The 1st Moorsbus walk of 2015 started at Castleton in excellent warm and dry weather. The Arriva buses were on time, though the bus from Saltburn came without a ticket machine (2 weeks later, the same bus came without an engine which was a bit more of a problem).
The walk started down Wandels Lane, heading up Danbydale behind Castleton. Skirting round St. Hilda’s Church in the dale, we continued along tracks and tarmac to soon turn left up the side of the dale along the Jack Sledge path. A quick Google shows that Jack Sledge is an unemployed janitor from Memphis, according to his LinkedIn profile, so he must be very proud and a tad surprised to have a North Yorkshire footpath named after him.
On reflection, maybe it’s a different Jack Sledge. Never mind, can’t be pestered to do any more research. The path winds its way steeply up the slope on to Danby Rigg, where the views of Danbydale are spectacular and worth the climb up through the bracken.
Botton Farm – a community of people with learning difficulties, subject of much media attention as the owners do battle with the residents – spread across the upper part of the dale, whilst Castleton was still clearly visible at the Eastern end.
We walked along a thin path down the Rigg, then descended to Ainthorpe just in time to catch the lunchtime buses to Pickering and Great Ayton.
I got the former, alighting at Hutton-Le-Hole for a quick hike to Lastingham to rest my bones in the beer garden of the Blacksmiths Arms.
Another lovely pub that I just couldn’t get to without our Moorsbus. The picture above is The Blacksmith Arms Cat.