The North York Moors, now a national park, comprises the area cornered by the towns of Guisborough, Scarborough, Thirsk and Whitby. The Vales of Pickering and York to the south, the Vale of Mobray to the west, Teesside to the north, and the North Sea to the east form the border of this isolated moorland.
We took the southern drive along the A170 climbing over Sutton Bank past Helmsley then turning north off the main road to Hutton-le-Hole.
Our first experience of seeing wandering sheep within the picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole was a great thrill. Along the roadside is the Ryedale Folk Museum where you can see the furnace that was used by a mysterious group of people who practised glass making some four hundred years ago.
Continuing our ascent we travelled along the meandering road on the ridges of the hills with spectacular views of valley below. Steep and acute winding roads on either side of the Derwent estuary valley lead down into the village of Rosedale Abbey. There we walked along ancient graves where the practice of planting yews over the graves has resulted in hundred-year-old specimens. On a quiet lane is the glass blowing workshop of internationally renowned glassblowers, Stephen Gillies and Kate Jones who maintain the historical connections Rosedale has with glass.
Taking a road from Rosedale Abbey usually missing from most maps in the direction of Glaisdale, we experienced the true beauty of the moors with only the free roaming Swaledale sheep and the blowing wind. We continued our journey along the Esk Valley through to Goathland. The road crosses over the historic North Yorkshire Moors Railway that is still in service.
On our return we passed through Thornton le-Dale a not to miss attractive village of houses with low pantile roofs and small windows. A short walk upstream from the village leads to a ford and bridge over the water near the mill.