white horse logo

Boundary stones(?) by the track
Boundary stones(?) by the track

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 2017 walks | 1993-2000 library | Find a Route |
| A few Routes to print out | Request a Route... |

Route No 18 - 6 November 2001
Whinstone Ridge Circuit - 9 miles
Goathland
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area at 1:25000


The Esk Valley seen from the Whinstone Ridge by our parking spot
The Esk Valley seen from the Whinstone Ridge by our parking spot

Heading down to Lythe Beck
Heading down to Lythe Beck

We set off heading north west to Arundel Hill and followed the footpath past Greenlands Farm and down a steep slope to a ruined sheep fold beside Lythe beck in the valley bottom. We stopped here for a drink. It was very sheltered and pleasantly warm in the morning sunshine and out of the wind, with the sound of the stream and the view of the woodland down the valley to complete the scene. We climbed out of the valley following the path beside a stone wall to the road that leads into Grosmont. We crossed the road to follow the bridleway along Lowthers Crag past an old quarry that has recently been reopened. There was the sound of machinery over the wall opposite the quarry. When we investigated we found a huge stone saw in operation slowly working its way through a large sandstone block.

The weather to-day was bright and sunny with broken cloud and a stiff breeze. At around 10.00am I met two friends at the gravel parking area about two miles north east of Goathland on the Whinstone Ridge (map ref. 853028). The whinstone ridge is a slab of volcanic rock that flowed into a fault. It is about 50 yards wide and is visible on the surface for about 4 miles running south east from the edge of the Esk valley. Most of the volcanic rock has been quarried for road stone leaving a large 'v' shaped furrow across the moor.

Circular saw cutting a large block of stone
Circular saw cutting a large block of stone

Small lake in Foss Plantation
Small lake in Foss Plantation

More bracket fungus
More bracket fungus

Just after the quarry we took the bridleway across the moor to the main Whitby/Pickering road. From the bridleway there was a great view down the Esk valley and over Whitby to the sea. We crossed the main road and made our way along the bridleways for about 2 miles to Leas Head Farm. Below the farm we stopped by a bridge over a stream for a drink and a sandwich and just to enjoy the sunshine and the trees. From there we took the path round a field by a small lake and into Foss plantation. This is Forestry Commission land with access to the forest tracks.

A large area of the plantation had been felled
A large area of the plantation had been felled

The view across Esk Dale from the bridleway northwest of Black Brow
The view across Esk Dale from the bridleway northwest of Black Brow


"Orthostats" in a clearing in the plantation

We followed the main forest track through the plantation with some difficulty through a large clear felled area! We emerged on the south of the plantation to a track running along the whinstone ridge via a fire break. The fire break is marked very feintly on the 1:25000 maps but on the ground it is very well walked. We completed our curcuit by following the whinstone ridge for about a mile and a half back to our cars.

In a cleared area in the plantation we came across some small standing stones which one of my friends informed us are called orthostats and are of some antiquity. Armed with this knowledge we stared at them for a few minutes before continuing on our way.

Boundary stones(?) by the track
Boundary stones(?) by the track

Heading back to our cars along the route of the Whinstone Ridge
Heading back to our cars along the route of the Whinstone Ridge

Top of Page