"The Tornado" on the North York Moors Railway at Grosmont
"The Tornado" on the North York Moors Railway at Grosmont

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Route No. 291 - Wednesday 29 April 2009
Beck Hole, Rail Trail, Grosmont,
Crag Cliff Wood circuit - 7km
Also visit to Nelly Ayre Foss
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


Sheep by the Rail Trail at Beck Hole
Sheep by the Rail Trail at Beck Hole

I started walking just before 10.00am along the path heading south west beside Eller Beck. After about 200m Eller Beck joins the West Beck and together they become the Murk Esk.

This morning I drove to Beck Hole between Goathland and Grosmont. I was reasonably early and it's school term time so there was room to park in the little lay-by in the centre of the village at map ref. NZ821022.

The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont
The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont

The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont
The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont

The Rail Trail follows the bed of a disused railway that predates the existing line used by the North York Moors Railway (NYMR).

The Murk Esk is quite a pretty stream despite its name. Here I joined the "Rail Trail", heading generally northwards for about 3.5km to Grosmont.

Sculptured seat by the Rail Trail
Sculptured seat by the Rail Trail

Old railway bridge over the Murk Esk
Old railway bridge over the Murk Esk

There are the remnants of the old railway bridge crossing the Murk Esk where there is now a wooden pedestrian footbridge.

This old railway was hauled by horses and served the old ironstone industry in this area from around 1830 to the 1870's when steam power and the present railway took over.

The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont
The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont

The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont
The Rail Trail heading for Grosmont
The Murk Esk flowing brown after the overnight rain
The Murk Esk flowing brown after the overnight rain
Bluebels by the path
Bluebells by the path
Apple blossom on the Rail Trail
Apple blossom on the Rail Trail
Esk Valley miners' cottages, a relic of the old ironstone industry
Esk Valley miners' cottages, a relic of the old ironstone industry

Cattle resting by the Rail Trail
Cattle resting by the Rail Trail

There in the yard the brand new steam engine "the Tornado" was standing and on the next line was the blue streamlined shape of "the Sir Nigel Gresley" being cleaned and polished.

As I approached Grosmont the route passes the NYMR engine sheds and marshalling yard. There is a good view from the path into the yard below.

Steam train beginning the climb up to Goathland
Steam train beginning the climb up to Goathland

The Tornado on the NYMR at Grosmont
The Tornado on the NYMR at Grosmont
Flowers of the common horsetail
Flowers of the common horsetail
Thw Sir Nigel Gresley being cleaned at the North york Moors Railway yard at Grosmont
The Sir Nigel Gresley being cleaned at the North York Moors Railway yard at Grosmont

The Rail Trail approaching Grosmont
The Rail Trail approaching Grosmont

I sat on a seat on the platform for a coffee before continuing my walk.

The path brought me into Grosmont past the church and down to the level crossing at the station.

The church at Grosmont
The church at Grosmont

Looking over Grosmont from the Rail Trail
Looking over Grosmont from the Rail Trail
A steam engine manoeuvering at Grosmont station
A steam engine manoeuvring at Grosmont station
A steam engine manoeuvering at Grosmont station
A steam engine manoeuvring at Grosmont station

Wild garlic in the woods at Grosmont
Wild garlic in the woods at Grosmont

An array of spring flowers covered the woodland floor with huge swaths of wild garlic and many other flowers. It was all very fresh after the overnight rain.

From the station I followed the road east up the hill for about 200m to map ref. NZ830052. Here I turned right off the road onto a footpath through some woodland.

Wild garlic in the woods at Grosmont
Wild garlic in the woods at Grosmont

Little waterfall in the woods at Grosmont
Little waterfall in the woods at Grosmont

Here the track goes through a gate into a field and the path turns right off the track to follow the field boundary along the edge of the wood.

After about 300m the path brought me to a track which I followed southwards through the woods for another 250m to map ref. NZ829047.

Stream through the woods at Grosmont
Stream through the woods at Grosmont

Primrose in Crag Cliff Wood
Primrose in Crag Cliff Wood

After only a few meters there were wild orchids just off the path garlic, bluebells, cellandines, violets, sorrel - a lovely place.

This is fine but it misses some very pretty woodland and wild flowers. Just before the gate I turned right off the track onto a well walked but unofficial path through the woods.

Orchid in Crag Cliff Wood
Orchid in Crag Cliff Wood

Footpath through Crag Cliff wood
Footpath through Crag Cliff wood

Footpath through Crag Cliff wood
Footpath through Crag Cliff wood

The whole of this part of the wood is covered with bluebells. They are just coming into flower and should soon be at their best. The heavy overnight rain had given them a bit of a battering.

This path rejoined the public right of way at map ref. NZ828046 where the public footpath re-enters the wood. Here there is an old paved pannierway for packhorses which I followed through the wood for about 0.5km to map ref. NZ826042.

Bluebells coming into flower
Bluebells coming into flower

Violets by the path
Violets by the path

One of many banks covered with primroses
One of many banks covered with primroses

Lambs at Green End
Lambs at Green End

From there I took the path through a farm yard to the road at Hollin Garth farm and I followed the road back in to Beck Hole.

I continued along the path to the farms at Green End.

Hollin Garth farm
Hollin Garth farm from the Beck Hole road

Looking back to Green End from the path to Hollin Garth farm
Looking back to Green End from the path to Hollin Garth farm
Open moorland above Beck Hole
Open moorland above Beck Hole

Train on the NYMR climbing up to Goathland from Grosmont
Train on the NYMR climbing up to Goathland

I was just in time for a picture of the train climbing up towards Goathland. The whole route had been 7km and had taken me a little over 3 hours to walk including a couple of stops.

As I was walking down the slope to the bridge over the NYMR I could hear a steam train approaching so I hurried to the bridge to get a photo.

The road into Beck Hole
The road into Beck Hole

Quoits court on the green at Beck Hole
Quoits court on the green at Beck Hole

Signpost to Nelly Ayre Foss
Signpost to Nelly Ayre Foss

I could see a path approaching the falls along the river bank but it seemed to have been washed away about 30m from the top of the falls. However there is a rock shelf along the edge of the river partly overgrown with small trees and bushes. It looked passable so I made my way along the wet slippery rock shelf to the overgrown part and found I could crawl on my hands and knees under the bushes and reach the end of the path across a small shallow pool at the side of the river. From there it was a decent path to rejoin my route down and retrace my steps back to the car. The visit to Nelly ayre Foss had been a good end to my day out.

It had been quite a short walk so I decided to go see the waterfall called Nelly Ayre Foss near Goathland, which I had not visited before. The waterfall is about 3km southeast of Goathland station at map ref. SE813996. I parked my car on the grass off the unfenced road above the falls and made my way down a series of well walked paths to the high bank above the river (the West Beck). A couple were already there looking down to the falls from the bank. I made my way very carefully down the steep slope to the rocks at the top of the falls. There was a good view of the falls and I took a few photos.

Redundant harrow being recycled
Redundant harrow being recycled

Nelly Ayre Foss - a waterfall on the West Beck at Goathland
Nelly Ayre Foss - a waterfall on the West Beck at Goathland
Looking downstream from the top of Nelly Ayre Foss
Looking downstream from the top of Nelly Ayre Foss