North York Moors CAM

Saturday 11th March 2000

Today's walk: Danby Lodge Moors Centre - Little Fryup Dale


Little Fryup Dale as viewed looking north from the road (New Way) to Rosedale. The high ground to the left is Danby Rigg - the line of trees down the centre follows Little Fryup Beck on its way to the River Esk whilst the ridge to the right is 'Heads' which seperates the valley from Great Fryup Dale

For several centuries Fryup Dale was used by the lord of the manor at Danby Castle to graze his own stock and as a source of income by leasing grazing rights. From 1655 the dale started to take on its present form with the former pasture land being enclosed and divided up into a number of tenant farms. Fryup may appear a peculiar name but it is simply derived from Freya, a Norse Goddess and 'hop' being an enclosed valley


Today's walk starts at The Moors Centre, Danby Lodge (Grid Ref: 716 084)


We set off from Danby Lodge in a south-westward direction, soon crossing this footbridge over the River Esk


We follow the path across the fields, taking care when crossing the Middlesbrough - Whitby railway track

Here we are looking north-west across the Esk Valley towards the village of Danby

On reaching the quiet road (Easton Lane) between Duck Bridge and Ainthorpe we cross the stile and turn right following the road for the next mile until . . .


. . . we arrive at the pretty village of Ainthorpe, just south of Danby


After following the road round to the left and then in a southward direction past the Fox and Hounds Inn we leave it near a couple of tennis courts (Grid Ref: 707 074) along a path through a clump of gorse bushes and then through a gate onto Ainthorpe Rigg


From Ainthorpe Rigg we pause and look back north-westwards over Danby Dale to Castleton


After climbing steadily over Ainthorpe and Danby Riggs we reach this standing stone and circle of small boulders

Here we are looking north back towards Danby


Another mile further on we reach the western edge of Danby Rigg and follow the steep path down the valley side

The smooth shaped little hump of Round Hill (left centre) contrasts with the steeper slopes of Stanch Bullen


On reaching the road at the bottom of the hill we follow it south-east for about of a mile and past Stonebeck Gate Farm before we turn left along a bridleway that takes us up the side of Heads ridge

Here we look north along the valley bottom of Little Fryup Dale from the road near Stonebeck Gate Farm

(An alternative, and easier route, is the previous bridleway which follows the bottom of the dale all the way to Crag Farm)


We've chosen the higher route which involves a steady climb up the western flank of Heads


About a mile further on we descend a steep zig-zag path down from Heads and past this boulder strewn field


Next we follow the track parallel with dry stone walls, past Crag Wood, until emerging 'through' these old gateposts at Crag Farm

We follow the access road to the farm as far as Lawns Road which runs between Danby and Lealholm - turning left onto the road we continue west for about a mile until . . .


. . . we bear left and after crossing ancient Duck Bridge, turn right along Easton Lane until we reach the stile we crossed on our outward journey - cross the stile and follow the same path north-east over the railway and River Esk back to the Moors Centre


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