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Lion Inn
Great Broughton
The ruins of Rievaulx Abbey
The ruins of Rievaulx Abbey with the Terrace up in the trees.

The North Yorkshire Moors are a plateau of moorland bounded by the Hambleton and Cleveland Hills on the west and the North Sea on the east. They extend north from above the historic city of York up to industrial Middlesbrough. The plateau is cut by many dales - most importantly Esk Dale which runs from Middlesbrough to the sea at Whitby. This area is contained within the North York Moors National Park and is one of the most varied national parks in England.

Landscapes vary from the wild moors high on the hills to the green patchworks of farms tucked into dales and spreading across wide plains. Villages are concealed in cosy folds or perch defiantly on exposed hilltops with the rare market town providing a splash of civilisation. All around you are the relics of ages gone by: the barrows and cairns left by Bronze Age man, old Roman roads and camps, the Saxon origin of many villages, medieval road markers and boundary stones, classic abbey ruins and Victorian mining and railway engineering remains.

This set of pages describes the first long distance hike that I did in England (October/November 1990). I was basically looking for a walk near my maternal grandfather's birthplace of Great Ayton which is just on the north-west border of the North Yorkshire Moors. During my research, I came across a small book called Footpath Touring by Ken Ward (published by Jarrold Colour Publications, Norwich) which laid out this route. The book's abundant information and clear descriptions inspired me to follow it.

The information on these pages is also partly covered in a couple of my other trip reports. Look at the Helmsley to Bloworth Crossing sections of the Cleveland Way and the Ingleby Cross to Lion Inn sections of the Coast to Coast Walk.

Travelling to Danby Travelling from Goathland or Grosmont
By rail British Rail has a station at Darlington where you can change to a train for Middlesbrough and then onto the Esk Valley line. There is a scenic 45 minute journey to Danby. Six trains a day except for Sundays and winter (4 trains). A 15 minute journey from Goathland station to Grosmont (most of the trains are hauled by steam engines). British Rail provides a 75 minute trip from Grosmont to Middlesbrough through the charming Esk Valley.
By coach Go to Middlesbrough by National Express and catch the train from there. There is a frequent bus service to Whitby where the train may be caught back to Middlesbrough (90 minutes away).
By car Travel to Whitby where there is car parking. Catch the train inland to Danby (30 minutes). Return to Whitby by either bus or train.

The Cleveland Way Route Map details the transport possibilities for the Cleveland Way, some of which is followed by this walk.

The North York Moors are covered by a couple of the most detailed maps that the Ordnance Survey puts out: Outdoor Leisure 26 (Western Area) and 27 (Eastern Area). These are at a scale of 1:25,000 - you can practically see the sheep on them! While they are great for planning and reminiscing, they are also big and clumsy to use, really needing to be spread out on a kitchen table. You may want to take their larger scale maps on your journey:
O 0093: Middlesbrough, Darlington & Hartlepool
O 0094: Whitby & Esk Dale, Robin Hood's Bay
O 0099: Northallerton & Ripon, Pateley Bridge & Leyburn
O 0100: Malton & Pickering, Helmsley & Easingwold

For a couple of books on the North Yorkshire Moors, try the following:
Pub Walks on the North York Moors and Coast by Richard Musgrave.
North York Moors by Ian Sampson.
Walks in the North York Moors Book 1 and Walks in the North York Moors Book 2 by Jack Keighley.

For a accommodation, try the following:
Let’s Stay North Yorkshire Moors – Accommodation & Tourist Guide for the North Yorkshire Moors.

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