white horse logo

Blakey Topping seen fron the access track to New Farm off The Old Wife's Way
Blakey Topping seen from the access track to New Farm off The Old Wife's Way

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 2017 walks | 1993-2000 library | Find a Route |
| A few Routes to print out | Request a Route... |

Route No. 525 - Thursday 14 November 2013
Saltergate car park, Malo Cross, Cropton Forest,
Blakey Topping, Old Wife's Way circuit - 13km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area


Looking east to Newtondale from the track around Whinny Nab
Looking east to Newtondale from the track around Whinny Nab

Starting out along the Old Wife's Way from the A169
Starting out along the Old Wife's Way from the A169

Path beside a small plantation leading to Whinny Nab
Path beside a small plantation leading to Whinny Nab

Path down from Whinny Nab to Malo Cross
Path down from Whinny Nab to Malo Cross

After about 200m, just before a gate across the track we turned left off the track through a pedestrian gate to follow a footpath along the edge of a small plantation for about 350m to map ref. SE854941. Here we passed through a pedestrian gate on the right and continued along a track around the edge of Saltergate Brow. After about 900m the path begins to drop down the north side of the hill along a grassy track for about 500m to Malo Cross.

Today was a bright sunny autumn day with a cold wind. My mate, Jim, and I drove to the Saltergate car park, at map ref. SE852937, off the A169 over looking the Hole-of-Horcum. From the car park we walked northwards along the main road for about 250m to a track on the right hand side of the road. We turned right here to walk along the track which is the start of the 'Old Wife's Way'.

Turning off the Old Wife's way towards Whinny Nab
Turning off the Old Wife's way towards Whinny Nab

Track across Whinny Nab
Track across Whinny Nab

Malo Cross
Malo Cross

Gate on to the open moor at Malo Cross
Gate on to the open moor at Malo Cross

Path along the boundary of the moor and Langdale Forest
Path along the boundary of the moor and Langdale Forest

Leaving the MoD site at RAF Fylingdales along the bridleway
Leaving the MoD site at RAF Fylingdales along the bridleway

Take care to follow the well signed bridleway here. The forest has been cleared well back from the bases boundary fence so it looks a bit different to the map. At the northern end of the site, map ref. SE871967, the bridleway joins a track across part of the moor called Worm Sike Rigg.

From the cross we headed northwards through a gate to the open moor to follow a rather muddy path along the boundary of the open moor and the western edge of Langdale Forest. After about 1km we passed through a gate with signs marking the perimeter of the MoD site at the RAF Fylingdales base.


The bridleway into the MoD site at RAF Fylingdales

The track across Worm Sike Rigg
The track across Worm Sike Rigg

The track across Worm Sike Rigg
The track across Worm Sike Rigg

Start of the firebreak blocked by fallen trees ahead
Start of the firebreak blocked by fallen trees ahead

We managed to find a way around the fallen trees by making short diversions into the forest from the firebreak and back again. It was very rough going. About 250m along the firebreak the litter of fallen trees ended and the going became much easier. About 600m from the edge of the forest we came to a forest access road that was in use by heavy articulated wagons hauling huge loads of timber out of the forest.

This route from Malo Cross to Lilla Howe is part of an ancient pack horse route across the moors. From the RAF base we walked along this track for about 1.5km to map ref. SE886966. Here we turned right off the track to cross about 60m of rough marshy land to the edge of the forest at a fire break. I've walked along this firebreak in the past and it was a used route, but today there were numerous fallen trees blocking the way.

The track along the firebreak after the series of fallen trees
The track along the firebreak after the series of fallen trees

Joining a forest access road at the end of the firebreak
Joining a forest access road at the end of the firebreak

Approaching a crossroads in the forest access roads
Approaching a crossroads in the forest access roads

Jim enjoying his lunch
Jim enjoying his lunch

In the sunshine it felt quite warm as we had our lunch. It was very pleasant. After our break we took the forest access road heading south west from the cross roads.

From here we followed the forest access road southwards for about 800m to a cross roads at map ref. SE891953. We found a small grassy bank here to sit on in the shelter of the trees.

Blue sky & sunshine for our lunch break
Blue sky & sunshine for our lunch break

Heading south west along the forest access road after out lunch
Heading south west along the forest access road after out lunch

Blakey Topping seen from the forest access road
Blakey Topping seen from the forest access road

Deer hide or watch tower by the track
Deer hide or watch tower by the track

A glimps of Blakey Topping through the trees
A glimpse of Blakey Topping through the trees

Chinese domestic goose at Newgate Foot farm
Chinese domestic goose at Newgate Foot farm

The main track bends round to head northwards along Blakey Rigg and a much less well used track bends away south westwards to emerge from the forest after about 600m at map ref. SE869934. At the forest edge we passed through a gate and turned right to follow a track through the farm at Newgate Foot.

After about 2km the track crossed the valley of a stream called Long Grain and continued for another kilometer around the distinctive hill called Blakey Topping to a junction in the track at map ref. SE870940. The junction is not as clear as it seems on the map.

Access road through a clear felled area
Access road through a clear felled area

Track to the forest edge near Newgate Foot
Track to the forest edge near Newgate Foot

Track up through Newgate Foot farm
Track up through Newgate Foot farm

Approaching Newgate Foot farm along the track from Blakey Topping
Approaching Newgate Foot farm along the track from Blakey Topping

Access track from Newgate Foot farm
Access track from Newgate Foot farm

Approaching the A169 along the old Wife's Way
Approaching the A169 along the old Wife's Way

Here we turned left and walk the last 250m along the roadside verge back to the car park and the end of the walk. The whole route had been about 13km and it had taken us a little over four and a half hours to walk including a longish lunch stop in the sunshine.

From the farm we continued along the farm access track climbing steeply up Newgate Brow to join the Old Wife's Way at the top. We followed the Old Wife's Way for about 1.3km back to the main road (A169).

Blakey Topping from the track above Newgate Foot farm
Blakey Topping from the track above Newgate Foot farm

The few metres along the A169, back to the car park
The few metres along the A169, back to the car park

An array of 'welcoming' signs on this gate across the Old Wife's Way
An array of 'welcoming' signs on this gate across the Old Wife's Way

Top of Page