Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Country walk at Mallyan Spout near Goathland
This week, GEORGE WILKINSON enjoys a magical walk at Mallyan Spout.
Goathland has its steam trains but it’s also a most popular place to walk from and there were anoraks a plenty on the Rail Trail, our busiest mile this year, steep and straight down an incline to the vicinity of Beck Hole and its tiny pub. A train hooted and sloes ripened.
It was too soon to stop and drink so we turned away and crossed West Beck which joins Eller Beck, becomes the Murk Esk which joins the River Esk and then to Whitby. There was a strong flow.
A climb took us up, through the shafted light of conifers, of midge air and cobwebs, to the autumn colours of deciduous trees and a single geranium flower.
Julian Park gave views to the surround of moor, and the park is crossed by a track with quality dry stone walls each side capped by wedge-shaped stones.
Also the park carries a tale from King Arthur’s time concerning a Julian of Goathland a ‘hard and cruel master’ with a thing about the ‘maidens of Eskdale’.
After admiring the outbuildings at Julian Park Farm, we took a bit of a back road, with a flurry of sat nav traffic perhaps.
Anyway, the road dived down to West Beck and followed the big beck for a mile and though we were in quite deep shade and the water looked cold, the tree top canopy was glowing sun-soaked gold. And while the beck crashed, gushed and rushed through rocks, sharp-edged, square-shaped and up to van-sized, we, and a traffic of others, picked our way through the same rocks at the riverside.
The valley is steep and hems you to the water, so much so that two long and interesting foot bridges close together are required to bypass a vertical bank.
This route gained its popularity in Victorian times, in part for its gothic drama, despite the scrambling, and now it still attracts, the stretch of Lycra, the rustle of Gortex, rather than the lifting of petticoats.
But mostly they came, they come, for the Mallyan Spout waterfall, which on the day was falling, for all its 70 nearly vertical feet, as a crystal curtain over and in the vivid mosses, rain-forest style, and we were lucky with the low sun which caught it and reflected, refracted and sparkled.
A steepish climb, with benches, took us out of the valley to emerge at the Mallyan Spout Hotel, and a last half mile is nicely restful, a warm-down, on stone flagged pavement, pleasant through Goathland’s common of sheep and rough grass, and by the B&Bs.
When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.
1. From Public Conveniences at the far end of the National Parks car park, left to road, 200 yards, gate on left (fingerpost Grosmont Rail Trail), cross road, gate (fingerpost), down incline path. Gate, pass Incline Cottage, path becomes track.
2. At right-hand bend, for a diversion to Beck Hole continue on track and through fieldgate. Otherwise left (four-way fingerpost, bridleway Thackside), 100 yards, footbridge over West Beck into woods, straight on not left, footbridge over water, steps uphill into wood, path.
3. Path swings left (fingerpost, blue waymark). At short length of fencing/rails, ignore a right with blue waymark and follow yellow waymark uphill, gate, wood-edge path by fence, gully, gate into wood, stile/fieldgate out of wood, grass track uphill 100 yards.
4. Right at corner, 200 yards, fieldgate to walled track, left to road at farm.
5. Over bridge and immediately path and stile on left (fingerpost, Goathland sign on fence), path by river. Some scrambling, some steep drops, some path splits that rejoin after a short distance.
6. Straight on at junction (three-way fingerpost Mallyan Spout ¼ mile), downhill, steps and stile, footbridge over river, 100 yards, over footbridge back, about 20 steps up, footbridge, steps down, pass Mallyan Spout waterfall, bench, bench.
7. Right uphill (3-way fingerpost Goathland 1/3 mile), steps and more benches, at top left to road and pavement into Goathland.
Distance: Five miles.
General location: North York Moors.
Right of way: Public.
Date walked: October 2011.
Road route: Via A169.
Car parking: Adjacent pay car parks in Goathland.
Lavatories: Car park.
Refreshments: Inns and cafes at Goathland, Inn at Beck Hole.
Tourist and public transport information: Whitby TIC 01723 383636.
Map: Drawn from OS OL27 North York Moors eastern.
Difficulty: Half a mile of scrambling.
Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.