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Looking down Great Fryup Dale
Looking down Great Fryup Dale


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Route No 51 - 24 July 2002
Danby Head, Danby Dale, Fryup Dale
Rosedale circuit - 18 km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from OS Open Space service

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western Area. 1:25000

Pigeon fanciers releasing young birds in pairs on a training flight This morning my neighbour, Jim, and I drove up to the northern end of Blakey Ridge near Ralph's Cross and parked in a little gravel area off the road at map ref. NZ 677019. There was another car there already and the two men from it were pigeon racing enthusiasts who lived in Pickering (about 20km away as the crow flies - or in this case as the pigeon flies, straight down Rosedale). They were releasing young birds in pairs for a short training flight back to Pickering and they reckoned the birds would be home in about 12 minutes. They certainly set off straight and fast down the valley. Jim and I headed east along the road to a large boundary stone called White Cross on the map but known locally as 'Fat Betty'.Fat Betty Here we turned north on a bridleway for a kilometre to the road to Castleton but imediately turned off the road again on the Esk Valley Walk route (Signposted by a leaping salmon symbol) heading down to Danby Head we followed the path across the fields generally going north for about 1.5km to a minor road where we turned right to follow the road over Danby Beck. We continued straight up the hill on the bridleway past Botton Farm and up onto the moor. The path is overgrown with tall bracken and we were soaking wet by the time we reached the rocky outcrop at the top. We stopped for a short break for a drink and a sandwich with a lovely view down Danby Dale to Castleton and the sea just visible on the horizon from the Tees estuary to the north.Danby Dale After about 15minutes we continued to a road (map ref. NZ 705036). Here we turned right heading south for about 200m to a bridleway off to our left which took us down a rocky bank to a green track in Great Fryup Dale heading towards Woodhead Farm. Just before we reached the farm we turned right on to a path across two fields to the road in the valley bottom. We followed the road for about 200m and took the bridleway on our right heading generally south down the side of Raven Hill Farm. We followed the bridleway for about 2km to the head of the valley.Scots Pine in Great Fryup Dale There didn't appear to be any way out but the path led us up a steep zig-zag climb through the rocks and I puffed and panted my way to the cairn at the top where Jim was already eating his lunch. We sat there for another break with a lovely view - this time down Great Fryup Dale with the sea on the horizon all the way round from north to east. The cairn is at a crossing of two bridleways but our path does not cross the other directly as shown on the map - instead we had to walk about 50m west on the other path before turning on to our path again. From here to the road at map ref. NZ 702005 the path is an old paved pannier way. In just a few places he paving stones have been lost but most of it is still visible. At the road we crossed straight over and followed the path down onto the disused railway track in Rosedale. We turned right onto the railway and followed it for about 2km to the head of the valley. As soon as the railway track was parallel to the Blakey Ridge road and had emerged from a cutting we struck up across about 400m of rough moor to the road and walked round the road back to our starting point. We drove into Hutton-le-Hole for a visit to the tea shop before heading home. The whole route was about 17km and took us five and a half hours to walk including a couple of stops.

Rosedale from our starting point
Rosedale from our starting point

Calf at Danby Head
Calf at Danby Head