Memories of Yorkshire Dales walks, North York Moors hikes, Lake District climbs and Yorkshire Coast strolls

A record of interesting sights and notable experiences in the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors, Lake District, Howardian Hills, North Pennines and other regions of Yorkshire and Northern England. The contents of this walking diary are shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Thursday 10 June 2021
Bellow Hill, Hardraw village centre
Yorkshire Dales

Time for a sit down at the end of a Wensleydale walk to Great Shunner Fell, Butter Tubs and Fossdale. This comfortable and beautifully carved wooden memorial bench with great views of the village makes the ideal resting spot.

Thursday 10 June 2021
West House, Simonstone, Hardraw
Yorkshire Dales

A peacock treats me to this wonderful display as I walk through the farm. The male birds grow their trains of iridescent feathers during the mating season, fanning them out and rattling them to attract a mate. Scientists in the US have used eye-tracking cameras to work out exactly what peahens find alluring in a peacock’s tail fan. Side-to-side eye movements suggested that females were gauging the fan’s width and that they were most interested in the striking eyespots on the feathers.

Thursday 10 June 2021
Cliff Gate Road between Hardraw and Thwaite
Yorkshire Dales

At Butter Tubs, over thousands of years, slightly acidic water has eaten away the 325-million-year-old carboniferous limestone rock to create these weird shafts with their distinctive fluted edges. Rainwater seeps into natural cracks (faults and joints) in the rock and over time the cracks have grown into the vertical shafts or potholes we see today. Some of the potholes are up to 24 metres deep and still growing as water continues to trickle into them.

Saturday 17 April 2021
Minor road north-west of Wescoe
Lake District

The trunk of an ancient tree. Look carefully and you’ll see a teddy wearing a green jumper. The road was lined with extremely old trees which appeared to be dead but were still sprouting young branches and twigs.

Saturday 17 April 2021
The Skiddaw mountain range
Lake District

Paragliders on the south-western flanks of the Skiddaw mountain range, about a mile south-east of Little Man. In the background is Keswick and Derwent Water.

Tuesday 6 April 2021
The Moors National Park Centre, Danby Lodge, Danby
North York Moors

A sunny day but windy and cold. Despite it being the beginning of April, I still need a coat and hat. There is a dusting of snow on some of the surrounding North York Moors hills.

Monday 5 April 2021
Muggleswick Park, County Durham
North Pennines

Stony Hill, looking like a moonscape because of the surrounding burnt heather. Managed heather burning normally takes place over the winter and in early spring when there are no birds nesting on the ground and the soil is generally wet.

Sunday 4 April 2021
Muggleswick Park, County Durham
North Pennines

The Three Curricks, with Derwent Reservoir in the background. A currick is a Cumbrian word for what is more commonly known as a cairn, a man-made pile of stones used to guide travellers.

Saturday 3 April 2021
Muggleswick Park, County Durham
North Pennines

The view north-west towards Derwent Reservoir, with the village of Edmundbyers on the left-hand side of the photograph. The reservoir was opened in 1967 and is one of the largest inland waters in England, capable of holding 11,000 million gallons.

Friday 2 April 2021
Whitehall Moss, County Durham
North Pennines

A lovely S-shaped seating area by the side of the Waskerley Way disused railway line, about a mile east of Smiddy Shaw Reservoir. Waskerley is just visible in the background, on the horizon on the far left of the picture.

Tuesday 30 March 2021
Sleightholme Dale, by the side of Hodge Beck near Penny Holme
North York Moors

Yellow skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus). Also known as western skunk cabbage, American skunk-cabbage or swamp lantern, the plant is found in swamps and wet woodlands alongside streams. It is called skunk cabbage because of the distinctive ‘skunky’ smell it emits when it flowers.

Monday 29 March 2021
The Esk Valley Railway between Commondale and Castleton
North York Moors

Steam locomotive 62005 passes by as I sit on a bench enjoying a coffee and taking in the views. LNER K1 62005 was designed by the London and North Eastern Railway, built by the North British Locomotive Company in their Queen’s Park Works, Glasgow, and delivered to the fledgling British Railways in June 1949.

Sunday 28 March 2021
Danby Park between Danby and Castleton
North York Moors

The silvery-white bark of the silver birch makes this tree one of the easiest to put a name to in winter, when there are no leaves to help with the identification process. In older trees the bark is thick and deeply fissured at the base, whilst higher up it is smooth and often develops a pattern of black diamond shapes.

Saturday 27 March 2021
Danby Park between Danby and Castleton
North York Moors

Silver birch (Betula pendula) woodland. Silver birch trees are slender, fast growing and reach a height of about 30 metres, forming a light, airy canopy.

Friday 26 March 2021
Danby Park between Danby and Castleton
North York Moors

Hoof fungus (Fomes fomentarius) growing on the stump of a silver birch tree. Other common names are tinder fungus, false tinder fungus, tinder conk, tinder polypore and ice man fungus. It is shaped like a horse’s hoof and grows mainly on birch trees, which it infects through the broken bark.


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