Walk No.5 Goathland, Egton Bridge, Grosmont Circuit - 16km

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

This description gives enough information to find the intended route of the walk on a suitable map. When used with the map the description should help you to find the route and enjoy the things of interest along the way. For this walk I suggest that you use the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map 27 which covers the North York Moors, Eastern Area at a scale of 1 :25000. Please do not try to find your way without a proper map.

The walk is a circular route of about 13 km. and should take about 4 hours of steady walking plus any stops you make along the way. There are a few steep climbs out of the valleys and in some places you will need to pick your way through the muddy bits. You will need strong footwear (preferably walking boots) and the usual safety precautions for this outdoor activity.

My description of the route starts at map reference NZ 833013.This is the car park in the village of Goathland near the top of the hill that leads up from the railway station. From the northern end of the car park, about 50 m.past the public toilets take the footpath on the left. The path leads across a field with the back gardens of some houses on the right. The path follows what is in fact a disused railway track. After about 400 m. from the start of the path it crosses a minor road and continues down hill. It's quite a steep hill considering it's a disused railway track. (See "The Rail Trail" leaflet available from the station book shops.) Continue for about 1 km. (passing the cottage at the bottom of the slope) to the junction in the path at the wooden finger post.

At the finger post turn left, away from Beck Hole, to a little foot bridge over the stream. Once over the bridge the path climbs steeply up the valley side through the woods. After about 150 m. there is another wooden finger post in the woods. Here keep to the path to the left. It continues to climb and for a while the path is formed by the worn stones of an old pannier way. At the next finger post (another 150 m.) follow the bridle way(blue arrow) to the right, continuing to climb. After about 300 m. the path emerges from the wood into some pasture land. The path skirts Thackside Farm and joins the farm access road. Follow the farm road to its junction with the minor road (Randy Rigg) and turn right onto the road. Keep on this road for about 1 km. and turn left onto a footpath. There is a footpath sign at a wooden field gate. It's opposite some woods and about 100 m. before a house on the left.

The path goes across some rough marshy pasture staying close to the stone wall and climbing up towards the moor top. The path comes out onto the open moor through a small wooden gate and climbs for about 400 m. through a barren stony area. Be careful as the path reaches the top of the moor, our path is a narrow footpath skirting a little depression or valley (marked as Lady Bridge Slack on the map) to the left.(Don't follow the vehicle track which bears off to the right.) After another 400 m. the path meets a minor road. Cross the road and turn half right, along a track which is bearing WSW away from the road. Keep to this track for only about 200 m., no more. Here turn sharp right almost doubling back to follow the wall which is now on the left to head NNE for about 300 m. to where there are two new wooden gates with footpath arrow markers. Go through the gate and follow the path (which gradually becomes a farm road) for about 1 km. to Swang Farm. The path goes through the farm yard.

About 200 m. after the farm, the farm road turns sharp right. Be careful here. Our path goes off to the left of the farm road just on the crown of the bend. It's a grassy track which goes through a gate into some pasture land. There is an old stone farm building ahead in the field. Keep to the left of the building and you will find yourself on a grassy track with trees and bushes on either side. About 150 m. after the farm building the path becomes a track between stone walls with tall holly and hawthorn bushes on the right. About 300 m. from the start of this walled track, the track crosses a stream where there was a gate across the track, but now the gate posts are laid in the grass at the side of the track. There is a dense vegetation of hawthorn and blackthorn choking the little ravine containing the stream. A few yards before the gate across the track there is a gate into the field on the left. Our path goes through this gate on the left. There was no footpath sign on it last time I was there.

The path keeps to the edge of the field with the blackthorn scrub on the right. At the bottom of the field (about 120 m.) there is a style into a wooded area on quite a steep descent opening out into another field. Keep to the line of the stream down the field, marked by old trees, for about 200 m. from the style. The Egton Bridge road is only 150 m. to the right. Near the bottom of the slope there is a path to the road through a wooded strip. Enter the wooded strip by a style. Again no sign posts and you may have to look carefully to spot the path at this point. When you reach the road turn left down the hill towards Egton Bridge. In about 100 m. there is a road junction. The boring route here is to turn right and take the road bridge over the river Esk.

As you descend the hill to the junction, it's much more interesting to take the stone footpath snicket on the opposite side of the road . This footpath leads to the stepping stones over the Esk. Two lots of stepping stones as the river is flowing round an island at this point. Once accross the stepping stones the track leads between the houses and onto a road. At the road turn right and continue along the road for about 200 m. to a 'T'-junction. (Just before the junction there are some public toilets on the right hand side of the road.) At the junction turn left and after about 40 m. turn right onto the estate road towards Grosmont. The estate road is an unmade rough farm track. Stay on this track for some 2 km. until it reaches the road about 0.5 km. from Grosmont. All the way the track follows the river sometimes just a few metres away, sometimes 100 m. away. At this time of year there is a great variety of wild flowers in the hedgrows and banks along the track.

At the road turn right and continue along the road for about 0.5 km. into Grosmont. The North York Moors Railway is based here. There is usually a steam engine at the station and the engine sheds are open to visitors. If you enjoy steam engines you will need to make a separate trip to Grosmont, preferably by steam train from Pickering, just to see everything. When you can tear yourself away continue accross the level crossing and then up the hill for about 200 m. to a footpath on the right hand side of the road. The turning is through an iron gate marked by a footpath sign. Follow the path through the woods. There are lots of wild flowers and it's very pleasant indeed, once you've passed the initial dog walking bit.

After about 300 m. the path joins a farm road. Turn left onto the farm road and continue up the hill for 250 m. where there is a gate across the road into a field. Twenty metres before the gate the path turns off to the right into the woods. The path is quite narrow here and easy to miss. The path runs in the woods, parallel to the field boudary and just a few metres from it. (There is another short stretch of stone pannier way in the middle of the woods) Follow the path through the woods and fields for about 1 km. to Green End where the path comes out beside a farm onto a road. Turn left onto the road for 50 m. and then right through a farm yard ( there is a yellow footpath arrow on the farm gate). Follow the path across the fields to come out onto the road near Hollin Garth farm. After about 50m take the path on the left hand side of the road.

The path contours round the hill just above the stone field walls. After about 0.5 km. there is a very pretty bowl of land formed by a loop in the river which crosses under the railway and then back again. Half way round the loop is an attractive waterfall, although it's a bit difficult to get a realy good view of it due to the shape of the land. Take the path that descends into the bowl and cross the river on the footbridge under the railway bridge. The whole river here passes in a narrow channel between two rock shoulders. Follow the path up the hill and across the fields to the road. At the road turn left and follow the road for about 400 m. back to the car park.
I hope you enjoy this walk so much that you'll want to try another one as soon as you can.

Happy wandering! Frank