Monday, 27 July 2009

A-Walking: Horcum Highlights

Saltergate {SE 852 945}, on the A169 road to Pickering, is famous for a number of reasons. One of these is its proximity to the Hole of Horcum - a popular tourist attraction (see the picture below). Then, of course, there is (or should I say there was?) the apparently haunted Saltergate Inn. Another reason, from a walking perspective, is the fact that it used to be the base for the Saltergate Circuit - an annual, 26-mile long-distance challenge walk on the North York Moors (the event now starts from Stape Outdoor Centre).

Photo of Hole of Horcum area.
Today's A-walk (26th July, 2009) started just south of the inn at Saltergate - at the carpark that overlooks the Hole of Horcum (near the trees on the horizon in the above picture). Our route took us north to Littlebeck and then south-west to finish at Goathland.

We set off from the carpark at about 11.10 am. There were six people in the group: JB, PB, RB, KF, JH and WM. PB led the walk.

From the car-park we made our way to Old Wife's Way but soon turned left off this - heading north pass the trig point at {SE 855 940}. We then took a north-easterly bearing along Saltergate Brow in order to get to Malo Cross {SE 867 949}. This was the first of several old crosses that we passed during the course of the walk. At Malo Cross we turned north and headed for Eller Beck Head, passing RAF Fylingdales on our left (see here and/or here for more information).

At {SE 871 968} we turned east along Worm Sike Rigg. We kept our easterly bearing until we reached {SE 889 968} where we turned north and made our way to Lilla Cross {SE 889 987} (see picture below). We had our lunch stop here. It was now quite dark overhead and we were anticipating rain.

Photo of Lilla Cross.
After lunch we travelled via Robin Hood's Bay Road (a path) making our way to the site of John Cross {NZ 900 027}. As we were walking along this part of the route we saw a beautiful example of an adder lying on the track ahead of us. Its markings were really superb. Sadly, before I could get my camera into action, it wriggled off at great speed into the undergrowth. Click this link for more about adders.

Turning west at John Cross, we now descended down to May Beck and then followed its course in a northerly direction to reach the tiny village of Littlebeck {NZ 879 049}. From here we had a good climb in a westerly direction to reach the A169 road at {NZ 862 048}. Just before reaching the road we stopped on some rocks for a short tea break. As we climbed there were some good views of Whitby and the sea to the east of where we were sitting.

After crossing the road we continued our westerly trek in order to reach a minor road at {NZ 845 051} - near Lowther's Crag. We now turned south and headed for Arundel Hill {NZ 838 037} and the minor road that lay to the south of it {NZ 836 032}. From the road we continued our southerly trek until we reached the North York Moors Railway {NZ 836 020}. Following this, we passed Mill Scar (on our left) to reach Goathland Railway Station where we crossed the railway track in order to get to our final destination in Goathland {NZ 833 013}.

Photo of Goathland.
After Saturday's hot and sunny weather, today's conditions were superb for A-walking: lots of cloud, cool breezes and occassional dashes of cool, refreshing mizzle. We made a minor amendment to our route at Black Brow so as to take in Lowther's Crag rather than visiting the trig point at {NZ 855 049} (see details here). This increased the overall length of the walk by about 0.2 mile. However, despite this, we still reached our destination with ten minutes to spare. Use the buttons below to see where we went, how we did and, some of the lovely things we saw.




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