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Looking across Farndale to Potter's Nab above Church Houses
Looking across Farndale to Potter's Nab above Church Houses

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Route No. 452 - Sunday 25 January 2012
Church Houses, Bragg Farm, Blakey Ridge,
Rosedale Railway, Lion Inn, circuit - 10km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


Church Houses from the village hall where we parked
Church Houses from the village hall where we parked

Lane from Church Houses tothe Daffodil Walk
Lane from Church Houses to the Daffodil Walk

Path leading away from the river and up the hillside
Path leading away from the river and up the hillside

We followed the access tack through the buildings to a field gate where and followed the path through the gate and along the side of the River Dove. After about 300m at map ref. SE670968 we turned sharp left. At this point the river makes a long pointed meander and the path makes a shortcut across the head of the meander. We turned left in the middle and headed for a gate in the wall at the top of the field.

This morning three of us drove to the little village of Church Houses in Farndale and parked the car by the wooden village hall at the road junction at map ref. SE669975. From this junction we walked west past the Feversham Arms pub and turned along the lane to the 'Daffy Cafe' and the Farndale daffodil walk. After a few hundred metres we came to a little cluster of stone buildings which includes the Daffy Cafe, closed today.

Stone cottages by the Daffy Cafe
Stone cottages by the Daffy Cafe

Looking back to the cottage above Bragg Farm
Looking back to the cottage above Bragg Farm

Approaching to public road above Bragg Farm
Approaching to public road above Bragg Farm

Crossing the field to climb up to Blakey Ridge
Crossing the field to climb up to Blakey Ridge

We passed a stone cottage where an elderly gentleman was waiting for his lift into Kirkbymoorside. We continued to the public road at map ref. SE676970. We crossed the road and followed a path heading northeast climbing up the valley side.

We began to climb up the valley side following a path along the edge of the fields to skirt the edge of Bragg Farm. The path led us round the front of the farm and up the farm access road.

Leaving the road to climb up to Blakey Ridge
Leaving the road to climb up to Blakey Ridge

Looking across Farndale to Potter's Nab
Looking across Farndale to Potter's Nab

Steep path up to the gate onto the open moor
Steep path up to the gate onto the open moor

Almost at the gate onto the open moor
Almost at the gate onto the open moor

Looking back across Farndale
Looking back across Farndale

The first of a line of grouse butts
The first of a line of grouse butts

The marker turned out to be on a line of grouse shooting butts and we followed the access path along the line of shooting butts for a few hundred metres to the public road along Blakey Ridge. The line of shooting butts is about 150m south of the line of the public footpath marked on the map, but it was an easy route to follow and the moor is all open access land.

The path became steeper and after about 600m we reached a gate through a wall out onto the open moor. From this position there was a good view over Farndale. From the gate we could see a small marker post on the skyline east of us and as we made our way towards it climbing steeply up amongst the heather there was an ill defined path.

The gate onto the open moor
The gate onto the open moor

Climbing up the moor from the gate
Climbing up the moor from the gate

Small marker post on the skyline from the gate
Small marker post on the skyline from the gate

Looking back across Farndale from the small marker post
Looking back across Farndale from the small marker post

The public road along Blakey Ridge under a winter sky
The public road along Blakey Ridge under a winter sky

Looking back along the track by the grouse butts
Looking back along the track by the grouse butts

The track across to the Rosedale railway path
The track across to the Rosedale railway path

Looking down Rosedale from the railway path
Looking down Rosedale from the railway path

We had joined the railway path about 150m south of the public footpath marked on the map. We were south of a rectangular pond and the public footpath is marked north of the pond.

We crossed the Blake Ridge road and continued along another access track on the other side of the road in the same easterly direction. We kept on in this direction for about 500m until we came to the bed of the old railway running around Rosedale.

Crossing the Blakey Ridge road
Crossing the Blakey Ridge road

Rectangular pond to the north of our route
Rectangular pond to the north of our route

Heading for the Lion Inn along the railway path
Heading for the Lion Inn along the railway path

Looking back across Rosedale from the path to the Lion Inn
Looking back across Rosedale from the path to the Lion Inn

Leaving the railway path for the Lion Inn
Leaving the railway path for the Lion Inn

We followed this path and crossed the road to the Lion Inn where we had a very pleasant lunch at a corner table next to an open fire. It was just what we needed on this sharp winter's day.

There was a good view along Rosedale and we followed the railway path for almost 2km to map ref. SE682995 where there is a public footpath off to the left climbing up across the moor to the road near the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge.

Path from the railway to the Lion Inn
Path from the railway to the Lion Inn

Heading for the Lion Inn and our lunch
Heading for the Lion Inn and our lunch

Looking back over the Lion Inn
Looking back over the Lion Inn

The railway path above Farndale
The railway path above Farndale

We turned left to walk along the railway path for about 1km to the road from Farndale that comes up Blakey Bank.

After quite a long break we had to set off again. We took the path to the north of the pub and followed it down the moor to the railway path above Farndale at map ref. SE675997.

Path down the moor from the Lion Inn
Path down the moor from the Lion Inn

Swaledale sheep by the railway path
Swaledale sheep by the railway path

The railway path above Farndale
The railway path above Farndale

Walking down Blakey Bank back to Church Houses
Walking down Blakey Bank back to Church Houses

The road back into Church Houses
The road back into Church Houses

We could see the village church across the fields as we approached the village and our car by the village hall. The whole walk had been about 10km and including our rather leisurely lunch stop at the Lion Inn it had taken us three and a half hours to walk.

When we reached the road we turned right to follow the road for almost 2km down the steep descent back into Church Houses. There was a lovely view of Farndale as we walked down the hill.

The village church at Church Houses
The village church at Church Houses

Arriving back at the car in Church Houses
Arriving back at the car in Church Houses

Church Houses under Horn End Crag
Church Houses under Horn End Crag