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Returning towards Marske with the view from Crook Bank Lane to Gallop End Quarry

Returning towards Marske with the view from Crook Bank Lane to Gallop End Quarry

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Route No 10 - 26 September 2001
Marske, Fremington Edge circuit - 10 miles
Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas at 1:25000


Methodist chapel at Clints
Methodist chapel at Clints

This morning my friend called to collect me for our mid-week walk at about 8.45am - an early start as he had to get the car back for his wife by 5.00pm! We drove up the A1 to Richmond and on to the village of Marske about 5 miles to the west. There is a small cinder car park area close to Marske Beck where we left the car and set off to follow the path upstream. We walked on the north side of the beck for about one and a half miles, passing the stark skeletons on many long dead elms, a reminder of the damage cause by Dutch elm disease in past decades.

Marske Beck seen from a packhorse bridge
Marske Beck seen from a packhorse bridge

There are normally fine views from the moor over the surrounding valleys but to-day was very misty so all we could see was some heather and coarse grass close by. We found a handy fallen stone gate post to sit on for a drink before continuing on the bridle way passed High Greenas then turning off onto a footpath to Ings head and on to Owlands Farm, and keeping on the path through a desolate area of waste heaps from the 18th & 19th century lead mining until we reached Fremington Edge about three and a half miles from the point where we left Marske Beck.

It's a pretty valley with some graceful stone pack-horse bridges over the beck. We crossed one of them below Trelfit Farm and took the bridle way in front of the farm over Skelton Moor.

Packhorse bridge over Marske Beck below Telfit Farm
Packhorse bridge over Marske Beck below Telfit Farm

Curious young cattle in the field by the track
Curious young cattle in the field by the track

Curious young cattle in the field by the track near High Greenas
Curious young cattle in the field by the track near High Greenas

By now the mist was lifting a little and we had a few small patches of sunshine so we sat on Fremington Edge for our lunch with the benefit of some hazy views into Swaledale. After lunch we walked along the edge for a mile and a half to the road. Just before the road is the appalling eyesore of a scattered farm dump in a pasture with cattle in it. At the road we turned left towards Marske for a quarter of a mile and then turned right onto Crook Bank Lane. We turned off onto the bridle way at Nun Cote Nook for about 200 yards and then took the footpath heading north east across the valley passed a very attractive cottage at Ellers. The cottage seems to be well maintained and occupied but does not appear to have any vehicular access.

Farm dump on Fremington Edge
Farm dump on Fremington Edge

Cottage at Ellers
Cottage at Ellers

Water wheel beside Marske Beck
Water wheel beside Marske Beck

Where the route crossed farmland, there are many beef herds complete with bulls, usually limosin, and lots of young calves. In my experience the bulls are completely docile and only interested in discovering which cow will be the next to come on heat. The cows on the other hand are very quick to defend any percieved threat to the calves so this route is definitely not one to take the dog on.

We crossed the road at Hardstiles top and, after a short dog-leg up the road, continued on the footpath in the same direction back to Marske Beck. We crossed the beck on another old stone bridge where there is an abandoned wooden water wheel standing at the edge of the field beside the beck. We returned to the car park retracing the first few hundred yards of our route. All together we had walked about 10 miles.

Heading back towards Marske Beck across the fields
Heading back towards Marske Beck across the fields

Bridge over Marske Beck next to the car park
Bridge over Marske Beck next to the car park

On the subject of dogs, the car park would be much more pleasant to use if dog owners cleaned up their mess. Perhaps the parish council, who ask for a voluntary donation of £1 for parking, could run a publicity campaign.

Bridge over Marske Beck next to the car park
Bridge over Marske Beck next to the car park

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