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North York Moors (2)


This was a quick weekend trip which Steve had been proposed on Outdoors Magic - meeting at Newton-upon-Rawcliffe for a weekend of walking on the North York Moors. As Newton-upon-Rawcliffe is just up the hill from Levisham on the North York Moors Railway this seemed like an obvious candidate to get some train days in.

The route I ended up taking was:

  • bus to Ely. This was unusual, I normally get Beth to drop me at Waterbeach and start from there, but the connection was all wrong for that. It also turned out to be a mistake as I had a migraine, which often makes me nauseous anyway, and so I ended up feeling very pukey. I didn't throw up though and at Ely Tesco I bought some Kwells which calmed my tummy for the rest of the journey
  • packed fast train to Peterborough
  • my old favourite, National Express East Coast, in first class as usual, up to Darlington
  • from there I switched from the sublime to the ridiculous with a two coach DMU which was barely better than a bus over to Middleborough via Stockton - yes, this is that line, the original Stockton and Darlington railway
  • at Middlesborough, after a short delay, I got another DMU heading for Grosmont. This is lovely little line snaking its way through the countryside to Whitby across the top of the North York Moors. The only catch was that the train was packed.
  • finally at Grosmost I hopped across to the other platform, sprinted down to the end and over the level crossing to get on the train to Levisham which was hauled by Southern Railways 825

825 paused at a stop signal
825 paused at a stop signal

At Levisham I met Beth, who'd driven up with Jake. I'd thought I was meeting her at the camp site but at least this would save me the short and steep climb through the woods. What neither of us realised was that by meeting me Beth had left us with a small problem: although the camp site was only a few hundred metres away on foot it was 14 miles away by car! There was no way for a car to cross the river valley down which the NYMR line runs before you got as far south as Pickering.

Our tent at the camp site
Our tent at the camp site

Anyway we camped at The White Swan1 overnight before walking down to the station on Saturday morning to catch the train to Grosmost. This time it was diesel hauled sadly, especially for Kate who'd never been on a steam train before ... and wasn't destined to do so today.

From Grosmost we walked back via Goathland (which plays the part of the village of Aidensfield in the TV series Heartbeat). You can see the route the main party took here. I bailed out at around the 8.5 mile mark as we crossed the line at Newtondale Halt and leaving them to climb onto the ridge on the other side of the valley I flagged down the next train, my old friend 825 again, for the short journey back to Levisham. There was, I must admit, a particular pleasure in this bit: waving my hat at a train until the driver acknowledged he'd seen me with a little toot of his whistle sent a shiver down my spine.

My train back, as viewed by Beth from the ridge above the line
My train back, as viewed by Beth from the ridge above the line

So that was about it from a train point of view. We had a fun time on Sunday at the Roman camps at Cawthorn where Kate gave us a tour and we then popped in to see Beth's Dad before heading for home by car.

  1. Recommended: nice little site and a lovely pub with good beer and excellent grub in huge portions.

Written 24/08/10

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