white horse logo

Looking over Old Byland to Hawnby Hill
Looking over Old Byland to Hawnby Hill

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. 127 - Saturday 12 February 2005
Wass Bank, Scawton, Flassen Dale,
Claythwaite Rigg (monks' trod) circuit - 14km
Hambleton Hills, North York Moors . . .

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

Route Map on 'Landranger' map base from OS Open Space service


Path through the woods at the top of Wass Bank
Path through the woods at the top of Wass Bank

We sat on a bank in the trees out of the strong cold wind for our lunch. After our break we continued down Flassen Dale to join the Cleveland Way at map ref. SE 549845. From here we followed the Cleveland Way past the duck shooting/ angling ponds to the road at map ref. SE 563844. We continued along the road to map ref. SE 569843 where we turned right off the road onto a track up the hill. The track is the route of the old monks' trod from Rievaulx Abbey (about 1km north of here) to Byland Abbey (just at the bottom of Wass bank). We climbed up the hill on the monk's trod to the main road (A170) at map ref. SE 559817. We crossed the road and took the path through the woods about 100m to our right to take us back to our starting point. The whole route was about 14km and took us Just over 4 hours to walk including our short lunch stop.

We are planning to have some building work done at home, so this morning we had to wait in for the plumber to call to look at his part of the job to give us a quotation. It was almost 10.15 before we could set off to drive to the top of Wass Bank, map ref. SE 561806. We made our way through the plantation to the main road (A170) at map ref. SE 551818. Here we turned left to walk along the road for about 400m. The traffic here is fast and there's plenty of it, but fortunately there is a reasonably wide grass verge to walk on clear of the traffic. At map ref. SE 547819 we turned right off the road on to a walled track between the fieldsand into another plantation. The track took us to the Scawton road at map ref. SE 547827. We walked along the road into Scawton and called in the pub, "The Hare" to book for Sunday lunch tomorrow. In the village opposite the church and next to the telephone box we turned left on to a footpath over the fields to Flassen Dale, map ref. SE 537837.

Old English Longhorn cattle  at map ref. SE 567844
Old English Longhorn cattle at map ref. SE 567844

Looking down Nettle Dale
Looking down Nettle Dale
Stepping stones on the Cleveland Way
Stepping stones on the Cleveland Way
Signs of spring - Hazel catkins
Signs of spring - Hazel catkins
Signs of spring - wild honeysuckle in leaf
Signs of spring - wild honeysuckle in leaf
Moss covered oak beside the path
Moss covered oak beside the path
Observation/shooting seat tied to a tree
Observation/shooting seat tied to a tree
Signs of spring - snowdrops in full flower
Signs of spring - snowdrops in full flower
Abandoned road roller
Abandoned road roller
Rievaulx Abbey from the monks' trod
Rievaulx Abbey from the monks' trod
Looking to Rievaulx Terrace from the monks' trod
Looking to Rievaulx Terrace from the monks' trod
Part of the monks' trod at map ref SE 562830
Part of the monks' trod at map ref SE 562830
More damage from the recent storms
More damage from the recent storms
The monks' trod is just a sunken track across the rough pasture
In places the monks' trod is just a sunken track . . .
and in places it is being ploughed out
. . . and in places it is being ploughed out

Herd of farmed red deer near the A170
Herd of farmed red deer near the A170

Background Notes:
This walk starts at the top of Wass Bank. That's the road up on to the Hambleton Hills from the village of Wass next to Byland Abbey. It's a circular route of 14km, that's almost 9 miles. There's a wide grass verge here to park on and we set off through the forest along a wide forest access road to the far northwesten corner at the A170 Thirsk to Scarborough road. We walk along the main road for a couple of hundred metres, there's a grass verge to walk on clear of the traffic, and then we turn right off the main road on to a farm access track across the fields. The track takes us through a small plantation to the road into the village of Scawton. The village church was built in the mid 1100's on the instructions of the Abbot of Byland Abbey. It was what is known as a chapel of ease, that's a church some distance away from the main parish church for the convenient use of the local people, in this case it was the village and more importently the manor of the local Lord, Hugh de Malby. In the village we turn off the road and follow a path across the fields to Flassen Dale. This is a very steep sided, wooded dry valley, well it can be quite muddy but there's no watercoure in it. Our path goes diagonally down through the trees to a open strip along the valley bottom. We follow the valley down to join the Cleveland Way in Nettle Dale. Here we head down the valley following a tributary of the River Rye called Grass Keld. Alongside this stream are a series of three large fish ponds built by the monks of Rievaulx Abbey in the 1100's and fed by springs. They provided an important source of food for the abbey. A little way beyond the fish ponds the Cleveland Way brings us to a minor road which we follow down the valley for a few hundred metres. For a few years now there have been Old English Long Horn cattle in the fields here. They are impressive beasts and worth looking out for. We turn off the road to follow a track climbing up the hillside. Rievaulx Abbey is only a kilometer away up Ryedale and this track is an ancient route linking Rievaulx Abbey and Byland Abbey near Wass at the start of our walk. In fact the rest of our route follows this ancient route to the top of Wass Bank. The start of the climb is on a stony track along the edge of Claythwaite Wood and further up the hill as we cross the fields on Claythwaite Rigg there are the remains of the paved pannierway. There are some good views looking back across Ryedale towards Rievaulx Abbey as the track gains height above the valley. Near the top of the climb the old route is just a hollow track across the fields and some of it sadly has been ploughed out. As we pass through the farm at the top of the climb it's worth looking out for some unusual livestock that includes shire horses and red deer. At the top of the climb we cross the A170 again and follow a bridleway through the woods back to the start of our walk at the top of Wass Bank.

top of page