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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Beautiful Rosedale and the eastern Moors

On what was a lovely winter's day we headed up to the North York Moors again on Saturday, primarily to view a few properties in the area but also to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of this corner of the British Isles. With one of our properties now nearly sold (fingers crossed that the sale proceeds without any hiccups) our search for a rural hideaway deep within the hills and dales of the Moors has entered a new phase and we were able to check out a few lovely properties yesterday, one of which I have to say I liked very much, especially as regards its position nestled within a quiet and sheltered dale with Cropton Forest to the east and Rosedale to the west.

I don't know about you but this view alone makes me want to call this home

Farms down in Rosedale

Being open moorland all this land is open access though dogs aren't allowed (a plus for me)

Another attractive aspect of the house is that it is within an easy cycling distance of Hartoft Rigg, from where one has a fantastic view across Rosedale, certainly the most beautiful of all the valleys in this part of the North York Moors, while the numerous footpaths, bridleways and open access land which abound in the area offer a nature lover such as myself a wealth of potential interest throughout the year with possible garden wildlife including Badgers, Grouse, and even Nightjars, sheer heaven :-)

Another view of the bench at Hartoft Rigg

The green pastures of Rosedale

Looking across towards the infamous Rosedale Chimney Bank, reputedly one
of the steepest roads in England and one which is great fun to cycle down

Indeed a bracing walk across the moor above the village of Rosedale Abbey offered numerous encounters with Red Grouse, most of course being of a distant nature, but one or two were much tamer and allowed me take some decent enough pictures with my Nikon D90 & 70-300mm lens. In the mixed woods on the edge of Cropton Forest Siskins were both seen and heard frequently and thanks to the fact that this part of eastern Yorkshire has seen relatively little rain lately (at least compared to southern and western parts of the country) ground conditions were very good for the time of year (in fact less than half of the normal December rainfall has been recorded so far this month back home near Beverley).

A remarkably tame Grouse doing his best Famous Grouse impersonation

A female Grouse looking lovely in the winter sunshine

A more typical view of Red Grouse when walking on these moors

The 'Famous Grouse' again

After enjoying our time in this part of the Moors we headed north-eastwards and crossed the huge expanse of heather covered moorland which divides Rosedale from Eskdale, this area of heather moor being the largest single expanse of such habitat in England (& Wales). Red Grouse were seen frequently as we drove along the lonely windswept road but there were no signs of more exotic birds such as Hen Harriers or Merlins. Eventually we dropped down into Eskdale, taking time to check out a few properties in the area, and then headed to Grosmont for a little bit of train spotting at the North York Moors heritage railway.

Train crossing warning light at the station at Grosmont

The now familiar 'Green Knight', a locomotive we've seen a lot of this autumn/winter

Diesels can be pretty too, including one of the NYMR's workhorses 'Sybilla'

Trains on show included the steam powered Green Knight (75029), Peggy (29) and the diesel powered Sybilla (D7628) and with pleasant enough weather we enjoyed an hour or so at the station watching the world go by. However as the sun stared to fall and temperatures likewise followed, we decided it was time to wend our way home, though we had time to stop off at Goathland and see the Green Knight arrive and depart the pretty station at Goathland (which will be familiar to those of you whom used to watch Heartbeat). All in all it was a fantastic day which was blessed with some of the best weather (as regards photography) we have had all month :-)

The Green Knight pulling into Goathland in late afternoon

Heading southwards from Goathland

A rainbow over the golden moors

A gorgeous golden light as the sun sets over the Moors

And to end with how about a little bit of spot the Grouse :-)