North York Moors CAM

 

Tuesday 16th January 2001

Weather: A nice day - cold on the moor top

Today's walk: Egton Bridge - Grange Head Farm - Murk Mire Moor - In Moor

( 6 miles )


 

. . .

Today's walk starts at the small village of Egton Bridge (Grid Ref: 805 054)

The village is beautifully situated in a steep-sided valley by the River Esk. It is one of England's most famous Roman Catholic parishes and was the birthplace c 1599 of Father Nicholas Postgate - 'Martyr of the Moors'. He trained as a priest in France
( it was then illegal in England where Catholics were persecuted ) and returned in 1630 as a missionary. After his return, and for years, he roamed the moors on horseback and in disguise, saying Mass, giving Communion and comforting the sick.
In 1679 he was arrested whilst baptizing a child at nearby Littlebeck, then taken to York and hung, drawn and quartered.
Relics of his work can be seen in the massive church of St Hedda's ( top left )

From the car park just above the church, walk downhill alongside the road and across the fine stone bridge ( above right )
which was built in 1993 to replace an iron bridge and more to resemble the original 1758 structure
which was destroyed by floods in 1930

Follow the road round to the right and continue along to a junction

 

. . .

An alternative and far more picturesque and romantic start to the walk is to turn right before reaching the bridge along the road to Glaisdale and then look for the sign on your left about 250 yards further on ' To the Stepping Stones '

There are two sets of stepping stones to cross and please remember this particular route can only be taken
when the waters of the River Esk are low and if you have a good sense of balance!

 

Whichever way you decide to go you'll arrive at a road junction near the Horseshoe Inn

( Avoid temptation, it's far too early in the walk to call in for a pint - you'll get another chance at the end! )

Continue straight along the road signposted to ' Rosedale ' and across the beck ( ford and footbridge )

 

Just past this lovely stone cottage leave the road and go up the access track to Grange Head Farm on the left

 

The track climbs fairly gently and there are some good views across the fields on the right to The Delves ( a farm )

 

. . .

Next, the track passes between the old farm buildings of Hall Grange Farm . . .

 

. . . and just past there are good views east towards Glaisdale ( in the far distance ) . . .

 

. . . and Delves Farm

 

The track flattens out and is easy walking for about of a mile or so ( here looking back )

It was near this point, in the trees and fields, that we saw a flock of at least 100, perhaps even 200 Goldfinches
- great to see after the recent news of the sad decline, through disease, of many species of British wild birds

 

On reaching the old tin-sheeted building in the centre of the photo where the track turns sharp right to Grange Head Farm
go through the gate on your left and climb up the hillside walking between and then across a couple of ditches
Keep going more or less straight up the hill until you reach a stone wall - towards a corner of it you will see a tiny stile
- cross the stile onto Murk Mire Moor

 

Follow the wall around to your left and then head for a row of grouse-shooting butts diagonally to your right
There are several small sheep tracks to follow - the road you're aiming for is only a couple of hundred yards or so to your right

 

There are many rows of grouse butts on the North York Moors - they are made of anything from just a few wooden boards
to elaborate, circular stone constructions like the one shown above

 

On reaching the road turn left and walk downhill for about 50 yards then at the bridleway sign on the right
turn onto the track which bears slightly right ( east ) across In Moor

This cairned track was much better than I expected but I would advise you to only attempt today's walk in fair weather
The moor up here is bleak and even in today's fine conditions it was very cold

 

From near the start of the track across In Moor, provided weather is clear, Fylingdales early warning station
can be seen on the horizon dead ahead about 5 miles away

The track then descends down off the moor through the dormant but golden-coloured bracken

 

. . .

Continue through a couple of gates until you reach the road between Egton and Goathland

You may have already noticed, I love taking pictures of gates and stone walls, sorry . . .

 

Turn left along the road and follow it for about of a mile with a forest to your right
Go past the track signposted Murkside House and soon after going uphill for a short distance
go through a gate on your right ( signposted with a carved ruin ) and follow the path parallel with the stone wall on your right

There are good views east from here down to the Murk Esk Valley between Grosmont and Goathland
and if you're lucky in the spring/summer months, you'll see the North York Moors steam train chuffing along the dale

 

. . .

Continue through another gate and along a walled lane

I've never seen so many holly berries as there are this year - perhaps it was all the autumn rains?

We then again came across the footpath sign we saw earlier - it signifies the Newtondale Horse Trail

 

At the end of the lane go through the gate and turn right and go down the narrow tarmac road to High Burrows Farm
Immediately after passing the farm, turn left down the concrete access road and continue downhill past Low Burrows

Now which way past this lot, left or right . . . ?

 

. . .

On reaching another road go straight across, through the gate and steeply down the access road to Honeybee Nest Cottage

Continue past the cottage and down the field until you reach a splendid wooden footbridge that spans the River Esk
- cross the bridge and on reaching a flat track next to the white house ( Beckside Farm ) . . .

 

. . .

. . . take a detour for a couple of hundred yards to the right to reach Toll Cottage

This good track is a permissive footpath and was, obviously, a toll road many years ago - the prices above were charged in 1948

 

Having visited the old toll house, turn and follow the track back to Egton Bridge, finally emerging near the chuch

The delightful Garden Cottage ( above ) is passed just before you re-enter the village


 

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