Stage 4 - A pleasant warm morning at Sleights station as 18 members arrived for this 10 mile walk, being the final section of St Hilda's Way and led by Martin Hill.
Setting off uphill and through fields, after an hour's walking the first port of call was reached - St Hilda's Church at Sneaton.
Continuing on cross field paths then railway viaduct to arrive at Whitby Harbour, a location ideal for a lunch break.
Resuming, by walking through the town to first visit St Hilda's Catholic Church and then onwards to Sneaton Castle in which is located St Hilda's Priory. This is home to Sisters of The Order of the Holy Paraclete, one of whom provided an informative insight into the history and functioning of their Order.
Downhill to join the Cleveland Way at West Cliff and a visit to St Hilda's Anglican Church to view stained glass windows and The Episcopol Chair.
Onwards through town, crossing the Esk to visit firstly, St Mary's Anglican Church and Caedmon's Cross and finally Whitby Abbey.
The only way to finish a day of walking and church visiting around Whitby was to enjoy their local fayre of fish and chips - well deserved!
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Stage 3 - Glaisedale station on a sunny morning welcomed 16 walkers for this third stage [11 miles] along St Hilda's Way, led by Tony Corrigan
Everyone took an opportunity to look at the historic Beggars Bridge before setting off. Following the Esk Valley Walk through Arncliffe Woods, then turning south onto Smith's Lane towards The Delves, a circuitous route was taken to Egton Bridge.
Using the River Esk stepping stones, then continuing through the village, the group visited St Hedda's Church to look at a memorial stained glass window depicting the life of martyr The Blessed Nicholas Postgate. He was a priest, who after being betrayed by members of a local family, was hung, drawn and quartered in York in 1679. Thanks to Ann Kennedy for providing interesting historical information about the martyr and features within the stained glass. For wikipedia information click HERE.
Resuming with a mile uphill path through woods and fields, a visit was made to St Hilda's Mortuary Chapel. Standing on the site of the original St Hilda’s Church it was dedicated by the Bishop of Damascus in 1349. An information board states the old church was built much earlier and eventually “fell into disrepair” being demolished in 1878 to be replaced by the Mortuary Chapel.
So onwards - or at least downhill to visit the current St Hilda's Church. The foundation stone for this church was laid in March 1878 being consecrated in December 1879. The church grounds provided a suitable lunch stop.
After a morning of hills and church visiting, the afternoon section was continuous walking, mainly using the Esk Valley Walk route to Grosmont and onwards to finish at Sleights.
Stage 2 - A very pleasant morning at Danby on the North York Moors as 12 members arrived for this second stage [12 miles] along St Hilda's Way. Led by Martin Hill, the outward route went onto the outskirts of Danby Dale for a coffee stop and viewing of St Hilda's Church.
Resuming, Danby Rigg was crossed followed by contouring around Danby High Moor and Great Fryup Dale, the latter providing a lunch stop with excellent views across Fairy Cross Plain.
The return section involved a very steep ascent onto Glaisdale Rigg, then walking along it, gently descending to finish at Glaisdale.
High points of this walk were the 'high points' that enabled an opportunity to see the best of North York Moors.
Stage 1 - "The first stage of St Hilda's Way was led by Anne Exton and followed a route from St Hilda's Church, Hinderwell to Danby. The seven members who arrived at the starting point after crossing the Moors in thick fog, were rewarded with an outstanding walk with rapidly improving weather.
The late start walking meant that most of the walk was enjoyed in unbroken sunshine. The first part of the walk was across beautiful countryside with stunning views to the sea, followed by lunch in the sunshine and by the water, at Scaling Dam.
After lunch, time for an ice-cream before crossing the Moors to Danby Beacon and down to Danby. Then to the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge for a meal and a well-earned drink, to round off a perfect day". Martin Hill