A hike-free day in Helmsley and some productive sketching. Good-bye to the Tabular Hills and Swan Cottage and hello to the Cleveland Way. Preparing for the second stage of my hike around the North Yorkshire Moors, and meeting an acquaintance.
Aussie, my host at Swan Cottage in Newton on Rawcliffe where I have been for the last five nights takes me with my travel bag to Helmsley and I leave it at Carlton Lodge B&B . The busy little market town is the starting point for the Cleveland Way and from here until I arrive in Staithes, my bag will be transferred by The Sherpa Van Project who I have also used to book my accommodation for each night.
It’s a chilly day and I am drawn like a magnet to a sale in Helmsley Outdoors shop where I buy a fleece gilet.
I am a member of the friendly online community of BlipFoto and have arranged to meet a fellow member in Helmsley. It’s good to meet a new friend and we have a good chat about common interests over a coffee.
Then to Helmsley Castle which sits almost hidden behind the town, just the top of its high keep overlooking the roofs of the small streets below. I pay my English Heritage fee and do my best to avoid the ‘Wouldn’t you like to be a member?’ pressure that one gets at all their sites; living in Ireland is a perfect excuse.
The castle is an impressive site but the wind howling around the buildings is perishing until I find a more sheltered spot half way down into the dry moat to sit and sketch.
I wander along to the Walled Garden , built in 1758 to provide produce for Duncombe Park and find a quiet seat in the Vine House Café for a sandwich and a sketch in the warm, airy conservatory.
I eat a good meal in The Feathers in the market square and have time for one more sketch before a sound night’s sleep in a bed with a proper blanket instead of a sweaty duvet! In the morning I will start the Cleveland Way: 110 miles if I do it all, but I have planned a four-night stay in Staithes which will give me options to complete some or all of the final coastal sections down to Filey depending on how I feel after 5 days hiking from tomorrow. Will I make it?