are in the church, it was designed by William Burges and consecrated in 1878. I loved the way it was a little church pretending to be a big cathedral, and its colourful interior.





Deer Park




Water Park


The Abbey




Fountains Hall



Cats, curry and a camp

In 1968, two 11-year olds started secondary school at Rutherford in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Coming from different primary schools they didn’t know each other, but they ended up next to each other because seating in the form-room was arranged alphabetically and both had surnames beginning with M. Decades later, the friendship forged that day is still going strong and was picked up again this last weekend. Yes, those 11-year olds were me and my oldest friend. We visit each other year about, and this time it was our turn to go down to Valerie and Kenn’s in Bramham, Yorkshire.


V & K have two cats, Tiger and Dipsy. We love cats, but didn’t replace the last one who died over 3 years ago, so it’s always nice to stay in a feline-inhabited household. These two are fine with humans, but the best you can say about their own relationship is that they tolerate each other.




After we arrived on Saturday, we went into Wetherby for a curry. The Jaflong Tandoori was good and reasonably priced, though not up with the best in Glasgow. Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Eden Camp

Sunday was bitterly cold and bore no resemblance to June. Eden Camp, seen below, is a modern history museum based in the original huts of a Second World War prisoner of war camp, so there was nothing so fancy as heating and I froze. There was a lot to take in and it was very interesting, but my brain just went numb after a while. Maybe I should go back some time in the summer? Oh wait….