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Our lunchtime view from a seat at Spaunton
Our lunchtime view from a seat at Spaunton

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Route No 85 - 8 July 2003
Sinnington, Lastingham, Spaunton,
Appleton-le-Moors circuit - 15 km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 & OL27 Maps of North York Moors
Western area & Eastern area at 1:25000


Sinnington village on the river  Seven flowing from Rosedale
Sinnington village on the river Seven flowing from Rosedale

 River Seven at the footbridge above Appleton Mill Farm
River Seven at the footbridge above Appleton Mill Farm

Here we took the bridleway down the bank to our left for 200m then right to the footbridge at map ref. SE 748880. (Yes - there is a bridge there even though it's not marked on my OS map). We turned north again to follow the path at the foot of the bank between the woods on our left and the cornfields on our right. In the far corner of the field ahead of us was a large round steel vessel billowing smoke from four metal pipe chimneys. As we got closer we realised it was a charcoal burner in action and there were still a few logs on the ground around it. It would have been very interesting to find out more about the process but there was no one around to ask.

Today my neighbour, Jim, and I drove to Sinnington. It's a pretty village on the river Seven which flows out of Rosedale. We began walking just after 9.30am. The weather was cloudy but dry with no rain forecast until the evening. Our intended route is pretty and varied with woodland, farmland, and open moors - the snag is that the route straddles the two OS 1:25000 maps of the North York Moors and it straddles the centre fold of both maps so it's a real pain to navigate. We took the lane to the church at the north eastern end of the village (map ref. SE 746861) and followed the bridleway northwards for 1.5km to map ref. SE 747876.

Woods above the River Seven  near Sinnington
Woods above the River Seven near Sinnington

Charcoal burner in action
Charcoal burner in action

Pedigree Limosin cattle near Lastingham
Pedigree Limosin cattle near Lastingham

Haymaking near Spaunton
Haymaking near Spaunton

Part way up the hill there is a seat in the wide grass verge with a lovely view over the moor where we stopped for our lunch. After lunch we continued up the hill passed Grange Farm and on to a track called Spaunton Lane. We continued down this track for about 2km to map ref. SE 724878. Here we turned left on to a track called South Ings Lane leading to Appleton-le-Moors. Part way along the track there were a group of 7 or 8 ewes and lambs. Of course they ran ahead of us as we approached. They had the same blue colour identification mark on their backs as a flock we had passed a few kilometres back in a fenced pasture, so they were probably escapees. The lane led straight out on to the road in the village so we decided to hide behind the hedge in a gateway in the hope that the sheep would come back down the lane. After a few minutes, much to our relief they came quietly past our gateway and we were able to continue on our way without driving them out on to the road.

We continued on the path to the road at Lower Askew (map ref. SE 744896). We followed the road for 250m and took the track straight ahead on the crown of a left hand bend in the road. We walked up the track for 600m to the point where the track emerges on to the open moor. Here the track forks and we kept to the left hand fork for about 1km to map ref. SE 739915. Here a footpath crosses the track. There are no real landmarks you have to rely on the small cairns marking the path. We turned left to cross the valley of Tranmire Beck. The path crosses the beck at its confluence with Grain Beck and continues on to the Lastingham Millennium Stone at map ref. SE 729909. We kept to the path around the intake wall for about another kilometre to the road near Spaunton, map ref. SE 721903. We headed south along the road towards Spaunton village.

Crossing Tranmire Beck
Crossing Tranmire Beck

Barley ready for harvest near Spaunton
Barley ready for harvest near Spaunton

Barley fields near Spaunton
Barley fields near Spaunton
The track came out opposite the church in Appleton-le-Moors and we turned right on to the road and walked south through the village. At the bottom of the village the road turns sharp right but we continued straight on following a bridleway to map ref. SE 736868. Here we took the right hand fork in to the woods and followed the track round the bend in the River Seven on top of a high bank. The track gradually dropped down to just a few metres above river level and at this point we saw the brilliant, almost luminous blue of a kingfisher as it darted from under the bank on our side of the river to the cover of some thick bushes on the opposite bank. We continued along the river bank back in Sinnington village where there was a group of five water colour artists with their easels painting the view of the village looking up the river Seven. The whole route was just under 15km and took us four and a half hours including our stops.