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Looking over Kepwick from the Cleveland Way
Looking over Kepwick from the Cleveland Way

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Route No 140 - Tuesday 7 June 2005
Black Hambleton and
Great Arden Moor circuit - 15km.
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

The Cleveland Way heading for Black Hambleton
The Cleveland Way heading for Black Hambleton
Two friends called for me just after 8.30 this morning and we drove to a little gravel parking area off the road at map ref. SE 479958 on the Cleveland Way below Black Hambleton, about 4 km from Osmotherley. From the car park we headed south along the Cleveland Way, climbing up the side of Black Hambleton. The views across to the Yorkshire Dales on our right were magnificent in the strong summer sunshine. We continued on the Cleveland Way for about 4 km to map ref SE 490927. .Where we stopped for a break. As we sat on the grassy bank beside the track a buzzard came into view soaring round the end of the hill in front of us. Almost as soon as it appeared two curlews took off from the moor to attack it. They were much more manoeverable than the buzzard and repeatedly dived to stike it on the head from above. The buzzard had soon had enough of this and disappeared the way it had come. No doubt the curlews were protecting their chicks which would be hiding in the heather.
After our break we continued to map ref. SE 490922, where we turned left off the Cleveland Way on to a footpath around Great Arden Moor above Thorodale. The footpath drops down into Thorodale but we continued along a grouse shooters track to map ref. SE 512915. This track has only recently become available to walkers under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW). At this point we took the left hand fork in the track to walk around the edge of the moor overlooking the valley of Wheat Beck and Hawnby Moor. The whole view was beautiful in the sunshine and offered a lovely new perspective on a familiar area. There were numerous curlews about and at one point we saw and heard a male golden plover in his full golden plumage.
Looking back to Osmotherley from Black Hambleton
Looking back to Osmotherley from Black Hambleton
The path above Thorodale
The path above Thorodale
The track around Great Arden Moor
The track around Great Arden Moor

The Wheat Beck valley from Great Arden Moor
The Wheat Beck valley from Great Arden Moor

When we reached the route of the White Rose Walk at map ref. SE 501934 we turned right to drop down from the moor to a bridleway at map ref. SE 507944. As we reached the bridleway we came to a large sycamore tree in full flower. There was a strong sweet scent in the air and the whole tree was alive with the buzzing if hundreds of bees collecting the sweet sticky nectar. We turned left to follow the bridleway up the valley to Dale Head farm. Along the way we saw the bright yellow/green rump of a green woodpecker taking off from the rough wet pasture ahead of us, just the kind of place they normally choose to feed. From Dale Head we followed the track out to the road at map ref. SE 488955, where we turned left to walk the last 800m along the road back to the car park. The whole route had been just over 15km and had taken usabout 5 hours including a couple of stops. We drove about a kilometer up the road to a tea shop called the Chequers for our usual cup of tea and a home made scone before returning home. It had been a lovely day out in the summer sunshine.

Sycamore Tree in full flower
Sycamore Tree in full flower
Sycamore Tree in full flower
Sycamore Tree in full flower
Following Wheat Beck to Dale Head
Following Wheat Beck to Dale Head
Wheat Beck near Dale Head
Wheat Beck near Dale Head
Old kiln near Dale Head
Old kiln near Dale Head
Looking back to Great Arden Moor from the road near the car park
Looking back to Great Arden Moor from the road near the car park
Boundary post with bench mark by the road near the car park
Boundary post with bench mark by the road near the car park