Woodland wonders


Your Day Out, by Maureen Robinson

Mention Goathland, and one immediately relates to the fictitious village of Aidensfield which featured in the TV series Heartbeat.

This week, Your Day Out presents a walk which departs from Goathland’s church. Cross the road and pass through the kissing gate beside Mallyan Spout Hotel. A sign indicates ‘Mallyan Spout’.

Follow the route downhill into the wooded valley, taking care in wet weather. Descending through woodland glades one soon glimpses shafts of sunlight filtering through the trees to create scintillating silver on the water’s surface. Reaching the bubbling waters of West Beck, turn left at a signpost to Mallyan Spout.

Reaching the Mallyan Spout waterfall, admire its impressive, thundering 70ft fall – a shimmering cascade after heavy rain. Take care beyond the waterfall, as the path may be slippery as you proceed over a couple of footbridges, a stile, and some steps. Go about another mile before you discover a stile leading onto the Egton road.

Here, turn left along the road to ascend the hill. Stop where the road elbows left. Leave the road and go right through a gate to follow a bridleway. Go left down a path and cross a bridge to head beside buildings. Pass through a gate and walk across a field.

Whilst crossing the field you enter a waymarked gate into woodland to your right. The stony track ascends to a gate. Go through, and shortly turn right up the field, alongside walling. Then you reach a gate fronting you as you exit the woodland. Go left at the top of the field through a gateway. Proceed with a wall to your right. Enter a waymarked gateway seen in the wall. Walk up the next field, and you’ll discover your exit via a gate onto a metalled lane. Turning left along the lane, pass through a gate to follow the Roman Road sign. Enter two more gates by the farm, and keep to the public bridleway signs as you meet a green lane.

Another two handgates to negotiate, and then your descent approaches a further gate and stile. Hop over the stile and walk onwards to reach a ford.

Crossing the ford, keep straight ahead along a gated track. Eventually you reach a road by farm buildings. Turn right up the road. Just before a wooden garage, turn left.

You’re now on a green track which leads up the hillside. Hunt House Road soon runs roughly parallel to your route.

Veer right towards a small cairn on the ridge. Then veer left to keep below and parallel to the ridge of rocks.

Take a left fork by another cairn so that you walk slightly downhill to join an open track.

Before long, and all too soon you’ll view Goathland and your ramble’s end. Passing a public bridleway sign, drop down to the road near the church. This returns you to your departure point.

Distance: 4.5 miles.

Refreshment: Several places in Goathland itself, including inns.

Access: Goathland is 8 miles south-west of Whitby. Park at the west side of the village near the church.

Map: Is a rough guide only.

Map reference: Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 27, North York Moors Eastern Area. Scale 2½inches to 1 mile.