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Start of the steep descent down the wooded bank above Brickshed Cottage near the end of our walk
Start of the steep descent down the wooded bank above Brickshed Cottage near the end of our walk

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Route No. 791 - Thursday 24 October 2019
Brickshed Cottage, Cowesby, Home Farm,
Gallow Hill, Windygill Ridge circuit - 7km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


Our parking spot at map ref. SE 468 887 at the road junction near Brickshed Cottage
Our parking spot at map ref. SE 468 887 at the road junction near Brickshed Cottage

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Heading along Ruddings Lane from Brickshed Cottage
Heading along Ruddings Lane from Brickshed Cottage

Following Ruddings Lane towards Cowesby
Following Ruddings Lane towards Cowesby

Entering Cowesby village
Entering Cowesby village

There is a little parking area at the junction. From our parking spot we followed the road past Brickshed Cottage along Ruddings Lane for about 1.3km to the village of Cowesby. There is a footpath across the fields for part of the way but we decided that would be too wet and muddy after all the rain to we kept to the road past the village name sign and round the bends to the road junction in the village at map ref. SE 466 899.

The weather forecast for today promised us more of the same gloomy damp stuff that we have had for almost four weeks now. Oh! for a bright sunny day, but to be fair we have managed a couple of walks on decent days recently. Anyway this morning my friend, Jim, and I drove out to the junction of the road from Knayton with the road between Felixkirk and Cowesby at map ref. SE 468 887 about 100m from Brickshed Cottage.

Passing Ruddings on the left of Ruddings Lane
Passing Ruddings on the left of Ruddings Lane

Following Ruddings Lane towards Cowesby
Following Ruddings Lane towards Cowesby

Following the road into Cowesby village
Following the road into Cowesby village

Turning right to Home Farm at the road junction in Cowesby
Turning right to Home Farm at the road junction in Cowesby

Passing Home Farm
Passing Home Farm

Heavy steel gate to the footpath up through the woodland
Heavy steel gate to the footpath up through the woodland

Recently felled beech trees by the track
Recently felled beech trees by the track

He explained that the felled trees had become dangerously weakened by a fungus called meripilus giganteus that attacks beech trees. Just to emphasise the point he pushed his fingers into the heart of one of the large beech logs by the path to demonstrate that it was just a soggy mess. He did explain that there was another fungus involved but by the time we had walked another few hundred metres I had forgotten its name. The track was blocked by the forestry machines so we had to divert around them on another track for just a few metres.

At this junction we turned right and walked along the lane to Home Farm. From the farm we continued following a bridleway along the farm track starting to climb up the hillside. About 150m beyond the farm buildings the bridleway bent to our left along the farm track but we turned right through a heavy steel gate following a public footpath along another farm track up into the woodland. As we followed the track up the hillside we passed several large beech trees that had been felled and some heavy forestry equipment. A forestry worked approached us and was keen to chat.

Starting to climb up the hillside from Home Farm
Starting to climb up the hillside from Home Farm

Track up through the woods from Cowesby
Track up through the woods from Cowesby

Diverting round forestry machinery on the track
Diverting round forestry machinery on the track

Rejoining the track just beyond the forestry machines
Rejoining the track just beyond the forestry machines

Following the footpath track up through the woodland
Following the footpath track up through the woodland

The footpath became a narrower sunken track
The footpath became a narrower sunken track

Through the gate we joined the bridleway from Kepwick
Through the gate we joined the bridleway from Kepwick

Following the bridleway along the ridge
Following the bridleway along the ridge

We passed through the gate and turned right to join a public bridleway coming from Kepwick, climbing gently up along the ridge. After about 200m we came to a gate in a stone wall across the track. There should have been a good view across the moor here but today it was all a bit gloomy in the drizzle.

We continued following the public footpath along the track climbing up the hillside. My OS Explorer map shows the path cutting a couple of corners off. On the ground the sunken path followed the narrow track through the woodland up to a pedestrian gate in the wall on the ridge at map ref. SE 473 902.

The footpath became a narrower sunken track
The footpath became a narrower sunken track

Near the top of the climb the track levelled out
Near the top of the climb the track levelled out

Following the bridleway along the ridge
Following the bridleway along the ridge

We continued through the gate across the track
We continued through the gate across the track

Gloomy view from the gate to the misty hills
Gloomy view from the gate to the misty hills

Muddy path through the bracken and birches
Muddy path through the bracken and birches

Muddy path through the scrubland
Muddy path through the scrubland

Path on to Gallow Hill
Path on to Gallow Hill

About 700m from the gate the path bent to our left going around Gallow Hill. We continued along the path to the flat ridge of Gallow Hill and came to a gate at map ref. SE 485 899.

We continued through the gate in the stone wall and followed the wet muddy path through the scrub and birch trees close to the wall on our left, with another wall on our right visible from time to time about 40m away.

Muddy path through the bracken and birches
Muddy path through the bracken and birches

Narrow path round Gallow Hill
Narrow path round Gallow Hill

Path across the top of Gallow Hill
Path across the top of Gallow Hill

Through the gate we turned right heading for Windygill Ridge
Through the gate we turned right heading for Windygill Ridge

Path heading for Windygill Ridge
Path heading for Windygill Ridge

Following the path along Windygill Ridge
Following the path along Windygill Ridge

Following the path along Windygill Ridge
Following the path along Windygill Ridge

Crossing an area of scrubland towards Brickshed Cottage
Crossing an area of scrubland towards Brickshed Cottage

At the corner of the forest at map ref. SE 478 888, the bridleway continued across a fairly flat area of scrub land covered in long coarse grass with birch trees and bracken. We followed the bridleway across this scrubland for about 700m to the edge of a steep wooded bank.

We passed through this gate and immediately turned right following a public bridleway through the NW corner of Boltby Forest to join the track along Windygill Ridge at the western edge of Boltby Forest. As we walked along Windygill Ridge there should have been a good view out to our right but today it was a dull misty wet affair.

Path across the corner of Boltby Forest
Path across the corner of Boltby Forest

Following the path along Windygill Ridge
Following the path along Windygill Ridge

Crossing an area of scrubland towards Brickshed Cottage
Crossing an area of scrubland towards Brickshed Cottage

Crossing an area of scrubland towards Brickshed Cottage
Crossing an area of scrubland towards Brickshed Cottage

Descending the wooded bank above Brickshed Cottage
Descending the wooded bank above Brickshed Cottage

Descending the wooded bank down to Brickshed Cottage
Descending the wooded bank down to Brickshed Cottage

Descending the wooded bank down to Brickshed Cottage
Descending the wooded bank down to Brickshed Cottage

Path across the field to the road at Brickshed Cottage
Path across the field to the road at Brickshed Cottage

At the road we turned left and walked the final 100m back to our parking spot at the road junction and the end of our walk. The whole route had been about 6.5km and it had taken me a little over three hours to walk it. Jim is very patient and keep on waiting for me to catch up.

We continued following the bridleway down the steep bank through the woodland to a gate at map ref. SE 470 888 leading into a field next to Brickshed Cottage. We followed the path along the edge of the field to another gate onto the road in front of Brickshed Cottage.

Descending the wooded bank down to Brickshed Cottage
Descending the wooded bank down to Brickshed Cottage

Gate into the field from the track down the wooded bank
Gate into the field from the track down the wooded bank

Returning to the car at the end of our walk
Returning to the car at the end of our walk

Gate from the field to Ruddings Lane at Brickshed Cottage
Gate from the field to Ruddings Lane at Brickshed Cottage

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