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Country walk at Fylingthorpe Moor
2:17pm Saturday 30th July 2011 in Country walks
FYLINGTHORPE Moor, or Fylingdales Moor, is one of those sea-view moors and this walk is a thorough exploration, although thorough is a dull description for the beauty of it. The car parks at Brow Top have the view and within a half mile you’re standing at the trig point at 700 feet with the great curve of Robin Hood’s Bay below, the village one end, the cliffs at Ravenscar the other; and it’s a variation on this for miles, and brilliant with flowers, especially the stands of fireweed.
Dog walk territory gives way to quieter lands where grassy moor had a purple haze and, pulling level with Whitby a few miles distant, the abbey was clear in the on-and-off sunshine.
Eventually we turned our back on the sea to cross the heather moor and came face to face with a certain international puzzlement as Coast-to-Coast walkers heading for Robin Hood’s Bay checked their maps.
A pair from Holland said it was the first time they’d been unsure of the route since they left the west of the country. Another pair, perhaps from Essex, one didn’t like to ask, we reassured, and a German told her Australian man that “women are better navigators”.
There is a boggy bit, although well boarded where it counts and Fyling may mean marshy ground.
After a family of Danes, all in shorts, we crossed to major heather. Two seagulls drifted low, a kestrel hovered and dived, and a caged crow was there to attract and trap another. Luckily someone had mown the path the mile through the heather, many thanks for this and we moved easily between Far Middle Sike and Nigh Middle Sike to Thorn Key Wath, where there’s a good waterfall but, please note, a ford and not a bridge.
The last mile or so is right on the edge of the moor, along Standing Stones Rigg; the ancients appreciated the sea view too. We were sated and reverted to our argument as to whether the colours of nature can clash, as with azure sea and purple heather.
I can sympathise with Evelyn Waugh, I think it was him, who when dragged from the bar for a lurid South Seas sunset said he’d never seen anything so ghastly.
If you’re taken with this place at high summer sunset time there are notices at the car parks reading “No Overnight Parking or Camping by Order of the Manor of Fyling Court Leet” which sounds like you could be thrown into dungeons or tossed shackled from a cliff.
When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.
1. From car parks either side of road on the brow, take straight bridleway track north west (bridleway sign), 100 yards after passing between gorse bushes, path on right to visible trig point.
2. From trig point path curves right, 20 yards, fork left downhill, 50 yards, left to track.
3. Track on left before entrance to Skerry Hall Farm, on bend fork left uphill to grassy track between fence and gorse, left to good stone track.
4. At A171 right to verge, 200 yards, cross road to stile in fence by entrance to Ferm Farm etc., 100 yards across grass, left by old hedge, tied up gate.
5. Fieldgate, 50 yards over grass and through gorse and left uphill, stile by fieldgate to moor and right fork to path at 1 o’clock, becomes very clear narrow path.
6. Duck boards over stream, clear narrow path continues, occasional posts, not all pristine.
7. Stile by fieldgate (Coast-to-Coast fingerpost), cross road to fieldgate, path 1 o’clock for 200 yards.
8. TAKE CARE here, mown path on left through heather and cross ditch almost immediately, 200 yards, pass between bird box and tree, over half a mile.
9. Down to ford above waterfall, again take care (indistinct waymarks) straight on, fieldgate to track.
10. Left to road verge, 200 yards, cross road to track on right (fingerpost), 50 yards, stile by fieldgate (waymark) path ten o’clock, forks and rejoins, becomes track, track swings right, right to stone track.
11. Left to grass track before cattlegrid and farmyard, uphill, (waymark post nearby), stile by wall and fence, keep to path near wall/fence.
12. Stile by fence (waymark) and left to stone track to car park.
Distance: Six miles.
General location: Near Whitby.
Start: Brow Top half a mile west of Fylingthorpe.
Right of way: Public and open access land.
Date walked: July 2011.
Road route: Off A171 towards Fylingthorpe.
Car parking: Free car parks.
Tourist and public transport information: Whitby TIC 01723 383636.
Map: Drawn from OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors eastern.
Difficulty: Moderate if fine.
Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.