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Path through the heather across Great Hograh Moor above Baysdale
Path through the heather across Great Hograh Moor above Baysdale

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Route No. 366 - Saturday 4 September 2010
Hob Hole, Great Hograh Moor,
Baysdale Beck circuit - 9km
Baysdale, North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

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


Leaving the car park at Hob Hole at the start of our walk
Leaving the car park at Hob Hole at the start of our walk

Looking back to the ford at Hob Hole
Looking back to the ford at Hob Hole

Start of the path over Little Hograh Moor
Start of the path over Little Hograh Moor

One of several memorials on this part of the moor
One of several memorials on this part of the moor

After about 450m we came to a road junction where we turned right. We walked along this road for about 300m until we reached a footpath sign on the right hand side of the road. Here we turned right to follow a footpath across Little Hograh Moor and then Great Hograh Moor for around 2km to a pretty crossing of Great Hograh Beck at map ref. NZ635067.

This morning my wife and I met some friends at the little car parking area at Hob Hole in Baysdale, map ref. NZ651074. It's a popular picnicking spot next to Baysdale Beck. From the car park we turned onto the road to walk across the ford over the beck and follow the road up the steep hillside.

Heather moor by the road near Hob Hole
Heather moor by the road near Hob Hole

Crossing Great Hograh Moor
Crossing Great Hograh Moor

Crossing Great Hograh Moor
Crossing Great Hograh Moor

A handy bench at the crossing of Great Hograh Beck
A handy bench at the crossing of Great Hograh Beck

Climbing up from the stream crossing to the moorland track
Climbing up from the stream crossing to the moorland track

From the stream we climbed up the hillside for about 50m to join a wide stony grouse shooters' track climbing up the moor.

There was a bench seat here so we stopped for a short break in this very pleasant little place.

Pretty crossing of Great Hograh Beck at map ref. NZ635067
Pretty crossing of Great Hograh Beck at map ref. NZ635067


Our friends continued along the track to go around the head of Baysdale

Grouse shooters' track over the moor
Grouse shooters' track over the moor

Gate into the plantation down to Thorntree House
Gate into the plantation down to Thorntree House

Looking down to Thorntree House
Looking down to Thorntree House

Here the path turned left to follow the boundary of the plantation for about 200m to a gate at map ref. NZ626065. We turned right through the gate to follow a track down through the plantation to Thorntree House where there were several young people enjoying the sunshine in the yard.

After 500m there was a footpath off to the right. At this point we split up. Our friends are much fitter than we are and they continued along the track to go around the head of Baysdale and drop down to Baysdale Abbey farm. From there they would continued back to the car park on the same paths that we will use. We turned right to follow the footpath over the moor to the edge of a plantation.

Path along the boundary of the plantation
Path along the boundary of the plantation

The track down to Thorntree House
The track down to Thorntree House

Large ash tree by the track
Large ash tree by the track

Sheep grazing by the track
Sheep grazing by the track

Leaving the farm access road to cross Baysdale Beck
Leaving the farm access road to cross Baysdale Beck

Climbing up the hillside towards the moor
Climbing up the hillside towards the moor

We walked up the valley side past some farm buildings part way up the hillside. After about 200m from the beck we reached a dry-stone wall at the top of the field. We sat on the grass here for our lunch with a very pleasant view up Baysdale. A very fit looking walker came by and asked if we had a Moors Bus timetable. He was planning to walk to Castleton and catch the Moors Bus at 4.00pm or was it 4.30pm? We were unable to help.

From Thorntree House we continued following the farm access track down the hillside to a track beside Baysdale Beck at map ref. NZ622070. At this track we turned right to walk along the track following the beck down stream for about 500m. Here we turned left off the track just before a farm building ahead. We went through a field gate and continued along a grassy track across a bridge over the beck.

Joining the farm access road parallel to Baysdale Beck
Joining the farm access road next to Baysdale Beck

Crossing Baysdale Beck to climb up to the moor
Crossing Baysdale Beck to climb up to the moor

Gate from the fields to the moorland path
Gate from the fields to the moorland path

Looking up Baysdale from our lunch spot
Looking up Baysdale from our lunch spot

A short boggy part of the path
A short boggy part of the path

Old stone barn by the path
Old stone barn by the path

Ling heather in full bloom
Ling heather in full bloom

By now the path had become a moorland track which continued out to a road junction at map ref. NZ650077. But it's a very pleasant walk back to the car park along Baysdale Beck so at this point we turned off the track, picking a place where the heather had been burnt off last year leaving just the short new growth to walk through.

After our lunch we walked through the pedestrian gate in the dry-stone wall and turned right to continue along the path following the wall. We had to push our way through tall bracken and for about 30m we had to pick our way through a boggy patch, although today the ground generally was particularly dry. From the pedestrian gate in the dry-stone wall we continued along the path for about 1.5km to around map ref. NZ642077.

Path along the wall side overgrown with bracken
Path along the wall side overgrown with bracken

Track along Baysdale
Track along Baysdale

Heading down the moor from the track to Baysdale Beck
Heading down the moor from the track to Baysdale Beck

Wooded path above Baysdale Beck
Wooded path above Baysdale Beck

Wooded path by Baysdale Beck
Wooded path by Baysdale Beck

Baysdale Beck near Hob Hole picnic site
Baysdale Beck near Hob Hole picnic site

We arrived at the car park a little before 2.00pm and drove about 5km to the village of Kildale where it was the annual village agricultural show.

We headed directly down the hillside until we reached a well walked footpath beside the beck. At the footpath we turned left to follow the beck downstream for about a kilometer back to the car park.

Wooded path by Baysdale Beck
Wooded path by Baysdale Beck

Baysdale Beck near Hob Hole picnic site
Baysdale Beck near Hob Hole picnic site

Hob hole picnic area beside Baysdale Beck
Hob hole picnic area beside Baysdale Beck

Two texel tupps at Kildale show
Two texel tupps at Kildale show

Owl sculptures at Kildale show
Owl sculptures at Kildale show

Miniature traction engine at Kildale show
Miniature traction engine at Kildale show

The catering tent was next to the band so that we could listen to the Northallerton Silver Band as we had our tea. It was all very pleasant with a lovely atmosphere in the late summer sunshine.

At the edge of the village there was a large car park in a field and we paid our entrance fee and had a good look around including a cup of tea and a scone.

Heavy horses at Kildale show
Heavy horses at Kildale show

Carving another owl by chainsaw
Carving another owl by chainsaw

Vintage tractor parade at Kildale show
Vintage tractor parade at Kildale show

Northallerton Silver Band playing at Kildale show
Northallerton Silver Band playing at Kildale show

Background Notes:
This is a walk in Baysdale on the North York Moors. There's a road that runs North across the moors from Hutton-le-Hole along Blakey Ridge to Ralphs Crosses. From there the left hand fork goes to Westerdale and then over into Baysdale. The road goes through a ford across Baysdale Beck at a place called Hob Hole. This is where our walk starts at Hob Hole car park. It's a grassy area in a bend in the beck where there are often family groups picnicing. The walk is about 9km, five & a half miles. From the car park our route crosses the footbridge alongside the ford to climb back up the valley side for about half a mile. On the moor top we take a path across Great Hograh Moor. I've chosen this walk for the heather. At this time of year the moors, and this moor in particular, are just a sea of purple heather and if it's a warm humid day there's the scent of the heather flowers in the air. There are a couple of memorials by the path to people with connections to this moor. The path crosses Great Hograh Beck at a very pretty spot where there is a bench and it's a good place for a break and a drink before pressing on to the edge of a conifer plantation. You need to take care with the navigation from Great Hograh Beck because there are several tracks used by shooting parties that are not shown on the map. The walk uses public rights of way so it's fine to do the walk whenever you choose, but this is a grouse moor and August is the start of the shooting season so open access rights, away from the public footpaths, are likely to be closed on particular dates from 12 August through to the end of the shooting season on 10 December. Our walk follows the public footpath down through the conifer plantation into Baysdale. We follow the path along a farm access road down the valley, then cross the beck and climb up the north side of the valley. As we climb up there are lovely views up the valley towards Baysdale Abbey. It used to be an abbey but now it's a farm but still called Baysdale Abbey. The farm building was constructed in the early 1800's and the original abbey dating from the late 1100's wasn't an abbey at all, but a priory for a prioress and about a dozen nuns. All that remains from that period is the stone arch bridge over Black Beck next to the abbey farm. Our walk continues along the path down Baysdale with very pleasant views along the valley and over the heather moors. The path joins an access track which you can follow out to the road and down the hill back to the car park to complete a very pleasant walk. However provided there are no open access restriction for the day you walk there's a much prettier alternative ending for the walk. The track is about 150m above Baysdale Beck and you can cut down at a suitable point where the heather is short, from the track to the beck. At the beck there is a good path following the tree lined beck back to the car park. This final kilometer, half mile, back to the car park is a very pretty conclusion to a lovely walk.
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