Friday 23rd December 2005

Weather: Sunny & cool

Goathland - Mallyan Spout - Roman Road - Simon Howe

( 8 miles )


Today's walk starts at Goathland - well known these days as the village of Aidensfield in the popular TV drama Heartbeat

Park near the centre of the village and walk alongside the road to the Mallyan Spout Hotel
- go through a metal gate just to the right of the hotel and follow the path, muddy in parts, down to the river (West Beck)


. .

Turn left at the beck and follow the rocky path, soon reaching the pretty waterfall of Mallyan Spout (GR 824 010) - approx 70 feet high



Continue on past the waterfall crossing a couple of footbridges - the route is quite tricky and becomes quite a scramble over rocks at times.
It can also become very wet and muddy so make sure you are wearing suitable footwear.



After almost a mile of following the path upstream, leave it at a stone bridge (GR 815 002) and walk uphill on the surfaced road to the left


Ignore a bridleway sign on the first bend but turn right (footpath sign) at the next bend along a gravel track
- pass the house on the left and follow a track running parallel with a stone wall on the right.

Where the track forks, bear slightly left and uphill away from the wall (above, looking back)
and continue until reaching a surfaced road - turn right and walk along the grass verge to the side of the road.



The view above is looking west from the road towards Hazel Head Farm

I was intrigued by the contours visible in the field in the centre of the photograph on the slopes east below Hazel Head Farm
- there are definite signs of some kind of earthworks.
Possibly a medieval village or could a small Roman camp have been situated here - maybe even the road builders themselves?
It's more or less on the route of the 'Roman Road' - anyone know?



The photograph above is looking north along Hunt House Road as it leads back towards Goathland
- regular viewers of 'Heartbeat' may well recognise this stretch of road as it is used in much of the filming of the series.

Carry on for about another couple of hundred yards or so in the opposite direction to the photograph,
passing some parking spaces at the side of the road, then turn right and downhill at a bridleway sign (GR 815 989)


This is the view from the bridleway looking west towards Wheeldale Moor.

At the bottom go across a wooden footbridge but ignore a second bridge to the right
- instead go over a stile and follow the left-hand track of a series leading uphill onto the moor . . .


. . . before arriving at a gate leading into a field - go through the gate and follow the wall on the left until reaching another gate (above)
- this leads out onto Wheeldale Moor and the first sight of the remains of the 'Roman Road'
(just to the left of the gatepost is an information board about the road)


The photograph above is looking back (north-north-east) towards the valley of Wheeldale Beck (the info board is on the right)


This view is from the 'Roman Road' looking back in the same direction
- is that the ghost of a Roman soldier or is it just our Alan . . . ?



There are a few unanswered questions about this ancient stone-slabbed road known locally as Wheeldale Road or Wade's Causeway
- Who built the road? How old is it? Where did it lead to?

For many years archaeologists had few doubts that the road was Roman but one or two facts go against this theory
- for instance, the road is surfaced with stone slabs whereas Roman roads had a gravel surface.
Also, instead of being very straight, the road has many slight changes of direction.


Over the centuries, people have removed much of the stone from the road for wall building.
Today this stretch of the road is the only surviving length that has been excavated and left exposed.


Continue in a south-westerly direction until you reach a modern surfaced but narrow moorland road
- turn left and follow it downhill crossing a 'crazy-paved' roadbridge over Wheeldale Beck


50 yards further on turn left at a track leading into Cropton Forest (GR 803 969)
- today we had to climb over a locked gate, the same as a couple we met coming out!


Follow the forestry track ignoring any that lead off in other directions
- after a clearing on the left there's a path (GR 815 973) that goes left (north) towards Howl Moor.

Go along the path, which runs parallel with trees to the right, then through a gate (above) and out onto the moor
- the ruin of a small stone building, probably a sheepfold and strangely named 'John O'Groats' (anyone know why?), is over to the left.


The narrow moor path winds roughly in a northerly direction (as on the OS Map) but eventually peters out to nothing but deep heather
- in hindsight, I strongly recommend that you continue from GR 815 973 along the forest track for about another mile
before bearing left at GR 824 961 to follow a much better track north leading onto Simon Howe Rigg (see
this walk)
(do not attempt to follow the path we took today in mist or poor visibility)


After nearly a mile of trudging blindly through the deep heather you reach the unmistakeable track of the Lyke Wake Walk


Turn right (east) along the well-worn track and follow it gently uphill towards higher ground . . .


. . . before reaching the ancient burial ground of Simon Howe at GR 830 981

(Looking east from Simon Howe there is a good view of Fylingdales Early Warning Radar Station approx 4 miles away)


From Simon Howe turn left and follow a path which leads north towards 'Two Howes'


The view above is from the more westerly of the Two Howes, looking east towards Fylingdales Radar Station (top right)


Continue along the path passing Two Howes - it gradually descends and passes to the right of The Tarn (above) . . .


. . . then eventually leads back to the village of Goathland, the starting point of the walk.


location map


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