Author Topic: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round  (Read 5905 times)


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[size=78%]Heather, to me, is like cat nip to cats.[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]It makes me go all strange.[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]The colour, the smell, the wildness of a windswept, heather-clad moor… thank God it wasn’t a full moon as well [/size] :D

I had a rare, free Saturday.  Now I could have spent it cutting my hedge. I could have spent it doing laundry and housework.  Sod that.  I’ve been having a serious bout of Cabin Fever and there’s only one cure.  A proper walk in the hills  O0
So, Saturday saw me heading to Chop Gate at the sort of Western side of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park for a classic round of the Wainstones via Cold Moor and returning along Urra Moor.  I parked up in the Village Hall (which only charges £1 for as long as you like it would seem) and headed off up the road, past The Buck Inn, and turned up Raisdale Road and did an immediate right turn to walk up the Bridleway behind the little Church.
Up, up, up it went.  There was a few squelchy bits (useful tip – don’t grab nettles with your bare hands to steady yourself) but most of it looked like this:
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And then I burst out on to the open moor.  Where’s the heather?  Gimme, gimme, gimmeeeeee heather:
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Looking back over the valley I’ve just come from to the mast on Bilsdale Moor…. There’s heather up there:
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Finally, heather  :D [size=78%] :[/size]

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Oh yeah, ohhhh yessss sirrrreeeeee.  Now you’re talking  :smitten: [size=78%] :[/size]

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Even though there’s lots of it, it doesn’t seem as bright as previous years.  Maybe it’s the moor I’m on or maybe I’ve got here a smidgen too late in the season, I’ll never know.
I uffed and puffed my way up, battling against a pretty strong and blustery wind.  Thankfully “Cold Moor” didn’t live up to its name but if it’s that windy all the time I can imagine it’s a pretty fierce place to be in Winter.
Eventually I reached a high point and, oh, what’s this?  Now there’s a familiar sight:
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Roseberry Topping (granted, a zoomy in jobbie but still Roseberry Topping nevertheless).
I said “a high point” not “the high point”…. Somehow, I didn’t notice the gradient, so sidetracked by pink stuff was I….More heathery loveliness  O0 [size=78%] :[/size]

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A cairn at a junction of paths, with views towards Middlesborough beyond:
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Urra Moor looking supremely purpliefied across the valley:
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A zoomy in of the Wainstones (can you spot the walkers?):
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Mandatory Signpost OCD:
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I’m heading along the Cleveland Way now on my way up to the Wainstones.  Last pull up to them:
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I sort of clambered and scrabbled my way up round the back of the wonderfully grippy rocks in a make it up as I go along fashion and you really do “pop” out onto the top.  I got chatting to a couple from Australia who were doing the Coast to Coast and soon after, 3 Americans, also doing the C2C.  We were so busy admiring the views that I only took one photograph which really doesn’t do the views justice:
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With the wind behind me now I fair bounced along the Cleveland Way on the lovely paved path  :) [size=78%] :[/size]

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I think this has to be my favourite pic  :smitten: [size=78%] – Hasty Bank, with the two Australians:[/size]

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The three Americans called these Belted Galloways “Oreo Cattle”:
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After a steep but pleasant descent I found this bench and thought it would be rude not to stop and make use of it:
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The inscription is dedicated to a chap who died whilst doing the Lyke Wake Walk.
Speaking of which – a signpost for Bhod and his up and coming LWW challenge:
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I crossed the road and headed up along the Cleveland Way to get onto Urra Moor:
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Only this is where it all went wrong… and not in a funny, humorous way either  :( [size=78%] .[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]You know that lovely paved path I raved about earlier?[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]Well, some of the grassy bits in between the slabs are hollow drainage channels and I managed to get my foot stuck in one.[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]I fell down and felt something in my foot “go”.[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]I got back up and pain shot through the top of my foot so I limped to the fence.[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]Fortunately, I’d not gone very far up from the road so after resting a while I VERY carefully made my way back to the road.[/size]

What to do now?  I re-laced my shoe to take the pressure off the top and gingerly hobbled about a bit.  After discovering so long as I kept my foot flat the pain was “alright”, it was bearable, I decided to abandon my plans to go up onto Urra Moor and headed down a track which ran parallel to the road.  This was a slow and painful journey with many stops and I decided, as much as I didn’t want to, I’d be better off walking on the road itself.  Once on the smooth surface of the road I found it much easier, plus the Ibuproen pill I’d taken earlier had kicked in.  So, glutton for punishment, I turned off up the much quieter Urra farm road – still a nice, smooth proper road surface but without the fast and noisy traffic of the main road.
Despite the dull ache and occasional “ouch” when I tried to step out too energetically which jarred the top of my foot, this was actually quite a pleasant lane to walk along with some cracking views of the escarpment below Urra Moor:
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I got to St Hilda’s Church and had a feeling there would be benches to sit on here: 

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I took my shoe off and had a look and a prod (ouch).  It doesn’t feel good so I hastily put my shoe back on again in case it swelled up some more.  The shoe was cradling my foot snugly and keeping it fairly rigid anyway and I think this was a good thing. 
I distracted myself by playing Dot to Dot with Sheep  ;D [size=78%] :[/size]

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A final view of the escarpment beneath Urra Moor in the late sunshine  :) [size=78%] :[/size]

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I finally got back to my car and wondered … would I be able to drive my car?  I gingerly tried the clutch … IT CHUFFIN’ HURT LIKE HELL.  [censored][size=78%].[/size][size=78%]  [/size][size=78%]This was going to be an interesting drive home [/size] :-[

The drive home was less than fun and the longest 2 hours of my life. But, I got home safe, and that’s the main thing.
At the time of writing this, I’m sat with my foot in a bowl of iced water.  I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do but my foot’s numb and it doesn’t hurt anymore. However, after getting it looked at, it turns out to be a sprain but the bruising and swelling is making it look and feel worse than it is.
Despite all of this, it was a lovely walk.  Couldn’t fault the weather and it really cleared my head.  I fear it hasn’t fully cured my Cabin Fever though.  The original walk would have been about 9 miles.  I cut it short by, ooooh, a mile seeing as my accident happened at the furthest point away from my car that I could be (of course  ::) [size=78%] ).[/size]

Thanks for reading.
Mel  :)
No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #1 on: 00:40:55, 21/08/17 »
Sorry about your foot Mel, it's easily done isn't it?  There was lots of heather about today in Galloway, but most I've seen was about 3 weeks ago near Peebles.
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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #2 on: 06:58:07, 21/08/17 »
Mel, your walk looks lovely and peaceful.

Sorry to hear about your foot. I hope you don't mind me saying but if you haven't already you might want to try a very strong support tube on it and also for both of your knees while it recovers.

I only say because about a year and a half ago I thought I'd be a bit cocky in the gym and added lots of gradient to the treadmill when I should have been running on the flat. I badly sprained my right foot to the point where walking was unbearable and I thought it was broken. To add insult to injury my knee on the left started to swell up badly and was so painful I couldn't even sleep or turn in bed. It was a knock on effect because I'd altered the way I walked to manage the foot pain and my knee was taking the weight I'd usually be putting on both feet. It ended up more painful than the original injury.

At the peak I was really still convinced it was broken so I hobbled to our local hospital and was advised that feet are frustratingly slow to heal and also have lots of tiny complicated bones so surgery is very impractical if at all viable. They said it was definitely a sprain and that Ice and heat combinations with painkillers and tube support would help but to expect it to take time.

I bought a cheap tube at first and it had no effect so I bought the purpose made blue ones from the chemist (can't think of the brand but I'll have a look later on) and the pressure relief was instant. I wore the ankle one for a long long time and still sometimes use it for walking in very cold weather or when I'm prone to slips or difficult stretching on our routes.

It took another good few months before I was walking comfortably and even now if I have my foot bent in a certain way I'm very aware of a weakness but it doesn't affect my speed or strength.

Hope you don't mind me saying but please do keep an eye on your symptoms and keep it moving when you can, and hopefully it will heal quickly so you can get back on your walks.


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #3 on: 09:09:13, 21/08/17 »
Ouch, poor you. Hope it soon starts to sort itself out though, as SL says, feet appear to take a long time to get better I guess it is because it is almost impossible not to use them too much.

Lovely photos of the heather  O0  it would have been much worse if you had hurt your foot while doing the housework.


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #4 on: 09:15:34, 21/08/17 »
Fantastic photos of the heather Mel.  I hate to admit it, but that looks even better than the heather on Dartmoor!  ;)
Hope your ankle gets better soon.


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #5 on: 10:36:11, 21/08/17 »
Not you as well!
My weekend plan had to be changed cos my cuz did similar to his foot, n made it worse by tryin to carry on. He got told to keep it elevated, n ice it for swelling.
Keepin my forum typing down (?) cos my right arm has been bad for weeks, I have knackered it, only devils claw rub keeps me going.
On the plus side, great pics  O0 O0 O0
I just neeed to learn to type left handed now..............
We're all doomed! DOOOMED I SAY!

karl h

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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #6 on: 14:56:29, 21/08/17 »
Very lovely pictures of purpleness :)
Shame about the injury hope it's not too serious...happened at the furthest distance from the car..aint that always the way :(
show your love for Lady Nature. And she will come back again.


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #7 on: 15:31:32, 21/08/17 »
I'm sorry to hear about the foot too, Mel - hope it's back to normal a.s.a.p.  :(
That unpleasantness aside, I really enjoyed the TR, though, and the photos.  O0  The heather looks fantastic and I'll never look at a Belted Galloway again now without thinking of biscuits...  ;D   I think I agree with you on your favourite pic - I love that one too with the winding path and the walkers (and that patch of sunlight on the side of the fell in the background).  :)


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #8 on: 16:14:29, 21/08/17 »
You've got my sympathy Mel. Did something similar years back and ended up with a 4 mile hobble. Foot went in a stream for relief - boot and all - knowing that if I took it off, I would not get it back on. Just to compound it the last leg back to the car was on a gridded road and there was a large cream coloured bull grazing there! He luckily ignored me - no hope of running.


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #9 on: 18:57:14, 21/08/17 »
Gorgeous heather photos Mel    :)

Sorry to hear about your foot and I hope it soon gets better.  It's so frustrating when these things happen, as well as painful.


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #10 on: 19:25:26, 21/08/17 »
I did a walk from Clay bank recently (free parking) over Urra Moor and down to Chop Gate and then continue onto the ridge over the Wainstones, sadly no heather.

I had been hoping to head that way on Sunday but I had/have car problems....again  :(

Maybe next weekend.
LDWs done - 32 in total including 16 National Trails and 3 C2C

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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #11 on: 21:47:32, 21/08/17 »
Lovely photos Mel.  I suspect Heather is like any other flower/plant; If the sun shines on it, the individual flowers open up more and that's when it looks it's most vibrant O0

Hope your foot gets better soon! :)
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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #12 on: 09:28:24, 22/08/17 »
Fantastic walk and photos Mel, a great TR !   Thanks for the shot of the signpost, I just hope I'm not in need of a bench dedicated to me  :o   

Although it does remind me of a tale about my late Aunty's crossing, she had reached Fylingdales and thrown herself down in the heather complaining bitterley that she couldn't go on (she was 17 at the time), a Lyke Wake Runner came past, stopped, looked down at her and asked her brother "is she de'ad?", at which point she jumped up full of indignation and demanded that they set off immediately towards the finish, she eventually completed in a time of 17 and something hours.

Hope the ankle heals quickly, thanks again for the TR.

Back to back Lyke Wake Walk attempt in aid of MIND -


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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #13 on: 15:19:15, 22/08/17 »
great pics and TR mel ...  O0
hope you dont end up with even more cabin fever with your injured foot... :(



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Re: TR: A Very Heathery Very Purple Wainstones Round
« Reply #14 on: 00:12:57, 23/08/17 »
Aww, thank you everyone for the kind comments (on the trip report and my foot [/size] :)  ).  My foot's improving after totally ignoring the advice from the doctor - who advised ice, rest and bandaging it up.  Luckily I can get away with wearing some ballet style flat shoes for work which don't put any pressure on the swollen top of my foot.  Got some great bruising coming through now though [/size] :D   It's nearly the same colour as the heather [/size] ;D   Scrambledlegs, the last time I strapped an injury up I'm still waiting (15 years later) for the pain to go away completely [/size]

I'm not sure I need to hear of other heathery places (I'm looking at you Strider and DevonDave  :knuppel2:  )  I can already feel the planning of comparison trips coming on  ::)

Ridge, the worse thing is, both times I've tripped over and hurt my foot I've been stone-cold sober  :o

pleb, it's easy to type left handed - just do everything the opposite way round to normal  ;)

karl h, aye, though at least I got half a decent walk out of it  :)

adalard, I'm not sure I'll be able to look at another Belted Galloway now without thinking of food either ... I'm just not sure whether it's biscuits or steak I'll be thinking about  :-X

Penygadair, what's wrong wi' yer?  You could have saddled that bull up and ridden back  :o

Cheers Dovegirl, I'm hoping it will get better quickly too... the nights are drawing in too quickly and soon I'll be restricted to weekend only walks  :(

Bricam, if Clay Bank is the bit where I crossed the road before starting to go up onto Urra Moor, yup, spotted that parking opportunity  O0

Sunnydale, I'm almost certain there are two types of heather up on the NYM.  One type is a slightly different shape and a much more vivid almost fuschia colour and the other is a thinner/smaller flower and a more muted colour but yes, the sun shining on it all certainly brings out the best of the colour  :smitten:

Bhod, aye, there's nowt like a bit of a "put down" to inspire a stroppy teenager  ;D

beefy, the Cabin Fever has already set in  :'(

No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)