Seahorse Saunter


The Seahorse Saunter is a linear walk of some 43 miles from the White Horse of Kilburn on the edge of the Hambleton Hills to the top of East Cliff at Whitby overlooking the North Sea. Although the way finding is easy enough, the severity of the walk should not be underestimated as the route attains nearly 6000 feet of ascent as it climbs in and out of the steep sided glaciated dales that penetrate the moors. Account must also be taken of the changeable moorland weather and the lack of refreshments available in the first half of the walk. The Saunter encompasses some fine open moors as well as deep wooded valleys and lush green farmland with old packhorse paths worn concave with the passage of time. You will be delighted with the ever changing scenery as you follow in the footsteps of packhorse traders, monks and smugglers. Although designed primarily as a two day walk, the route may well also attract walkers who wish to test their stamina and complete the Saunter in one day. For those who do beat the 24 hour time limit, there is a certificate available as well as the badge which is open to all who complete the walk. Whether you choose to undertake the challenge or the genuine Saunter over two days or more, may I wish you good luck on your venture and enjoy the walk.

Route description to be used in conjunction with O/S maps 1:25000 series East & West sheets North York Moors.

Section 1 — White Horse of Kilburn to Newgate Bank. [9 Miles]

From the White Horse GR515814 walk northwards for 1 mile along the escarpment edge to Eastern Dike GR517826. Turn R. & follow the dike through a wood to reach the A170 & the Hambleton Inn. Pass in front of the Inn down a lane towards Hambleton House GR524834. Turn R. in front of the house, across the paddock, then keeping to the North boundary of Cote Moor Wood, crossing the fields before entering Cold Kirby by a walled lane GR530845. Turn R. down the road to the far side of the village at GR533846 where a path passes to the L. farm buildings & heads directly North, over fields & crossing two minor roads before reaching a deep side dale. Cross the dale on a clear bridleway bearing, R. through a wood reaching a metaled lane from Old Byland. Follow this North, until just before Murton Grange at GR536879 a track on the R. passes to the North of a wood to reach a barn at GR559875. Follow this track bearing R. then L. around Cliff Wood & down a wide track to reach Shaken Bridge Farm GR559882. Pass between the farm buildings & follow the concrete drive to a road then turn R. over the River Rye. After 50 yds go through a gate on the L. via a wood to a lane, turn L. and head toward Broadway Foot. Just before a thatched cottage, turn R. outside the trees, before following a well-used path as it zigzags up through Newgate Plantation to reach the B1257. Turn L. at the road to the entrance of the car park at Newgate Bank GR564888.

Please note that during the hours of darkness Cold Kirby should be bypassed to the West by a minor road re-joining the route at GR532852.

Section 2 — Newgate Bank to Church Houses. [13 Miles]

From the car park follow the wide forest track signposted "Cow House Bank" out onto Rievaulx Moor. After 1˝ miles of open moor pass through a gate on the left GR582906 then go down Rievaulx Bank to reach the South West corner of Roppa Wood. Keep outside the wood the West & then Northern boundaries, passing through another wood on Collis Ridge to reach Old Kiln at GR603924. Pass to the R. of the building and follow the access road from the farm, to reach an unfenced road at GR607924. A cart track straight ahead leads to the ford at Cinderhill Wath, cross a beck & follow a clear cart track across Pockley Moor to reach the ruin of Stork House at GR623945 in Bransdale. Pass between the ruins to a finger post at Stocking Crag then turn R. down the hill to a footbridge at GR622948 over Hodge Beck Climb out of the dale bearing R. over the hill to Low Lidmoor. Pass between the buildings & use the access road to zigzag up the hillside past Moor. House Farm GR632949. At a sharp R. bend after the farm a bearing of 70 degrees will lead across the corner of the moor to reach a post at the unfenced road GR635951. Head North along the road to its highest point and a sign (no access for motor vehicles). Follow the moor track on the R. to the grouse butts on Shaw Ridge GR634976. Turn East along a wide track to cross the old Rudland Rigg Road and a long ridge walk past Dickon Howe to reach Monket House GR661972. At the house turn R. & follow the Low Mill road South East for 150 yds past the T junction to a sign for Church Houses. Follow the sign to your L. down field paths to a bridge over the River Dove. Cross the bridge to reach Mill Lane and turn L. along the lane passing the side of the Faversham Arms GR669975 to enter the cluster of houses that make up Church Houses. This is the end of section two and the half-way point.

Section 3 — Church Houses to Egton Bridge. [12 Miles]

Turn R. in front of the Faversham Arms and go through the village to a Y junction, take the L. fork, Long Lane, signposted (Castleton via Blakey Ridge). A steep road walk leads to a T junction GR683990. Cross the road and go down the cutting to an old railway line, turn R. for 50 yds to find an indistinct path descending the open hillside to a farm track. Follow the track to the R. to reach Moorlands Farm in Rosedale GR691989. At the farm turn L. along a lane toward Hollin Bush Farm, then R. before the house, down a field to a hidden bridge at GR694992. Cross the beck & fields to reach Dale Head Farm GR696993. You can use the telegraph pole as a guide. Keep to the R. of the barn signposted (Great Fryup Dale), and follow a clear path uphill to the old railway. Cross the line & follow the stream over the open moor to the road on Glaisdale Moor at GR703006. Cross the road & keeping to the R. of a shallow ditch (bearing 58) pass between Loose Howe & old mine workings, the indistinct path soon becomes paved (George Gap Causeway) & can be followed over the moor to the head of Great Fryup Dale GR715017. At a wide path turn R. & follow the large dyke (The Gulley or Cut Road) along the edge of the dale join a road at GR729028. Turn L. along the road to Glaisdale Rigg GR741041. Just before the Trig Point turn R. down the old Whitby Road to a junction of tracks GR750046 then bear R. & R. again at the next track passing down Glaisdale Side to join the valley road. Turn L. down the road all the way to the church at Glaisdale, then L. at the Y junction to the Mitre Tavern GR775055. Take the lane opposite the tavern and follow it to where the road, river & railway meet, then cross the footbridge on the R. just before Beggars Bridge GR785055 and follow the clear path to the L. as it meanders through East Arncliffe Wood to meet the road at Delves GR793047. Turn L. at the road & continue downhill past Peat Cottage & over a ford to the Horseshoe Hotel. At the T junction go straight ahead along old pave to reach the river bridge GR8 04051 over the Esk and the end of the section.

Section 4 — Egton Bridge to East Cliff at Whitby. [9 Miles]

Cross the River Esk by the road bridge and take the Old Toll Road from Egton Manor GR804052 along the valley floor to the road at GR824055. Turn L. at the road then R. behind Priory Park to follow the lane to Grosmont Farm GR832063 & Fotherby Farm further to the north. Climb up through the wood behind the farm to find a paved way at the top of the hill. Follow the path to Old Park Lane then R. along the lane past New Biggin Hall GR841069 to Hecks Wood. Continue on a clear path through woods to re-join the flagstones all the way to Back Wood at GR851072. Keep to the R. of the nearly new grubbed area to find a gate at GR853073 that leads out onto a lane. Look out for a footbridge hidden amongst the trees beyond the lane. Cross the stream and follow the flagstones through fields to a lane. Turn R. along the lane to a farm then cross a field to join road at GR861080. Go R. down the road past St. Hilda School to join the A169. Cross the main road by the bridge & follow the riverside B1410 to Ruswarp. At the T junction turn L. past the church to the Post Office at GR889093. The paved way, signposted (To Whitby) passes between houses and then continues across fields to a footbridge. Ascend the steps beyond the bridge and bear R. keeping to the Northern edge of the wood, cross two disused railway lines to reach the school at GR897101. Pass to the R. of the school & cross the new road. A permissible path via a stile crosses a field to join Windsor Terrace. Turn R. and follow the terrace alongside the river to the town centre. Turn R. past the large car park down to the Swing Bridge. Cross the River Esk by the bridge and enter the old town Take the second narrow road on the L., Church Street & follow it to the Abbey Steps… Climb up the cliff by the unrelenting steps, or the Lane to the side, but it is the 199th step overlooking the sea and harbour that is the end of the walk GR901113.