This is the first hill I ever walked up. Walked up it more than any other hill. Roseberry Topping is not a big hill. It’s only 266 ft tall. It sits on the northern edge of North Yorkshire and is a part of the Cleveland Hills. At the top look south and you see beautiful moors. Look north you see an urban sprawl and industry. Those with good eyesight can see where I was born and the sea.

For such a small hill it so loved. Alan Hinkes the first Britain to climb all 14 highest world mountains talks so fondly of this little piece of rock.

“I saw K2 and thought: that is the mountain to do; it’s nearly as impressive as Roseberry Topping”

Here we often refer it as the Yorkshire Matterhorn. Our version of the Swiss Matterhorn.

Our version is certainly not as big. Not as snowy. Not as steep. Not as scary. Not as famous. But it’s certainly way more Yorkshire.

My mum when she was young apparently scrawled her initials in a rock near the top. Many did that. I’ve still not found her carving but I do look every time I visit the hill.

As a teenager it would always feel a little claustrophobic where we lived. A small grey town. On one side the cold dark North Sea. On the other side one of Europe’s biggest chemical and steel works. It often seemed that the rest of the world was blocked off from me. But get on my bike and ride 2 hours through the industry. Suddenly I was at the base of our Matterhorn. 30 minutes later I was on its top and I could breathe. I was finally in a different world. I could experience what it was like to be in The Alps. To be an adventurer. I could think clearly on the top. I could calm the internal storms. I could visualise a better life.

All these years later and I still love this little hill. My hill. I so want to be there right now. I need to be there. 2020 will probably be the first year since I was a wee bairn that I won’t have stood on Roseberry Topping. That’s a sad thought. But it’s patiently waiting for me. Waiting for me to return.

48 thoughts on “Return

  1. I think it would be really nice to find your mum’s initials. I would keep looking too. One day you will get the chance to take another look. Maybe this those initials will be found. 😀

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  2. It’s funny how the things of our youth continue to call us, even into old age. I do hope you get to visit your Yorkshire Matterhorn sooner rather than later. Is this a place that Hawklad has visited? Perhaps the two of you can search for your mother’s initials together one day.

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  3. I feel the same way about the ocean. I havent been to MY beach this year at all. I loved to go while Ben was at school, in the Spring before the tourists showed up in droves. I lived down there for a short time in my Younger, pre-children days. Also when I was very young, before kindergarten.

    I tell myself the same thing… the ocean has been there forever and it will be there when I am able to go again. Oh, but I miss it SO much sometimes. I look on the webcam sometimes… it’s nice but it makes the longing worse sometimes.


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  4. Awww ❤️ well just think – it stands strong and loyal waiting for your return.

    It makes me think of the book “The Giving Tree” I won’t get into the story… hopefully you know it… but the tree loved the boy very much and was there his whole life … and even at the end. ❤️ always there, always with purpose and never waver

    It will always be there when you need it and are able.

    Nice post, very sweet

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  5. I would love to see that in person and climb it, though I don’t know if I am physically able to climb anything now. But I really love the name. Almost sounds like something to eat, something along the lines of an ice cream sundae maybe. It has a tempting sound, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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