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Looking back up Westerdale
Looking back up Westerdale

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Route No 111 - Tuesday 17 August 2004
Westerdale village to Fat Betty, the Lion Inn,
and returning via Esklets and Westerdale - 17km
North York Moors

Map: OS Explorer OL 26 at 1:25000
Ordnance Survey route map from Bing map services

 


Westerdale village at the start of our walkThe weather has been awful for weeks, but today there is plenty of blue sky and sunshine with lots of billowing white clouds and, acording to the forecast, there is the risk of a shower. We drove Blakey Ridge to Westerdale and parked at the southern end of the village away from people's front doors, near the junction at map ref NZ 665057. From the junction we took the path across the fields to the lane through Broad Gate Farm. We followed the bridleway through the farm across Tower Beck and up to Dale Head where there is an interseting old stone structure with alcoves, each one designed to hold a straw skep type of bee hive. We continued uo the valley side on an old pack horse route through the rocks with a lovely view behind us over to Roseberry Topping. The bridleway joined the road on Castleton Rigg at map ref. NZ 682039 The Lion Inn on Blakey RidgeWe crossed the road and sat at the edge of an old quarry looking over Danby Dale to have a drink before continuing along the road to map ref. NZ 682028 where we turned onto the path across the moor to the left of the road as the road itself swings right. The whole moor is purple now that the heather is in full bloom and we followed the boundary stones across the moor to the road at map ref. NZ 681019 where there is a large square boundary stone with a large stone ball on top, all painted white called officially "White Cross", but really known as "Fat Betty". From this point we joined the Lyke Wake Walk route heading west. We crossed the road and followed the path across Rosedale Head to the road at map ref. NZ 675012 and followed the Returning down Westerdale to our startroad to the Lion Inn at map ref. SE 678996. We had been promising ourselves a walk with lunch at the Lion Inn for a couple of years and at long last we had organised a route to do it. They serve good tasty pub food - I had roast beef and yorkshire pudding with lots of vegetables and chips. We got there around 12 o'clock before it was too busy. The pub is in the middle of nowhere and is always busy. After lunch we took the path from the Lion Inn to the old railway track at map ref. SE 675997 and followed it up Farndale to map ref. NZ 653007. Here we left the present day route of the Lyke Wake Walk to follow the path down to Esklets. In the 1960's &70's the Lyke Wake Walk came this way too, instead of going to the Lion Inn but the route was changed to allow the path to recover from erosion. Now the path has been swept away altogether and replaced with a stone track for the grouse shooters' vehicles. We followed the path down Westerdale for several kilometers to the farm road at New House Farm, map ref. NZ 652047. We followed the farm road for a few hundred metres to map ref. NZ 655051 where we turned right to follow the lane back into Westerdale village to the car. The whole route was around 17km. and took us almost 6 hours including a longish lunch stop at the Lion Inn. It had been a perfect day for walking with plenty of sunshine, a nice breeze and no showers.

A dung beetle, just going about its business
A dung beetle, just going about its business
High stone stile near Westerdale village
High stone stile near Westerdale village
Path up from Tower Beck
Path up from Tower Beck
Approaching Dale Head on the way to Castleton Rigg
Approaching Dale Head
on the way to Castleton Rigg
Looking back to Dale Head
Looking back to Dale Head
Larch tree at Dale Head
Larch tree at Dale Head
View from Castleton Rigg across Westerdale
View from Castleton Rigg across Westerdale
View from Castleton Rigg down Danby Dale
View from Castleton Rigg down Danby Dale
Distant view of the Lion Inn across Rosedale Head
Distant view of the Lion Inn across Rosedale Head
Hairy caterpillar at Rosedale head
Hairy caterpillar at Rosedale head
Infant River Esk in Westerdale
Infant River Esk in Westerdale
Stone marker at the Lion Inn
Stone marker at the Lion Inn
Farndale from the old railway track
Farndale from the old railway track
The head of Westerdale
The head of Westerdale
Path down Westerdale near Esklets
Path down Westerdale near Esklets
Multi layered stile in Westerdale
Multi-layered stile in Westerdale
Path down Westerdale
Above: Path down Westerdale
Top right: Heather in Westerdale
Bottom right: Highland Cattle in Westerdale

Heather in Westerdale

Highland Cattle in Westerdale

Looking back up Westerdale
Looking back up Westerdale

Road repairs on Castleton Rigg
Road repairs on Castleton Rigg

Alcoves for Skep bee hives at Dale Head
Alcoves for Skep bee hives at Dale Head