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Path from Reagarth Farm reaching the top of the woods above Riccal Dale
Path from Reagarth Farm reaching the top of the woods above Riccal Dale

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Route No.950121
Helmsley, Riccal Dale, Cowhouse Bank, Baxtons Wood,
Rievaulx Moor, Collier Hag Wood circuit - 23km
North York Moors . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area

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The approximate route is shown by a blue line.
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Please use my map to find the route on your own large scale walking map such as the OS Explorer series at 1:25000.
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the route entirely at your own risk and that the information is not used for any commercial purpose.

Route No.950121
Helmsley, Riccal Dale, Cowhouse Bank, Baxtons Wood,
Rievaulx Moor, Collier Hag Wood circuit - 23km
North York Moors . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area

General Directions (see markers on the route map)

1.) Start at the large public 'Pay & Display' car park at map ref. SE610837 in Helmsley. Follow the path from the south eastern corner of the car park past the entrance to Helmsley Castle. Continue along the path turning left past a very well kept vegetable garden to reach a road called Castlegate. Cross Castlegate and continue along a short road between the buildings into the Market Square. Cross the Market Square to its north eastern corner and follow Bondgate for about 350m to its junction with Ashdale Road (on the right) and Carlton Road (on the left). There is a petrol filling station at the junction. Turn left into Carlton Road and walk along it for about 100m to a public footpath off to the right at map ref. SE616840. Follow this footpath across the fields for about 1km to Reagarth Farm (map ref. SE627845). Cross the farm access road and continue on the footpath opposite along the edge of the fields to a pedestrian gate into the woods at the edge of Riccal dale (map ref. SE630846). Go through the gate and follow the path down the bank to a track at the bottom of the slope.

2.) At the track in the bottom of Riccal Dale turn left and follow the track up the valley keeping to the west of the River Riccal. After about 4km, a path, coming from Hasty Bank Farm to the north east, crosses the track. On the eastern side of the track just below it is a memorial seat to a local game keeper in a very pleasant spot. Turn left off the track here away from the seat to climb steeply up the valley side to a track at the top of the bank (map ref. SE622878). At this track turn right and follow the track for about 1km to the road at the top of Cowhouse Bank.

3.) At the top of Cowhouse Bank cross the road and take the track a few metres to the left into a parking area where there are seats with a good view up the valley of Bonfield Gill. From the car park follow the track along the top of the escarpment through Baxton's Wood for almost 3km to a minor road at map ref. SE593903. Cross the road and continue along the track around the top of the escarpment for about 3.5km past a trig point (map ref. SE588906) to a track on the right heading across Rievaulx Moor.

4.) Follow this track across the open access land of Rievaulx Moor for about 1.7km to the edge of a conifer plantation at map ref. SE579887. Continue along the track through the plantation for about 700m to a track at map ref. SE582880. There is a public footpath running along this track coming from Oscar Park Farm and continuing through the plantation to a minor road near High Baxton's Farm. At this track turn left and follow the public footpath along the track for about 250m bending round left (northwards) and dropping down into a little valley. At the bottom of the slope turn right to follow another track heading south east for about 150m. Here there should be a footpath marker post indicating the path turning off the track to the left and heading eastwards through the trees. The path is quite well defined but needs care to follow it accurately. After about 700m the path crosses a forest access track and continues through the trees for another 150m to drop down into a narrow normally dry valley. From the valley bottom the path climbs diagonally up the other side of the valley for about 250m to join a forestry access track at map ref. SE593878.

5.) At this forestry access track turn right and follow the track for a few metres. Where the track starts to drop down the valley side keep straight on (off the track) to follow a public footpath around the top (eastern) edge of the plantation for about 600m. Here the path drops down a short steep bank to join a track dropping down the valley side. At this track turn right and follow the track for about 200m down to the stream in the valley bottom. Continue along the footpath following the stream down the valley through Collier Hag Wood for almost 2km into Beck Dale where another stream, called Etton Gill, flowing down a little valley on the right, joins our stream to become Borough Beck.

6.) Continue down Beck Dale for another 1.3km past the saw mill on the right of the track to map ref. SE608841. Here the track bends away to the left but the route continues straight on along a footpath beside the stream and crosses the stream on a footbridge. The path then continues along a paved path beside the stream out to the main road (B1257) entering Helmsley at map ref. SE609840. At the road turn left and follow the road for about 200m, then turn right off the main road to follow a small side road back to the car park entrance and the end of the walk.

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