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A signpost on the path off the road at map ref. SE 515941
A signpost on the path off the road at map ref. SE 515941

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Route No. 446 - Monday 28 November 2011
Blow Gill, Cow ridge, Head House,
Arnsgill Ridge, Street Gate Farm circuit - 11km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area

Another interesting variation on the paths in this area by Ray Brown


Starting the walk opposite Street Gate House
Starting the walk opposite Street Gate House

Entering Anya's Wood
Entering Anya's Wood

Leaving Anya's Wood by the ruined chapel
Leaving Anya's Wood by the ruined chapel

Turning right we climbed 60 metres alongside the wood and then, as there was no obvious path associated with this right of way, we followed the contour left and north for about 400 metres to a bridleway waymark on a post at SE 532940. Now turning left we crossed Blow Gill to a waymarked farm gate (SE 531941) from where a path on the right ran alongside the Gill before swinging left and climbing by the right of a wall to Scotland Farm.

At map ref. SE 5296 9364, off the east side of the Osmotherley-Hawnby road, there was space to park our car. 40 metres further down the hill (south), where a public footpath crosses the road, we turned left over a stile opposite Street Gate House and continued down through pasture to a second stile into Anya's Wood. There a path on the left ran down to a footbridge over Blow Gill before climbing, steeply at first and then almost level, to emerge from the wood into moorland via a stile by a small ruined building (SE 530936).

Footbridge over Blow Gill
Footbridge over Blow Gill

Crossed Blow Gill to a waymarked farm gate at map ref. SE531941
Crossed Blow Gill to a waymarked farm gate at map ref. SE531941

Following the contour above Blow Gill heading for Scotland farm
Following the contour above Blow Gill heading for Scotland farm

Looking back to Scotland farm
Looking back to Scotland farm

Approaching Arns Gill and Head House
Approaching Arns Gill and Head House

Sheltering behind that building from the south wind, we had scarcely opened our sandwich boxes when a friendly gamekeeper arrived with three grouse beaters and six dogs, all intent on using Head House as their lunch venue. The return route was initially a continuation of the vehicle track as it swung south-west along Arnsgill Ridge. After almost 2km, moorland gave way to arable. Ahead on distant Arden Great Moor heather burning was in progress.

Although the right-of-way runs between the farm buildings, the farmer persuaded us instead to use his service road to reach the Cow Ridge track. A sharp right turn onto that broad, sandy, quite smooth vehicle track running north determined our terrain for the next 6 kilometres. At SE 532955 a left fork off the Cow Ridge track took our track down to the Arns Gill before ascending to the derelict Head House.

Sharp right turn to the Cow Ridge track
Sharp right turn to the Cow Ridge track

Heather burning on Arden Great Moor
Heather burning on Arden Great Moor

Moorland gave way to arable near Rye Farm
Moorland gave way to arable near Rye Farm

Bridge over Arns Gill
Bridge over the River Rye

The bridge direction pointed us steeply uphill through trees to a lone cottage where waymarks directed us right on to a bridleway which took us via a series of farm gates to the “main” road at Plane Tree farm.

At Hill End Farm by the shooters’ car park our route became a surfaced track running downhill to SE 515950 where a waymark on the left invited us to take a bridge over the River Rye.

Cottage above Arns Gill
Cottage above Arns Gill

Bridleway to 'main road' from Hawnby to Osmotherley
Bridleway to 'main road' from Hawnby to Osmotherley

Kiln on the roadside dating from 1800
Kiln on the roadside dating from 1800

The path towards Birk Wood
The path towards Birk Wood

Here a left turn into a grassy lane began the final leg of our journey. At SE 518940 the more right of two adjacent farm gates admitted us to a path running along the right side of Birk Wood before veering left to Hagg House farm from where waymarks pointed to a track on the left side of South Wood towards Street Gate farm, the terminus of our walk. Total ascent/descent had been 242 metres - Ray Brown

About 120 metres further up the road to the left, past the 200 year-old roadside disused kiln, a farm track on our right led us towards Birk Wood farm. But very soon on the left a signpost (SE 515941) corresponded with the public footpath over a ditch and a stile into pasture. At the stile we turned right for 130 metres to farm gates with a further signpost.

A signpost on the path off the road at map ref. SE 515941
A signpost on the path off the road at map ref. SE 515941

Arriving at Hagg House farm
Arriving at Hagg House farm

A left turn into a grassy lane from Birk Wood Farm towards Hagg House Farm
A left turn into a grassy lane from Birk Wood Farm towards Hagg House Farm