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The road across Danby Dale from Stormy Hall
The road across Danby Dale from Stormy Hall

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Route No. 564 - Thursday 18 September 2014 Castleton, West Green Farm, Stormy Hall, Danby Dale, East Cliff, North End Farm, Esk Valley Walk circuit - 11km, North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


Looking across a misty Esk Dale from our parking spot on the edge of Castleton
Looking across a misty Esk Dale from our parking spot on the edge of Castleton

Leaving our parking spot along a grassy track
Leaving our parking spot along a grassy track

Footpath through the bracken off the track to the left
Footpath through the bracken off the track to the left

There was a layer of thick mist over the whole area obscuring the views over the Esk valley. We set off southwards on a footpath along a grassy track through a gate directly from our parking spot. Just through the gate we turned right off the track to follow an overgrown footpath through the tall grass and bracken. After about 200m we came on to a wide cinder track which we followed still heading southwards.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove to Castleton in The Esk Valley in the North York Moors. We parked at map ref. NZ682078 at the edge of the village on the road to Hutton-le-Hole opposite the road junction at the top of a steep climb out of the village. There's a wide grass verge here with room to park off the road.

The grassy track heading south up Danby Dale
The grassy track heading south up Danby Dale

The path led to a cinder track heading up the valley
The path led to a cinder track heading up the valley

Wide cinder track heading south up Danby Dale on this misty morning
Wide cinder track heading south up Danby Dale on this misty morning

Passing the fork in the track down to Forest Farm
Passing the fork in the track down to Forest Farm

Path approaching Holly Lodge Farm
Path approaching Holly Lodge Farm

Joining the access road from Holly Lodge Farm
Joining the access road from Holly Lodge Farm

Again as we approached the farm the footpath climbed up the hill side to by-pass the farm and emerged on to the farm access road at map ref. NZ686063. There is a footpath across the fields from here to Crag House Farm, but we followed the road in a small semi-circle to Crag House Farm.

About 300m along this track there was a fork down to the left leading to Forest Farm. We kept straight on to by-pass the farm along the track. In a few hundred metres the next farm was Forest Lodge. As we approached it there was a path off the track to the right to by-pass the farm and continue across the fields towards Holly Lodge Farm.

Path off the track by-passing Forest Lodge
Path off the track by-passing Forest Lodge

Path by-passing Holly Lodge Farm
Path by-passing Holly Lodge Farm

Following the road to Crag House Farm
Following the road to Crag House Farm

Approaching Crag House Farm along the road
Approaching Crag House Farm along the road

Looking back along the road from Crag House Farm
Looking back along the road from Crag House Farm

Path between the buildings at Crag House Farm
Path between the buildings at Crag House Farm

Boggy area approaching Sycamore House
Boggy area approaching Sycamore House

At the bottom edge of the green we turned right and followed a footpath out of the farm cottages and across the fields for about 350m to Sycamore House.

There is a gate across the road at Crag House farm (which is a collection of holiday cottages). There is a grassy area in the middle of the cottages with a white pigeon cote on a pole and flock of white doves flying round.

Dove cote at Crag House Farm
Dove cote at Crag House Farm

Path across the fields from Crag House Farm
Path across the fields from Crag House Farm

Joining the access road at Sycamore House
Joining the access road at Sycamore House

Following the access road in front of Sycamore House
Following the access road in front of Sycamore House

Start of the footpath from Sycamore House
Start of the footpath from Sycamore House

Following the road through Plum Tree Farm
Following the road through Plum Tree Farm

Track from Plum Tree Farm to West Green Farm
Track from Plum Tree Farm to West Green Farm

At West Green farm our route joined the route of the Esk Valley walk. At the road we continued heading southwards following the Esk Valley walk along the road to pass Plum Tree Farm.

We continued along a track in front of Sycamore House and along a footpath across the fields to the road at West Green Farm.

Joining the road at West Green Farm
Joining the road at West Green Farm

The track from Plum Tree Farm
The track from Plum Tree Farm

Track from Plum Tree Farm to West Green Farm
Track from Plum Tree Farm to West Green Farm

Looking back along the track towards Plum Tree Farm
Looking back along the track towards Plum Tree Farm

Grassy track heading for West Green Farm
Grassy track heading for West Green Farm

Farm access road approaching Blackmires
Farm access road approaching Blackmires

Some of the many blackberries we sampled along the way
Some of the many blackberries we sampled along the way

We followed the farm access road from West Green Farm past Blackmires and out to the public road at Stormy Hall, map ref. NZ688044.

From Plum Tree Farm we continued in the same direction along a grassy track between the fields and then along a footpath to join a farm access road at West Green Farm.

The farm access road at West Green Farm
The farm access road at West Green Farm

Leaving Blackmires along the farm access road
Leaving Blackmires along the farm access road

Reaching the road at Stormy Hall
Reaching the road at Stormy Hall

The road from Stormy Hall down to Danby Beck
The road from Stormy Hall down to Danby Beck

Wesleyan Mestodist chapel 1855
Wesleyan Methodist chapel 1855

We continued along the road across the beck and up the other side of the valley for about 200m from the beck to a road junction. There was a seat here with a pleasant view up the valley now that the mist was starting to lift. We sat here under a large ash tree for our lunch.

At the road at Stormy Hall we turned left to leave the route of the Esk Valley Walk and walked along the road down to Danby Beck in the valley bottom where there is an old Wesleyan Methodist chapel.

Nearing the old Methodist chapel and the bridge over Danby Beck
Nearing the old Methodist chapel and the bridge over Danby Beck

The road climbing up from Danby Beck
The road climbing up from Danby Beck

Lunch under a large ash tree with a view up Danby Dale as the mist was starting to clear
Lunch under a large ash tree with a view up Danby Dale as the mist was starting to clear

Turning off the road towards East Cliff Farm
Turning off the road towards East Cliff Farm

Path off the access road by-passing East Cliff farm
Path off the access road by-passing East Cliff farm

Bridleway by-passing East Cliff farm
Bridleway by-passing East Cliff farm

We continued along the drive through the plantation for about 100m and the turned left off the drive where the bridleway by-passes the farm. We followed this route around the farm to join a footpath heading northwards on the eastern side of East Cliff farm.

After our break we set off again this time following the road northwards for about 350m to the farm access drive to East Cliff farm. We turned right here off the road to follow a public bridleway along the farm access drive across a field to a gate into a small plantation around the farm.

The access road to East Cliff farm
The access road to East Cliff farm

Muscovy ducks at East Cliff farm
Muscovy ducks at East Cliff farm

Ponies on the path as we left East Cliff farm
Ponies on the path as we left East Cliff farm

Looking across Danby Dale from the road near our lunch stop
Looking across Danby Dale from the road near our lunch stop

Wobbly stile on the path towards Botton Grove farm
Wobbly stile on the path towards Botton Grove farm

Pantile roofed barn next to the path
Pantile roofed barn next to the path

yet another awkward stone step stile
. . . yet another awkward stone step stile

There were now pleasant views across the valley and we made our way along the path over a series of rather awkward stone step stiles built into the dry stone walls.

We turned left to follow this footpath from East Cliff Farm across the fields passing to the east of Botton Grove farm and Lumley House farm.

Awkward stone step stile near Botton Grove farm
Awkward stone step stile near Botton Grove farm . . .

another awkward stone step stile
. . . another awkward stone step stile . . .

Following the path to the east of Lumley House farm
Following the path to the east of Lumley House farm

Path across the fields from Lumley House farm to North End farm
Path across the fields from Lumley House farm to North End farm

Red Admiral butterfly in the reeds by a wall
Red Admiral butterfly in the reeds by a wall

Access road at North End farm
Access road at North End farm


Church of St. Hilda(renowned abbess of Whitby)

At this junction we crossed the road and took the road opposite which we followed down a steep incline to cross Danby Beck. About 100m beyond the beck we came to a road junction and here we turned right off the road to join the route of the Esk Valley Walk.

From Lumley House farm we continued along the path across the fields bending round to our left to North End Farm where we joined the farm access road at map ref. NZ702063. We followed the access road from North End Farm for about 600m out to the public road at a road junction at map ref. NZ696065.

Track nearing North End farm
Track nearing North End farm

Leaving North End farm along the access road
Leaving North End farm along the access road

Turning off the road on to the Esk Valley Walk
Turning off the road on to the Esk Valley Walk

Route of the Esk Valley Walk heading for Castleton
Route of the Esk Valley Walk heading for Castleton

Route of the Esk Valley Walk heading for Castleton
Route of the Esk Valley Walk heading for Castleton

Route of the Esk Valley Walk through Didderhowe Farm
Route of the Esk Valley Walk through Didderhowe Farm

At Didderhowe farm we continued along the path through the farm buildings to join a track climbing up for about 300m to the road on the edge of Castleton. At the road we turned left leaving the route of the Esk Valley Walk.

We followed the route of the Esk Valley walk across the fields for about 1.5km to Didderhowe farm at map ref. NZ685075.

Route of the Esk Valley Walk heading for Castleton
Route of the Esk Valley Walk heading for Castleton

Didderhowe Farm
Didderhowe Farm

Track from Didderhowe Farm out to the road at Castleton
Track from Didderhowe Farm out to the road at Castleton

Looking back up Danby Dale from the track on the edge of Castleton
Looking back up Danby Dale from the track on the edge of Castleton

Nearing the road on the edge of Castleton
Nearing the road on the edge of Castleton

Following the road back to our parking spot
Following the road back to our parking spot

The whole route had been 11km and it had taken us about four hours to walk including our lunch stop. We were delayed along the way by the many succulent sweet blackberries that just had to be sampled.

At the road, on the corner, surrounded by a stone wall is a small cemetery. We walked along the road for about 100m back to our parking spot and the end of our walk.

Small cemetery where the track met the road
Small cemetery where the track met the road

Looking back down the hill to Castleton
Looking back down the hill to Castleton


Looking across Esk Dale from our parking spot in the afternoon sunshine

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