Last week’s snow had thankfully disappeared and after a walk suggestion from a friend this weekend we headed to the North York Moors and Sutton Bank. As the car climbed up to the Sutton Bank visitor centre and we went round a few hairpin bends I was wondering what we might have let ourselves in for! The area is James Herriot country and the famous vet and author once declared the view from the top of Sutton Bank as ‘the finest view in England’.
The test this week was the children’s new hiking boots! Would my little people be as enthusiastic as when the boots arrived? Well, one of them was! I have a nearly five year old and a just turned eight year old, so opinions often range from ‘This is the best day of my life’ to ‘Boring. Everything is boring’. I’d got the boots online and both were in the sale, I do love a bargain!
We chose the walk to the white horse at Kilburn, although there are a few walks in the area to choose from, we thought the sight of the big chalk horse would be enough to lure the children on. Once you’ve crossed the carpark and the main road the White Horse is well signed posted. We were blessed with beautiful sunshine and with the promise of spring in the air it wasn’t too chilly. My Daughter was the leader and cheerily declared ‘Oh Mummy I can hear the birds singing’. She was decked out in not only the new walking boots but sparkly necklace and a flower headband. Well, why not!
We made our way along a well maintained footpath with forest on one side and a cliff drop on the other. The view already was beautiful, although the fog stopped us from seeing for miles, you could appreciate that on clearer days it would be fantastic. All along this part of the path at regular intervals were benches, ample opportunity to just sit and take the surroundings in.
A little further on and we were near the gliding club and despite the fog they looked to be getting the gliders ready. The kids were fascinated and there was a helpful information board about the gliders in the area.
At this point the path splits and we started a steep decent down the scarp edge, this path is apparently known as ‘Thief’s Highway’ and my Eight year old son insisted on walking down with his fists up just in case we met any ‘baddies’! The path is really steep and quite narrow in places but there is a handy fence rail on most of it that you can hold on to. First proper test for the grips on those boots, and with encouragement the kids were fine. They were more worried about getting mud on them. Once you reach the bottom it opens out and you are surrounded by woodland. The kids found sticks and played silly games and we tried looking for woodland monsters.
In no time at all we rounded the bottom of Roulston Scar and a bit further on came to a car park and some steps. There on the hill in front of us was the Kilburn White horse. Running to the end of the carpark the kids were eager to make it out.
Now came the biggest test for me on the walk. Last week I’d had a steroid injection in the tendon at the side of my knee and now I was faced with a wall of steep steps! We all made it to the top, me huffing slightly and thankful for the handy bench we all peeled a layer off. The fog still hadn’t gone so we didn’t get the full effect of the view but it was still lovely to be out. Making our way back along the path we came back along the side of the gliding club and retraced our steps to the visitor centre.
The visitor centre has café, shop, toilets and even a biking centre, there’s also plenty of picnic tables and benches. We treated ourselves to cake which was delicious and huge! Just what you need after a walk. The shop was well stocked with gifts and books and there was a view of the bird feeder with binoculars and information about the birds you might see. To park all day we paid £4.50 at the pay and display machine and there were plenty of spaces when we arrived, it did look quite busy later on.
The boots passed their first test and we had happy kids with happy feet!All views are my own and I wasn’t paid to to do this.
Do you play games when you go walking with your family or sing silly songs? If so I’d love to hear about them, just comment below.