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Looking up Bransdale from the track above the ruins of Stork House
Looking up Bransdale from the track above the ruins of Stork House

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Route No. 444 - Thursday 17 November 2011
Ankness, Otterhill Common,
Little Roll Gate, Lidmoor circuit - 11km
Bransdale, North York Moors. . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area

This is another route from Ray Brown - Thanks Ray


The path heading towards Ankness Ridge
The path heading towards Ankness Ridge

Approaching the farm at Ankness
Approaching the farm at Ankness

The path on Ankness Ridge
The path on Ankness Ridge

The track continued through farm gates and, after a left bend, took us to a path through pasture with a dry stone wall on our left. With the late morning Sun directly ahead of us, splendid views of Bransdale were behind us. Always with a wall on our left we proceeded along Ankness Ridge to a signpost pointing to the entrance to Mitchell Hagg wood.

The forecast of a sunny day during this unusually mild November drew us back to Bransdale. After leaving the car at the parking area by the road junction with a “No through road” sign marked “Moorhouses, Low and High Lidmoor” (SE 637947), we walked back some 330 metres down the road towards Fadmoor and at the sharp left bend took the farm track on the right. Easy walking for a further kilometre delivered us to Ankness farm where we, in effect, turned right but circled as directed on the left.

Looking back up Bransdale
Looking back up Bransdale

Approaching Mitchell Hagg wood
Approaching Mitchell Hagg wood

Entering Mitchell Hagg wood
Entering Mitchell Hagg wood

Ouse Gill Bridge
Ouse Gill Bridge

Turning right over the Hodge Beck ford and immediately left on to a rising footpath we soon merged with a forest track coming from our right.

The track through the wood dropped down to cross Ouse Gill where it joins Hodge Beck.

The track through Mitchell Hagg wood
The track through Mitchell Hagg wood

Mitchell Hagg Wath ford over Hodge Beck
Mitchell Hagg Wath ford over Hodge Beck

Heading through pasture with woodland on our left making for Otterhill Common
Heading through pasture with woodland on our left making for Otterhill Common

Climbing up the right fork in the track
Climbing up the right fork in the track

Crossing Otterhills Common
Crossing Otterhills Common

Along the way we passed a lone small tree and climbed only slightly with the hillside on our left. Then, keeping well to the left of a fence, we veered right at SE 632910 and made for a farm gate at SE 629912. The white notice on the gate could be seen from a distance.

Where the track forked we kept right to climb up to the crossing of paths above Otterhills. Here we turned hard right through a farm gate and then veered left through pasture with woodland on our immediate left. Crossing a stile onto Otterhills Common we continued in much the same direction for some 600 metres.

Passing a lone small tree
Passing a lone small tree

Welcome to Bransdale Moor
Welcome to Bransdale Moor

Farm gate at SE 629912 heading for Little Roll Gate
Farm gate at SE 629912 heading for Little Roll Gate

Ankness farm from Little Roll Gate track
Ankness farm from Little Roll Gate track

Leaving Stork House along the bridleway
Leaving Stork House along the bridleway

On the descent we enjoyed fine views up Bransdale. Whilst devouring our packed lunch amongst the ruins we admired the neatly cut stone work which had been used in the construction of this (and nearby) farmhouses. The demise of Stork House resulted from the absence of any approach roads, evidenced by the material not having been removed over two or more decades. Several paths converge here and we left by the bridleway running North between the buildings.

Through the gate we bore slightly right on Little Roll Gate track which for the next 2.5 km would take us, via a gate with several notices including “Welcome to Bransdale Moor”, over moorland to a crossing of tracks by a disused quarry and pond (SE 618933). Here we turned sharp right and followed the track for some 0.6 km until a bridleway (shown only as a track on my O.S. map) sign on a post on the left pointed us down to the derelict Stork House.

Ruins of Stork House with Bransdale beyond
Ruins of Stork House with Bransdale beyond

Bridleway from Stork House to Hodge Beck
Bridleway from Stork House to Hodge Beck

Hodge Beck footbridge
Hodge Beck footbridge

The route then turned sharply right alongside the beck before veering left to climb up through pasture, following a wall on the right.

This bridleway dropped down steeply below Stocking Crags to a footbridge over Hodge Beck.

Path alongside Hodge Beck
Path alongside Hodge Beck

Heading towards Low Lidmoor
Heading towards Low Lidmoor

Shaw Beck bridge
Shaw Beck bridge

Here we joined an unsurfaced track which turned left at Low Lidmoor before dropping down to a gated bridge crossing Shaw Beck. Climbing steeply up the concrete road around the left of Moorhouse farm, we returned to the car. Total Ascent/descent 882 feet - Ray Brown

After a right turn at a signpost, the bridleway, still following a wall on the right, curved around left and passed through a farm gate, until a blue waymark showed it to turn right through a second gate to Low Lidmoor farm. En route we noticed High Lidmoor, now a National Trust holiday property, on our left.

Low Lidmoor farm
Low Lidmoor farm

High Lidmoor Farm
High Lidmoor Farm