Looking across Farndale from Blakey Ridge
Looking across Farndale from Blakey Ridge

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Route No. 279 - Wednesday 14January 2009
Blakey Ridge, Rosedale,
Ironstone Railway circuit - 12km
North York Moors. . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base.
View the route in Google Earth

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


Looking across Rosedale at the start of our walk
Looking across Rosedale at the start of our walk

Starting the descent to Hollin Bush Farm in Rosedale
Starting the descent to Hollin Bush Farm

We started walking at about 1015am and headed east for about 100m to the bed of the old ironstone railway that runs around the head of Rosedale. At the railway we turned left to head north along the railway for about 300m to map ref. SE683992. Here we turned right to follow a farm track down the valley side to Hollin Bush Farm.

The weather forecast for today was quite good and we were expecting a calm settled fine day with a good deal of clear blue sky. We drove to a little car park off the Blakey Ridge road at map ref. SE683989 about 1km south of the Lion Inn at the top of the steep road down to Church Houses in Farndale.

Looking down Rosedale at the start of our walk
Looking down Rosedale at the start of our walk

Looking over Hollin Bush Farm near the head of Rosedale
Looking over Hollin Bush Farm near the head of Rosedale

Looking across Rosedale to Dale Head Farm
Looking across Rosedale to Dale Head Farm

As forecast we weather was just perfect for a good walk with a light frost, clear blue sky and the low winter sun picking out the landscape. As we passed High House Farm the track became a tarmac access road.

At the farm the track becomes a tarmac access road and about 150m past the farm at map ref. SE692988 we tured right off the road to follow a track across the fields heading in a southerly direction down Rosedale.

The track heading down Rosedale towards Thorgill
The track heading down Rosedale towards Thorgill

The track heading down Rosedale towards Thorgill
The track heading down Rosedale towards Thorgill

View down Rosedale from the road near Thorgill
View down Rosedale from the road near Thorgill

We crossed the river on a little wooden footbridge and walked up the hill side, part of the way on an old paved way, until we reached the Daleside road at Hill Cottages, map ref. SE708975.

We followed the access road for about 2km through the hamlet of Thorgill to map ref. SE710965. Here we turned left to walk down the farm track through Thorgill Farm and across a field to the River Seven.

Approaching the footbridge over the river Seven in Rosedale
Approaching the footbridge over the river Seven

The path up to Hill Cottages in Rosedale
The path up to Hill Cottages

The farm is at the start of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway that ran around the head of the valley, and along Farndale to Ingleby Incline and down the incline to the blast furnices of Tesside.

Opposite was a farm access track and we crossed the road to walk up the access track past a farm with dozens of free range fancy poultry pecking at anything that took their interest.

Free range poultry near the start of the railway path
Free range poultry near the start of the railway path

Farm equipment near the start of the railway path
Farm equipment near the start of the railway path
View up Rosedale from the railway path
View up Rosedale from the railway path
Lunch stop by the relics of the Rosedale Ironstone Industry
Lunch stop by the relics of the Rosedale Ironstone Industry

Relics of the Rosedale ironstone Industry
Relics of the Rosedale ironstone Industry

On a plateau above was a terrace of tiny miners' cottages. We stopped for our lunch on a bank by the track and as we sat there admiring the view up the valley in the bright sunshine we noticed a bank of thick low cloud slowly drifting up the valley towards us.

Just above the farm we joined the railway and followed the path along the railway for about 2.5km to map ref. SE697998. Along the way we walked past the relics of the ironstone industrial era with huge stone kilns, hearths and storage bins beside the rail track.

Relics of the Rosedale ironstone Industry
Relics of the Rosedale ironstone Industry

Low cloud stalking us along the valley
Low cloud stalking us along the valley
Low cloud stalking us along the valley
Low cloud stalking us along the valley

Low cloud stalking us along the valley
Low cloud stalking us along the valley

By this time the cloud had covered the ridge opposite us and we walked down into the cloud in the valley bottom. From Dale Head Farm we followed the road for about 300m passed Red House Farm to the road junction at map ref. SE696988.

As we walked along the railway path after our break it was clear that the cloud was moving a little more quickly than our walking pace. We turned left off the railway to descend a path to Dale Head Farm.

Peacocks in a barn at Dale Head farm
Peacocks in a barn at Dale Head Farm

Climbing up from Hollin Bush Farm in the mist
Climbing up from Hollin Bush Farm in the mist

The whole route had been 12km and had taken usjust over four hours to walk including our breaks. As usual we stopped in Helmsley on the way home for a coffee and a toasted teacake. We got there at 3.00pm only yo find our regular cafe was already closed for the day, but we found another one just as good.

The rest of the walk was in thick mist, and at the junction we turned right and followed the road for about 500m to Hollin Bush Farm. From there we retraced our steps up the valley side, quite a climb at the end of the walk, up to the railway and the car park where we had started.

Swaledale ewes in the mist
Swaledale ewes in the mist

Just emerging from the mist on the ridge at the end of our walk
Just emerging from the mist on the ridge at the end of our walk