Friday, 18 June 2010

A-Walking: Helmsley-Hutton Highlights

Our three expeditions this week (Sunday, 13th June) each took place in the south-western region of the North York Moors. The A-Walk set off from Helmsley, the B-Walk also started at Helmsley and the C-Walk commenced at Nawton. The final destination of all three walks was Hutton-le-Hole.

After leaving Helmsley {SE 612 838}, the intent of the A-Walk was to visit Riccal Dale, Hasty Bank Farm, Throstle Nest, Ankness Ridge, Otterhills, Grays and Faddell Rigg before arriving at our final destination in Hutton-le-Hole {SE 705 902}.

We left our drop-off point at about 10.55 am. There were eight people in the group: JB, JPB, PB, RB, KF, CL, AM and LM. JB led the walk.

The initial part of this walk was essentially a reversal of the second part of the trek led by RB some weeks ago (see here). However, in order to make the start of today's walk a little different, PB suggested a minor modification that would take in some of the east side of Riccal Dale.

From the church in the centre of the town we set off along the road in an easterly direction to reach the Youth Hostel {SE 615 840}. We maintained our easterly bearing to the gated field-entrance at {SE 620 840}. Now changing to a north-easterly bearing, we made our way through Reagarth Farm {SE 627 845} to reach the western edge of Riccal Dale {SE 630 846}. Turning left, we now followed the field boundary fence in a northerly direction along the edge of the woods to reach Rea Garth Farm {SE 625 857} - see the picture below.

Rea Garth
We continued along the track that runs along the edge of Riccal Dale Wood for about 500 yards until we found a path on our right at {SE 622 861}. Taking this path, we made a steep descent in a south-easterly direction through the woods to the footbridge over the River Riccal at {SE 627 859}.

Having crossed the river, we returned to our northerly bearing - climbing up through the woods to reach the eastern edge of the dale at {SE 625 873}. We now followed a good track that went along the eastern edge of Riccal Dale. We stayed with the track until we arrived at a path/track junction at {SE 628 880}. From here we descended through the woods to reach Hasty Bank Farm {SE 625 884}. We continued in a north-westerly direction to Howl Wood Farm {SE 617 892} and onwards to our lunch-stop location at the footbridge over Bonfield Gill at {SE 614 899} - see picture below. We had previously used this spot as a tea-stop on RB's walk in April.

Lunch stop location
After our lunch stop we resumed our north-westerly trek until we arrived at the path junction at {SE 611 902} near Lund Farm {SE 612 905}. Now switching to a north-easterly bearing, we made our way to Throstle Nest {SE 616 906} and, after a short climb, Birk Nab Farm {SE 621 909}. As we walked north from here, we had some good views of the open moorland to our left - where we had walked some
weeks ago with RB.

Just before we reached Hanging Stone, we turned right towards Hagg Common and navigated a route over the moorland in a north-easterly direction towards Cinder Hill {SE 630 924}. We descended from the high ground towards Hodge Beck (see below) only to find that the footbridge across the stream {SE 633 932} was no longer there - having been 'washed away' in the floods of 2005. This now necessitated building a 'river crossing' using appropriate local materials.

Hodge Beck
From the beck, we zig-zagged up the hill towards the farm track on Ankness Ridge {SE 637 932}. Turning right, we followed this in a southerly direction for about 350 yards to our tea-stop venue {SE 638 929}. After our tea stop, we descended from the ridge in a southerly direction to the ford at Mitchell Hagg Wath {SE 640 918}. We used the ford to cross Hodge Beck (again) and went along its western bank to Otterhills {SE 644 914} where we now used a bridge to cross back to the other side again.

We now followed the single-track access road in a south-westerly direction to Penny Holme {SE 646 911} and onwards to just beyond Cherry Tree Farm {SE 655 901}. At this point we turned left and followed a north-north-easterly bearing along a footpath that took us to the minor road near Grays {SE 665 914}. By now it was raining quite steadily - even the sheep were sheltering from it.

Sheep sheltering
From Grays we made our way to Faddell Rigg {SE 681 909} and the minor road that lay beyond it {SE 682 908}. Turning right at the road, we followed it for about 230 yards and then turned left onto a farm access track at {SE 682 905}. This took us downhill to the Mill {SE 686 904}. After crossing the River Dove using the footbridge at {SE 687 904}, we made an easterly trek pass Grouse Hall {SE 691 906} to reach the minor road at {SE 702 902} - Keld Lane. Turning right, we followed this into Hutton-le-Hole {SE 705 900} where our coach was waiting to take us home.

Many thanks to JB for organising such an interesting and exciting adventure for us today. We had a really great time - we particularly liked the 'river crossing' and the section up the east side of Riccal Dale!

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




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