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" Yorkshire and Sutton Bank with Jo "

Date & start time: Sunday 5th February 2012.

Location of Start : Tickhill, South Yorkshire, then north to Jo's near York

Places visited : Wass, Sutton Bank (Roulston Scar), Ampleforth and York Minster.

Walk details : Sutton Bank 3.25 mls, 250 ft of ascent, 1 hrs 40 mins.

Highest point : Gliders in the snow

Walked with : Jo, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Blue skies and snow by fog in the Vale of York.


" Yorkshire and Sutton Bank with Jo " at EveryTrail

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After Saturday night's wintery weather, the next morning the snow was thick on the ground

but we managed to travel to York to enjoy a day with Jo on her home territory.

Jo and I venture onto Sutton Bank while Ann visits a friend at Wass Abbey

and we ended the afternoon listening to the choir in York Minster before driving home . . . a busy day but a good one.

Our daughter's home in Tickhill . . . where the snow lay deep and crisp and even.

We'll have to clear the car before we can drive to York to meet Jo.

Fine weather for ducks . . . if a bit cold.

We reached the motorway and York with minimal problems . . . and after picking up Jo we ventured north again

through the fog of the Vale of York and off towards the Cleveland Hill / North York Moors area of the county.

The country roads we took were white with snow

but posed no great problems.



Along the way we passed this fine monument

which meant we were not far from Castle Howard



The mist was hanging in the low lying areas of the county

and the sun was barely managing to shine through

even up here on this slight rise.

The power of the electronic paint brush !

Almost like a film set . . . the walls at the approach to Castle Howard . . . just a short distance beyond the monument.

If it had been a film set they would have removed the modern signpost !

[ Hold your cursor over the photo if you feel like Martin Scorsese !]

Ann's colleague from teaching days in Swansea left the profession to become a Nun.

After several years the Sisters of the Convent moved home from the Welsh Borders and built a new, purpose built home in Wass.

The modern, environmentally friendly, warm and inviting building is still only at the first stage of development

but the Sisters have moved in and are working and studying there already.

We dropped Ann off for an hour or two so that she could visit Lorna, or Sister Laurentia as she is now known.

The location has a wonderful view over the Vale of York, hence the blue skies, sunshine . . . and no mist !

Jo and I drove the short distance over to the National Park visitors centre at Sutton Bank

where we took advantage of their car park (for a small fee) in order to enjoy a walk in the snow.

Sutton Bank, like Snake Pass, is often mentioned on the road reports when the weather turns wintery.

The main road here follows the southern edge of the North York Moors and is the main road link to Scarborough on the east coast.

Sutton Bank is steep enough and high enough to get snowed over on a regular basis.

This was the view looking west towards Thirsk, towards the northern end of the Vale of York.

A memorial to the wartime air crews, and others that flew out of airfields in this area.

As we walk around the escarpment we get a nice view of the road as it climbs Sutton Bank.

Zooming in on the farm far below.

The signposts on the approach to our side of the hill said it was closed due to snow . . . but it was definitely open to traffic today !

On our left as we walked the 'Bank' was a large, flat snowy field

which was home to the Yorkshire Gliding Club

Zooming in on their clubhouse and flight control centre.

There are a few cars about today but presumably it is not a good day for flying because of the snow on the take-off field.

Looking North from the edge of the Roulston Scar towards Whitestone Cliff.

Sutton Bank is topped by Calcareous Grit stone which forms a dramatic cliff escarpment, and the strata extend East, all the way to the coast.

It is also famous for a 'White Horse' carved feature on the cliffs.
Jo avoids walking on the horse . . . but not the snow drift.

The Kilburn White Horse . . . difficult to see in the white snow

but more difficult to see because we are looking down at the top of it, not viewing it from below.

That's better . . . we've walked down to the Land Rover in the last picture and can now get an idea of the scale of the hillside sculpture.

The White Horse measures 325 feet by 225 feet and was marked out by local teacher John Hodgson and his pupils in 1857. It was cut by local workmen and regularly white-washed as the local stone was the wrong colour . . . nowadays they import white chalk stone to maintain the same effect.

We set off on the return path under the cliffs, only to have the peace and quiet of the place, ever-so gently broken

by the drone of a light aircraft . . . they were flying today after all (spot the glider and tow aircraft).

The dogs were having a great time in the snow.

Jo stops for a photo with our two dogs.

Her two, Jodie and Amber, were at home with her son Steve.

Reaching the top of the bank we were just in time to watch the glider land . . .

A gentle landing with a spray of snow from the glider's wheel.

The aircraft comes to a stop without incident

I wonder who was the first to test the effective stopping power of the snow . . . would it be greater than normal or more slippery ?

Click here or on the photo above for a special, never seen before, time-lapse Loweswatercam panorama

It was back to the car, then to Stanbrook Abbey to collect Ann and head for some lunch in the village . . .

Goat's cheese tart / wild mushroom tagliatelli at the suitably snow-white, White Swan at Ampleforth.

Time to be heading back to York as Jo had an invitation to attend The Minster for a Choral Evensong.

We took a cross-country route to her home . . . this was like Dr Zhivago country . . .

into the depths of the Russian countryside . . .

. . . and the mistiness of time that was the Vale of York today !

Back at Jo's house and time for a quick change.

Jo's colleagues at work had invited her

to see their young son ordained

into the choir of the Cathedral.



As this was being held in York Minster

and as the service was also open to the public,

Ann and I joined her for the celebration.



We drove into town and parked at the Minster car park

but had a short-ish walk through the old city and the Monk Gate

in order to reach the Cathedral itself.


The old houses and shops of York.

The half-timbered one on the corner is now a National Trust Shop.

The sunshine just added to the beauty of the fine York Minster building.

Ann makes her way carefully to the South Door . . .
. . . passing a waiting group of visiting tourists.

The Evensong was a delightful event and the singing was led by the Cathedral Choir.

It was probably even more special as they were celebrating the acceptance of two new choir boys into their membership.

These photos were taken shortly after the service had ended.

The high Altar and the East Window.
Looking down the Choir at the organ and up at the tower.

From the other side, the organ was particularly well lit

(no camera flash was used for these pictures)

The Rood Screen with its wonderful carvings.

Saints in close up . . . sorry about the slight shake . . . 1/8th of a second hand held !

The Central Altar in the Knave.
The beautiful South Window, and our exit to the world outside.

Jo left us in order to join her colleagues and attend the reception they had organised following Evensong.

Ann and I took a circuitous route, through the older streets of York, back to the car.

The Tower of the Minster
A literary statue in Minster Gates.

Our route took us back to the National Trust shop and through the arch back to the car.

Now for the drive home over the A66 and the Pennines as I have work tomorrow.

Fortunately the snow eased as we travelled north and west, and the roads were clear. Our snowy weekend had been a great success . . . but a busy one.

A drive to Tickhill, South Yorkshire on Friday night, Saturday with the family, Sunday and Wass for Ann, a snowy walk with Jo in North Yorkshire for me and then home after an delightful Choral event at York Minster . . . I'll need a quiet day at work just to recover !

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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Fuji Finepix Compact or my Canon G10/1100D camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . nice sunshine to counteract the snowy conditions.

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Previous walk - 4th February 2012 Tickhill and the Snow

A previous time up here - ( not been to York for ten years or more so apologies, no archive photos on line)

Next walk - 8th February 2012 Loughrigg Fell in the Snow