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The car park at the top of Cowhouse Bank about 5km North of Helmsley
The car park at the top of Cowhouse Bank about 5km North of Helmsley

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Route No. 339 - Wednesday 12 May 2010
Cowhouse Bank, Newgate Bank, Rievaulx Moor,
High Baxton's farm, Carlton Grange circuit - 15km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 297 Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley at 1:25000


Seats to admire the view from Cowhouse Bank car park
Seats to admire the view from Cowhouse Bank car park

Track around the edge of Baxton's Wood
Track around the edge of Baxton's Wood

Track around the edge of Baxton's Wood
Track around the edge of Baxton's Wood

After about 2km we came to a minor road with another seat to enjoy the view this time looking north towards the head of Bilsdale. At this spot there used to be an interesting aluminium sculpture consisting of two large offset roughly circular shapes that framed the view. One of these large rings of aluminium was stolen soon after the sculpture was installed and more recently the whole sculpture has been removed. It's sad. I liked it. It was a fine thing to come across in this wild place.

This morning my mate, Jim, and I drove out through Helmsley to the Forestry Commission car park at the top of Cowhouse Bank at map ref. SE612886 on the road through Carlton towards Bransdale. There are some seats on the edge of the car park and a lovely view looking north towards Bransdale. From the car park we set off walking North West on a track along the edge of the Baxton's Wood with the escarpment on our right.

Track around the edge of Baxton's Wood
Track around the edge of Baxton's Wood

The former site of the aluminium sculpture
The former site of the aluminium sculpture

View point where there used to be a large aluminium sculpture
View point where there used to be a large aluminium sculpture

The trig point at map ref. SE588906
The trig point at map ref. SE588906

We followed the track beyond the trig point for another 2.5km to map ref. SE568893. Here there is another track off to the right.

We continued along the track around the edge of the escarpment to the trig point at map ref. SE588906.

The moorland track beyond the trig point
The moorland track beyond the trig point

The view out to the head of Bilsdale and the distinctive shape of the Cleveland Hills
The view out to the head of Bilsdale and the distinctive shape of the Cleveland Hills

Turning on to the track across open access land
Turning on to the track across open access land

We turned right to walk along this track heading roughly eastwards and after about 1km bending round to head south to the edge of a conifer plantation.

There's no public footpath along this track but the whole moor here is open access land.

Nearing the conifer plantation across open access land
Nearing the conifer plantation across open access land

Seething mass of 1cm long wood ants on top of their nest
Seething mass of 1cm long wood ants on top of their nest

Track through the plantation
Track through the plantation

A very clear deer track on the path
A very clear deer track on the path

Marker post at our turning into the forest off the track
Marker post at our turning into the forest off the track

There is a track running along the bottom of the valley. At this track we turned right and walked along the bottom of the valley for about 100m to a marker posy on our left amongst the bilberry plants on the bank by the track.

We followed the track through the plantation for about 700m to map ref. SE582880. Here we turned right on to another track which has a public footpath along it. The track led us down a steep slope into a small valley in the woodland

The large mound of a wood ants' nest
The large mound of a wood ants' nest

Young bilberries promising a good crop later in the year
Young bilberries promising a good crop later in the year

Following the track down the slope into a small valley
Following the track down the slope into a small valley

Debris of cones left by squirrels
Debris of cones left by squirrels

The path through the forest is narrow and may be hard to follow through the bilberries
The path through the forest is narrow and may be hard to follow through the bilberries

Following the track down into a gully
Following the track down into a gully

Wood sorrel on the forest floor
Wood sorrel on the forest floor

About 100m beyond this track the path crosses a gully with a dry stream bed (subject to flash flooding) and climbs up to the edge of the forest at map ref. SE593877.

This marks the start of a narrow path through the trees which we followed crossing a forest access track after about 700m.

Dry stream bed (subject to flash floods) in the gully
Dry stream bed (subject to flash floods) in the gully

Path climbing up from the stream bed in the gully
Path climbing up from the stream bed in the gully

Looking down on to the stream bed as we began to climb out of the gully
Looking down on to the stream bed as we began to climb out of the gully

The edge of the forest near Baxton's farm
The edge of the forest near Baxton's farm

Crossing the fields to the road near Baxton's farm
Crossing the fields to the road near Baxton's farm

Walking along the road to Baxton's farm
Walking along the road to Baxton's farm

At the road we turned left to walk along the road for about 300m to a track on the right opposite the farm.

Here we took the path heading roughly eastwards across the fields to the road near Baxton's Farm.

Crossing the fields to the road near Baxton's farm
Crossing the fields to the road near Baxton's farm

The track opposite Baxton's farm
The track opposite Baxton's farm

The track across the top of Ash Dale
The track across the top of Ash Dale

We followed the path across the fields past Carlton Grange farm where there is a small site for touring caravans. About 400m beyond the farm we came to the road at map ref. SE612875.

We followed this track across the fields and then across a small wooded valley. This is the upper part of Ash Dale that goes south all the way to the edge of Helmsley.

Track from Carlton Grange across the public road to the track opposite
Track from Carlton Grange across the public road to the track opposite

Track followed by the Tabular Hills Route
Track followed by the Tabular Hills Route

Primroses by the track
Primroses by the track

Nearing the car park at the end of our walk
Nearing the car park at the end of our walk

We followed the track around the edge of the wood roughly in a semi-circle for about 2km back to the car park at Cowhouse Bank and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 15km and it had taken us around 5 hours to walk including our lunch stop.

We crossed the road and followed a broad track opposite. The route of the Tabular Hills Walk goes along this track for about 1km.

Marker where the Tabular Hills route goes right off the track
Marker where the Tabular Hills route goes right off the track

The car park at the end of our walk
The car park at the end of our walk

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