Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A-Walking: Hawnby-Helmsley Highlights

Following a goodly weekend walking in the Haworth area of North Yorkshire, the venue of our expeditions this Sunday returned to the North York Moors. Our route today took us from the car park in Chop Gate {SE 559 993} to Helmsley via Hawnby, Oscar Park Farm and Ash Dale.

Our coach was full to capacity today. This meant that there was no room for two of our A-walkers - who were planning to get on the coach at Stokesley. Consequently, they decided to drive to the Chop Gate car park (see the picture below) and join us there.

Village Hall
We set off from our drop-off point in the car park at about 10.30 am. There were 11 people in the group: JB, JPB, PB, RB, CH, JH, MH, JJ, KF, LM and WM. RB led the walk.

After leaving the Village Hall (see the above picture), we had a steep climb in a south-westerly direction in order to reach the high ground near Cock Howe {SE 543 984}. We then turned onto a southerly bearing to pass over Wether Hill as we made our way towards Bilsdale West Moor. As we travelled south, we passed Miley Howe {SE 546 970} (for further details and photograph - see here) and the impressive Bilsdale transmitting station on our left.

Bilsdale transmitter
After passing Meggy Mire {SE 547 963} on our right, our track turned to the left. We continued along this track for a further 275 yards to {SE 551 961} and then turned right onto another good track. Following this in a south-westerly direction, we made our way to Low Thwaites {SE 543 944} (see here). Continuing on our southerly trek across Hawnby Moor, we arrived at Moor Gate {SE 539 917}. At this point, MH and CH left us in order to make their way back to their car at Chop Gate.

From Moor Gate we followed a path in a south-westerly direction that took us along the western side of Hawnby Hill. Just after Hill End House, at {SE 537 909}, we took a path on our left. This took us through a very pleasant wood and brought us out near the inn at Hawnby {SE 543 898}. We stopped here for a short lunch break - making use of the bus shelter for our seating arrangements.

The Inn at Hawnby
Following a somewhat 'idyllic' lunch stop, we made a downhill trek to the village and crossed the River Rye using the road bridge at {SE 543 893}. Just after the bridge we took a footpath (on our left) which took us in a south-easterly direction towards Ristbrow Farm where we joined a minor road at {SE 550 888}. Turning left, we followed the road to Shaken Bridge1 {SE 560 883} where we crossed the River Rye again. We now had two good climbs as we made our way along the road (via Cringle Carr - see photo) to its junction with the B1257 road at {SE 572 870} near Bilsdale Telephone Exchange (see photo).

Turning left, we headed north along the road for about 340 yards until we reached the footpath at the entrance to Oscar Park Farm {SE 572 873}. We followed the FP in a north-easterly direction through the farm and onwards to enter a wood at {SE 578 881}. From here we made an easterly trek through the wood and, after making a steep descent down into a valley bottom, reached our tea stop at {SE 592 880}. The character of the woodland that we walked through is illustrated in the photographs shown here, here and here.

After a short stop, we negotiated a route to a minor road at {SE 598 876}. Turning left, we stayed with the road for about 360 yards in order to reach High Baxton's Farm and an easterly-going footpath at {SE 598 879}. This took us into Ash Dale Plantation at {SE 601 879}. We continued along the path to {SE 604 878} where we turned right and then made a southerly trek through Ash Dale2. We maintained our southerly bearing for about 2.25 miles until we reached {SE 613 845} where we took a path on our right. This took us across the fields in a south-westerly direction towards Helmsley - and the end of the walk at {SE 610 838}.

Arriving in Helmsley
We had another wonderful day today: a great walk, tremendous scenery and weather that improved as the day unfolded. Many thanks fo RB for facilitating our day.

Use the buttons below to see where we went, how we did and some of the sights we saw.



1 The old bridge was damaged by flash flooding in June 2005. It was subsequently demolished and rebuilt in a 'more modern' style - see Picture 13 in the Photo Gallery. Interestingly, Hawnby Bridge was similarly damaged during this period of flooding.

2 Ash Dale (AD) is one of three parallel walking routes from the north into Helmsley. The other two are Riccal Dale (to the east of AD) and Beck Dale (to the west of AD).



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