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Forking right after Dallow at map ref. SE194713 to walk along the edge of the woods
Forking right after Dallow at map ref. SE194713 to walk along the edge of the woods

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Route No. 440 - Wednesday 19 October 2011
Stock Beck, Dallow, Carlesmoor,
Kex Moor circuit - 10km
Yorkshire Dales. . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale

An interesting exploration of the paths around the headwaters of the River Laver by Ray Brown - Thanks Ray!


The area of farmland and moor west of Kirkby Malzeard usually receives attention from walkers only insofar as the Ripon Rowel route passes through and the relatively recent Crackpots Mosaic Walk is located there. The present walk was planned to minimise the amount of road walking to 400 metres and to cover a variety of terrain whilst still including sections of the two aforementioned routes. There are no villages nearby and suitable parking places are few.

Footbridge crossing Stock Beck at SE205732
Footbridge crossing Stock Beck at SE205732

Great spotted woodpecker mosaic
Great spotted woodpecker mosaic

Leaving the 2 named trails for the leftmost path
Leaving the 2 named trails for the leftmost path

Declining a public bridleway signed on the right, we passed through a farm gate and reached the mosaic of a flag iris and tadpoles (we had failed to spot the Friesian cow mosaic en route!). At SE 207728 a farm gate on the right offered a choice of two public footpaths over pasture. Here we parted from the named routes for the left of the pair. Passing a splendid aqueduct on our left we dropped down towards a hidden footbridge at SE 2069 7252 over the River Laver.

We parked on the grass verge of the Kirkby Malzeard to Tom Corner road at SE 2073 7372 (just before the Hedge Nook access track) and walked the 300 metres west along the road to join the Ripon Rowel and Mosaic walk routes at SE204736. The tree-lined rough track, running south, began with the woodpecker mosaic on the corner and after a few minutes it crossed Stock Beck by a footbridge.

Following the Ripon Rowel and Mosaic trails
Following the Ripon Rowel and Mosaic trails

The tadpole mosaic
The tadpole mosaic

A splended aqueduct at Belford
A splendid aqueduct at Belford

Footbridge over the River Laver
Footbridge over the River Laver

Crossing the Belford road
Crossing the Belford road

There were few waymarks here and we relied on the waypoints entered into our GPS device before the walk to find the rights-of-way across the fields. Even so, these are sometimes moved or blocked, as on the approach to Dallow Hall Barns. Visibility was magnificent; to our right were Greygarth and the monument behind it. Later we would enjoy views east far into the North York Moors.

Bearing right and then uphill, we left the wood by a stile and a narrow path to pass the house Low Ray Carr on our left where we took a farm gate on our right which led across pasture to the Belford to Tom Corner road at SE204722. After crossing the road via stiles we maintained the same south-west direction through pastures for the next half kilometre.

The path at Low Ray Carr
The path at Low Ray Carr

We needed our GPS to locate this stile
We needed our GPS to locate this stile

Greygarth and the monument
Greygarth and the monument

Undo knots to reach Darrow Hall Barns
Undo knots to reach Darrow Hall Barns

The mushroom mosaic
The mushroom mosaic

The forest track continued steeply away from the beck
The forest track continued steeply away from the beck

The forest track climbed steeply away from the beck and turned left as we left the woodland at SE192715. At SE192716 where the track turned right we left the Mosaic trail by the rabbit mosaic to carry on straight ahead over rough pasture. We crossed the Belford road to follow the signpost “Public footpath Swetton Bridge 1ml, Swetton Moor ¾ ml”.

Beyond Dallow, where we had rejoined the Mosaic trail, we took the right fork in the track to walk alongside the woods and the fungi mosaic and then into the woods (missing the deer mosaic!). Here we dropped down to a pair of footbridges over North Gill Beck.

Forking right to walk along the edge of the woods
Forking right to walk along the edge of the woods

First of a pair of footbridges over North Gill Beck
First of a pair of footbridges over North Gill Beck


The rabbit mosaic

We followed the signpost “Public footpath Swetton Bridge 1ml, Swetton Moor ¾ ml”
We followed the signpost “Public footpath Swetton Bridge 1ml, Swetton Moor ¾ ml”

Proceeding to a barn
Proceeding to a barn

Greygarth monument on our left
Greygarth monument on our left

With Greygarth monument on our left we entered heather-free moorland and headed for the corner of woodland by Swetton Cottage.

In 0.5 km we passed to the right of a barn which clearly predated building regulations!

A barn which seemed to predated building regulations!
A barn which seemed to predated building regulations!

We bore right through a small garden into woodland
We bore right through a small garden into woodland

Heading for the corner of woodland by Swetton Cottage
Heading for the corner of woodland by Swetton Cottage

Footbridge over Carlesmoor Beck
Footbridge over Carlesmoor Beck

Potato house in Carlesmoor
Potato house in Carlesmoor

Heading towards a muddy farmyard
Heading towards a muddy farmyard

Here our route rejoined the Mosaic trail by merging with a track running through the hamlet alongside the forest on our right, past a redundant potato house and a tree house on our left. After a gateway in the track we left the Mosaic trail and rejoined the Ripon Rowel route where it does a hairpin bend towards the muddy Carlesmoor farmyard.

Bearing left alongside the wood we crossed the Kirkby Malzeard road to reach the farm at Swetton. Here we bore right through a small garden into woodland and turned left on a forest path which led to a footbridge over Carlesmoor Beck before climbing up to Carlesmoor itself.

Merged with the Mosaic Trail on a track through Carlesmoor
Merged with the Mosaic Trail on a track through Carlesmoor

Tree house in Carlesmoor
Tree house in Carlesmoor

Approaching heather moorland
Approaching heather moorland

Sighting tower at Carlesmoor
Sighting tower at Carlesmoor

This structure is one of several built a century ago to assist surveys in the construction of water supply pipes. Mud gave way to grass as the track proceeded between stone walls before entering heather moorland. Now on a path, we crossed Ellershaw Gill using stepping stones and aimed for the ruins of Stock Beck House.

After some time spent negotiating the mire, we turned left on a farm track which headed north past the Sighting Tower on our left.

Ellershaw Gill
Ellershaw Gill

Bridge over Stock Beck at SE194746
Bridge over Stock Beck at SE194746

Aiming for the ruins of Stock Beck House
Aiming for the ruins of Stock Beck House

Brown Bank Road
Brown Bank Road

Farm gate at SE198749
Farm gate at SE198749

Public footpath towards Thwaite House farm
Public footpath towards Thwaite House farm

Passing in front of the farm we left it by its access road (not shown as a right-of-way!). At the Kirk Bank Road we turned left for some 60 metres and then right into pasture on a public footpath towards Thwaite House farm. As we dropped towards it we aimed for a central farm gate. Once through, we turned right and then left on the farm access road which returned us to our starting point. Total ascent/descent had been approximately 626 feet - Ray Brown

We crossed Stock Beck by a small vehicle bridge (SE194746) and climbed up to Stock Beck House, joining Brown Bank road before it bent right into long straight. In 400 metres we left the Ripon Rowel route by a ladder stile on the right to enter pasture. The path followed field boundaries, crossing from left to right by a farm gate at SE198749 and we reached Kex Moor farm via a squeeze stile.

Ladder stile at SE195750
Ladder stile at SE195750

We reached Kex Moor farm via a squeeze stile
We reached Kex Moor farm via a squeeze stile

We aimed for a central farm gate
We aimed for a central farm gate

Thwaite House farm near the end of our walk
Thwaite House farm near the end of our walk