Newtondale 2017 – Part 3

So where did we get up to ?

Oh yes…..

August 9th

Another Steam Train Booking ! This time it was a ‘Coffee Morning’ return Journey from Pickering departing at 11am . So off we headed to Pickering , had to take the car this time as there isn’t an early enough train from Levisham to make it possible to have a carless day . We arrived in plenty of time to see our train arrive , it was the wonderful teak set hauled by Black Five 44806…..

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We were seated in the 1st Class Restaurant Car ‘Ryedale’ ( away from the Riff-Raff…..) , very luxurious it was too….

As soon as we left the Tea / Coffee and Cakes were served…..

There was a nice selection of very moist cakes…. including Lemon Cake , Carrot Cake , Chocolate Brownie , ‘Butterfly’ Cake and the old Standard Fruit Scone with Jam and Cream !

At Grosmont we got a chance to stretch our legs while the Train was moved to the back for the return trip .

How the Riff-Raff saw us….

It also gave me a chance to have a nose at the deserted coaches especially the GNR Invalid Saloon……

The Tourist Third Open we were in for the ‘Curry Train’

On the return journey we enjoyed a Glass of Sherry to take in the marvellous views of the moors .

We bid farewell to ‘Ryedale’

Once again it was a glorious way to spend a late morning / early afternoon , especially in such opulent surroundings . On the way back to the Cottage we popped in to The Fox and Rabbit to book a table for that evening . While back at the cottage i managed to catch the ‘Repton’ doing some more running in , Double Heading with the Standard 4MT…….

So we then went off to the Fox and Rabbit for our second and final visit of the stay , Melanie went for the Prawn Cocktail for starters and the Lasagne for main and i went for the Crab and Salmon Terrine with the Sirloin Steak for main . a very nice meal it was !

August 10th

Our last full day , so we decided to….. go for a ride on the railway to Whitby ! It was a lovely day so we walked down to Levisham Station to catch the 12.20pm through to Whitby . It gave me a chance to have a nice relaxing day with a bottle of North Yorkshire Moors Bitter or 3 while watching the scenery go by….. 

Our Chariot arrives….

A Standard 4MT

Whitby

Melanie Stretches her legs…..

Is there a better way to spend the last day of your holidays ?

When we arrived back at Levisham we got to see ‘Repton’ on her first day of regular Service …..

So we headed off back to the Cottage to do the worst thing of the Holiday…… Pack up !

August 11th

So it was with a heavy heart we bid farewell to The Hideaway , our home for the past fortnight , It was the most relaxing Holiday we’d had for a long time , we agreed since we last stayed at Bunnahabhain Cottages ( A common factor being their remoteness…..) . It was also the best equiped cottage we’d been in , the owners actually lived in it for 18 months while their main house was being renovated , so everything was right (they’d also been in the hotel trade) . The setting was fantasic – remote and next to the Railway…. Excellent ! – The only thing i was disappointed in was the less than expected wildlife . The local and previously well seen badger hasn’t been spotted for a while now , it’s either moved location or has been scared off by the recent activity in the forest ( they are apparently going to start felling in the surrounding woodlands). We will be back !!!!!

A quick look around the Cottage……

The Conservatory – The place i seem to spend most of my time relaxing in the Cottage , great for Bird , Squirrel and Train Spotting !

The view out to the Conservatory

The reverse view to the Kitchen and Mezzanine Bedroom

Up to the Bedroom

The Bedroom

The View from the Bedroom

Something else we noticed on this holiday , at no time during it we never switched the telly on !

Newtondale 2017 Part 2

Newtondale 2017 Part 2

August 2nd (Continued)

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Have to say the food in the Fox and Rabbit was very good ! Another to add to the ‘Well Recommended’ list . Melanie went for the Home made Lasagne and I had the Belly Pork , Black Pudding, Champ Potatoes with Apple sauce and Cider Jus . As if that wasn’t enough we had puds , Melanie had the Chocolate Brownie with vanilla Ice cream and I had the Sticky Toffee Pudding . Then it was back to the Cottage for a lie down……

August 3rd

We started the day by having a drive to Malton to get a few bits and pieces , on the way back we decided to take the train up to Grosmont as the weather wasn’t too clever , may as well take advantage of our half price tickets as members of the NYMR !

While there we had a bite to eat in the Railway Tavern next to the station , a nice little hotel that does lovely bar meals , I went for the Pubs take on a Ploughmans Lunch (with some lovely Yorkshire cheeses) and Melanie had the Full steam ahead Pullman Burger . After a saunter around the shops in Grosmont (the ‘s’ is silent by the way….) , we caught the train back to Levisham for a quiet night in the cottage , watching the late trains and the birds visiting the table .

August 4th

A quiet day in the cottage as we had a night time excursion planned .

The Curry Train !

This was our second attempt at doing a Curry train , last years on the KWVR got missed when we both fell ill on the day . So we headed off to Pickering to catch the Curry train at 6.45pm ,much to our surprise we were glad to see the return of the Teak set to service on this special . If you didn’t know (SEE HERE) a couple of weeks before , the coaches got vandalised by a set of youths and were withdrawn from service , thanks to the outstanding work of the volunteers they got most of them back in service pretty fast , though a couple won’t be returning till next year as they were heavily vandalised .

So we settled down in our 1930’s LNER Gresley Teak coaches for an evening of Indian Fayre , Riding up the line to Grosmont and back .

To start with we had Poppadoms and 3 Pickles , then a plate of Onion Bhaji , Vegetable Samosa and Lamb Samosa . For the Mains Melanie went for a Chicken Tikka Masala and I went for the Chicken Korma , both came with Pilau rice and garlic Naan bread . For pudding there was an individual Trifle .

What a great way to spend a lovely Friday Evening , Seeing the line at a different time in beautiful 1930’s splendour . Would definitely do it again !

August 5th

Woke up to a lovely sunny morning , so after breakfast we walked along to Levisham Station to catch the train to Goathland to do the ‘Rail Trail’ Walk to Grosmont . We had Lunch at the Goathland Hotel (or the Aidensfield Arms to you ‘Heartbeat’ fans…..) , They do cracking meals , I had a wonderful Ploughmans with two lovely Yorkshire Blue cheeses and Melanie had their Burger .

The Starting Point , Goathland Station

So off we went on the Rail Trail , it follows the original course of George Stephensons Whitby to Pickering line from Goathland through Beck Hole to Grosmont , luckily it’s mostly downhill to Grosmont !

It’s a lovely walk , once on the outskirts of Goathland , it’s into woodlands down to Beck Hole ‘ passing a few past relics of the railways (a few remaining bridges . Then it’s open farmland mainly to Grosmont , you can still see and hear the railway most of the way , then when you get to Holm house you run parallel to the ‘new’ line , nearly right up to Grosmont Motive Power Depot .

You climb over the Tunnel , getting a good view of the MPD as you head upwards before decending into Grosmont Village .

The End ! Grosmont Station

A visit to the railway Tavern was called for , for a rewarding pint after the walk before catching the train back to Levisham .

August 6th

Another Sunny Morn and today we were staying local , we noticed an event advertised at the Local station , An afternoon of ‘Shadows’ Music in the Paddock with Real Ale Bar and light Refreshments , so off we went for a walk down the road !

The event was organised by the Shadows Guitar Club East Yorkshire (yes it exists….) , So after getting a pint for myself and a white wine for the good woman , we settled down to listen to some sixties music . The first bit was basically members playing along to backing tapes ‘Hank’ style . The rest of the day was 3 tribute bands ( Legend , The Shadows Music and the Fenton Four ) doing covers , They were very good , as was Kevin the host , an enjoyable afternoon with a few drinks , pies , Ice cream with Steam Trains passing by every so often !

August 7th

A rainy start to the day so we headed off for a drive , We ended up in The Model Centre in Beck Hole where I ended up making a couple of purchases , a Class 08 shunter and a Thompson B1 4-6-0 . Melanie wanted to have a look at the village as we’d never drove through it before , small but very pretty . We then headed into Pickering to pick up some supplies and have a spot of lunch in the Black Swan , We both went for the Fresh Whitby Crab Salad . After a look at the Market and a visit to lidl’s we headed back to the cottage to spend the rest of the day relaxing in the conservatory .
August 8th

A rather wet day to say the least !

But it didn’t stop us doing a walk , we headed back up to Goathland to go to the Mallyan Spout . So once again we took advantage of the handiness of the train and headed north .
Once again we stopped for lunch at the Goathland Hotel , Melanie had Whitby Scampi and I went for a lovely Yorkshire Pudding full of prime Leg of Lamb !

So off we went following the same path as Saturdays walk until we got to Incline Cottage and we took a left , there was an awful lot of water about and not just in the Becks ! There were quite a few ups and downs as well , quite a physical walk in the rain , we eventually reached a spot that seemed to be where the spout was but couldn’t see a way to get the final walk to it as it was very wet and there didn’t seem to be a safe path to it . so we headed off in the direction of Goathland this time emerging at the far end of the village (next to the Spout Hotel) , we made our way back to the station (some would say squelching….) and caught the train back to Levisham , where when arriving at the cottage a warm bath was called for and lots of drying of sodden clothes…..
BTW not everything ‘Waterproof’ is……

Some earlier Photos changed to Black and White…..

Newtondale 2017 – Part 1

It’s been a couple of years now since we’ve been away for a ‘proper’ Holiday so this year we decided to take a one away somewhere nice and peaceful in beautiful surroundings and boy have we picked a great place ! We’re in a lovely stone cottage along a private forestry road next to the North Yorks Moors Railway (! Warning lots of Train Photos to follow !) in Newtondale , our closest station is Levisham, a nice ¾ of a mile walk .

Friday 28th July

We arrived early Friday evening (it’s the first time we’ve done a Friday – Friday rental ) and was greeted by the owner Jan and shown around the place . Have to say it’s a lovely presented cottage with great facilities in beautiful surroundings , there is very little traffic – only residents (of which there aren’t many) and forestry vehicles (of which there aren’t many…) .

The NYMR also gave us our first glimpse of a Steam train with the Evening ‘Pickering Pullman’ …….

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This is how close the railway is to us BTW , this from the Conservatory no zoom…..

So happy and content we retired for the night…. After a few drinks….

Saturday 29th

Seeing the weather looked promising we decided to make use of the railway (our membership gets us a 50% Discount….) and have a trip out to Whitby , so leaving the car behind we walked along to Levisham and caught the train .

Our local station

The Train to Pickering Arrives

After a Fish and chip lunch and a bit wander around , Whitby was absolutely chocker , we returned to the peace and quiet of the cottage and spent the evening relaxing with in between dashes to the bottom of the garden to watch the Specials go by…….

The last of the days scheduled trains

80136 on the Grosmont Pullman and the Class 26 on the ‘Pie and Peas Train’

July 30th

Seeing it was our 23rd Wedding Anniversary we decided to take it easy by doing a 5 mile hike through the forest ! It wasn’t too bad as most of it was on rough tracks , it was just the inclines that made it hard and boy were there some inclines !

Every so often we did get a glimpse of the railway and when we got to our turning point at Kidstyle Farm we saw the Thompson B1 in all her glory

We got to see Skelton Tower in the distance , one of our future walks

We also caught a tantalising glimpse of something strange through the trees……

It was the recently overhauled Schools class ‘Repton’ out on a test run , later on we saw her actually hauling a train

On the way back the skies absolutely opened and drenched us !

After a shower back at the cottage we headed out for an anniversary meal at the Restaurant at The Fox and Hounds Country Inn at Sinnington .

Hmmmm….. What to have ?

Melanie had White Onion Soup as the starter with the Seafood Platter as the main , I went for the Belly Pork and Seared Scallops as the starter and the Seafood Platter as the main . The Seafood Platter was interesting as it was a twist on what I would normally call a Seafood Plater , it consisted of smoked haddock and parsley risotto with a poached quail’s egg , a crayfish cocktail , a monkfish and king prawn kebab and little fish and chips . A very filling plate full I can tell you !

Pudding was skipped…..

We had a thoroughly good evening at the Fox and Hounds , great food and great service .

It was a beautiful night when we got home so a bit messing about photographic wise was called for…..

July 31st

Another fine morning when we awoke so we decided to head off for a drive to Scarborough , we like Scarborough it’s a traditional holiday resort that has adapted to modern times it , has a bit of everything for everyone . I’d had family holidays there since 1966 , we had our honeymoon there in 1994 and have had regular day trips since then . After a walk around the town centre we headed down to the harbour for our lunch at Ask and pudding at the Harbour Bar . Ask has a great location overlooking the Harbour which has changed a hell of a lot since 1966 , the restaurant is where the wood boats used to come in and now the harbour is mainly a marina with a small fishing fleet . The Harbour bar still makes the greatest Knickerbocker Glory in the known world !

The view out of Ask and the mighty Knickerbocker Glory !

After lunch we head over to the North Bay for a walk around Pheasholm Park and ‘The Sands’ area . The Park hasn’t changed much over the years , still has the Naval Battles and still has the tame Grey Squirrels

The North Bay of Scarborough

After a diversion to pick up some supplies we headed back to the cottage for a quiet evening of contemplation and wildlife watching . The garden , as well as the passing trains , gets a good selection of wildlife in it . As well as the usual suspects bird wise there is a regular Great Spotted Woodpecker , there are also Grey Squirrels and a rumoured Badger (not seen yet ) .

I’ve seen a few deer on our wanders and the owners have mentioned a local Goshawk , I also spotted a Green Woodpecker on the drive up to Levisham from the station .

August 1st

Yorkshire Day !

Our first booked event of the holiday , The Yorkshire Day Pullman , a good excuse to ride the NYMR all day ! We caught the train up to Grosmont from Levisham where we boarded the Jos du Crau car (a 1960’s Pullman car done out in the old Style) for a ride down to Pickering and back enjoying a 3 course meal on the way .

On arrival we were given a welcome drink of Yorkshire Wine from Westow for Melanie and a John Smiths for myself . We both started with the Yorkshire Coast Fresh Dressed Crab with Mayonnaise , lemon and a crisp salad . Melanie went for the Roast North Yorkshire Sirloin of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding for her main whereas I went for the Roast Loin of Yorkshire Pork with Crispy Crackling , both absolutely melt in the mouth meats ! For pudding Melanie had Apple and Blackberry Crumble with Custard and I went for the Trio of Yorkshire cakes (Victoria Sponge , Coffee and Walnut , Chocolate Fudge ) , to say that we were stuffed would be an understatement….. But try telling Kids of t’day and they won’t believe you !

It has to be one of the nicest experience going riding up and down the NYMR in a Pullman Coach being hauled by a 1950’s Steam Engine enjoying a fantastic meal passing the beautiful scenery with the Gorgeous Melanie !

After the return trip to Levisham a quiet evening was spent letting the meal digest……
And watching the local Neighbourhood Woodpecker….

August 2nd

The weather wasn’t great today but we still headed out for a walk up to Skeltons Tower on Levisham Moor . It is a well known landmark and can be see from the train .

Todays walk (in Blue)

It was very gentle to start with along to Levisham Station but then the climb out of the Station is quite steep , when you hit the top of the first incline you turn on to the moor which is slightly more level . It’s very still and beautiful on the top and then you get your first view of the tower….

Even though the weather was cloudy and there was always a threat of rain , the views were spectacular from the tower…..

Melanie at the Tower….

After a packed lunch we watch a couple of trains go by ……

Have to say it gives a good view of the trains !

We carried on our walk which took us down a rather sodden track and Melanie found out a new pair of walking boots are in order ! Eventually the track fetch us out at the Platelayers Cottages , just a short distance from our cottage , which was good as by now it had started to rain persistantly ! We also got a chance to spot another Loco where we crossed the line…..

And take even more photos of course ! The rest of the afternoon was spent drying out before heading off to the Fox and Rabbit pub for a well earned tea !

Dunstanburgh Wildlife

We enjoy a good walk in our local area especially up the stunning Northumberland coast , we’ve walked to Dunstanburgh a few times from Low Newton by the Sea but this time we decided to do it from the home of the Great Kipper – Craster . We also took the chance to use our National Trust Memberships and have a look around the Castle .

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Now as it happens the Castle is home to a sea bird colony on the cliffs so it gave me a chance to hone my wildlife photography skills……..

Razorbills

Shags

On the way around the castle i noticed a Kestrel out on the prowl……

It even rested on the old keep……

It was amazing to watch this raptor in flight in so close proximity .

Wiser’s in the UK

In the year Canada celebrates its 150th Birthday , Wiser’s Whisky is now available in the UK in 70cl botlles (albeit via French / German importers) at reasonable prices . I was informed of this fact by a friend on Facebook (thanks Linoleum Bonypart !) who pointed me in the direction of a well known London based internet whisky shop . Needless to say an order was placed……

(Click on the photos for full size version)

I’d had the 18 and Lot No.40 but had only tried the Pike Creek Rum finish in this years Canadian Whisky Awards (and had liked it !) , So lets see if they are as good as i remembered…..

Wiser’s 18yo

 

The last time we were in Canada this one was on my list of possible purchases (went for the Red Letter instead) , I also had the pleasure on that trip to try an older version of the 18 which was stunning .

The nose on this is at first Rye , then freshly cut saw dust passing on to Butterscotch toffee before returning to Rye toast with butter . The palate is extremely spicy , lots of wood spices mixed in with the Rye and toffee sweetness , an absolute delight ! The finish is medium/ long with bags of spices , pepper and rye .

A wonderful dram , a bargain at £41 a bottle !

Lot No.40

 

According to some ‘The Mother of All Ryes’ and i can’t Disagree ! It’s Rye,Rye,Rye,Rye Beautiful Rye on the nose….. oh and a drop of spices . The Palate is again rye but with a huge spiciness , i reckon this would go great with a proper Indian meal , one from Southern India . It has a lovely silkiness across the mouth , there’s also a hint of fruit about it , small sweet bananas ! The finish is incredible in it’s length and it’s complexity , bags of rye , loads of spices ,  pepper , a slight hint at fruit again and it just seems to go on and on…….

I’m a huge Rye Fan and to say this hits the right notes is an understatement , At £30 a bottle this is an even bigger bargain than the 18yo !!!

Pike Creek 10yo Rum finished

 

In the past I’ve perchased a few of the NAS Port Finishes so i was looking forward to giving this 10yo Rum finish a try even though i found out i had tried it in the Canadian Whisky Awards (Getting old , memory going….)

The nose starts of quite sweet , dark fruits , honey , a hint of rye and a touch of rum . Bags of rye on the palate initially, and a huge splash of rum , again quite sweet but nicely  spiced , the finish is medium with a large dash of the rum and pepper .

This is a great session dram , incredibly easy drinking , very refreshing as well and very easy on the wallet at £26 a bottle !!!!

I really hope people in the UK give these drams a try and i hope this is just the start of more Wiser’s arriving on our shore (especially those lovely specials that have been appearing , oh and the Gooderham & Worts Four Grain !

For more info on Canadian Whisky visit CanadianWhisky.org

Spirit of Islay Cask Samples

Back in the Whisky Good Ol’ Days ( When bottles were reasonably priced and had an age statement on – remember that – and Distillery Casks were reasonably priced…..) the people who were on the Spirit of Islay Yahoo Club (huh?) and Weekly chats ( well before Twitter tastings….) decided to buy first a Port Charlotte Hoggie then a Bruichladdich Bourbon Barrel . Now 14 years and 8 years on they are rapidly approaching bottling .

Up until March they resided at Laddie Distillery but we had to move them as Laddies shipping policy ( to the registered owners address only ) wasn’t favourable so given that the shareholders don’t all reside around me it was decided to move them somewhere that would be able to bottle and ship them to various countries . The obvious choice was Whiskybroker . So off we went today to meet up with Martin and get a sample from SOI 1 and II . It was only this time last year we were over to get a sample from the Longmorn cask and things have certainly progressed at Whiskybroker central ! Loads more racking , loads more  casks and a new super- duper bottling machine , Martin and Jane are certainly doing a cracking job in Creetown ! So onto the samples……

Spirit of Islay II Bruichladdich 2008

In an ex-Buffalo Trace 1st fill Bourbon Barrel , coming in at a whopping 64.2% ABV . Straw in Colour , since the last time i tried it it is now definitely a Laddie , for the ABV there is no burn on the nose , fresh green fruit , apples , pears , touch of the tropicals as well – Bananas , mango , pineapple . Vanilla custard , Lovely stuff !

The strength hits you on the palate , the fruit is there again covered in custard , quite a long finish but i need to try it with water…..

With Water the fruit explodes even more on the nose , it takes the burn off the palate and brings the flavours forward beautifully , actually noticing the Laddie fudge / toffee now  , it actually takes quite a bit of water . Have to say i’m very happy with how this cask has gone .

Spirit of Islay Port Charlotte 2002

In a (possibly 2nd , 3rd or 4th) Refill Sherry Hogshead , measuring a respectable 59.9% ABV . light Amber in colour , this has moved on so much since the last time i tried it (2014) , the colour now looks like a sherry cask matured whisky , the nose is amazing , still has the PC ash , Coal Smoke , a touch of seashore , there is a lot going on in the nose , really complex , too complex for my nose , where’s Serge when you need him……

Wow ! the palate is beautiful , nice and peaty , a touch of the fishermans friend , menthol , nice hint of lemon , again very complex with a lovely long finish . Water smooths the edges off , but i think i prefer it in it’s original state . Another excellent cask , as Serge once said to me i’ve been a luck B……. with casks and i have to agree !

 

Whiskybrokers site is HERE

Watch the Birdie !

Over the past few years i’ve been trying to get back seriously into my photography (time permitting ) , I’ve been into it even longer than the whisky ! I used to be into it at School , i was a member of a local camera club , the first thing i done when i started work in 1978 was to purchase a decent 2nd hand SLR , The Yashica FR , a superb camera that served me many a year , but as with all things interest lapsed when other things got in the way……

It was the mid to late 90’s when i next picked up an SLR , this time i went for a Canon , an EOS 500n (incidentally this year is the 30th anniversary of the EOS System) , that served me well for a good few years but then ‘Digital’ beckoned and staying with Canon i moved on to the EOS 400D . This one served me well but at some point i realised it’s limitations and decided to sell a few bottles of whisky and move onto a serious system , so a 7D and some serious glass was purchased . Since then i’ve moved up to full frame ( 6D then 5D Mark IV ) and added more glass . The one thing i do love is photographing nature (as well as the Steam Trains…..) , being members of the National Trust gives us the ideal situations to do so as their grounds are good places to spot Birds , Squirrels etc , one of our favourite places is Wallington especially at their hide , these photos are from our most recent visit……

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Greater Spotted Woodpecker , we could actually hear this bird rat-tat-tatting long after we’d seen it , a lovely quirky little bird .

The Blue Tits are quite common at Wallington , as are the Chaffinches , this one being the female .

This was the first time we’d seen Bramblings , another member of the finch family .

There seemed to be a lot of Wrens floating about on this day , a beautiful little song bird .

Two of the more popular birds at the hide , the Nuthatch and the male Chaffinch .

Away from the hide on the Riverside walk another new spot for us , Grey Wagtails .

Another Wren !

The Current set up used at the hide.

Now i now i’m not the greatest photographer in the world , you are always learning , but it gives me great pleasure , gets me a bit of exercise and an odd Scone or two along the way !

There are a lot more photographs on my Flickr page HERE