Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A-Walking: Kepwick Kaleidoscope

Our three walks this week (21st March) took place within the western region of the North York Moors. Each of the walks set off from the Bilsdale area and navigated various routes that finished in Kepwick {SE 469 909}.

Setting out from {SE 570 926} on the B1257 road (near Hagg End), the intent of the A-walk was to take in Crow Nest, Hawnby, Brewster Hill, Dale Head, Hambleton Street and Pen Hill before arriving at its final destination in Kepwick.

We set off from our drop-off point at about 10.40 am. There were 9 people in the group: JB, JPB, PB, RB, MC KF, JH, LM and WM. PB led the walk.

Leaving the road on a south-westerly bearing, we crossed the River Seph using the footbridge at {SE 568 925} (see the picture below) and then had a climb up Benhill Bank to reach Low Ewe Cote {SE 561 918}. From here, we continued on our south-westerly trek to reach Crow Nest {SE 548 915}.

Taking a permissive footpath from {SE 545 913}, we went in a southerly direction along the western edge of Stordom Wood and joined a minor road at {SE 543 905}. We followed this in a southerly direction to reach Hawnby {SE 543 898}.

We left the road at {SE 541 898} - now heading in a northerly direction along a good track that took us to Carr House {SE 535 906}. We maintained our northerly bearing until we reached {SE 533 910} and then turned west in order to cross the River Rye using the footbridge at {SE 532 909} - see the picture below.

River Rye
We made our way to Half Moon Plantation {SE 530 909} and then turned onto a north-westerly bearing. After a good climb we reached the forest track near Harker Gates {SE 527 915}. We decided to stop here for a lunch break. From our vantage point, we had some wonderful views across the moors towards Hawnby Moor, Pepper Hill and Easterside Hill.

From our lunch location we followed the track through the woods in a northerly direction to reach a stile at {SE 525 921} and then made a steep descent to the footbridge over Eskerdale Beck {SE 525 923} - see the picture below. We now had another good climb to reach the farm buildings at Brewster Hill {SE 525 924}.

Eskerdale Beck
Continuing on a northerly bearing, we navigated a route through Green's Wood and across the fields to Cow Wath {SE 523 931}. Just beyond Cow Wath our route now turned onto a north-westerly bearing. Passing Black Intake on our left, the footpath led us across the fields to Far House {SE 517 935} and, a little further west, to Locker Beck {SE 511 937}. After crossing the beck, we made our way in a northerly direction towards Lower Locker Farm {SE 510 940}. Just after the farm, we switched onto a north-westerly bearing in order to make our way to Dale Head {SE 496 948}.

We followed the track from Dale Head in a north-westerley direction until we reached {SE 488 954}. Now taking a bearing of 270°, we headed across the moor to join the Cleveland Way (CW) long-distance footpath at {SE 479 953}. Just before joining the CW we found a convenient location at which to take a short tea stop {SE 480 953} - overlooking the minor road that runs between Osmotherley and Hawnby.

On leaving our tea-stop location we turned onto an initial bearing of 210° and followed the route of the CW in a southerly direction. We had an initial climb alongside Hambleton End {SE 478 947} in order to reach the high ground at Black Hambleton {SE 481 941}. Continuing on our southerly trek we passed along Hambleton Street {SE 487 934} to reach the track junction at White Gill Head {SE 491 931}.

We continued south on the CW until we reached {SE 489 909}. At this point we branched off to the right in order to follow a public footpath that took us to Gallow Hill {SE 485 899}. Turning right we followed a good track downhill in a north-westerly direction towards Black Hill {SE 476 901} and then Pen Hill {SE 470 904}. From here we made a steep descent down Atlay Bank to reach a minor road at {SE 467 908}. Turning right along the road, we now had just a short trek through the village of Kepwick {SE 469 909} to where our coach was waiting.

Compared with yesterday's rain and mist, today was a wonderful day for walking. The visibility was good and the views were quite specacular. Indeed, as we moved from one location to another we were exposed to a continually changing sequence of pictures - as if looking into a kaleidoscope of natural images.




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