Overseas Walk: Roseberry Topping
It was a hot day for Yorkshire, the temperature reaching 30 degrees at least. The sun was out with no sign of rain on the way. Perfect weather to climb up a hill Mum thought, so off we went. Mum explained a little about Roseberry Topping as we made our way there.
It is a famous landmark in Yorkshire, a highly visible cone-shaped hill, with a rock at the top. It got its name from the ancient Viking god Odin. The topping part came from the old Norse word Toppinn, meaning hill. She also said it is one of the highest peaks in Yorkshire. I didn’t like that part. It was 30 degrees outside, or more, and I certainly didn’t feel like climbing some random peak!
Presently, Mum turned off the A173 between the towns of Great Ayton and Guisborough, into the car park at the bottom of Roseberry Topping. When we got out of the car, I soon realized that the “biggest peak in Yorkshire” turned out to be rather small in comparison to the mountains and peaks I had climbed back in New Zealand, so I needn’t have worried.
We paid the parking fee of two pounds and headed off. We set out at a brisk pace along a wide path, flanked by tall hedgerows on either side.
Shortly, we began the gentle incline as we reached the forested, lower reaches of Roseberry Topping. We passed through a “kissing” gate and carried on along the path that led us into the start of the woods. The tall sycamore trees and giant oaks provided welcome respite from the sweltering heat of the sun. It took us ten minutes to traverse the woods and emerge back into the open again.
Mum and I continued upwards, stopping occasionally to admire the views of the farms and villages, which grew smaller, the higher we climbed.
From the top we had a great view on all sides. Looking east, you could see the ocean. The great mass of water sparkled brilliantly from the reflection of the sun. Then in the other direction we could make out tiny tractors in the distance puttering around in the fields gathering
bailage. It was perfect weather to be out on the farms.
Opposite us on the next hill over was a monument erected in memory of Captain James Cook. He grew up on a farm near Roseberry Topping, and went to school in the nearby village of Great Ayton. Apparently when he was young, he used to climb Roseberry Topping frequently. Perhaps it was here at the peak that young Cook would look wistfully out to sea and yearn for far off lands.
After some photos, Mum and I headed back down the other side of the hill. It didn’t take long to get down and soon we were back in the woods. We took a different path from the one up, but it was much the same. All in all, the walk took us around one hour.
Opposite page above: Heading along the path with Roseberry Topping in sight. Below left: Mum (Helen Bronn) and myself (Leah Bronn) at the carpark. Above left: Kissing gate we passed through. Above right: Walking through the woods.
Roseberry ToppingAbove: View from the top of Roseberry Topping. Below left: Another view from the top.