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Wednesday Wander 27/07/2022 Swainby & Whorlton.

This week we wandered from the village of Swainby which is just outside of Stokesley on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, thanks to Phil, Jan, Andrew, Kevin, Alison, Bryan, Richard and Sam who wandered with us, along with Lilla, Dora, Tilly and Alfie our four-legged wanderers.

Swainby is mentioned in the Domesday book as is Whorlton which was originally the bigger of the two habitations. Swainby can be translated into Farm of the young men, or Suanebi as well as Swayneby, it may also derive from sveinn the Scandanavian cognate of old English Swan. Of course, it could derive in a roundabout way from Sweyn Forkbeard who was King of England for 5 weeks in the early 11th century at the start of the period of Danish dominance, when large parts of the country came under the Danelaw and Scandinavian influences held sway.....

Anyway, I digress on with the run. We left Swainby and crossed the A172 in the general direction of Potto. We followed Gold Hill loop road for a short distance before turning off onto a dismantled railway which was part of a small branch line serving the Ailesbury iron ore mines at Scugdale which were in operation between 1857 to 1885. The line eventually joins up with the Picton to Stokesley line with the iron ore being transported further on to an iron works in Stockton. The path itself follows the line of Potto beck and at this time of year is fairly overgrown. I'm sure I was not the only one to get a bit of nettle rash.

After about a mile we left the old railway and crossed a field over toward Goulton Grange which was once home to Bill Cowley (1915-1994) the founder of the Lyke Wake Walk.

Sticking to the same track we crossed over the loop road and the A172 again before climbing up through sheep grazed fields towards Whorlton. off to our west, we could see the front of what is left of Whorlton Castle, which was bombarded by the Parliamentarians during the English civil war of 1642-1651. As we reached Whorlton lane we saw a large flock of sheep being herded down in front of us into the field we were intending to run through to take us up onto Whorl Hill. At this juncture, I decided it would be prudent to change the route, not wanting to get tangled up in a meinie of fast-moving ruminants. To that end, we waited until the wool-clad host had entered the field before trotting off up Whorlton Lane. After half a mile or so we turned off and followed a track which skirts along the edge of Whorl Hill. The fields to our left were a jumble of Ostriches, Goats, Highland Cattle, and more sheep, not to mention the odd pesky rabbit which sent Lilla and the rest of the dogs into a period of abject crankiness. We also encountered a roving band of mountain bikers who to be fair to them graciously opened a gate to allow us through, then passed us later on without furiously ringing their bells or mowing us down.

Stopping to regroup just before Bank lane we had a good natter with the topics of conversation being diverse and colourful, especially in regard to the qualities of Hippoglossus hippoglossus, better known as the Atlantic halibut.

Once we hit bank lane we climbed up into the plantation below Knolls End, apologies to everyone as I said the segment started at the gate into the field, unfortunately, it starts much further back and runs through the trees to the bottom of the stone slabs at the gate near Live Moor plantation. Once on the Cleveland Way, we followed it through Huthwaite green and Scugdale towards Clain Wood before leaving it and heading down the lane back into Swainby.

All in all a nice little trot out of around 6.5 miles with just short of 800ft of elevation. There was plenty of diversity during the run from terrain, wildlife, and livestock to interesting conversations...

Once we had suitably attired ourselves we popped into the Black Horse for a libation or two where we were met by Helen, Darren & Pete.

Thanks again for wandering with trot on until next week...🦍

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Good route good run and good company

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