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Sheep in the grounds of Kepwick Hall

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Route No. 496 - Thursday 17 January 2013
Kepwick, Nab Farm, Cleveland Way,
Kepwick Quarry, Sheepwash Bank circuit - 6km
Hambleton Hills . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


Cross Lodge at the corner of Bridge Beck Lane
Cross Lodge at the corner of Bridge Beck Lane

Approaching Nab Farm along the lane
Approaching Nab Farm along the lane

The house is named after the remains of an old wayside cross at the corner of the building, but I couldn't see the cross as we passed. We turned right off the road here to follow a farm access road up the side of Cross Lodge to Nab Farm. Here the path goes down the side of the farm buildings and follows a track across the fields.

It was a lovely crisp clear winter's morning so my wife and I drove a few miles up the A19 to Kepwick at the foot of the escarpment on to the Hambleton Hills. We parked off the road and the grass verge near Cross Lodge on Bridge Beck Lane at map ref. SE468916. We walked back along the lane to Cross Lodge.

The lane up to Nab Farm
The lane up to Nab Farm

At Nab Farm the path goes along the side of the barns
At Nab Farm the path goes along the side of the barns

The track across the fields from Nab Farm
The track across the fields from Nab Farm

The bridge across 'Old Gill'
The bridge across 'Old Gill'

The path climbing up from Old Gill
The path climbing up from Old Gill

Continuing the climb towards the Drove Road
Continuing the climb towards the Drove Road

My wife is going up to our daughter's home in Bedale this afternoon so we only have time for a short walk but it's too good a day to miss! The views along the escarpment of the Hambleton Hills and out across the Vale of Mowbray are stunning and we spent some time stopping just to admire the snowy scenery.

The path bends round to the right to cross a bridge over a stream called Old Gill before it bends back left to climb up the hillside. It's quite a steep climb on a well worn old track that passes the site of several small old quarries. The whole area has been covered in snow for about a week and today was the first sunny day to have a winter walk in the snow.

Old Gill seen from the bridge
Old Gill seen from the bridge

Looking back across Old Gill to Nab Farm
Looking back across Old Gill to Nab Farm

Following the wall to meet the Drove Road
Following the wall to meet the Drove Road

The path follows the wall to meet the Drove Road
The path follows the wall to meet the Drove Road

Through the gate we joined the old Hambleton Drove Road, the Cleveland Way route
Through the gate we joined the old Hambleton Drove Road, the Cleveland Way route

The gate on to the Drove Road
The gate on to the Drove Road

Gate on to the lane down to Kepwick
Gate on to the lane down to Kepwick

Here a road from Kepwick crosses the Drove Road and continues as a track down into Thorodale. There's an information board here and we turned right off the Drove Road at the information board to pass through a gate. From the gate we began to descend the road back towards Kepwick.

Just over 1km from the bridge over Old Gill we came to a gate that opened on to the Hambleton Drove Road and the Cleveland Way. This is a lovely stretch of open country and we followed the old drove road along the edge of the escarpment for about 400m.

The lane up from Kepwick crosses the Drove Road
The lane up from Kepwick crosses the Drove Road

Starting the descent towards Kepwick
Starting the descent towards Kepwick

The lane down to Kepwick near the old Kepwick Quarry
The lane down to Kepwick near the old Kepwick Quarry

lane down to Kepwick near the old Kepwick Quarry
Lane down to Kepwick near the old Kepwick Quarry

Lane down the hillside to Kepwick
Lane down the hillside to Kepwick

We continued to follow the road down the hillside and round a series of hairpin bends called Rag Robin Turn. Just beyond these bends we passed an entrance to Kepwick Hall. There were sheep in the fields below the hall looking for something to eat under the snow.

Not far down the hill we passed the site of a disused quarry called Kepwick Quarry. This was a limestone quarry and the rock was taken down the hillside by overhead cable way and then by a horse drawn tram way past Mill Hill farm to the lime kilns just beyond Limekiln House near the A19 about 5km away to the south west.

Lane down the hillside to Kepwick
Lane down the hillside to Kepwick

The lane to Kepwick at Rag Robin Turn
The lane to Kepwick at Rag Robin Turn

Sheep in the fields near Kepwick Hall
Sheep in the fields near Kepwick Hall

The entrance to Kepwick Hall
The entrance to Kepwick Hall

Leaving Kepwick along an icy lane
Leaving Kepwick along an icy lane

The road brought us into Kepwick at the main entrance to Kepwick Hall. Here we turned right to leave Kepwick along a narrow icy lane.

Here the road is called Sheepwash Bank and we crossed a road bridge over a stream called Eller Beck with a tiny waterfall festooned in ice from the splashes.

Icy waterfall on Eller Beck
Icy waterfall on Eller Beck

Kepwick at the bottom of Sheepwash Bank
Kepwick at the bottom of Sheepwash Bank

The lane from Kepwick back to the car
The lane from Kepwick back to the car

The route of the old tramway from Kepwick Quarry
The route of the old tramway from Kepwick Quarry

The route had been about 6km and it had taken us two and a half hours to walk including my photo stops and time to admire the snowy scenery. We drove home for our lunch and we were in good time for my wife to drive up to our daughter's home in Bedale as planned in the afternoon.

After about 250m we came to the place where the tramway from Kepwick Quarry crossed the road. The rails have long since been removed but the long straight track is still there stretching away on both sides of the road. We carried on along the lane for another 400m back to the car near Cross Lodge and the end of our short walk.

The lane from Kepwick back to the car
The lane from Kepwick back to the car

Approaching the car near Cross Lodge at the end of the walk
Approaching the car near Cross Lodge at the end of the walk
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