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Looking back to Staithes as we were leaving along the Cleveland Way route
Looking back to Staithes as we were leaving along the Cleveland Way route

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Route No. 484 - Thursday 6 September 2012
Ings Farm, Roxby Church, Borrowby Lane,
Staithes, Boulby circuit - 11km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area

This route is another interesting contribution by my friend Ray Brown written as always in his own enigmatic style - Thanks Ray!


Starting out from Ings farm with the mine ahead
Starting out from Ings farm with the mine ahead

Mysterious machinery
Mysterious machinery

Looking back to the Boulby potash mine
Looking back to the Boulby potash mine

After swinging right, the field edge followed a mineral rail line on our left. At NZ 757177 we turned left across the railway into Mines Wood and took a path over some 400 metres descending to a clearing. Walking alongside and then crossing a track, we discerned a way-marked post leading to a further woodland path heading south. After a climb we emerged into a field and continued ahead towards Ridge Farm. Looking back we had a fine view of Boulby Mine, the second deepest in Europe. We reached the farm on Ridge Lane at a stile in a hedge (anyone walking in the opposite direction would locate the gap only with difficulty!).

By Ray Brown - Our walk began at the Ings Farm bus stop on the A174 (NZ 754185). A lay-by, some 150 metres east is convenient as a car park. The start was a short steep drop to a field on the south of the road. With the Boulby potash mine ahead we went down the right of the field to a steel farm gate and then to the right corner of a second field where a small gate led into woodland. A path went down steps to stepping stones over a stream and then up to a gate into a field. Turning left we walked around the edge of the field, passing a feature of industrial archaeology on our left. (email Frank if you know what it is.)

Leaving the clearing in Mines Wood
Leaving the clearing in Mines Wood

Entering Ridge Lane
Entering Ridge Lane

The opposite direction!! (from Ridge Lane)
The opposite direction!! (from Ridge Lane)

Eventually reaching a footbridge over Roxby Beck
Eventually reaching a footbridge over Roxby Beck

The steep ascending path took us to a field where we proceeded initially around woodland on our right and then headed south, reaching a farm track towards Roxby’s St Nicholas church.

Turning right for 30 metres, we surmounted a stile on the left and made across pasture for woodland. The muddy entry (NZ 762173) was way-marked and led steeply down to a stile and eventually to a footbridge.

Tricky descent at NZ 762173
Tricky descent at NZ 762173

St. Nicholas church Roxby
St. Nicholas church, Roxby

Taking the 2nd Right of Way at NZ 766165
Taking the 2nd Right of Way at NZ 766165

Rural industries
Rural industries

Field on 2nd August
Field on 2nd August

Crossing a field of stubble which a month earlier had borne a resplendent grain crop, a path took us to a second stile. Beyond a further field with a farm gate ahead we cut left to a third stile and headed towards the lower corner of the next field.

Turning east we followed Roxby Lane, a metalled road, for half a kilometre to a left bend. Taking the second of a pair of rights-of-way on the right which in fact continues in an easterly direction we climbed through pasture to a broken and potentially dangerous stile.

Problem stile
Problem stile

Same field on 6th September
Same field on 6th September

Entering the Oilseed rape 2nd August
Entering the Oilseed rape 2nd August

Borrowby Grange farm and Staithes from NZ 775165
Borrowby Grange farm and Staithes from NZ 775165

On that occasion we had retreated to Roxby Lane in order to follow an alternative route (described below) to Borrowby Lane. The exit from the north-east corner of the field to Borrowby Lane, which on 2nd August had been impossible to locate, now proved to be a steep narrow descent to a stile.

There a fourth stile led into a large field, now covered with long thick stubble from the high dense oilseed rape crop which, a month earlier, had provided an major obstacle to users of this right-of-way. On 2nd August, during our first walk on this route, we had been compelled to admit defeat.

6th September after Oilseed harvest
6th September after Oilseed harvest

Exit to Borrowby Lane
Exit to Borrowby Lane

Descent from Borrowby Lane
Descent from Borrowby Lane

Stile on our preferred route
Stile on our preferred route

Instead, by descending to the right of the right of way, an alternative pair of stiles was used. Turning left we headed north towards Plumtree House farm.

Slightly right on the opposite side of the road a stile led into pasture. Heading downhill the right-of-way bears left to a stile in a corner but the subsequent stile beyond it was in mud.

Our rejected muddy route
Our rejected muddy route

Towards Plum Tree House
Towards Plum Tree House

Sheep at Plumtree Farm
Sheep at Plumtree Farm

Easily missed exit between a pair of trees
Easily missed exit between a pair of trees

and then entered it between a pair of trees (easily missed). Soon we crossed a footbridge to emerge at the entrance to the Dalehouse caravan park. This area might be preferred as an alternative start/finish point for this circular walk. Ahead beyond a stile a narrow path climbs steeply to Seaton Hall before continuing over a level field to the A174.

Some 150 metres before the farm the little paved path swings left to two way-marked stiles. After the second stile we turned right along the edge of pasture. After a way-marked stile into rough pasture we skirted around an electric fence, containing some fine horses, on our right. Beyond a further stile into more rough pasture we initially kept to the left of woodland

Path skirts around horses
Path skirts around horses

Arriving at Dalehouse caravan park
Arriving at Dalehouse caravan park

Approach to Staithes
Approach to Staithes

Staithes as we were leaving on the Cleveland Way
Staithes as we were leaving on the Cleveland Way

Dropping down into the village we made our way to the High Street and by the Cleveland Corner Bistro we cut down to the footbridge over Staithes Beck. Turning left into Cowbar Lane we followed the Cleveland Way up the coast past Boulby and Rockhole Hill to NZ 7533 1934 where a way-marked stile on the left gives entry to a field.

Across the road with the Co-op shop on our right we followed Seaton Close as it bore slightly left through a housing estate. A track on the left took us to cross Cliff Road and join a path which continued north for half a kilometre. Soon on our right we had magnificent views over Staithes harbour.

Staithes from footbridge
Staithes from footbridge

Staithes from Rockhole Hill
Staithes from Rockhole Hill

Boulby Barns Farm
Boulby Barns Farm

Passing Boulby Barns Farm on our left we reached a metalled road. Turns left and almost immediately right presented a stile into rough pasture. At the south-east corner a grassy track on the left was accessed by a stile. A tied farm gate at the end of the track allowed us to turn right towards Ings Farm - Ray Brown

Route leaving Oaks Farm
Route leaving Oaks Farm

Looking towards Borrowby Grange farm
Looking towards Borrowby Grange farm

At Oak Farm we took the public footpath on the right. This runs east on the right of a field boundary to a splendid footbridge. Next we turned left to cross a stile before turning right towards Borrowby Grange farm. On crossing Borrowby Lane we took the farm track to rejoin our preferred route at NZ 780 1685 - Ray Brown

Alternative route: During the summer growing season we found our preferred route impossible for all but the most persistent and intrepid walker. In early August we had to take the following alternative route from Roxby Lane to Plumtree House farm. We continued downhill on Roxby Lane road.

Oaks Farm
Oaks Farm

Footbridge at NZ 773170
Footbridge at NZ 773170