Leader : Ian Bagshaw. Distance : 6 miles.
With a storm threatened from the West it was touch and go whether we would proceed on todays walk but we usually rely on the Countryfile weather forecast and Toamsz Schofenaker did not let us down. No rain until 4 pm and before that quite a nice day and it was.
Hawnby is in Ryedale so it is quite along journey to the start but we travelled by Osmotherly and reached our starting point just before 11 am. The village of Hawnby is pretty deserted and we did wonder if there was anyone living there currently.The bus shelter in the centre of Hawnby is very substantial and constructed from Oak but we were unable to locate a mouse.There are two churches in Hawnby and a pub but all are or seemed to be closed. The Pub is to let but none of our elite band of walkers felt that it was going concern.
Walking a short way along the road to Kepwick we took the footpath which goes directly North out of the village. A bit muddy under foot to start with but we enjoyed getting out into the fresh moorland air and very soon we were appreciating stunning autumnal views as we skirted the base of Hawnby Hill.
We took our elevenses at the northern most flank of Hawnby Hill and it was quite mild and there was a hint of sun in the sky. We did not discuss Brexit, we did discuss the American Mars landing and also Derrick’s model village layout that he has been making for Christmas. Apparently he can lie in bed and activate it all from a remote control switch.
We then strode out across the barren moor and came down to Sportsmans Hall where we crossed Ladhill Beck on a substantial but rather slippery bridge.We made our way over Bumper Hagg, There is a Bumper Castle around here but slightly away from our route. We found an ideal spot with substantial stones where we could sit and enjoy our respective lunches.The view to the west was to Hawnby Hill and to the east Easterside Hill.
After lunch we followed the bank of Ladhill Beck which seemed to fizzle out. This is coal mining country and there is much interesting history to discover. There was a Bumper Coal mine which presumably was near Bumper Castle ? http://nymcc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/The-Moorland-Collieries-of-North-Yorkshire.pdf
Up to High Banniscue Farm and here we saw our first sheep. The farmer was hammering stakes into the ground which were clearly posts from which those on the Hawnby Shoot would be shooting .Throughout our walk we had remarked on the number of pheasants strutting around – we hoped that they would avoid the ‘sportsmens’ cartridges !
We reached the Hawnby Road at Easterside Lane and then it was a steep descent which Derrick did in reverse before the final 500 steps of the sting in the tail back up into Hawnby. As we arrived in Hawnby we met two huge furniture removal lorries that were making their way back to the main road. We wondered whether they were coming or going ? And there were our cars – there were 5 of us and we did just over 5 miles.