Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Country walk at Boltby
It was damp in Boltby, but that didn’t stop GEORGE WILKINSON discovering a lovely route.
BOLTBY was damp, its stream was gushing and the sky was dark downwind. Rain was our concern, how to keep midsummer cool and dry.
Because we had a climb to do, from the flatlands near Thirsk to the North York Moors, using paths with gradients and bends very like the road up nearby Sutton Bank.
Boltby’s dozen or so sandstone cottages snuggle up to the escarpment, but for a while we delayed the climb and entered a pretty valley. Surprisingly the valley seems to have no name; it is discreet, with no through road but is a size. A hall and a grange are placed among the broad leaves. And the rain came down but luckily just the one, typical, heavy shower, on the greenery growing at the full, spangled red, white, yellow and blue.
We crossed the valley stream, Gunton Beck, at a stone slab bridge. Nearby is Hell Hole and very near is a wood once named Worm Hagg Plantation, the worm being a snake.
Yet we aspired to Low Paradise, and climbed there, to where a peacock strutted in the scent of honeysuckle with an outlook to the Vale of York, and then higher still, on the Cleveland Way, to light at the end of a tunnel of trees, to High Paradise, where curlews flew.
There is no next level of paradise; we stay at about one thousand feet for the next two miles along the top of the escarpment. Add though, views to the Dales and the Moors, the sky is wide open.
For a mile we took the old track named Hambleton Road, then at Sneck Yate is a car park, the alternative start for the walk.
Then another stretch of the Cleveland Way, that has, at intervals, evidence of interest in this edge. High Barn is large, of stone and tiles, accompanied by sycamore and in disrepair. A long-abandoned quarry provides ledge space for jackdaws. Hugh son of Baldric once owned land below. But the main enthusiasm for this powerful position occurred 4,000 years ago when the site, now known as Boltby Scar Hillfort, began to develop. The Cleveland Way passes within a stone’s throw of recent archaeological diggings.
A signpost pointed ‘Boltby’ and the bridleway down was slippy in places through the conifer belt, due to horses. A green lane across the valley was lovely, and in Boltby there are mosaics, the most eye-catching, by a stream, of a flashing kingfisher and its friend the shy goose.
When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.
1. Road east through Boltby, pass church, uphill out of village, pass woods on left.
2. Concrete track (sign) on left, barrier gate, 200 yards, stile/fieldgate (fingerpost) on right into field and left by fence. After fenced area within field, angle downhill to lower corner of wood, stile/fieldgate to path by wood, join grass track uphill, stay by fence, right at field corner (waymarked post), 100 yards.
3. Stile/fieldgate (waymark) into wood, path downhill, cross forest track (fingerpost Low Paradise), stile/fieldgate into field, downhill then left near posts on grassy path.
4. At corner of wood/fence, stone slab footbridge on right, uphill, gate (waymark), gate (waymark and between hedges by garden, second stile (waymark) on right, through garden in front of house, metalled drive uphill, 300 yards.
5. At drive T-junction, left to metalled drive, right-hand bend by house, uphill. Gate/fieldgate (waymark) into High Paradise Farm, track through yard, gate/fieldgate out (waymark).
6. Right to walled track (info board).
7. At Sneck Yate car park, right to road (sign Boltby) downhill, 300 yards, track on left, 50 yards, fieldgate (fingerpost Cleveland Way) into field. Pass High Barn (fingerpost), gate (waymark) and right on path by wall, gate (waymark), wall gap, pass 3-way fingerpost, 100 yards.
8. Narrow path (three-way fingerpost Boltby) on right cutting back down hillside, gate(waymark) into forest (some felling), straight on, left-hand bend, cross forest track, 100 yards, gate into field, gate (waymark) into wood and path downhill.
9. At wood edge (three-way fingerpost), path on right, gate into field, path for 100 yards then turn left downhill, fieldgate (sign) to hedged track, fieldgate, footbridge/ford, join metalled green lane into Boltby.
Distance: seven miles.
General location: North York Moors.
Right of way: Public.
Date walked: June 2012.
Road route: Various.
Car parking: Roadside in Boltby, or Sneck Yate car park.
Tourist and public transport information: Sutton Bank 01845 597426.
Map: Drawn from OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors western.
Terrain: Valley and tops.
• Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.