North York Moors CAM

Tuesday 27th June 2000

( weather: nice and fine )

Kildale - Baysdale

( 8 miles )


Today's walk starts at the picturesque moorland village of Kildale ( Grid Ref: 607 094 )


Before setting out on the walk, our first port of call was the Glebe Cottage Tea Room in Kildale
which is conveniently situated on the Cleveland Way route and where walkers are made very welcome


The 'signpost and stile' menu holders look very quaint on the dining tables.

After enjoying a lovely, refreshing cuppa we were on our way


We set off from Kildale in an easterly direction along the quiet main road
soon turning right along Green Gate Lane towards Little Kildale

Like many others in the North York Moors area, the whole of this dale relies heavily on farming
and here we see a farmer taking advantage of the fine weather and 'making hay while the sun shines'


Little Kildale is in fact just a tiny row of four cottages


From behind the cottages we climb a steady gradient through Little Kildale Wood along
the surfaced access road to Warren Farm.

On emerging from the trees we get a fine view north-east across to Percy Rigg Farm basking in the sunlight


Just past Warren Farm many walkers are surprised to find this tall chimney standing not far from the track.

It is in fact all that is left of the Warren Moor Ironstone Mine which was operational from 1866 until 1874
Danger signs warn us to keep this side of the fence


Not far past the chimney, the track leads us down to the bottom of Leven Vale

The trickling stream here is the source of the River Leven which then wends its way across the Cleveland Plain
flowing through several towns and villages until it reaches the River Tees near Yarm at Grid Ref: 431 127

Centre left of the photograph is the old flat trackbed of the railway line which served Warren Moor Mine -
it appears relatively little ironstone was extracted in the short number of years the mine was in operation
but what stone there was would be taken along this branch line a short distance to join the main Esk Valley railway


After crossing the stream we head gradually uphill across a couple of sheep grazing pastures towards Kildale Moor.

Here we look back from the moor gate towards Warren Farm and the chimney just visible above the line of trees


Once on Kildale Moor the terrain changes dramatically but shortly afterwards we get our first views of . . .


. . . one of the best of the North York Moors hidden gems - beautiful Baysdale

I must admit that this is one of my favourite places - it is so unspoilt due mainly to the fact that the only access,
other than farm vehicle tracks, is by foot.

All is peace and quiet here on a nice day such as today and I could sit for hours and simply enjoy this view


Slightly further down the path we come to these old farm buildings where we meet a junction
of tracks and, turning right, head south-west towards . . .


. . . Baysdale Abbey

What we see now is Abbey Farm but there was a small Cistercian nunnery here from 1190 to 1539 -
the only substantial remains of the abbey is the little bridge that crosses Black Beck


From Baysdale Abbey we climb steeply up over pastures and through the forest at Middle Head Intake
until we reach the gate out onto Middle Head Moor


A little further on and just off the track to the right we arrive at the remains of Baysdale Cross ( Grid Ref: 617 059 )
( This is exactly how I found it and this is how I left it - other pieces were scattered around the base )

Some ornamental carving can clearly be seen cut diagonally across parts of the shaft


Following the track south we next come across a number of massive boulders scattered amongst the heather

These are known as the Cheese Stones - thousands of years of storms and gales
have weathered these exposed rocks into weird and wonderful contours


The track continues south and is known as ' The Flagged Road ' - there are parts where some traces
of ancient stone flags can still be seen no doubt dating back to the times of the nunnery at Baysdale Abbey


At a path junction ( Grid Ref: 616 045 ) we turn right and for the next mile follow another good track
in a north-west direction crossing the peaty waters of Black Beck

As can be seen in the above photograph, the purple flowers are already appearing on some patches of heather
( I don't know if this is a good or bad sign for the rest of the summer ! )


At the next junction of tracks we meet the Cleveland Way and follow it for the last couple of miles back to Kildale

Here we get a good view north-west across the valley of Kildale to Easby Moor
with Captain Cook's Monument prominent on the skyline


As we descend the road to Kildale we see a couple of recently shorn sheep
no doubt appreciating the warm weather . . .


. . . whilst this one seems to have adopted the attitude, ' I'm hiding here until they come and get me! '

The Cleveland Hills are in the far distance south



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