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An ancient stone route marker on Shaw Ridge showing the way to Kirkbymoorside
An ancient stone route marker on Shaw Ridge showing the way to Kirkbymoorside

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Route No. 361 - Saturday 21 August 2010
Cockayne, Bransdale Mill, Shaw Ridge,
Rudland Rigg circuit - 9km
Bransdale,
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

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

This is one of Ray brown's routes. Thanks again Ray for another interesting contribution.


Start of the walk at map ref. SE621984
Start of the walk at map ref. SE621984

So a visit to Cockayne with my wife was long overdue. A fact confirmed by the delight of this isolated dale. We parked on the grass verge just before the cattle grid by the T-junction (map ref. SE621984) some 100 metres to the East of the tiny St Nicholas Church which demanded a visit at the outset of our walk. We then set off East along the road which bends right after 300 metres and in a further 100 metres bends left. At this second corner we carried on through a farm gate on to a gravel track.

Despite spending each of our 70+ years in the North East of England, our only previous encounter with Bransdale had been to pass it by on the Cleveland Way.

St Nicholas Church Cockayne
St Nicholas Church Cockayne

At this second corner, map ref. SE623983 we carried on through a farm  gate on to a gravel track
At this second corner, map ref. SE623983 we carried on through a farm gate on to a gravel track

Cockayne and the church could be seen
From the track there was a good view of Cockayne and the church

A fascinating assortment of buildings at the old Bransdale Mill
A fascinating assortment of buildings at the old Bransdale Mill

Bransdale Mill
The old Bransdale Mill is now a hostel/camping barn

At Bransdale Mill there is a crossing of paths amongst this fascinating assortment of buildings.

From the track there was a good view of Cockayne and the church. The track led in less than 500m to the old Bransdale Mill.

The track leading to the old Brandsdale Mill
The track leading to the old Brandsdale Mill

old Bransdale Mill where there is a crossing of paths
The old Bransdale Mill where there is a crossing of paths

A sundial as well as this fascinating assortment of buildings
A sundial as well as this fascinating assortment of buildings

Path across fields through a series of farm gates to Colt House Farm
Path across fields through a series of farm gates to Colt House Farm

At Colt House farm we turned right on to the road
At Colt House farm we turned right on to the road

A gently sloping pasture down to Hodge Beck
A gently sloping pasture down to Hodge Beck

Stile on the path down to Hodge Beck
Stiles and a footbridge on the path to Hodge Beck

In the distance were stiles and eventually a footbridge with a stile at each side. On crossing the bridge we turned left towards a well-disguised stone stile in the corner of the field before veering right towards Spout House farm.

We turned right on to a route that led across fields through a series of farm gates in the direction of Colt House farm. Here we turned left on to a road for 100 metres before turning left and almost immediately right into a gently sloping downhill pasture.

From the road at Colt House farm we turned left then immediately right
From the road at Colt House farm we turned left then immediately right

Stile on the path down to Hodge Beck
Stile on the path down to Hodge Beck

Footbridge over Hodge Beck where we turned left
Footbridge over Hodge Beck where we turned left

Climbing up towards Spout House farm
Climbing up towards Spout House farm

After passing some calves we reached a surfaced road next to Spout House  Farm
After passing some calves we reached a surfaced road next to Spout House Farm

A second public bridleway sign pointed us towards Shaw Ridge
A second public bridleway sign pointed us towards Shaw Ridge

We continued along Shaw Ridge to a locked vehicle-barrier at map ref. SE634976 where our route turned right to follow a line of grouse butts. Fortunately there was no shoot in progress today. At a cross-tracks we turned left on to Westside Road, part of Rudland Rigg. In a while, 3 personable youths heading South strode towards us and asked for directions to the Lion Inn or any other form of habitation. The hapless lads had lost their way on the Lyke Wake Walk and must have turned right at Bloworth Crossing. With a 180° turn they ambled off ahead of us.

After passing some calves we reached a surfaced road onto which we turned left to reach a road junction in about 100 metres. Taking the right fork we proceeded uphill until the road began to level somewhat. We did not act on a public bridleway sign on the left opposite a road sign but instead continued a further 120 metres to map ref. SE630965 where a second public bridleway sign pointed us towards Shaw Ridge, a track on to which we turned left. We would follow tracks through glorious heather moorland for the next two miles but first we lunched by a large cairn.

We passed a public bridleway sign on the left opposite a road sign
We passed a public bridleway sign on the left opposite a road sign

We continued along Shaw Ridge past an ols stone route marker
We continued along Shaw Ridge past an old stone route marker

We stopped for lunch by a large cairn on Shaw Ridge
We stopped for lunch by a large cairn on Shaw Ridge

Heading back down from Rudland Rigg towards Cockayne
Heading back down from Rudland Rigg towards Cockayne

We reached the road at map ref. SE625982 and turned right to follow it to the car. The whole walk had been about 9km.
Ray Brown

At map ref. SE635987 a track off to the left headed us back towards Cockayne. This track gradually narrowed and roughened and then gave way to a pleasant grassy surface.

The track down from Rudland Rigg to the road near Cockayne
The track down from Rudland Rigg to the road near Cockayne

A pleasant grassy surface down to the road near Cockayne
A pleasant grassy surface down to the road near Cockayne