Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Whitby to Grosmont via Egton Bridge - North Yorkshire 23 March 2019

Whitby to Grosmont via Egton Bridge
North Yorkshire
Distance 22km Climb 250m
Saturday 23 March 2019

Staying at the Riftswood B&B owned by Paula and Pete along with Denzil, we were continuing our weekend in Whitby. After our walk yesterday, Whitby to Staithes, today we were going to check out another walk in the area The Esk Valley Walk. I had had a quick look on the map and had an idea of the route we would take.  

Following another full English breakfast, they do set you up for the day. We
left Riftswood and turned left down the footpath to reach the North Promenade where today we turned right, east onto both the ECP and the Cleveland Way.

It was very sunny but still a little cool especially on the coast. We continued along the Promenade, near the Whitby Pavillion we passed the reminder of the bombardment on Whitby and the impact it had on the Coastguard Station. 

Further along The Promenade we passed the Captain Cook statue overlooking the harbour of Whitby. Nearby is the World famous Whale Jaw Bone Arch. On the far side we could see the Church of St Mary's with Whitby Abbey behind.

Walking through the Arch we took the steps down passing the Khyber Pass Café and walked beside the Lifeboat Museum onto Pier Road. Turning right, south, we passed the arcades and shops onto St Anns Staith.

Passing the Swing Bridge that crosses the River Esk we moved onto New Quay Road. Passing HMS Endeavour.  

The Tourist Information was unfortunately closed when we passed so we followed the path from Langborne Road down to the River side. It was nice to see the daffodils.

The path sorts of drifts onto a car park that turns into a boat park. At the far end we reached a gate and a footpath sign directing us along the Riverside Walk to Ruswarp.

The footpath follows between the railway line and a boat yard, it is not long before we were walking between the railway line and the River Esk. It was nice and bright along here. Passing under the A171 road bridge.

Then a little further our path starts turning towards the south west just before we passed under a massive viaduct. An old railway line that is another cycle path/footpath to Robin Hoods Bay. Something to check out on our next visit.

Continuing with the twists and turns the footpath is relatively straight by the railway.

We could see the spire of the parish church in Ruswarp.

Eventually the River Esk turns down to our left away from the footpath as we continue by the railway line. After a few hundred meters we could see the Ruswarp Railway Station across the track. 

We reached the end of the footpath through a gate onto the Ruswarp High Street. Unfortunately we could not see any signs as to which way we should go on the Esk Valley Walk. We turned right and crossed the train tracks, I knew after looking at the map earlier in the day we needed to head towards Sleights so turned left down The Carrs (B1410)which was marked as a cycle route.

After our walk on checking a map the Esk Valley Walk continued on the other side of the Esk, not to worry, no harm done we were out for the day and enjoyed our walk.

It was very warm now so we took our coats off and continued along the road. Passing an old mill, we could see the River Esk on our left. With the wear and sluice that would helped the water towards the mill.

We passed rowing boats and canoes on the River. After a few hundred meters came a sign pointing towards a miniature steam railway. This was were the footpath stops and we were walking by the side of the road. We could see that a lot of people had also walked along here. This was for approximately a mile. We soon arrived at the edge of Sleights Briggswath.

Walking into Sleights we soon reached The River Garden a garden centre with a tea room, so had a short stop, and sat by the River.

After our break we returned to The Carrs (B1410) and continued left, still heading roughly south west. There was a slight climb as the The Carrs (B1410) reached the Coach Road (A169). This was a very busy road and took us some time to cross over.

Once over the road we saw the leaping salmon sign showing we were now back on the Esk Valley Walk, this directed us up along the road to St Oswald Pastoral Retreat Centre. As the path climbed we could see the River and railway line down to our left. It was cool and shaded beneath the trees.

Before reaching the Retreat another leaping salmon sign directed us into a field down to our left, towards Thistle Grove.

Walking down the rise we could see the Valley opening up to us as we followed an ancient stone path. Talking to Pete the next day he told us these were monks stones, and laid to help them travel around the area. You can see how many of them curve in the middle, showing how they have become worn with the number of people who have walked on them over the centuries.

Passing by Thistle Grove we continued following the leaping salmon sign over fields and styles. Near Lodge Farm we came to an area where I think it is the gas companies are doing a lot of work.

Crossing by more fields following in many places the ancient monk stones the Walk took us across a narrow stream into Back Wood.

There was signs that work had been done in the wood and a little confusion as leaping salmon signs were pointing down the stream, however we continued up and found the correct path which in places was very muddy and slippery up a short steep climb. We were heading almost directly west.

Leaving Back Wood we noticed that on the Walk the hedgerows and fences had mainly been to our right giving us views across the Valley to our left. Looking down onto the railway line and the River Esk. It was not far from Back Wood we noticed the path takes us so that the hedgerows and fences were now on our left. Opening up the Valley to our right. 

The Walk took us along the northern edge of Hecks Wood.

The Walk then led us by a couple of sheep fields before joining a road at Newbiggin Hall.

Passing the Hall on our left, a couple of old tractors and a holiday let we continued down the road. Where the road, Old Park Lane turns right, north west, we continued west following the signs through a gate back onto a narrow track of the ancient monk stones.

The Walk took us across the northern edge of Dorsley Bank Wood. Near were the edge of the wood turns north a sign directed us down, south west, through the wood following the ancient monk stones.

At the bottom we turned right, south, onto a farm track, a very white track. Which we could see rise and fall ahead of us. Passing a landscaping firm the track widened.

The track starts turning south west as we join a road and continue to follow the leaping salmon signs.

After a few hundred meters the road travels west moving around an area of houses called Priory Park, before turning more south westerly. At the junction we continued to follow the signs and turned left, south.

We were now walking south towards Grosmont, ignoring the leaping salmon sign pointing south west down a farm track to our right we continued into Grosmont. Over a bridge that crosses the River Esk, moving south east.

Then under a bridge of the Esk Valley Railway on the edge of Grosmont.

It was then a short walk, east, up Front Street to the Station Tavern, were we had a short rest and a refreshing shandy. While we were sitting there we saw a bus heading for Whitby, little did we know, although early afternoon, this was probably the last bus of the day. We had talked about getting the train back, but we had only seen one train all day.

While sitting out in the sun shine I checked my phone and saw that we were sitting close to a Geocache.

So after our rest we continued down a narrow road which is almost opposite the Station Tavern to get the cache. It did mean crossing a ford over the Murk which was slippery in places but I found it. Anne stayed on this side of the ford.

Returning back up to Front Street we checked the times of the trains back to Whitby and saw we had nearly four hours before the next train. We therefore decided to continue on the Esk Valley Walk. Walking back under the Esk Valley Railway Bridge, then over the River Esk I had a quick look near here for another Geocache. It had not been found the last few times so only had a quick look. I did not find it and so we moved on.

Turning down the farm track we had previously ignored, we moved south west. The map shows this as Barnards Road. In places we were close to the River Esk. We passed under another railway bridge.

The road turns westerly as we continued, passing a couple of cottages.

The road straightens out and after a few hundred meters down on our left we noticed a couple of llamas in the grounds of Egton Manor.

At the road junction we turned right, north, up towards St Hedda's Church Egton Bridge.

We walked under the railway bridge and stopped at The Postgate for another drink and think about what we would do next.

This was were we found out that we had missed the last bus to Whitby, and the next train was still three hours away.

We could stay at Egton Bridge, walk on, or return to Grosmont, which is what we did.

Once rested we headed back the way we had come. However before walking back down Barnards Road. I continued down the road a short distance to find the Geocache near the bridge over The Esk. Once collected we returned to Barnards Road.

As we passed the cottages we saw this notice. Sometimes it is good to walk back the way you have come because we did not see this on our way out. An interesting piece of social history.

It did not take us long to return to Grosmont.

There was still some time to wait before we could catch the train back to Whitby. This unfortunately meant another visit to the Station Tavern.

I have since found out that many people who do this walk. Take the train to start their walk from Grosmont or further up the line and walk back to Whitby.

It was no problem we had been on an adventure. We had walked over 22km with over 250m climb. I had also collected a couple of Geocaches so all in all we had had a great day. The weather had been perfect.

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link our previous walk in Whitby. Whitby to Staithes.