Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A-Walking: Whitby Westward Wander

Our three walks this week (28th March) were based in the eastern region of the North York Moors. The A-Walk set off from Whitby; the B-Walk started at Aislaby; and the C-Walk commenced at Barton Howle. All three walks finished in Egton Bridge {NZ 804 052}.

After leaving Whitby {NZ 886 103}, the intent of the A-Walk was to visit Sneatonthorpe, New May Beck, Old May Beck, Arundel Hill, Beck Hole and Dowson Garth before arriving at our final destination in Egton Bridge.

We left our drop-off point on the A171 road {NZ 885 102} at about 11.50 am. There were 6 people in the group: JB, JPB, LB, PB, LM and KF. PB led the walk.

Leaving the B1416 road at {NZ 886 103}, we made our way on a north-easterly bearing towards the dis-used railway track at {NZ 893 107}. Turning right, we followed this in a southerly direction in order to reach a walkway that took us over the River Esk by means of the (now dis-used) railway viaduct at {NZ 896 097}.

Railway viaduct
We left the walkway at {NZ 896 095} and navigated a route through the woods at {NZ 898 091} in order to reach Golden Grove {NZ 900 088}. From here we made our way in a southerly direction across the fields to Bennison House Farm {NZ 902 080} and then Mortar Pit Farm {NZ 904 068}. Turning left onto a minor road at {NZ 903 068}, we followed this in a south-easterly direction to Sneatonthorpe {NZ 907 061}.

Changing back to a southerly bearing, we now followed Raike's Lane towards Soulsgrave Farm {NZ 901 044} in order to reach the B1416 road at {NZ 901 041} near Sneaton Low Moor. Crossing the moor, we arrived at a minor road near New May Beck at {NZ 897 034}. We followed the road in a southerly direction and descended from the high-ground to reach the car park at May Beck {NZ 892 024}. We decided to stop here for our lunch stop - sitting on the rocks overlooking the river.

Lunch stop
We left the car park by following a track at {NZ 892 024}. This took us in a north-north-westerly direction through the woods to Old May Beck {NZ 891 028}. Changing to a north-westerly bearing, we now followed a good track to Foss Farm {NZ 885 031} and then, after crossing Parsley Beck, we arrived at Leas Head Farm {NZ 881 034}. From here, we had quite a long, fairly steep climb (much of it over moorland heather) in order to reach the A169 road at Pen Howe {NZ 858 038}.

Our 'heather bashing' continued as we made a westerly trek across the moorland that lay just to the north of Whinstone Ridge. We navigated a route across the moor (avoiding ponds and puddles) to Arundel Hill {NZ 838 036}. Just near here we crossed Whinstone Ridge and then followed a good track on a southerly bearing to reach the minor road at {NZ 836 032}. We continued our southerly trek to reach a track junction at {NZ 836 028} where we turned right. We now walked in a south-westerly direction so as to reach Hawthorn Hill Farm {NZ 832 027} and then, further down the hill, the cottage at Hill Farm {NZ 823 024}.

Just after the cottage we joined the minor road leading down to Beck Hole. We crossed the North York Moors Railway using the road bridge at {NZ 822 024}. Just as we were starting to make a steep descent to the village, we found a 'six-seater', freshly painted bench that overlooked the village below us. Bearing in mind the wonderful view that it offered, we decided to take our tea stop here {NZ 821 023}. As luck would have it, we also experienced the thrill of being able to hear, see (and photograph) a steam engine (76079) pulling its carriages up the incline as it made its way to Goathland.

NYMR steam train
After a very pleasant tea break, we continued our descent into Beck Hole and then made our way to the walkway on the disused railway at {NZ 821 021}. Turning right, we followed this for about 95 yards and then crossed Eller Beck using the footbridge at {NZ 820 022}. From the bridge, we continued along the walkway in a northerly direction for another 600 yards in order to reach the path junction at {NZ 819 027}. Taking the path on our left, we had a gentle climb up to Murk Esk Cottage {NZ 817 027} and, beyond that, Murkside House {NZ 815 030}. We now had a short steep climb up to Murk Side Wood.

We had a pleasant walk through the wood before our next climb which took us up to Dowson Garth {NZ 815 037}. After correcting a minor navigational error, we embarked upon our final climb of the day in order to reach the minor road at High Burrows Farm {NZ 813 040}. Crossing the road, we continued our north-westerly trek across the fields to Low Hollins Farm {NZ 807 045} and then Blue Beck Cottage {NZ 806 046}. From here we had an easy ascent through the woods to Egton Bridge {NZ 803 051}. We now had just a short walk along the road to where our coach was waiting for us {NZ 804 052}.

We had yet another interesting and exciting adventure today. Despite a few navigational set-backs, we had a really great time. Use the buttons below to see where we went, how we did and some of the photos that were taken.




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