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Looking across Douthwaite Dale (it's the continuation of Farndale) along the access track to the old mill on the River Dove
Looking across Douthwaite Dale (it's the continuation of Farndale) along the access track to the old sawmill on the River Dove.

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Route No. 638 - Thursday 15 September 2016
Hutton-le-Hole, Oxclose Lane, Hutton Beck,
Douthwaite Dale, River Dove,
Back of Parks Road, Gillamoor, circuit - 10km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


The car park in Hutton-le-Hole at the start of our walk
The car park in Hutton-le-Hole at the start of our walk

Heading into Hutton-le-Hole from the car park
Heading into Hutton-le-Hole from the car park


St. Chad's church in Hutton-le-Hole

Turning onto Oxclose Lane from the main road
Turning onto Oxclose Lane from the main road

Here there is a junction with a lane on the left called Oxclose Lane. We turned left off the road and followed Ox Close Lane for about 600m to the access drive to Wheat Ends on our left at map ref. SE 709 890. Just beyond this drive there is a cattle grid across the lane and a few metres beyond the cattle grid there is finger post sign at a stile to a public right of way on the right hand side of the lane.

The weather forecast was fine, hot and sunny for today. My friend, Jim, and I drove out to the main public car park('Pay & Display'), with toilets, at the northern end of Hutton-le-Hole in the North York Moors (map ref. SE 705 902). We parked there at about 9.30am and from the car park we followed the road southwards through this very pretty village past the Ryedale Museum and then the village church to the southern edge of the village.

It's a pretty place with greens cropped short by the sheep
It's a pretty place with greens cropped short by the sheep

About to cross the beck at the southern end of the village
About to cross the beck at the southern end of the village

Following Oxclose Lane away from Hutton-le-Hole
Following Oxclose Lane away from Hutton-le-Hole

Turning off Oxclose Lane onto a public footpath about 30m beyond the turning to Wheat Ends
Turning off Oxclose Lane onto a public footpath about 30m beyond the turning to Wheat Ends

Crossing a narrow strip of woodland to the fields
Crossing a narrow strip of woodland to the fields

Footbridge over Hutton Beck
Footbridge over Hutton Beck

Finger post where the path reaches the top of the wood
Finger post where the path reaches the top of the wood

We crossed the footbridge and began a steep climb along a path up the wooded hillside. At the top of the slope the path emerged from the woods to a grassy track which we followed out to the road at map ref. SE 706 887. (Note: the main track bends left - not shown on my map -and our route goes straight on at the bend through a gate to continue to the road)

We crossed the stile and walked through a narrow strip of woodland(not shown on my map) and walked down the field to skirt around the left hand end of a belt of trees on a steep little bank, then continuing diagonally to our right across the field to a wooden footbridge over Hutton Beck. There is no defined path across the grassland from Oxclose Lane to the footbridge.

Heading down the field to skirt round the left of the belt of trees
Heading down the field to skirt round the left of the belt of trees

Footpath climbing up away from the beck
Footpath climbing up away from the beck

Straight on through this gate & up to the road
Straight on through this gate & up to the road

At the road we turned left away from Hutton-le-Hole heading along the road for 300m to the cattle grid
At the road we turned left away from Hutton-le-Hole heading along the road for about 300m to the cattle grid

Following the road towards the cattle grid
Following the road towards the cattle grid

Just beyond the cattle grid is our turning to Douthwaite Dale
Just beyond the cattle grid is our turning to Douthwaite Dale

Douthwaite Dale is simply the continuation of Farndale downstream of Lowna. We turned right off the main road and followed the lane down the valley side into Douthwaite Dale. As we descended into the valley there was a lovely view to our right up the valley.

At the road we turned left and walked along the road for almost 300m to a cattle grid across the road. We continued along the road from the cattle grid for another 100m to a turning on our right with a sign post to Douthwaite Dale.

Cattle grid across the road to limit the free range sheep
Cattle grid across the road to limit the free range sheep

Following the lane into Douthwaite Dale
Following the lane into Douthwaite Dale

The view up Douthwaite Dale from the lane dropping down into the dale
The view up Douthwaite Dale from the lane dropping down into the dale

Nearing the bottom of Douthwaite Dale
Nearing the bottom of Douthwaite Dale

Footbridge over the River Dove in Douthwaite Dale
Footbridge over the River Dove in Douthwaite Dale

Continuing along the lane from the footbridge
Continuing along the lane from the footbridge

From the footbridge we continued along the road for about 150m to map ref. SE 707 875. Here there is a track off the road to the left and about 20m further on there is a sign post and a path off the road to the right.

We continued along the lane past a few houses at the bottom of the hill to a footbridge over the River Dove. (There's a ford, quite deep, for vehicles)

Houses by the lane in Douthwaite Dale
Houses by the lane in Douthwaite Dale

Looking downstream to the ford from the footbridge
Looking downstream to the ford from the footbridge

Track left off the lane & our path turning right into the woods
Track left off the lane & our path turning right into the woods

Our path to the right off the lane heading up into the woods
Our path to the right off the lane heading up into the woods

Track up through the woods from Douthwaite Dale
Track up through the woods from Douthwaite Dale

Overgrown path off the track to the right on this bend
Overgrown path off the track to the right on this bend

Track along the field edge to the road
Track along the field edge to the road

Then the path emerged into a field and we followed a track along the edge of the field out to a road at map ref. SE 703 875. At the road we turned right and walked along the road, called 'Back of Parks Road'. The tarmac road continued for about 250m and then bent round to the left. This is the farm access road to Low Park Farm. At the bend we continued straight on along a stony track, still the 'Back of Parks Road'.

We turned right here to follow the right of way climbing up through the woods along a wide track. After about 200m the track bends to the left (again not shown on my map) and on the bend there is a small sign proclaiming 'No Public right of Way'. On the crown of the bend there is a narrow overgrown footpath to the right. We followed this footpath through the undergrowth for about 150m.

Track up through the woods from Douthwaite Dale
Track up through the woods from Douthwaite Dale

Following the overgrown path towards the road
Following the overgrown path towards the road

At the road we turned right heading for Gillamoor
At the road we turned right heading for Gillamoor

Tarmac lane to the left is the access road to Low Park Farm but we kept straight on along  'Back of Parks Road'
Tarmac lane to the left is the access road to Low Park Farm but we kept straight on along 'Back of Parks Road'

Following the Back of Parks Road
Following the Back of Parks Road

Back of Parks Road bending left
. . . Back of Parks Road bending left

We continued along our track for about 1km to a sharp left hand bend in the track at map ref. SE 691 892. At this bend there is a stile on the right of the track and we crossed the stile to continue straight on following a public footpath across the fields.

After about 500m along this stony track the track bends right and then after another 100m it bends back left. On this second bend there is a track on the right with a bridleway along it which we ignored.

Back of Parks Road bending right
Back of Parks Road bending right . .

Continuing along Back of Parks Road
Continuing along Back of Parks Road

Back of Parks Road bends sharp left but we kept straight on over the stile to the field path to Gillamoor
Back of Parks Road bends sharp left but we kept straight on over the stile to the field path to Gillamoor

Field path to Gillamoor
Field path to Gillamoor

Fenced path along the field edge
Fenced path along the field edge

Overgrown path to Gillamoor church
Overgrown path to Gillamoor church

At the end of the field we crossed through a gate into a very overgrown area of scrubland. There is a path through this land that we were able to follow and it led us to the little open green by the church in Gillamoor.

We followed this path across the fields for about 800m to map ref. SE 685 899. Here the open path across the fields becomes a narrow fenced path along the rather overgrown edge of the field.

Field path to Gillamoor
Field path to Gillamoor

Gate to an overgrown path to Gillamoor church
Gate to an overgrown path to Gillamoor church

Following the overgrown path to Gillamoor church
Following the overgrown path to Gillamoor church

A rest & a drink by the church on this very hot day
A rest & a drink by the church on this very hot day


St. Aiden's Church, Gillamoor

Woodland path from the church down into Douthwaite Dale
Woodland path from the church down into Douthwaite Dale


Access track to Douthwaite Dale water powered sawmill

After a rest and a drink we took the path along the southern boundary of the churchyard and followed this path down the wooded hillside back into Douthwaite Dale. At the bottom of the hill we came to the access track leading to the Mill and we turned right to walk along this track down the slope to the Mill by the River Dove.

By now the weather was very hot (when we got back to the car the outside temperature was registering 25°C) and we sat on one of the bench seats by the church for a long drink. A man appeared exercising his ancient Labrador type dog. It was 18 years old he said and was very friendly.

Leaving Gillamoor on the path around the church
Leaving Gillamoor on the path around the church

About to turn right towards the Mill in Douthwaite Dale
About to turn right towards the Mill in Douthwaite Dale

Heading towards Douthwaite Dale Mill
Heading towards Douthwaite Dale Mill

The public footpath leaves the access track and skirts round the Mill to a footbridge over the River Dove
The public footpath leaves the access track and skirts round the Mill to a footbridge over the River Dove

Path around the old Mill
Path around the old Mill

Field path from the River Dove towards Grouse Hall
Field path from the River Dove towards Grouse Hall

Turning right to by-pass Grouse Hall
Turning right to by-pass Grouse Hall

We crossed the footbridge and followed the path up the hillside along the field edge heading towards Grouse Hall. A little way before Grouse Hall the path turned right to pass south of Grouse Hall to a footbridge across a small stream and into Open Access Land.

Just before the access track reaches the Mill buildings the public footpath bears left and skirts around the mill buildings to reach a footbridge over the River Dove.


Footbridge over the River Dove

Path turns right at the field corner
Path turns right at the field corner

Field path passing just south of Grouse Hall
Field path passing just south of Grouse Hall

Footbridge from the field over a stream and into open access land
Footbridge from the field over a stream and into open access land

Steps from the footbridge to a grassy track
Steps from the footbridge to a grassy track

Narrow path through the tall bracken
Narrow path through the tall bracken

We walked about 25m along the track and then we turned right off the grassy track to follow a narrow path through the bracken climbing up the side of a spur of land to a track at the top of the slope.

Once across the footbridge we climbed some steps to a grassy track where we turned left.

Finger post at the top of the steps
Finger post at the top of the steps
Jim is about 25m along the track where we turned right

Turning right off the track to a path through the bracken
Turning right off the track to a path through the bracken

Track at the top of the climb through the bracken
Track at the top of the climb through the bracken

Track across open access land heading towards Hutton-le-Hole
Track across open access land heading towards Hutton-le-Hole

Track heading for Hutton-le-Hole
Track heading for Hutton-le-Hole

Fenced footpath along the field edge
Fenced footpath along the field edge


Path across the sheep pasture

We kept to the field edge on our right and followed the path crossing the field boundary into the adjoining field and then along the field edge now on our left. The path led us to a gate out to the road at map ref. SE 702 902, on the edge of Hutton-le-Hole. At the road we turned right and followed the road into Hutton-le-Hole. After about 150m we came to a road junction where we turned left to walk along the road back to the car park and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 10km and it had taken us almost four hours to walk including a couple of stops for a drink on this very hot day.

We followed this track for about 350m to a gate at the edge of the Open Access Land at map ref. SE 698 905. We passed though this gate to a fenced footpath along the edge of a large field. We followed this path for about 250m to the corner of the field and onto a grassy track with a gate pedestrian gate ahead of us and to our right. We passed though the gate into some sheep pasture.

Gate from the open access land to a fenced footpath
Gate from the open access land to a fenced footpath

Gate on the right into sheep pasture
Gate on the right into sheep pasture

Gate onto the road at the edge of Hutton-le-Hole
Gate onto the road at the edge of Hutton-le-Hole

Back in Hutton-le-Hole at the end of our walk
Back in Hutton-le-Hole at the end of our walk

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