Train Hopping and Roseberry Topping

Roseberry Topping Microadventure

Have you ever been woken up to the sensation of rain on your face? Not heavy, depressing rain we are so often used to in this country, but as Peter Kay says, “That fine stuff that soaks you through”, that type of rain. That will be the lasting memory of my first microadventure near Roseberry Topping. A good memory it was too.

A friend and I left town around midday. I had initially planned to take the train, proper microadventure style, but a friend offered to take me in the car so I thought ‘why not’? and off we set east along the A66. My pack in the back of the car with far too much stuff to be anything other than heavy.

I had chosen Roseberry Topping to be the backdrop for my first microadventure and could write paragraphs on it’s history but I’ll save that for another post. The reason I chose it is simply because it has intrigued me from being a nipper. I always remember is as the funny looking hill on the way to the seaside (Whitby), the views from the top looked fantastic and I as it is not too far from where I live (about 27 miles) it took minimal planning to get there and execute. My friend dropped me in the car park at the tiny train station of Great Ayton and wished me luck on my travels, he’s one of the growing number of friends I have that think I’m either having a mid-life crisis or I’m just plain losing the plot.

After a few good hours of walking I decided to head back to Roseberry Topping to look for a good place to bivvy.

I set of up the lane and through the woods that would eventually lead me to the foot of Roseberry Topping. The weather was dry, the tracks through the woods weren’t. I left the woods and started my hike to the top of Roseberry Topping which isn’t that bad a climb. It was made even better by the fact that the weather which was forecast to be a bit poo was actually starting to get out nice. I stopped when I got to the top for a breather and to take in some water which was exiting through my forehead at a rate of knots. My plan was not to stay up there too long as I wanted to have a walk over the moors and eventually make my way back to the summit where I would Bivvy for the night.

It still had great views of the hill and also of the surrounding area of Teeside which – although very indsutrial – looked fantastic as the days light disappeared.

I headed off toward

Roseberry Topping

s the North York Moors and had a good explore around Hanging Stone and Hutton Lowcross Woods (possible future wild camp spots). I stopped and had a bit of dinner, trying out my stove and metal teapot combo which I learned very quickly that the handle actually gets hotter than the sun when placed on a stove for a matter of seconds. Ouch!

After a few good hours of walking I decided to head back to Roseberry Topping to look for a good place to bivvy. I noticed it was quite a busy place and there were still a few people up there when I got back there about 8:30pm. I found a fairly comfy spot at the top, sheltered from the wind that was starting to blow, read a book, had a cuppa and was just generally being happy with life. I had the pleasure of watching the sun’s final minutes in the sky that day and wished I had taken a better camera than the one I had.

I was still a little apprehensive at the thought of camping in the middle of nowhere on my own. I had read that if you’re planning to wildcamp it’s generally best to go with a friend first time as it can be a little bit daunting but as I said before most of my friends think I’m a bit mental and weren’t particularly interested (I’m slowly bringing them round) so alone it was. I must say it doesn’t matter how old you are the fear of monsters in the dark never really leaves you but the after a while the sense of peace and quiet pushed aside any fears of being out alone.

..the sensation of the finest of rain, hitting your face, is probably the best alarm clock you can get.

I set up my tarp (not really a tarp but the outer of my cheapy 1 man tent) and bivvy (a second hand Belgium Amy issue jobbie), cooked a bit of tea and just sat and took in the scenery. This was great! I could get used to this. I had brought my little battery powered radio and listened to England get beat by Italy in their first world cup game. Shock! I finished my little bottle of wine and snuggled down into my bivvy for a blissful sleep at the edge of the great North York Moors. I don’t think I even stirred until first light where the sensation of the finest of rain, hitting your face, is probably the best alarm clock you can get. I woke, ate porridge, packed up my kit and headed back to the station to get my train home, thoroughly invigorated and immensely satisfied to have completed my first wildcamping microadventure.

Kit aside, this overnight trip was less than 30 miles from my own doorstep and cost me a 7 quid train fare. Now that’s a budget adventure!!

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