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Looking up Bilsdale from the track above the River Seph
Looking up Bilsdale from the track above the River Seph

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Saturday 10 March 2007
Laskill, Easterside Hill, Fangdale Beck,
River Seph circuit - 10km
Bilsdale, North York Moors

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth


Bridge over the River Seph at Laskill
Bridge over the River Seph at Laskill

The ladies have a shopping/sightseeing trip on the Saturday and the three brothers-in-law go off for a walk. It's a good arrangement. The weather was cloudy and cool with a strong breeze, but fine and not a bad day for walking.

This weekend we are staying in a holiday cottage at Laskill in Bilsdale just north of Helmsley. It seems to have become a bit of a tradition that in the spring we have a long weekend away with two of my wife's sisters and their husbands.

The River Seph at Laskill
The River Seph at Laskill

Looking up Bilsdale from the road above Laskill
Looking up Bilsdale from the road above Laskill

At the road we turned left to walk along the road for about 250m. Here we turned right off the road up a short flight of wooden steps up the roadside bank on to a path across the moor round the bottom of Easterside Hill for about 1.5km to a high stone wall at map ref. SE 547917.

This morning we set off from the cottage at Laskill Grange (map ref. SE 562907) along the lane to cross the River Seph and then turn left off the lane to climb across the field to the road again at map ref. SE 560908. .

Pussy Willow buds just bursting open
Pussy Willow buds just bursting open

Bilsdale from the foot of Easterside Hill
Bilsdale from the foot of Easterside Hill

Hawnby Hill
Hawnby Hill

Through the gate we followed the track across the moor for about 1.7km to map ref. SE 560935. Here we took a path to the right down the slope for about 600m to a gate in the stone wall between to conifer plantations.

We climbed the stile and dropped down onto the track on the other side. We followed the track parallel to the wall for about 300m to a gate onto the open moor.

Ruined farm called Bumper Castle
Ruined farm called Bumper Castle

Looking back to Easterside Hill and Hawnby Hill
Looking back to Easterside Hill and Hawnby Hill
Heading over the moor toward Fangdale Beck
Heading over the moor toward Fangdale Beck
Looking across Bilsdale from the moor above Malkin Bower farm
Looking across Bilsdale from the moor above Malkin Bower farm

A splash of colour from a gorse bush in the winter heather
A splash of colour from a gorse bush in the winter heather

At the farm we turned right to follow a bridleway down the valley just a little way above the River Seph for about 2.6km to the road at map ref. SE 565918.

It is quite a sheltered spot next to the gate and we settled down in the heather for our lunch break. After lunch we went through the gate and followed the track down the hill to a farm called Malkin Bower.

The gate from the moor to the track down to Fangdale Beck & Malkin Bower farm
Gate from the moor to the track to Fangdale Beck & Malkin Bower farm

Heading down from the moor to Malkin Bower farm
Heading down from the moor to Malkin Bower farm
Old quarry site above Fangdale Beck village
Old quarry site above Fangdale Beck village

Track down from the moor to Malkin Bower farm
Track down from the moor to Malkin Bower farm

Then two sheep dogs came out of the farm to inspect us, one a friendly old dog, the other one of those collies that does that sneaky tummy crawl behind you and you're never sure whether it's going to make a grab for your ankles or not.

We continued along the road passing a farm called Woolhouse Croft where there was a group of about half a dozen foxhounds securely fenced in a field that made a lot of noise as we passed

Fangdale Beck village from the track to Malkin Bower farm
Fangdale Beck village from the track to Malkin Bower farm

Looking up Bilsdale from the track to Malkin Bower farm
Looking up Bilsdale from the track to Malkin Bower farm
Track above the River Seph heading down Bilsdale
Track above the River Seph heading down Bilsdale
Lame Suffolk tupp
Lame Suffolk tupp keeping an eye on us

Typical sheep pasture in Bilsdale
Typical sheep pasture in Bilsdale

Marker pole next to a mole trap
Marker pole next to a mole trap

We followed the road to a junction at map ref. SE 562910 where we rejoined the road we had set out on and followed it back to our cottage.

As soon as we has passed the farm entrance this collie darted up onto the raised garden by the farm house and turned into a barking snarling bundle of fury until we were out of sight.

Dilapidated barn in Bilsdale
Dilapidated barn in Bilsdale

Purple buds on the birch trees
Purple buds on the birch trees

Ponies from a trekking centre near Laskill
Ponies from a trekking centre near Laskill

All that's left of a venerable old tree
All that's left of a venerable old tree

The whole route had been just over 10km and had taken us over four hours to walk including our lunch stop. It's so frustrating being so pathetically unfit!

It had been a very pleasant walk and my two brothers-in-law who are much fitter than me, had adjusted to my slow pace without complaining. Thanks fellers.

The last few metres back to our cottage at Laskill
The last few metres back to our cottage at Laskill