Bloworth Crossing in the mist
Bloworth Crossing in the mist

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Route No. 282 - Wednesday 18 February 2009
Circuit of Farndale Head, Bloworth Crossing,
and Ironstone Railway Path- 8km
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


It's a month since Jim and I had walk together. So in spite of a poor weather forecast we drove to the head of Farndale this morning for a short walk.

The Dale side Road from Elm House
The Dale side Road from Elm House

Water trough at Elm House
Water trough at Elm House

We planned to go out of the head of the valley and round the old iron stone railway path.

There was thick mist all the way from home to our parking spot near Elm House at Map ref. NZ642003. We started walking at about 10.00 am.

Following the Dale side Road
Following the Dale side Road

The sheep ran towards us to be fed
The sheep ran towards us to be fed

We went past Elm house along the track called Dale Side road on the map. Normally there are some very pretty views from this track but today it was just swirling mist

A tributary of the river Dove
A tributary of the river Dove

Following the Dale side Road
Following the Dale side Road

A ruined farm by the Dale Side Road
A ruined farm by the Dale Side Road
Following the Dale side Road  around the ruined farm
Following the Dale Side Road around the ruined farm

After about a kilometer we crossed a stream and the track began to climb up to the remains of a ruined farm at map ref. NZ632009. The path then dropped down to a wooden bridge over the River Dove at map ref. NZ628009. From the bridge the path climbed up to a gate in a wall and the open moor beyond.

Old stone gatepost with recesses for the gate poles

Hazel catkins
Hazel catkins

Climbing up through the mist
Above: Climbing up through the mist

Left: Old stone gatepost with recesses for the gate poles

Wooden farm access bridge on a sturdy steel gantry over the river Dove
Wooden farm access bridge on a sturdy steel gantry over the River Dove

There is still a good path here but from here to the point where the right of way joins Rudland rigg at map ref. NZ617012 there is no defined path over the open moor, so at the gate when we knew exactly where we were we took a compass bearing.

Climbing up through the mist to the edge of the moor
Climbing up through the mist to the edge of the moor

Climbing up through the mist to the edge of the moor
Climbing up through the mist to the edge of the moor

We followed the bearing across the misty moor to Rudland Rigg. (the bearing was 275 degrees magnetic). We tramped on through the heather and the mist with patches of snow still lying in the hollows. It seemed like a long climb in the mist with no landmarks to measure our progress.

Eventually we reached Rudland Rigg and turned right to walk towards Bloworth Crossing. After about 100m we passed the sign for the path down into Farndale that we had tried to follow.

Crossing the open moor to Rudland Rigg
Crossing the open moor to Rudland Rigg

Lunch break at Bloworth Crossing
Lunch break at Bloworth Crossing

So our compass work wasn't too bad given that we had made a number of detours around the areas of deep heather which are just so tiring to try to walk through. We continued along Rudland Rigg to Bloworth Crossing where we stopped for our lunch break.

As we sat there in the mist looking back down Rudland Rigg, three trail bikers came riding out of the mist, straight across the old railway and disappeared into the mist towards Ingleby Incline.

Trail bikers in the mist at Bloworth Crossing
Trail bikers in the mist at Bloworth Crossing

Snow still lying on the railway path
Snow still lying on the railway path

After our break we followed the railway path around the head of Farndale. There are great views down Farndale from the railway but today it was all behind a curtain of thick mist. There was still plenty of snow lying in the cuttings and the hollows on the moor.

Following the stream down from the railway path towards Elm House
Following the stream down from the railway path towards Elm House

We walked along the railway for over 3 kilometers to map ref. NZ645012. Here we turned right off the railway path to follow a small stream down the valley side. At first there was no real path to follow but as we reached the edge of a wood the stream flowed into a deep steep sided little valley and there was a path around the top of the slope on the western edge of the valley and the wood. At this point we had dropped out of the mist for the first time today and we could see across Farndale with the ceiling of cloud just above us.

Looking across Farndale from the path above Elm House
Looking across Farndale from the path above Elm House
Looking down to Elm House as we finished our walk
Looking down to Elm House as we finished our walk

We followed the path down the hill side back to our starting point near Elm House. The whole walk had been only 8 km,

The path back down to Elm House
The path back down to Elm House

Returning to our parking spot near Elm House
Returning to our parking spot near Elm House

but it had taken us over three hours to walk including our lunch stop at Bloworth Crossing.