Monday, October 19, 2015

North Yorkshire Day 4 - A tardy sunrise & a stylish waterfall

Old pier at sunrise in Whitby North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
West Pier at sunrise.

I had planned to go to Robin Hood's Bay for sunrise, but after I turned my alarm off I promptly fell back to sleep, and by the time I woke up again, it was too late to get there. I got up anyway and headed into Whitby, and as it tuned out I didn't miss much as it was the worst sunrise of the week. Thankfully my inherent laziness had saved me some wasted effort, it's a steep path down to the beach at Robin Hood's Bay, so it would have been doubly arduous on the return journey with nothing to show for it.

Instead I drove up to the abbey while the light was still low, I was going to get a shot of it lit up, unfortunately by the time I got there the lights had been turned off, it was obviously not my morning.
I was at a bit of a loss of what to do next, then I noticed a few breaks in the clouds and the start of some very subtle colour in the sky, so I motored it over to the other side of town and hoofed it onto the pier. I walked to the end of West Pier and got a few shots looking along it's length and to the town beyond.

Once it was clear that the clouds were going to have the sun for breakfast, I trotted back to the apartment for a meal of my own.

Afterwards I took the road over the moors to the little hamlet of Beck Hole. Located deep in the valley of the Murk Esk River, it is accessed via a very steep road on either side of the village, the majority of the houses and structures are listed, including the 19th century stone bridge, where I parked to access the footpath to the Thomason Foss waterfall.

Red leaves on an autumn tree at Beck Hole North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
I had to stop on my way down into the village to get a shot of this little tree in full autumn splendour,

Interestingly, the village didn't have electricity until 1948, and no mains water until 1952, but most worryingly of all, no TV reception until 1989, when the villagers clubbed together to erect their own mast at the top of the valley. This lasted until 2002, and as satellite transmission became available, most residents switched to Sky.

I took the footpath into the woods and followed the trail as it climbed up towards the lip of the valley, with the Eller Beck running below me on my right. Once at the top I walked parallel with the tracks of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway line, as it makes it way between Grosmont and Goathland, before I descended once again back towards the valley floor.

The Eller Beck River near Beck Hole in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
The Eller Beck.

Once at the bottom, I met the Eller Beck and followed the rocky path along it's muddy banks. It was soon clear I was getting near the falls, even if I couldn't see them, I was beginning to hear the sound of churning water somewhere up ahead. The path soon turned into a bit of an obstacle course, as it became a stretch of large slippery boulders that had to be navigated with some care.

It was worth the effort though, the Thomason Foss, which is a rich, smooth and handsome fall, is set in the centre a large horseshoe shaped gorge. The lush vegetation climbing up the sheer, dark rocky walls on either side of it, made it look like something out of a Tolkien novel. I set up my camera gear as best I could on the rather troublesome rocks and got a few shots.

Thomason Foss waterfall at Beck Hole North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
The dapper Thomason Foss waterfall.

I had the place to myself which was nice, I'd not seen another person, either in the village or on the trail through the woods since I'd arrived. I was just thinking how peaceful it all was when a far off rumbling sound began to appear, then increase in volume with some rapidity. At first I couldn't work out what it was, then I remembered the railway line that traverses the top of the valley. One of the old steam trains was shooting past right above me, it filled the woodland with a prodigious cacophony, as the noise bounced and reverberated on the walls of the ravine.

Thomason Foss waterfall in a deep valley at Beck Hole by Martyn Ferry Photography
A view of the valley walls, and the waterfall nestled between them.

Once I'd got a few shots, I trudged, tripped and slid my way back to the car before cleaning myself up as best I could and leaving North Yorkshire behind, for the time being at least.

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