Walkers and their dog walk through the snow at the Hole of Horcum on the North York Moors.
After a mild autumn, winter finally arrived, covering much of the county in a light blanket of snow as temperatures plummeted.
For many commuters that meant frustration as they were met with delays on both road and rail, but at the Hole of Horcum, near Levisham, it was a different story. There the winter weather just made one of Yorkshire’s most picturesque spots look even more beautiful.
The huge natural amphitheatre, which measures three-quarters of a mile across and 400ft deep, was formed in the ice age when glaciers carved through the rocks.
However, it is not just generations of geologists who have been fascinated by the area.
Yorkshire is awash with myths and folklore and the legend most famously associated with the Hole of Horcum suggests it was created thousands of years ago when a giant called Wade scooped up the earth with the aim of throwing it at his wife.
Fortunately for her, Wade was not a particularly good shot and the soil, which landed some two miles away, formed the hill known as Blakey Topping.
The Hole of Horcum’s giant may be long gone, but the site remains home to a number of other species, attracting birdwatchers keen to spot curlew, lapwing and golden plover.
Part of the Levisham Estate, much investment has been made in conservation in recent years to improve the heather moorland and allow the rich grassland to blossom.
Owned by the North York Moors National Park Authority, the estate’s 3,358 acres have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Within it there are ancient woodlands, wetlands, archaeological remains and with the Hole of Horcum providing an imposing focal point, it’s easy to see why those driving by often pull over for a few minutes to soak up the view.
Technical details: NikonD3s camera with an ISO of 400 on a 24-55mm lens at 28 mm with an exposure of 1/500th sec at F9
Picture: Gary Longbottom
Words: Sarah Freeman