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Lion Inn
Great Broughton
Little Fryup Dale
Looking down into Little Fryup Dale from above Crossley Side.

The first day climbs easily from the village of Danby onto wild and exposed moors. A lonely moorland road is followed to the level walking along the grassy surface of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway. The day ends at the historic and welcoming Lion Inn. Remember to take a packed lunch.

Danby Type Phone
Bolton Grove Farm B&B 01287 660284
Duke of Wellington Pub 01287 660351
Fox and Hounds Pub 01287 660218
Rowan Tree Farm B&B 01287 660396
Fletcher's Garage (Glaisdale) 01947 897444

There is a decision to make as soon as you depart from the Danby railway station. The hike goes off to the right but a visit to the Moors Centre to the east (about 1.5 kilometres off the route) is recommended. There is a nice little exhibit about the moors, a shop to browse through and a tearoom for an morning break. Turn right to ignore the diversion and cross over a railway bridge followed by a bridge across the River Esk. Branch into Brook Lane before reaching the fire station and climb easily to the Fox and Hounds pub. Opposite the pub there is a small green with covers protecting the clay squares used in the local game of quoits - similar to horseshoes but with 2 kilogram heavy round iron quoits to throw around a pin 7 metres away.

To visit the Moors Centre, turn north along the road up through the village and then east at the crossroads (at the Duke of Wellington pub). The centre is about a kilometre (20 minutes) along the lane. It was once the home of Canon Atkinson who wrote the classic book "Forty Years in a Moorland Parish" despite parish duties, 3 wives and 13 children. An interesting path back to the hike starts through the centre's picnic area and down a flowery meadow to a stile near the River Esk. The stile leads to a bridge and a careful crossing of the railway line. Follow the hedge on your left to a stile into Easton Lane where you turn back to the west. Just past Kadeland Farm, leave by a stile on your left and climb a little up the hill. When the Danby Castle path forks to the left, turn right and follow a field path to emerge next to the Fox and Hounds pub. Very little remains of the fourteenth century Danby Castle itself other than the SW tower. The castle ruins are not open to the public however there used to be accommodation at the farmhouse (check with the Moors Centre).

THE MOORS CENTRE, Danby, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 2NB. Tel. (01439) 772737.
Open daily from 1st April to 31st October 10.00 am - 5.00 pm; winter weekends (November-March) 11.00 am - 4.00 pm

Head up the road past some tennis courts on the left and depart the road for a bridleway on the right. Pick one of the thin tracks up to a gate in the fence ahead and keep going in the same direction on a clear track through the bracken and heather. Pause to look back at Danby and the views opening up of the Esk Valley. As you near the sharp edge of Crossley Side, look right where there is a solitary standing stone - the only remains of a 13 metre wide Bronze Age stone circle.

The right-of-way drops steeply down to a road at Slate Hill Farm where you turn right and up New Way lane. However a permissive path (courtesy of the landowners, Wykeham Estates) can be taken south along the edge, except when grouse shooting is taking place at the butts near the path. The boggy junction with the lane can be avoided by a thin path to the left. Many Bronze Age artifacts are scattered around the path and higher up on Danby Rigg with almost 800 piles of stones (mostly field clearance stone heaps but including a number of burial cairns and funereal circles).

Two and a half kilometres of enjoyable walking up the high, open moorland road brings a track off to the left and the first encounter with the Coast to Coast Walk. On a clear day, this spot on Danby High Moor also gives great views to the north-west and the distinctive spike of Roseberry Topping. Carry on past the track for another 500 metres to a junction with the Rosedale Abbey - Castleton road where you turn left for about 80 metres. Take the signposted bridleway on the other (south) side of the road. Ignore the first right-hand fork and head down a thin path in the heather where the bridleway turns to the right. Soon the path crosses a stream and then drops sharply alongside a small ravine to a wide grass embankment.

Accommodation Type Phone
The Orange Tree B&B 01751 417219
Milburn Arms Hotel 01751 417312
Sevenford House B&B 01751 417283

You are now on the disused railway that ran from Blakey Junction (near Lion Inn) to the old Rosedale iron-ore mines. If you are interested in mining remains, old paved trods or there is no accommodation at the Lion Inn then turn left down to Rosedale Abbey (one hotel, some B&B and camping). The route basically follows the track (ignoring a branch to the left) until a sunken lane emerges on a road by Hill Cottages. Continue south on a public footpath through fields to another road at Low Thorgill Farm. After 10 minutes on the road (turn left), a signposted path brings you into the village.

Looking down Rosedale from the old railway track before Lion Inn
Looking down Rosedale from the old railway track before Lion Inn

The next day, partially retrace your steps along Daleside Road but continue past Low Thorgill Farm until a series of gates end up at the farm road into Moorlands Farm. An interesting fact is that the old farmhouse had a pannier trod that ran right through the house! Thus the doors were never locked. Even when a new farmhouse was built, the trod ran through their garden. Leave the farmyard along the road that climbs steeply up the dale side but depart this road at a waymarked path on the second right-hand turn. This emerges at Blakey Junction with Lion Inn about 10 minutes to the right. The problem with this detour is that it adds 6 kilometres (2 hours) onto your journey to Great Broughton.

The direct course to the Lion Inn turns right on the railway track. Level and easy progress winds around the dale head with impressive embankments over Reeking Gill and the headwaters of the River Seven. As you reach High Blakey House a path heads off through the heather and follows a fence around to the road between the house and the inn on the other side. The Lion Inn dates from 1553 and was a popular watering-hole for the "jaggers" who were in charge of the trains of ponies who plodded the trods. Nowadays it is more often frequented by tourists and hikers on the Coast to Coast Walk though there is still an annual sheep fair taking place on the first Saturday in October.

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