Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Joyous Adventures of Snakey-Boo

A birthday quest yesterday!

Despite a night out in Bacchus the night before, I met Mum at 8.30am and got the bus up to Whitby. Gotho joined us and we all had a breakfast in Wetherspoons. There's something about fried food that eradicates any potential hangover - I think they should be available on the NHS.

Caught the 11am train to Goathland, on the North York Moors Railway. No major occurances to report on the journey - the other passengers were all well-behaved; no children singing, no loud foreigners jabbering nonsense - nothing to rile me. The gods were clearly smiling.
I am smiling in Goathland - am I too a god? Perhaps not.
Wandered through Goathland - which despite the grey weather, and the cancellation several years ago of Heartbeat, was still quite busy with tourists - and along the road to Beck Hole. Turned of through the fields down towards Water Ark, which has a curious arrangement of bridges, and a good supply of hairy caterpillars too.
Called in to the Birch Hall Inn, for a birthday pint of Black Sheep in the beer garden, next to the river, then joined the historic Rail Trail beside the Murk Esk. 

Mum found a pile of shoelaces beside the path, and was about to pick it up (she's a bit like a magpie in some respects), but it turned out to be an adder. Couldn't get a photo 'cos it squirmed off into the undergrowth, so had to satisfy myself with receiving admiring glances from sheep instead. It was a pleasant stroll, and very quiet - think everybody else must have stayed within staggering distance of The Aidensfield Arms. Mum was pleased at the amount of wildflowers - orchids in particular, while Gotho found more than enough entertainment from the signs for the Deviation Shed at Grosmont.
Looking slightly less hungover at Grosmont
Watched a bit of vintage railway activity for a while, then bought a pie from the Co-op (still no match for Hinderwell). There was still some time to wait before the steam train back to Whitby, so I persuaded the others to walk to Egton Bridge and back - it being only a mile and a half away up the Esk Valley, with a lovely pub (The Postgate Inn) right next the station.
The walk seemed a lot further than it should have done - the sun was coming out now, so I had to carry my coat - but at least I saw a dead pheasant, and fed some dandelion leaves to a field of friendly hens. Took a couple of photos at Egton station - the main building is now a nursery, so I'm probably on some sort of register now - but disaster! The pub was shut!
Egton. Nice station, shame about the pub :(
Despite the disappointment of no alcohol, all was not lost. Had a quick nose around St Hedda's church. It's Catholic so the interior decor is a lot more glamorous than your average C of E establishment - particularly liked the golden stars all over the ceiling. The walk back to Grosmont seemed much quicker than the outward journey (sun back behind clouds now), and we got the train back to Whitby with time to spare. 
Best of all, the refreshment trolley was selling wine! Brillo!

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