Diamond Days in the North York Moors

I’ve been thinking about the importance of landscape recently, how surroundings affect mood, motivation and even character.So, while my latest creations rest, half finished , on the table next to me I thought I’d share a personal love story about the North York Moors. It may seem strange to those of you who know me as someone who lives in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sheep and solitude, but I actually spent the first 14 years of my life in London. Visits to Grandparents in “The North Riding”  were idyllic and now seem tinted with that golden, over exposed hue of 1970’s photographs- Flying box kits on the moor, building dams in the River Esk, gritty picnics on Sandsend beach and jumping out of the car to drink icy water from a moorland spring and to breath in the sharp brackeny air at Goathland after a long , cramped, car journey from the South.

So the landscape kind of seeps into your bones and now, much as I love my trips to the city ,and proudly claim to be a Londoner, North Yorkshire has become a place of deep roots and family history, in the same way as  a tree grows angled by the prevailing wind I am now more more shaped by the North than the South!

This year is the 60th anniversary of the North York Moors National Park and I’m getting quite excited by a new exhibition this Summer that will include works by 5 artists including Joe Cornish, William Tillyer and Len Tabner whose work is all connected by a love of the North York Moors. Obviously ,for me, the work of William Tillyer has almost become my default way of seeing the moors around me, the atmospheric skies in particular, and is one reason why I never attempt to paint landscape!

The exhibition will include a re-issue of “The Furnished Landscape” , a  series of photographs which now document a lost way of life. Who can remember milk stands at the end of each farm lane? Some things don’t change though, the honey scented air when the heather is purple in August, the lichen covered drystone walls,wild garlic and bluebells in the woods in spring, curlews calling mournfully while the lapwings threaten to dive bomb anyone who comes too close to their nest.

Have I tempted you to visit this beautiful part of England? If you came between August 8th and September 16th you could also visit the Dutch House, where I will be having a little exhibition! And better still, my lovely friend Sam runs a fabulous website which gives you just about all the information you might need to plan your escape to the North in your very own North Yorkshire cottage!

So, it’s time to return to the sewing and the sketchbook after losing myself in a little journey around Gods Own Country. After singing its praises so much I think I’d better get my boots “Dubbined” and go for a bit of fresh air tomorrow!


12 responses to “Diamond Days in the North York Moors

  1. a most fantastic read!!! I love your photos!!!!! My daughter and I are planning a England ~ a mom/daughter thing .. I am saving this post .. North York Moors is a must.. this will give us incentive to fill up the $ pot quicker. I love your landscape.. in some ways it reminds me of the tundra in Alaska. It makes the sky appear endless.. I love the colors and textures .. even on a gray day.

    Hubby wants to do the “walk across Scotland” .. that is my roots. That does sound wonderful!

    • Lisa it would be amazing if you came to Yorkshire! Please make sure you keep me informed.You should find plenty of lovely places to plan your trip on Sam’s site but let me know if you need any inside information!! My boyfriend is in Scotland at the moment,enjoying the mountains and wilderness…I could lend him to you as a guide!! x

  2. Wonderful as always Kim. I am proud to be from North Yorkshire, Guisborough born and bred, I know I live over the river now but it will always be in my heart , the child hood memories over the moors with my Grandad are so very vivid.

    I think we may be visiting Sandsend on Monday as it’s my Ruby’s birthday and we want to go run on a beach all wrapped up!

    Jane x

    • Thanks Jane! Sandsend is my favorite beach, especially in winter! That cafe near the carpark is lovely. Happy Birthday Ruby, I bet that’ll be a stylish party x

  3. I love love love this post. For someone who has not escaped this house for a while – you havemade me want to go and get my walking boots on – only one problem it is 7 o’clock in the evening…. We should all come and see you for tea in the summer!!! xxx

    • Vicky, if you don’t come for tea this summer I shall be very cross. I can’t wait for a lovely vintage style tea party in the garden ( if there is a summer…) x

  4. Lovely Blog and beautiful photo’s, have the urge for a brisk around Glaisdale quarry now xxx

  5. Lovely blog, Kim! And love that photograph of the teasels!

    I recommend to anyone interested in Yorkshire and the Dales the books by Marie Hartley, Ella Pontefract and Joan Ingilby – and any combination of the three – as ladies who saw the old ways of Yorkshire disappearing and gathered together artefacts, stories, social history and photographs for their lovely books. Their material formed the basis of the Dales Museum at Hawes, and are a great source of inspiration in so many ways.

    Sandsend is a wonderful beach – and one of the best things is…it leads to Whitby! In the old days (and not that long ago) the beach itself was the main road leading to the town as the road proper was a relatively recent addition to the landscape.

    One place not to miss in Whitby is the glorious museum – http://www.whitbymuseum.org.uk – which can take days to get round; too many things not to miss…..like the Hand Of Glory, reputed to be the only one still in existance.

    Thank you again for your lovely blog. Very heartening!

    • Thanks Lizzie, I do keep meaning to go to the Whitby Museum. I was in ( or at) the Dales Museum in Hawes recently (after a trip to the cheese museum!mmmm.) but couldn’t afford to get in…it looked good though and I liked the vintage buses picking up the day-trippers outside.x

  6. Love the blog and your work and I will certainly explore your blog some more. We have family connections with North Yorkshire – as explained in our blog – and always go back there to recharge our creative batteries. A wonderful place.

    • Hello Bears from the Big Forest! Lovely to meet you and your lovely , quirky creations! I hope I didn’t sound like “a bear from North Yorkshire tourist board” ! Thanks for reading x

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