A circular walk from Goathland, taking in the moors and a fine coastal walk - July 1997
North Yorks - moors and coast Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
With the car safely tucked up, we set off from Goathland as quickly as possible. Already a honeypot, TV's "Heartbeat" series has added to the crowds here, and we were glad to leave the bustling village for the quiet of West Beck. This gorge is a delight, and we were sorry to leave it for the open
moorland, where we crossed the Roman road on Wheeldale Moor, and headed via the "Blue Man i' th' Moss" towards Rosedale. Someone had seen fit to adorn the blue man with a suitably sad face. The moorland miles are long, but easy going in the dry summer weather, and soon we were descending into Rosedale, staying the night at the interesting old farm at Low Bell End Farm. Our day's walk was not over yet however - we still had the mile each way to Rosedale village, for excellent food at the Milburn Arms.
Day 1: Goathland - Rosedale Abbey
Day 2: Rosedale to Glaisdale
We took our leave of Low Bell End and walked back down into the village - the opposite direction to our ultimate objective. The reason - essential supplies! Having taken on fuel, we headed for the west side of the valley. We climbed the steep sides on a path which was much clearer on the map than the ground, eventually to gain the track of the old
ironstone railway (after pausing for a snack....). The railway trackbed provides an excellent high-level traverse of the valley, and we made rapid progress - into the gathering gloom! What had started a fine, sunny day deteriorated until, by the time we took the to interesting bit, it was raining steadily and the mist was down. So - sorry - no photos of the ancient stone-flagged George Gap Causeway which we followed across the moorland to Glaisdale Rigg, a high bare moor crossed by a long straight track down to the village of Glaisdale.
Day 3: Glaisdale - Runswick Bay
By the time we got to Ellerby, only a couple of miles from our destination, we had time to kill, and the pub looked inviting. I don't think it was really a walker's pub though, and it didn't help when Tim knocked his drink straight into the lady's handbag.... Fortunately, our landlady for the evening was very understanding, and we were able to dump our rucksacks, change into clean dry clothes (the weather now showing signs of improvement) and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the interesting little fishing village, before spending a most interesting evening checking out the local hostelries.
We took our leave of the Angler's Rest and made our way down to the river Esk. Ascending gradually, we followed the map carefully to negotiate an interesting route northwards, making use of paths, tracks and short stretches of mostly minor road. The route may have been interesting, the weather was not, being very dull, damp and cold. Consequently, the camera stayed in the bag until we got to Runswick Bay.
Day 4: Runswick Bay to Whitby
The route to Whitby would be our lowest walk ever - the tide being out, we followed the shore most of the way to Sandsend (which is, oddly enough, at the northern extremity of the beach from Whitby). Despite the low altitude, the walk was not easy, with lengthy stretches of slippery boulders to negotiate - but also a fine, flat wave-cut platform, with many fossils visible. Nearing Sandsend, I suggested to my two colleagues that it was possible to find Whitby Jet in the rocks (I had been there before, many years ago). And sure enough, after a lengthy search, we found some embedded in a boulder. This
unusual substance, resembling brittle black fossilised plastic, was highly regarded as a jewellery item in Victorian England. There comes a point where, whatever the state of the tide (which was by now on its way in), one must climb - up a crumbly shale ledge to the disused railway line (yes, another, this time the former Middlesbrough - Whitby route). A phenomenon of the east coast here is the "sea fret", when sea breezes cross a band of very cold water running down the coast. This causes a fog which gives the coast a cold, damp day when just a couple of miles inland there may be warm, bright sunshine. And so it proved on this day, when patchy warm sunshine gave way to a cool, misty evening. The fish and chips were excellent that evening however - always at their best on the coast, the little back-street shop provided us with a real treat.
Day 5: Homeward
Mallyan Spout In the gorge of West Beck In the gorge, West Beck Go on, fall in! The Roman road, Wheeldale Moor Blue Man i' th' Moss Descending into Rosedale View to Low Bell End and the west side of the valley Rosedale scene Rosedale Abbey - the village The remains of Rosedale Abbey Time for a snack The old railway track, Rosedale Glaisdale Rigg Glaisdale railway station Packhorse bridge over the Esk, Glaisdale The Angler's Rest Booting up! Runswick Bay Winch for fishing boats, Runswick Bay Fishing Boat, Runswick Bay Runswick Bay Misty shore, Runswick Bay Down to the shore Sea-level strolling The shoreline near Runswick Bay Wreckage on the shore A hint of the sea fret Fossils in the wave-cut platform Climbing up the crumbly shale path View to Whitby from the old railway line Braving the waves, Whitby Whitby harbour - the swing bridge Whitby - the sea fret
No, we didn't walk all the way! We had to get to Goathland, then drive home - so we took the train to Grosmont, here joining yet another former railway trackbed. The Whitby - Pickering line, engineered by George Stephenson, was one of the first lines to open, in 1836, with horse-drawn traffic. The climb from Grosmont to Goathland was achieved by staying at valley-floor level as far as possible, then using a cable-operated incline to climb the last mile or so. By- passed by a new route in the 1860s,  the trackbed now provides a fine route for
walkers - especially on days like this. The mist in Whitby had given way to hot sunshine in Grosmont - and I'd left my hat behind in our last B&B... Fortunately, much of the route is tree-lined, providing much-needed shade. So we arrived back at Goathland, the village heaving with trippers paying their visits to the Adensfield village stores... We jumped into the car and headed for home. We had had an excellent five days, with good walking, plenty of variety of scenery, plus good food, drink and accommodation. What more could one ask?
Grey departure, Whitby Sunny arrival, Grosmont Steam and sun - leaving Grosmont Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff