SubZero Trials in Goathland

Winter was approaching and this was my last week with the kids before the rough weather really arrived and our escapes got 'interesting'.  Storms had already hit and so a week walking in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park was a gamble.  However, it was a gamble I was willing to take.

I had been asked by SubZero to try out their lovely thermal base layer and a 6km mini-hike on the moors around Goathland was the perfect opportunity.

Goathland  (AKA Aidensfield!)

Anyone who is of a certain age will have swooned over Sunday evening T.V. and Heartbeat.  Set in 1960's Yorkshire, following the residents of the fictional moorland village of Aidensfield it was easy viewing.  

Walking through the village my little companion was fascinated by the old police car and village stores, still maintaining their 1960's character.  It was like stepping back in time.  The sheep grazed throughout the village.  Causing traffic jams, oblivious to the chaos they were causing.  The air was chilly and I was glad I had the extra layer with me.


Mallyan Spout

Heading from the village past the Mallyan Spout Hotel the path down to the waterfall started well.  Lots of steps and slippy mud with a geocache on the way took us down to the banks of West Beck.  This was a bubbling torrent of peaty orange water.  The rain that had fallen with Storm Brian was racing towards the sea in a noisy bustling rush.

The path to the spout was rugged.  Sometimes the path was not visible.  An impression of many footfalls was all that showed the way.  Whilst the little goat hopped on ahead of me, I was a typical slug.  Finding my own path, not always the right one over slippery stones.  A few times I had to have help from the goat.  A moment of delight for a 10year old as 'mum got stuck'.

Passing the money tree, the Mallyan Spout eventually came in to view.  I was a warm puffing red thing by this point.  Unsure of where my legs actually were, but immensely grateful that my gym sessions were paying off after all.  Before, I would not have made it this far and certainly wouldn't have made it without a dip or a slide.  Given the amount of energy I  had exerted getting this far my subzero was certainly doing its job well.  The wicking was working well and after a few minutes under the spout it was easy to dry off.

We continued along the path a little further to grab the geocache (a proper sized ammo box, you don't see many of them around anymore!) and then it was the moment of truth!  We had to return along the path.  The remainder of the day was reliant on me completing the scramble back to the nice sensible boardwalk.


Meadows and Woodland

After the scramble it was a gentle walk through autumn woodland and then up onto moorland.  The rush of the river could be heard below.  Replaced gradually by the wind howling through the trees and the chatter of horned sheep grazing in the fields that we crossed.  After the exercise in valley we were rapidly stripping.  Layers were coming off and yet again my subzero was perfect.  It fitted into a tiny corner of the bag without any effort.


Beck Hole

For a walk that should take an hour and a half we were taking a little longer.  By lunchtime we were only halfway through.  We made it to the quirky Birch Hall Inn in Beck Hole.

Someone had told us along the way about their pies and rolls and they weren't kidding about how good they were.  Worth the adventure getting here.  With a strange locals feel to the bar, we ended up in the garden with other families.  The children were all demolishing food like they had never been fed.  The inn also has a small shop.  A real treasure trove of sweeties for the rest of our adventure.


Thomason Foss

Leaving the village and heading up the path from the letter box (don't you love local directions!), the second waterfall of the day was another adventure.  Slowly we climbed up to the railway.  Pausing for a minute to catch our breathe we got lucky.  The smell of coal and steam became stronger and then the steam train from Whitby to Pickering came in to view.  About to start it's nightmarish 1/49 climb up to Goathland station, it chugged past on a mission.

We continued along the path, dropping through the woodland back down to water level and eventually found Thomason Foss.

Another moorland waterfall, seeped in peat.  Flowing rapidly over the falls and back down the way we had come.  Large trees were wedged in the rocks.  A rope swing from calm summer days swung hauntingly like it had lost a child from its end on the far bank.  This is a great wild swimming spot, but not when the river is in flood.

Sitting in the glade with cameras the noise was intense.  A constant rush of flow.  And then it happened.  We started to see fish.  All around the base of the waterfall were large trout.  Jumping, attempting to get through the falls and up to the river continuing above.  None succeeded while we were there, but they tried their hardest.


Old Railway to Goathland

It was a return walk to Beck Hole and the pretty Incline Cottage.  This was the start of the walk up the long incline back to Goathland.  A footpath on the old 1/10 railway that was abandoned for the current longer level railway.  A small beck followed the path all the way.  This is when the rain hit!  Not enough to be really wet, but enough to be annoying.  Luckily geocaches and friendly dogs kept us going back to the start of the walk in the village.


Goathland Station

No visit to Goathland is complete without a visit to the railway station.  I had looked at the train times and knew we would be in luck so without saying anything we headed to the station.  The first realisation of where we were for this Harry Potter mad 10year old was when we stepped onto the platform. 

He had been magically carried to Hogsmeade Station.  Excitement built as he realised a train was on its way.  Was this the Hogwarts Express?  Unfortunately not, but the station staff sensed his excitement and got him placed for front row views of the arriving train


Heading Home

Even the journey away from Goathland was magical.  The light was filtering through stormy clouds and heading over the moorland the views were breath taking.  Pheasants, hares and squirrels were playing chicken at every turn.  The empty roads and parking spaces were perfect for last minute photographs after a perfect day.

SubZero Thermal Base Layer Factor +1

SubZero Info


Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus Unisex Long Sleeve Seamless Thermal Base Layer Tops are snug fitting and have plenty of stretch (100%), making them feel as comfortable as a second skin and allows for a close comfortable fit for most body shapes. The stretch, coupled with long cut, will prevent the garment from rucking up under active conditions that may cause discomfort and cold spots on the lower back. The super efficient hydrophilic finish will wick perspiration away, leaving your skin feeling warm and dry. The innovative seamless body construction incorporates stretch rib zones for enhanced support and waffle zones for increased thermal efficiency and greater control of perspiration.  This is the ultimate in thermal underwear base layer technology and is suitable for all outdoor sports where extra warmth is required but without the bulk: Lightweight walking, climbing, skiing, and cycling.

My own view!

Some base layers leave you hot and over heating but this worked really well.  The fit was great.  Despite being unisex, which doesn't always work for me, the fit was snug and comfortable.  It was long enough to tuck in and didn't ride up at all.   The lack of seams was really noticable at the end of the day.  Usually after wearing a base layer and heavy camera back pack there are seam abrasions which are not pleasant.  Not this time.  After our little shower in the Mallyan Spout it was soggy, but dried out really quickly.  I have to admit that on the long slog uphill I had to do a layer swap but that was my over enthusiasm for layers and shower combo and nothing to do with the base layer. I am definitely going to be building up my collection of subzero clothing.  I have worn it since this walk and intend to continue to test it out.  It has been on dives with me and worked really well alongside my drysuit underlayers.   I want to explore this further as the winter progresses to see how the thermal capacity stands up to U.K. seas in the winter. At £44.99 this base layer is great value for money.  It has multiple uses and looks as if it will be on my packing list for a long time to come.

Photography Ideas at Goathland

Located high in the North York Moors National Park, Goathland presents lots of photography options.  

  • The village has lots of buildings made famous from its time as Aidensfield.  The Goathland Arms was the Aidensfield Arms, Goathland Garage was Bernie Scripps Garage and funeral parlour and the station was Aidensfield Station.  
  • The village of Goathland has a large number of sheep who are timid but are great subjects.
  • The church is pretty in its moorland setting opposite the Mallyan Spout Hotel
  • The Mallyan Spout provides a great location for waterfall photography.  A shorter circular walk is possible continuing beyond the spout itself across the bridge and heading back to the village.  This is a pretty woodland walk with lots of flowers and trees along the river bank
  • Across the moor towards Beck Hole is stunning with a changing landscape from the path itself.
  • Just before Beck Hole there is a tumble down bridge half in and half out of the river.  This would be great with the right light and a long exposure.  Neither of which I could achieve!!
  • Beck Hole is a funny little village with lots of quirky signs on houses, pretty gardens and the shop in the Birch Hall Inn is unique.
  • Thomason Falls provide a great location for more waterfall photography.  The woodland walk is pretty with the path running alongside the railway and the river.
  • Goathland Railway Station is the perfect location for train photography.  The station is preserved in 1940/50/60 style with vintage signs and fittings.  For Harry Potter fans it is an easy location to visit.

Visiting Goathland


Goathland is located high on the North Yorkshire Moors.  It can be reached by train from both Whitby and Pickering.  This is a heritage line operating a variable timetable through the year.

Alternatively driving to Gaothland is easy unless there is snow of fog.  In winter the road may be difficult or closed.  Just make sure to check road conditions before setting off.  Goathland is clearly signposted from the A169 halfway between Whitby and Pickering.  

The village has a large pay and display car park as well as small areas of roadside parking.  There is a shop and a number of cafes and restaurants.  

Disclaimer I was gifted the base layer in order to perform this review, but the words and thoughts are my own, and I was free to write what I saw fit.