Let's Walk the North York Moors – Northern Area
The North York Moors
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UK mainland only
For this guide, the northern area of the National Park extends from Great Ayton in the west, north past Guisborough, and east along the Esk Valley. The southern perimeter traces the main North York Moors watershed before veering north to Whitby.
The highest moorland areas lie to the south near the watershed, divided west to east by Eskdale and separated by a series of intimate and scenic tributary dales, which join the river Esk’s primary valley as it flows to the North Sea. The Esk is one of the few rivers in Yorkshire that supports salmon and has been popular with fisherfolk for centuries. Although it is the principal river within the National Park, the Esk’s source is not a singular bubbling spring but a series of trickling becks or Esklets, which merge as they flow into the valley. Then the river meanders its way east for 25 miles (40km) to Whitby, accompanied by its guardian moors, with a patchwork of green fields lining the valley floor. Meanwhile, the Esk’s many tributaries rise along its southern flanks to the loftiest moorland. These include Westerdale – regarded as the head of Eskdale – Danby Dale, the Fryup Dales, Glaisdale and the valleys of the Murk Esk and Littlebeck. All these dales are modest in length, with only that of the Murk Esk containing a sizeable village.
However, the main valley has a string of enchanting villages sited along its length, many acting as gateways to the side valleys. Almost every village has a railway station, with the Esk Valley Railway Line providing the ideal mode of travel in an area with narrow, winding and often very steep roads.
The northern area of the National Park has modest forestry covering, mainly to the west above Guisborough. In contrast, heather and ling clothe the moors, while field boundaries, meadows and dry-stone walls distinguish the dales. Eskdale has many opportunities for walkers, from leisurely rambles in the lower valley to challenging moorland treks for the more energetic.
This personal guide incorporates:
Full-colour maps with numberedarrow pointers for each of the walks.
Route directions with grid references beside each map to aid navigation.
Background information for each walk.
Illustrated with 29 colour photographs of prominent features seen during the walks.
Walks in the North York Moors
|Roseberry Topping and Highcliffe Nab
|Baysdale Abbey and Kildale
|Danby Dale and Westerdale
|The Pannierman's Causeway
|Danby Beacon and Lealholm Moor
|Beggar's Bridge and Lower Glaisdale
|The Cleveland Dyke and the Murk Esk
|Mallyan Spout and Wade's Causeway
|Falling Foss and John Bond's Sheep House
|The distances are in miles
Sample pages of walks featured in the books can be viewed and printed out from The Walks page.