Inspiration at Rosedale and Blakey Ridge

Updated: Jan 17


I love this time of year on the North York Moors.

Walking on my own isn’t my first choice, I find it lonely. It is growing on me though.

In the past I spent a lot of time backpacking around the world. I took a year out at 34 and spent some of that on my own. I love taking photographs and realised that this was, in part, what stopped me feeling lonely. It gave me something to focus on, in towns it connected me with the people on the streets and in markets, in the countryside it connected me with nature and the landscape. It’s as if the camera focuses the mind. For me it’s about finding the beauty, interest and uniqueness in colour, shapes, textures wherever I am.

Times have changed. On one hand my funds are vastly more limited to travel as I did. I think mainly though I’ve changed, I’ve found that spirit of adventure and beauty on my own doorstep. I can have that adventure everyday if I want to, it’s at my finger tips in Yorkshire after all!

The icing on the cake is that it inspires my work. Does it get any better that that?

My friend Joolz also recently sent me a quote after a chat we’d had on the phone…

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” Seth Godin

I think I’ve found that now and what a lovely thing that is.


On Sunday I’d planned to walk with friends. At the last minute they couldn’t make it. Yes, I did feel pretty fed up. Apart from finding walking on my own lonely, I also get lost in my own back yard even with a paper map and GPS!!!

I’d be working the next two weekends so for my own self care it was really important to get out and connect with nature.

I decided to head up to Blakey Ridge and the do part of the Rosedale Abbey loop. Just see how I felt and make it up along the way.


As I drove up to park at the The Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge the light was magical. Sunshine peaked from under the stormy clouds and lit up the valley towards Low Mill and Church Houses.



As I drove up to park at the The Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge the light was magical. Sunshine peaked from under the stormy clouds and lit up the valley towards Low Mill and Church Houses.




I walked north along the old railway line, fondly remembering the times I’d mountain biked this trail.

The bracken is just starting to turn, the heather turning from purple to amber, the path beneath a golden sand and the criss cross of fields still are still vibrant green.








After the path takes you back round to the south the views of Rosedale’s past appear, Rosedale East Mines calcining kilns and iron mines.

I love the wide open views and big open skies, across the valley towards Spaunton Moor and Rosedale.




It wasn’t the day for walking the whole 8 mile Rosedale loop. I’d decided to cut across the valley back to the car. To my delight I spotted a sign for Dale Head Farm Tea Garden down in the valley. How could I resist!

What a gem. Stunning views, a warm welcome and too much home made cake to choose from. On a cold day there’s even a fabulous shelter inside, complete with a log burning stove.






From here I walked through fields, up the bank and back to the start of my walk.








I don’t think the photos quite do the colours of the Moors justice but I hope it inspires you to get out walking or cycling there in the next couple of weeks.

Check out the North York Moors website for other walk ideas.

Watch this space too, for some linocut prints inspired by this walk.

I planning to create a series of designs of the North York Moors to go with my 'Hole of Horcum' and 'Roseberry Topping' prints.

I'd love to know which photos you feel particularly drawn too.

Michelle

#inspiration #northyorkmoors

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© 2016  Michelle Hughes