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Following a wall on the left over Westerdale Moor
Following a wall on the left over Westerdale Moor

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Route No. 408 - Monday 25 April 2011
Castleton Moor Station, Westerdale Moor,
Great Hograh Moor, Baysdale,
Battersby Moor, Battersby Junction - 14km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area

An interesting linear walk from Ray Brown - Thanks Ray!


Bridge over the River Esk in Castleton
Bridge over the River Esk in Castleton

Dibble Bridge over Baysdale Beck
Dibble Bridge over Baysdale Beck

Leaving Castleton Moor station we turned right on to the road leading down to the bridge over the River Esk. Over the bridge, we bore right and continued uphill on the Esk Valley Way for 800 metres to a crossroads where we turned right, signed "Commondale 2". This road ran downhill for 300 metres to Dibble Bridge where the Esk Valley Way takes to a footpath on the left. After 500 metres on the path we turned right at a signpost "Esklets" and on our way down to a footbridge over Whyett Beck we passed the sad spectacle of a dead ewe and its half-born lamb, only a short distance from Carr House farm.

With the unseasonal period of warm dry weather forecast to be drawing to a close we grabbed this day as a walking opportunity. For a change we decided on a linear walk requiring public transport. The web site http://www.dalestrails.co.uk/Battersby.htm suggested a good candidate but we preferred to reverse its direction and make some minor modifications. We took the 11.00 train from Battersby station to Castleton Moor station and were walking back towards Battersby Junction by 11.30.

Footbridge over Whyett Beck
Footbridge over Whyett Beck

Following the Esk Valley Way by a wall on the left
Following the Esk Valley Way by a wall on the left

Following a wall on the left over Westerdale Moor
Following a wall on the left over Westerdale Moor

The right of way took us on moorland around a pasture bordered by a stone wall on our left for a further 800 metres over Westerdale Moor before the path veered away from the wall at NZ 663069 and developed into a farm track. To the south we had a hazy view of Westerdale.

On the far side of the beck the Esk Valley Way continued uphill, veering left to moorland where we followed a stone wall on our left for 400 metres and turned right immediately before a pedestrian gate.

No! Turn right before the gate
No! Turn right before the gate

The path over Westerdale Moor drifts away from the wall
The path over Westerdale Moor drifts away from the wall

A hazy view of Westerdale to the south
A hazy view of Westerdale to the south

Bridleway on to Little Hograh Moor from John Breckon Road
Bridleway on to Little Hograh Moor from John Breckon Road

Footbridge over Great Hograh Beck
Footbridge over Great Hograh Beck

Within 350 metres we reached another metalled road and, crossing straight over it, joined a bridleway "Skinner Howe Cross Road" which took us across Hograh Moor and Little Hograh Beck for 1.9 km to a memorial cairn and down to a memorial bench by a footbridge over Great Hograh Beck. Fresh flowers had been tied by the seat, and this sheltered spot, about halfway on our walk, was ideal to pause for lunch.

After a further 400 metres at NZ 659069 we left the track for a grassy track on our left which quickly led to the Westerdale road where we left the Esk Valley Way for a short-cut. We turned left down the road for about 30 metres and then right onto a path at NZ 6584 0685, initially barely discernable but soon becoming clear.

Crossing Little Hograh Beck
Crossing Little Hograh Beck

East corner of Grain Planting
East corner of Grain Planting

Shepherd's House
"Shepherd's House"

An unsurfaced but smooth road led down to Baysdale Beck and then bore left to follow it to "Baysdale Abbey", a stone mansion built on the site of a former Cistercian abbey. The house and its attractive renovated outbuildings now provide holiday accommodation.

Next, a path to the right took us uphill in 100 metres to turn right onto a farm track which ran to the east corner of a forest "Grain Planting", through a farm gate and down to Shepherd's House where refreshments were available. We had now entered Baysdale, a Shangri-La of sheltered pasture surrounded by moorland.

Outbuildings at Baysdale Abbey
Outbuildings at Baysdale Abbey

Baysdale Beck
Baysdale Beck
Making for Baysdale Farm
Making for Baysdale Farm
Leaving the Cleveland Way at NZ 604061
Leaving the Cleveland Way at NZ 604061
Heading for the road at Bank Foot
Heading for the road at Bank Foot
Here we took a right turn on to a metalled road leading uphill past Baysdale Farm for a kilometre to a right bend at NZ 612069 where a path on the left provides a short-cut leading across moor in 400 metres to the Cleveland Way at NZ 608067. We walked the Cleveland Way southwest for the next 730 metres before turning right onto a path at NZ 604061 opposite a wooden post bearing an "Access Land" sign. We had views on the left of Captain Cook's Monument and Roseberry Topping. The path developed into a track before meeting a rough stone track at NZ 601061 which wended its way down Ingleby Bank to join a minor road at Bank Foot. Turning right along this road we walked 900 metres to a T-junction, turned right, and in 350 metres veered left towards Battersby Junction where our car was parked - Ray Brown
Roseberry Topping and Capt. Cook's Monument
Roseberry Topping and Capt. Cook's Monument