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Following the bridleway down the farm access road to Thackside Farm
Following the bridleway down the farm access road to Thackside Farm

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Route No. 814 - Thursday 6 August 2020
Beck Hole, Murk Esk Cottage, Struntry Carr,
Randy Rigg, Thackside Farm, Combs Wood
4km circuit - North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area


The road in Beck Hole looking to the bridge over Ella Beck from our parking spot
The road in Beck Hole looking to the bridge over Ella Beck from our parking spot
We set off along the path at the finger post in the bottom right hand corner of the photo

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The scarecrow on the roof is ready for the village competition
The scarecrow on the roof is ready for the village competition

Footpath from Beck Hole towards the rail trail
Footpath from Beck Hole towards the rail trail

Between our parking spot and Ella Beck there is a public footpath heading south west through a gate across an access track. We set off along this path and after about 100m we came to a finger post at the "Rail Trail" track along the valley. At the finger post we turned right to walk along the rail trail track. Where we joined this track is the site of the former Beck Hole railway station and there is an information board there with the historical details.

A fine but cloudy day was forecast for the North York Moors so this morning my friend, Jim, and I drove to Beck Hole between Goathland and Grosmont and parked on the roadside at map ref. NZ 821 023. Near our parking spot there is the road bridge over Ella Beck as is flows to its confluence with the Murk Esk, quite a pretty watercourse despite its name.

Setting off along the footpath from Beck Hole
Setting off along the footpath from Beck Hole

Beck Hole path joining the rail trail
Beck Hole path joining the rail trail


Plaque about Beck Hole railway station fixed to a stone column

The rail trail along the bed of the old horse drawn railway
The rail trail along the bed of the old horse drawn railway

Restoration project in progress
Restoration project in progress

Gate across the path to Murk Esk Cottage
Gate across the path to Murk Esk Cottage

Our path crossed this bridge over a bend in the beck
Our path crossed this bridge over a bend in the beck

The watercourse next to the path is called Oakly Beck and rises on Murk Mire Moor about 2km to the west of our position. We crossed several footbridges over meanders in the beck before the path settled down to climb up the old farm access track towards Murk Esk Cottage.

After about 500m along the track we came to the bridge over the Murk Esk where a full scale renovation project was in progress. About 100m beyond these construction works we turned left off the track through a gate onto a public footpath heading through the trees and starting to climb up the hillside towards Murk Esk Cottage.

Bench end with carved horses & passengers at the far end
Bench end with carved horses & passengers at the far end

Turning left off the railtrail to the path to Murk Esk Cottage
Turning left off the rail trail to the path to Murk Esk Cottage

Our path was joined by another coming over this bridge
Our path was joined by another coming over this bridge

Bridge across another bend in the beck
Bridge across another bend in the beck

The path began to climb up away from the beck to Murk Esk Cottage
The path began to climb up away from the beck to Murk Esk Cottage

Path up towards Murk Esk Cottage
Path up towards Murk Esk Cottage

Ruined farm cottage below Murk Esk Cottage
Ruined farm cottage below Murk Esk Cottage

Path up the hillside from Murk Esk Cottage
Path up the hillside from Murk Esk Cottage

We continued up the slope along the footpath to the left hand corner of Murk Esk Cottage. From the corner of the cottage we continued along the path heading west climbing up the hillside. Near the start of this climb there was a nice view across the valley of the Murk Esk.

First we came to a derelict stone cottage to the left of the path with a partly collapsed roof and overgrown with ivy. To the right of the path here there were a pair of old stone gate posts and the mown grass of a garden beyond with a small garden feature that seemed to be built from the stone of long since demolished farm out buildings.

Old stone gate posts by land where farm sheds once stood
Old stone gate posts by land where farm sheds once stood

The path up to the left hand corner of Murk Esk Cottage
The path up to the left hand corner of Murk Esk Cottage

Path up the hillside from Murk Esk Cottage
Path up the hillside from Murk Esk Cottage

Looking back over Murk Esk Cottage as we climbed up the hillside
Looking back over Murk Esk Cottage as we climbed up the hillside

Path up through the woods to the road near Struntry Carr
Path up through the woods to the road near Struntry Carr

Old sunken track up to the road near Struntry Carr
Old sunken track up to the road near Struntry Carr

Path up through the woods to the road near Struntry Carr
Path up through the woods to the road near Struntry Carr

At the road we turned left and walked along the road. After about 200m we passed a house on our right at Struntry Carr.

We followed the path for about 600m from Murk Esk Cottage to the road at the western edge of the wood.

Old sunken track up to the road near Struntry Carr
Old sunken track up to the road near Struntry Carr

Old sunken track up to the road near Struntry Carr
Old sunken track up to the road near Struntry Carr

Path up through the woods to the road near Struntry Carr
Path up through the woods to the road near Struntry Carr

Turning left onto the road near Struntry Carr
Turning left onto the road near Struntry Carr

The road past Struntry Carr towatds Thackside farm
The road past Struntry Carr towards Thackside farm

Turning onto the access road to Thackside Farm
Turning onto the access road to Thackside Farm

Here we turned left off the road to follow a public bridleway along the farm access road down to Thackside Farm where there was a lovely view across the Murk Esk valley.

We continued along the road past Struntry Carr for about 1km past Randy Mere reservoir to the right of the road and on to the access road to Thackside Farm on our left.

The road past Struntry Carr towatds Thackside farm
The from Struntry Carr towards Thackside Farm

The access road to Thackside Farm
The access road to Thackside Farm

Looking down over Thackside Farm from the access road
Looking down over Thackside Farm from the access road

Turning left off the access road to the gate after the oil tank
Turning left off the access road to the gate after the oil tank

Bridleway down the side of the farm buildings
Bridleway down the side of the farm buildings

Bridleway along the bottom of the farm site
Bridleway along the bottom of the farm site

Gate into the top edge of Combs Wood
Gate into the top edge of Combs Wood

Just beyond the farm the path turned right and then left along the edge of the fields to reach the top edge of Combs Wood. The path continued along the top edge of the wood for about 100m before turning left to drop down the hillside through the wood.

We walked down the access road to the edge of the farm where there was a large raised oil tank on our left. The public bridleway kept left past the oil tank to a field gate taking the path/bridleway down the side of the farm.

Gate to the bridleway down the side of the farm buildings
Gate to the bridleway down the side of the farm buildings

The bridleway turned right along the bottom of the farm site
The bridleway turned right along the bottom of the farm site

Bridleway along the field edge to the top of Combs Wood
Bridleway along the field edge to the top of Combs Wood

Bridleway along the top edge of Combs Wood next to the fields
Bridleway along the top edge of Combs Wood next to the fields

The bridleway turned left here to drop down the hillside through Combs Wood
The bridleway turned left here to drop down the hillside through Combs Wood

Bridleway straight down the hillside through Combs Wood
Bridleway straight down the hillside through Combs Wood


The bridleway turned left, & a footpath joined us from our right

At the fence we turned left and followed the footpath and bridleway gently down the hillside for another 100m. Here we came to a way mark post showing the bridleway going straight ahead and the footpath turned right heading straight down the hillside.

After about 220m there was a post and rail fence ahead where the ground fell steeply away straight ahead. Here the bridleway met a public footpath coming down the hillside from our right.

Bridleway straight down the hillside through Combs Wood
Bridleway straight down the hillside through Combs Wood

The remnants of a paved pack horse pannier way
The remnants of a paved pack horse pannier way

The bridleway carried straight on at the waymark post but we turned right along the footpath down the slope
The bridleway carried straight on at the way mark post but we turned right along the footpath down the slope

Footpath down the slopeto some stone steps
Footpath down the slope to some stone steps

Short boardwalk at the bottom of the stone steps
Short boardwalk at the bottom of the stone steps

We made our way down the stone steps to a short length of boardwalk over some marshy land leading us to a bridge over the Murk Esk.

We turned right at the way mark post and followed the footpath down hill for another 100m to some stone steps with a wooden handrail.

Making our way down the stone steps with the wooden handrail
Making our way down the stone steps with the wooden handrail

Short boardwalk from the stone steps towards the Murk Esk
Short boardwalk from the stone steps towards the Murk Esk

Bridge over the Murk Esk
Bridge over the Murk Esk

The Murk Esk seen from the bridge
The Murk Esk seen from the bridge

The track to Beck Hole
The track to Beck Hole

Gate to the road in Beck Hole
Gate to the road in Beck Hole

At the road we turned left and walked along the road over the bridge over Ella Beck and back to our parking spot at the end of our walk. The whole route had been a little over 4km and it had taken me around two and a half hours to walk it. Jim was very patient and kept waiting for me to catch up.

Across the bridge there was a finger post at the rail trail path. We followed the finger post direction to Beck Hole and this brought us to a gate to an access track. We followed the access track for about 75m to another gate onto the road by the pub in Beck Hole.

Finger post showing the way to Beck Hole etc.
Finger post showing the way to Beck Hole etc.

The track to Beck Hole
The track to Beck Hole

We reached the road opposite the pub in Beck Hole
We reached the road opposite the pub in Beck Hole

Crossing the bridge over Ella Beck heading back to our parking spot in Beck Hole at the end of our walk
Crossing the bridge over Ella Beck heading back to our parking spot in Beck Hole at the end of our walk

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