North-east of the City of York
can be found the large area of raised land known as the North
Yorkshire Moors. This large area of raised land is not to be
confused with the similar large area of more ruffled raised land,
North-west of the City of York and on the other side of the Vale
of York, which enjoys the name of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Moors are notable for various
things, including being empty enough for the Fylingdales Ballistic
Missile Early Warning System. Cynical people are of the opinion
that Fylingdales is an example of the UK being kind enough to
allow the USA to have its defensive systems on other people's
soil where strategic cutting-out attacks on the defensive systems
won't inconvenience USA taxpayers too much. More cynical people
are of the opinion that the ballistic missiles are likely to
reach their destinations before the reports from Fylingdales.
The kinder and more patient people are willing to accept the
base (formerly a set of large golfballs and now a pyramid painted
to blend in with the prevailing sky colour) as a key part of
the Defence of the Free World.
Beneath Fylingdales is a deep
valley with sheer sides and trees at the bottom. Wending through
this valley is a railway. Once it was the direct route from York
to the coastal resort of Whitby (at the north end of the Moors).
Whitby is now served purely by a social railway from Middlesbrough.
The direct route was truncated and then privatised in the 1960s
and early 1970s; it currently links Whitby with the town of Pickering
via Grosmont and Goathland (winter excepted). It is owned and
operated by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as a heritage line.
Here it is seen twisting between
trees and dying bracken as it heads past the distant signal for
the rural intermediate station of Levisham. The station is at
the bottom of the valley, whereas the village is at the top of
the hill. Neither is visible from the other.