North York Moors CAM

Wednesday 30th August 2000

( weather: fine )

Today's walk: Danby Moors Centre - Ainthorpe Rigg - Little Fryup Dale - Heads

( 6 miles )


On today's walk, Jean and I were joined by my old pal from our soccer days at the Boro, Bill Gates,
along with his wife Judith, and their friends since schooldays at Spennymoor, Bob and Lynda Hunter

Photo above: Bob, Lynda, Bill & Judith


Today's walk begins at the North York Moors Centre, Danby Lodge ( Grid Ref: 716 084 )

The Centre is well worth a visit - there are refreshments available in the tea-rooms, a book/gift shop,
many photographs and displays, including a video, depicting North York Moors wildlife, geology, history and traditions

From the Moors Centre we head south-west, crossing a wooden footbridge over the River Esk as it meanders
along the beautiful Esk Valley on its way to the North Sea which it enters at the mouth of Whitby Harbour


Soon afterwards the path crosses the Middlesbrough-Whitby railway line - care must be taken although the
trains are few and far between these days

After crossing a stile onto Easton Lane we turn right and follow this quiet, narrow road for about
a mile to the village of Ainthorpe where we follow the road left and uphill past the Fox & Hounds Inn (above)


Here we get a good view north-east across Eskdale towards the hamlet of Houlsyke

At this point (Grid Ref: 706 074) we leave the road at a bridleway sign and join a path which leads through gorse


. . . and to a gate onto the moor of Ainthorpe Rigg


The rough, stony moorland track leads us uphill and south-east across Ainthorpe Rigg
then diagonally down the steep eastern slopes of Crossley Side with fine views of the southern end of Little Fryup Dale
with little Round Hill prominent in the centre


On reaching the road at the bottom we follow it downhill past Stonebeck Gate Farm then turn left
and gently uphill along a pleasant walled lane which soon turns sharp right after a gate . . .


. . . and leads even steeper uphill towards a small plantation from where we can look back
across the dale to Ainthorp Rigg and Crossley Side

Here we go through the gate at the top and turn left, following the gently rising track which leads us to the flat top
of Heads, the ridge which separates Little Fryup Dale and Great Fryup Dale to the east


The bracken lined track passes several rowan trees . . .


. . . smothered in their bright red berries


We are rewarded with lovely views west across Little Fryup Dale . . .


. . . and north towards Eskdale


After following this pleasant, airy path along the western edge of Heads, we leave the heights at Grid ref: 727 064
and take a steep path down the slopes through old birch trees . . .


. . . and across bracken covered slopes eventually meeting up with a good bridleway track at the bottom
where we turn right and follow it to Crag Farm

Here we look south-west along Little Fryup dale from the western slopes of Heads


From Crag Farm we follow the access road, crossing the River Esk (above), until we reach narrow Lawns Road
where we turn left for about of a mile before leaving this road upon seeing . . .


. . . ancient Duck Bridge


These are the old stepping stones below the bridge

It's now just a matter of carrying on along Easton Lane for a few more hundred yards until reaching the stile we crossed
earlier in the walk and going back over it and retracing our steps back to Danby Lodge Moors Centre car park


Thanks to Bill, Judith, Bob and Lynda for help making it a lovely day out



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