Dave Greenwoods, “Trip to Yorkshire. March 2024.

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Three days of Yorkshire and beyond Monday 4th – Wednesday 6th March.

How this trip came about.

I was planning a trip to Yorkshire to visit my mum, who is in her 80’s and now lives in Hornsea on the coast of East Riding of Yorkshire and my daughter, Eden who lives in Weeton just north of Leeds. These days when I call my mum to arrange a visit, her questions are not dissimilar to my young army days by querying “how long are you home for”? but with slight variations such as, “you know I don’t cook anymore”? This time it was an all-new one to me. “there’s no room for parking your car” I replied, “oh ok. well, I can ride to 70 plus miles over from Eden’s” “That’ll be fine, but how long are you staying for”?

Putting a plan together.

Having just watched All Creatures Great and Small, I fancied a ride up through the Yorkshire Dales, so Eden’s would be a great place to start the ride on the Monday, with a destination of Burhope County Durham to visit an old Army mate with one nights digs. Then to mums for a second night on the coast of Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire.  Finishing on day three back to Eden’s via York.

My choice of steed for this trip was my Harry Hall, steel framed Audax/tourer. I loaded it up with two Ortlieb panniers and some extra winter kit and over night stuff.

I headed out in sub zero temps and fog, that I was hoping going to lift soon so I can make the most of the Dales. I headed out towards Harrogate for my first planned stop at The Army Training College. I first visited this place as a very young 15 year old in the September of 1980 for a two day induction, completing physical, medical and aptitude tests. A  taste of Army Cookhouse food and presentations of different aspects of the British Army. On completion of this induction I secured myself a place in Junior Leaders Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, joining June 1981.

Heading on, my lunch time destination was to be Middleham, the fog was lifting nicely, but the temperature was still hanging around the zero’s. Onto the Dales, passing through places such as Kirby Malzeard, Masham. Reaching Middleham for 11.30, covering 40 miles and 3800 feet of climbing. Middleham is famous for its race horses and the town sign states Human population 800, Race Horses 550!

After a lunch break from the local shop I headed on. The sun was out and I was being gifted with some fantastic views of the dales and I was either ascending or descending some great climbs. Bernard Castle at 60 miles was my next stop. I had transited through here in 2013 During the epic, London, Edinburgh, London 1400km  Audax. 

Leaving Bernard Castle and into the snowy tops of Teesdale I covered another 30+ plus miles to visit the Derwent Reservoir and then my most Northern point of Whittonstall before heading south bypassing Consett and finally onto Burnhope, covering 110 miles and 12,400 feet of climbing. My hosts greeted me warmly with “what time do you call this”? Thrust a beer in my hand and fed me slow cooked curry.

Day two started with a short run to Durham train station to catch the train to North Allerton. With a relatively flat start, although heading into a light southerly, the weather would be dry with cloud cover. A quick photo opportunity at Alanbrooke Barracks a place I was familiar with during a posting further up in the North East. The route started to get lumpy as I headed easterly through the North York Moors towards Easingwold, a family favourite pastime for a drive out and Sunday Lunch. Then onto Malton 45 miles in for a spot of lunch. After the lumpiness of the moors, it was pretty much a down hill run to Hornsea. I stopped for a quick photo of a Yorkshire Wolds Way sign, a walk from Hessle near Hull to Filey on the North Coast. I had hiked and camped about 50 miles of this walk during the Easter break 2011, preparations for a youth expedition in Norway. 

I took the route via the Army town of Driffield before getting to Hornsea covering 85 miles and 4000 feet of climbing. As I entered my mum’s close it was no surprise that the car park was empty. There was no time to challenge her on this as she promptly sat me down for a salmon, new potatoes and veg dinner. After dinner she insisted I visited the local to rehydrate and on my return a hot water bottle would be warming my bed.

After a hearty breakfast I headed out first heading north back through Driffield to then head down to York, it was another dry day but with plenty of cloud cover.  I hit quite a bit of lumpiness just south of Malton but nothing to troubling. Heading into York I routed past Strensall Army Camp, Eden (daughter) had been in the Army Cadets here. I went through the centre of York as I had not visited for many years. Exiting York I headed onto Boston Spa and Wetherby where I spent many good years of my youth, before finishing at Edens in Weeton, covering 93 miles and 4000+ feet of climbing. I again was spoilt rotten with toad in the hole and washed down with some beers. Most excellent. 

Total distance 287 miles.

Total climbing 20,480.

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