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Looking up Bilsdale  from Newgate Bank
Looking up Bilsdale from Newgate Bank

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Route No 38 - 24 February 2002
Newgate Bank, Easterside Hill
Fangdale Beck, Helmsley Moor circuit - 10 miles
Bilsdale, North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area. 1:25000


Looking towards Easterside Hill from Newgate Bank To-day was a grey overcast winter's day with wet snow lying on the high ground after the falls yeaterday. The weather forecast told us to expect sleety rain in the afternoon, so we set off early and drove to the car park at the top of Newgate Bank about 5 miles from Helmsley on the road to Stokesley. We started walking just after 9.00am and took the path that starts about 200 yards below the top of Newgate Bank to Fair Hill Farm. In the field just above the farm we turned right to follow the path across the valley and a minor road to skirt the north side of Easterside Hill. Bracket fungus on an old rotting gatepostAbout a mile from the minor road that we crossed the path goes through a gate in a drystone wall and crosses a cart track. Here we turned right onto the track which heads north east out across the moor. We followed it for about a mile and a half to a path to our right that led us down into the village of Fangdale Beck. We walked through the village to cross the main road and take the path up the othe side of Bilsdale to High Crossett Farm. Just above the farm we turned onto a path leading south east onto the moor top. The path goes passed the remains of two old stone crosses which I think indicate that this is a very old route. Oak tree near Fangdale BeckThe present path is alongside a wet gulley but I think that the gulley is in fact all that is left of an old sunken pack horse trail. After almost two miles across the moor (called Helmsley Moor on the map) the path reaches the edge of Roppa Wood. Here we followed the path down the edge of the wood (a large chunk of it was felled last year) to the bottom of Rievaulx Bank. We climbed up the track to join the footpath that runs around the edge of the moor above the forestry and followed this path all the way back to Newgate Bank where we had started. The whole route was about 10 miles and took us about 5 hours. A little sleety drizzle started when we were about a mile from the car and shortly after we set off for home in the car it started to rain quite heavily so the forecasters had got it just right.

Snow drift on the moor east of Bilsdale
Snow drift on the moor east of Bilsdale

Remains of old stone cross beside the path on the moor east of Bilsdale.
Remains of old stone cross beside the path on the moor east of Bilsdale.