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Helmsley market square
Helmsley market square

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Route No 117
Saturday 11 December 2004
Helmsley, Ash Dale circuit - 9km
North York Moors . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area at 1:25000
Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base

stone flag path beside the stream at map ref. SE 609840Another grey misty day, but we were determined to have a short walk anyway, so we drove to Helmsley and parked near the market square. It was already quite busy as we set off walking at about 9.45am. We walked past the parish church and a few hundred metres along the Stokesley road (B1257) and turned off to our right on a little stone flag path beside the stream at map ref. SE 609840. We followed the stone track along the valley bottom for over 3km through Collier Hag Wood. The whole valley is heavily managed for the rearing and shooting of pheasants. At map ref. SE 595870 the path turns up the valley side. There is an old bulldozer abandoned by the track here. It seems to have been used to build a new stone track along the valley. The whole path was eroded and new gravel banks laid down by a huge deluge following a thunder storm one summer about 8 years ago. At the abandoned bulldozer we followed the track up the hill for a couple of hundred metres and then turned left onto a path through the trees. At map ref. SE 593877 we spotted two handy tree stumps that made the perfect place to stop for a drink and a snack. The weather was still grey and misty but it was quite pleasant sitting in the woods listening to the stillness all round. After our break we turned right to follow the path across the fields to the road at map ref. SE 598875. We walked along the road for about 200m and turned left onto a track across a field in to Ash Dale. In the bottom of the valley we turned right to follow the muddy track along the valley bottom for about 2.5km to map ref. SE 612847. Here we took the path to the right off the track and followed the path across the fields to the road at map ref. SE 615844, and followed the road for about 500m back into Helmsley. The whole route had been about 9km and took us about 3 hours to walk including our drinks stop. This left us time to have a look around Helmsley including the fitted kitchen shop which my wife seems to be taking a particular interest in.

Footbridge in the mist
Footbridge in the mist
Hazel catkins out in December
Hazel catkins out in December
Misty woodland at the start of our route
Misty woodland at the start of our route
After the shoot
After the shoot
Abandoned bulldozer in Collier Hag Wood
Abandoned bulldozer in Collier Hag Wood
More misty woodland
More misty woodland
Our lunch stop
Our lunch stop
Misty path down Ash Dale
Misty path down Ash Dale
Helmsley Parish Church
Helmsley Parish Church
Fresh deer track in Ash Dale

Left: Fresh deer track in Ash Dale

Below: Ponies in a paddock in Helmsley

Ponies in a paddock in Helmsley