When giving thought to the creation of a new long distance walk on the N.Y.M., an analysis of existing walks led the authors to the conclusion that any new walk would need to have something different about it, while at the same time still he representative of all that was best about walking on the N.Y.M. in that such considerations were taking place in the Lion Inn on Blakey Rigg, it should not be surprising that we eventually tried to create a walk that linked together some of our favourite moorland Inns.
The above criteria gave us the framework for what we hoped would be a good walk; but in that we still did not consider it to be sufficiently different, it was agreed that a "rule" stating that every walker must have a drink in every one of the Inns would create that type of "peculiar" and unusual walk that we were aiming for.
The N.Y.M. Wobble is the tested outcome of our deliberations and we hope that interested walkers will treat it as an open Challenge Walk, undertake it for fun not speed, enjoy it for the scenery and its hostelries, and above all carry it out in the spirit of good companionship that pervaded our first completion.
The description below should be complemented through reference to the N.Y.M. O.S. 1:25,000 Outdoor Leisure Maps - NW/SW and NE/SE Sheets.
The walk starts and finishes at the "The Royal Oak Inn" in the village of Gillamoor (SE 684 901) where there is ample safe parking on either side of the wide village street. As you head North East up the street and as you pass the village church on your right, you may wish to register that your finish to the walk will involve you in coming up the lane to the right of this small church. After pausing at surprise view with its magnificent vista of the moors the route follows the road down to the Lowna Car Park which is the first turning on the left after you have passed the signposted turning for Farndale.
Walk through the Car Park and follow the track as it heads for the River Dove which you reach after crossing a stream. Check your map and make sure that you are taking the right of way on the west side of the Dove as it heads north up Farndale. This track takes you past the old Quakers burial ground, climbs gently up along the edge of the moor and after crossing a path running down to the river it takes you through a short stretch of forestry before again crossing the moor onto the track leading to Park Farm.
Leave the farm on your right and continue N.N.E. towards Cross Farm. Here, a compass bearing of 10° magnetic from the gate at the far end of the farmyard takes you across the field to a stile and track which takes you back down to the Dove and a footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn left to follow the river for about 50 yds before turning right and heading diagonally uphill through a field towards the gate at its top left hand corner. A few yards further takes you to the tarmacadam road in front of Rawson Syke Farm where a left turn leads you gently along the road to Low Mills Public Car Park.
The section from Low Mills to your first Inn is along the very well known Daffodil Route as it follows the left bank of the river to Church Houses village. The "Feversham Arms" comes into view as you walk up the lane after you have gone through the High Mills complex.
Having enjoyed your first drink at your first port of call and having taken the Castelton road out of the village, you face a steady and increasingly steepening road climb out of the valley until you reach Blakey Crossing. On turning left at the Crossing you have the choice of either walking along the road or along the old railway for your next libation at "The Lion Inn" on Blakey Rigg. If you decide to take the railway route please remember that you turn right off the railway after you have passed the last field. i.e. the Lyke Wake Walk turn off.
Cross the road on leaving the "Lion Inn" and with the modern barn conversion on your left drop down to the old Rosedale ironstone railway. A right turn here takes you above Rosedale as you head South past what is left of Sheriff's Pit for Rosedale Bank Top. On a good day the views to your left are quite something. However, when you approach the end of the railway and some 100 yds before the row of what were Railway Cottages, turn left down a clearly defined track and when it peters out it should not be difficult for you to make your own way down the bank to the road. Turn left, head down the one in three slope and before long find yourself at the third watering hole - "The White Horse Farm Inn". A quick halt here is suggested because the remaining short stretch of hill and a left turn after crossing the bridge at the bottom will takes you into Rosedale village, where your fourth Inn - "The Milburn Arms" - is ideal for an extended lunch break and a meeting with a support group if you are using one.
On leaving "The Milburn Arms" turn right and right again in order that you are heading N.W. out of the village. In 50 yds, just before the converted Chapel, turn right and climb over a stile into the first of 11 fields that you have to cross as you climb up North Dale towards Northdale Farm. In the 11th field angle right to a ruined farm from which a track leads to the road that goes to Northdale Farm.
On reaching this road turn right and when opposite another ruined farm on the left, turn right again through a gate and onto a track that takes you up the field and through another gate into the uppermost field. From this gate a magnetic bearing of 42° enables you to reach the moor gate in the top left corner of this field. Continue on this bearing, cross a wide track and follow the grouse butts across Northdale Rigg until you reach Hamer Beck. Once across the beck keep the field wall on you right as you walk up to the corner from which a compass yomp on 74° magnetic takes you to the Rosedale - Glaisdale Road at SE 744 992. You should be about 500 yds South of Hamer House ruins which are considered by some to be the location of the old Lettered Board Inn?
From Grid Reference SE 744 992 take the track heading South East towards Hamer and Owlet Moor, and after passing the walled/enclosed fields on your left, angle further South on the clear track that heads towards Higher Row Mires Farm. After walking some 800 yds from the enclosed fields, take a magnetic bearing of 113° in order to hit the fence around Howth Rigg at some 50 yds South of the corner of the fence. You now need to walk around the corner to the gate and stile that give you access to the enclosure. A bearing of 157° magnetic will take you to the stile at the far corner which leads to the path that skirts Cropton forest. Follow this path for approximately 2000 yds before turning right and dropping down past Head House Farm to the valley floor and Hartoft Beck. [Pacing and accurate compass work will be required if it is "claggy" on the Hamer and Owlet Moor Section.]
You now have a very pleasant walk along the valley floor, as the route takes you over Muffles Bridge, past Low Muffles and along the forestry commission track to Hartoft Bridge. When you arrive at the Rosedale/Cropton road you will need to turn right in order to go up the hill to have what will be a well deserved drink at your fifth Inn - "The Blacksmith's Arms" at Hartoft End.
To reach your next Inn at Cropton village you have the choice of two routes:
Bear right on reaching the village green and within some 100 yds your sixth Inn, "The New Inn", will appear on your right. Six down and Four to go!
On leaving "The New Inn" for Appleton Le Moors village, you again have a choice of routes:
Cross the river, reach the road as it begins its climb out of the valley. Turn right and after about 250 yds you will need to turn left onto a farm track, following this immediately with a right turn onto a narrow and partially hidden path which climbs steeply through the wood until it reaches a stile which gives you access to one of Appleton Le Moor's classic long fields. Follow the path on the right of the field, that is with the hedge on your right, and eventually find yourself on one of Appleton's "back lanes", where a left turn and an immediate right leads you onto a path between the houses and gardens, which disgorges you onto the village street almost opposite the "The Moors Inn".
After slaking your thirst at the seventh Inn (usually open at 7pm), turn left and head North towards the village of Lastingham. Yet again you have a choice of routes with both routes entailing a gentle walk along Kirkgate and Oldfield Lanes for about a mile and a quarter to the left turn for Spaunton village. When you reach this junction you may:
A right turn outside the Blacksmith's Arms takes you along the Hutton Le Hole road. This road climbs gently up to the Spaunton turnoff at which you turn right at the large tree (Oak or Chestnut?) and head for Hutton. After walking towards Hutton for about half a mile, turn left onto the public footpath which takes you down through the trees to the Fairy Beck footbridge. Cross over the beck, traverse four fields, pass the local bowling green and find yourself right in the heart of Hutton Le Hole; only some 200 yds from the ninth Inn, "The Crown", which is up the road to your right on the right.
After quenching your thirst at "The Crown", turn or stagger right and take the left fork, the Castleton road, north out of the village. When some 150 yds beyond the junction take a left turn over a stile onto a public right of way which heads North East across the fields. In that the first part of this route is indistinct, particularly in the dark and after nine visitations, keep referring to your map and compass until you hit the narrow cart track on your right. Follow this track to the open moor bellow Pillow Mounds and head west towards Grouse Hall and the footbridge across a stream to its south. If you angle too far left in the dark you will get to a farm track - turn right and walk up the track looking for the stream and stile on your left. If you angle too far right you get drop down into boggy ground - turn left and look for the stream and stile on your right (I've done both in the dark.)
Immediately you are across the stream take a magnetic bearing of 279° in order to reach a stile at the other side of the field, with the same bearing taking you to the stile which is at the far end of the second field. After climbing over this stile it is necessary to stay on the left hand side of the field while walking down to the footbridge that crosses the river Dove at the renovated mill. The right of way goes immediately behind the mill after which it joins the mill's access road as it climbs to the Gillamoor road. Just as the slope begins to flatten out and the track turns to the right, look for another track going back and up to your left. This track will take you below Surprise View and, as it eventually curves up to the right, will lead you to the left of the church and back onto the main street of Gillamoor. A fast sprint down the road to dump your kit in the car and enjoy the last drink in your tenth and final Inn - "The Royal Oak".