Passenger Tales


It had to be done – there was, once again, a chance to see the Farndale Daffodils using the Moorsbus. Not as easy as it was a few years ago, certainly, but with EYMS’s Easter start for the Moors Explorer this year, the impossible became possible.


So, not too bad a forecast last Sunday and the temptation proved too much. (Yes, I know that I should have been sorting out some more wordy bits for the new Moorsbus website....) Poor Helen couldn’t make it, so off I trotted with map, water, plenty of layers and a generous lump of Guilt.


Mick and the Moors Explorer turned up bang on time, and he didn’t mind me taking a quick picture of it next to the (terribly civilised) daffodils in Aislaby. Not many on, which surprised me, but upstairs were John “Evyore” Stewart and Ste Dawson.  Great to see them both again, and John had the same idea as me. Ste was off to Castleton, I think, and a chap at the front was going to dismount at the same spot as us, but head off in the opposite direction to circumnavigate the Rosedale bit of the Rosedale Railway.


Bounding over the Moors in a double decker was rather special. Wish we could do it with the Rambler, but Castleton railway bridge would spoil everybody’s day if we did. John and I headed down Blakey Bank together, and caught up on all sorts before we parted at Church Houses. He was going to head straight off to see the daffs and end up at Hutton le Hole, but I thought that it would be a shame not to grace the Feversham Arms with my presence. So, a quick, but delicious pint of Black Sheep later, and I thought it time to set sail before I was tempted by one of the immense Sunday lunches being (wo)manhandled by. A quick thanks to Rachel the landlady, whose dress sense remains very impressive, and daffwards I went.

First glimpse of some proper daffs.


As usual, they were lovely, and there seemed to be fewer spectators than in previous years. Maybe they were still stoking up at the Feversham. Even before I reached the Daffy Café, I must have met half a dozen children being carried, and many more grizzling mightily. I bet their parents would have loved a nice warm Moorsbus to get them back to the car instead of having to resort to bribery, coercion or deceit to avoid being a packhorse.


By the time I got to Low Mill, and the end of the hard pathed walk-it-in-sandals-or-high-heels-if-you-want-to section, it had got a fair bit busier, and I hadn’t much to reward myself with yet so gave one of the famous Bandroom tea and cake treats a miss. I made do with feasting my eyes, instead, on a delicious and utterly immaculate *Thruxton Velo in the car park. I’d like to apologise to the owner if I inadvertently drooled all over it.


And so onwards to Lowna, my favourite section.

Sun and shade in Farndale.


People are much scarcer here, but the daffodils much more prolific.

The Lowna daffs.


It’s much the loveliest part of the Dale at this time of year, I think. I passed the time of day with a couple of York lasses who were staying in Kirkbymoorside and, who, never having seen them before, were enthralled with the daffs. Hopefully, I talked them into using the Moorsbus to get to see them next year instead of having to walk round in a circle.

The Quaker Burial Ground


A short break at the emotive yet tranquil Quaker Burial Ground, over the lovely beck with no sign of Sarkless Kitty, and it was back to the glittering windscreens of Car Park Land at Lowna itself. Such sights could almost raise a smidgeon of “Holier Than Thou” amongst us bus using ramblers, but I’m sure that it never actually would....


Anyway, in amongst all the shiny modernity I found an ancient Land Rover with a certain patina and all its doors open. When I reached the back of it I found Phil, a long lost acquaintance of many years yore taking the sun on its tailgate in his Sunday best Barbour jacket and wellies. Another catch-up, and it was time for the next leg. The weather was lovely now, so I wasn’t ready to arrive anywhere yet, and Kirkbymoorside seemed a better idea than the short walk to Hutton, so I headed off below Gillamoor into the very beautiful but very different Douthwaite Dale.

Douthwaite Dale


The valley opened out, and the flowers changed from daffodils to celandines, anemones, primroses and violets. The sun picked out the lovely Douthwaite house in its magnificent setting on the far side of the valley. Up through the pine woods and on to the Tabular Hills for the last short stretch to Kirkbymoorside.



The usual stunning view of Kirby nestling below came as no surprise, but what was in the little copse to the left did.

The woodland floor was a mass of primroses and violets, and it almost outdid the daffodils. A splendid end to a splendid walk.

Those amazing primroses and violets


Actually, not quite the end, because it seemed very wrong to visit Kirby without paying homage to its newest small business, The Kirkbymoorside Brewery. A proper brewer runs this fine establishment, and he even gets his water from his very own borehole. So, time for a leisurely sample of the lovely Kirby Gold at the White Swan, and out to be met by a brace of elegant maroon double deckers, and the choice of either the 128 or Moors Explorer to take me home. The 128 won, just because it’s cheaper, but I nearly got on the Moors Explorer by mistake....


Nothing to do with that Kirby Gold, of course.


If you get the chance, do the walk yourself. There may be fewer daffs this Sunday, but there will be many more springtime flowers than I saw. Enjoy it.


And, thanks, EYMS!



19th April 2015


 *It’s a stunningly beautiful classic motorcycle, which sounds sweeter than a **Strad.



**A Stradivarius violin or cello, instruments made by the Stradivari family of Cremona in C17/18th, and are each worth the price of a large bus company today. They sound almost as nice as a Thruxton Velo.

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