GEORGE WILKINSON enjoys a moorland walk at Glaisdale, where he bumps into an old friend, an actor turned farmer.

GLAISDALE’S Hall Lane had farm machinery embedded in the verges and agricultural plastic snagged on the wires.

Then came the clean moor, the Low Moor part of Glaisdale Moor, and across it the wide track of Glaisdale Rigg and, all considered, not a bad walk.

A silver Landrover plastered in adverts for ‘driving events’ trundled past. Then, bar a few other walkers, we had the track to ourselves for a steady mile where for many a year the traveller has taken the road, smugglers even.

Off to the right is a horizon of heather; off to the left lies Glaisdale the valley, of green fields to level moors and, in the head, the low cloud eddied.

Glaisdale Moor is well defined, with a valley on its three sides and a thin neck of ridge to connect to the High Moor. The next path cuts across the width and is good. The start is graced with a mid-moor highway ‘Public Bridleway’ sign, neat in resilient modern steel.

Nearby is a stone in a socket that seems a moorland cross but is an old guide stone chiselled on one face with ‘WHITBY ROAD’ and on another with ‘GISBRO(U?) and underneath, ‘GH: ROAD’. The other two faces were too weathered to read.

Different stones guide, but on the thin path you have that feeling of being out the way. A flock of waders put on a flying display and in a spring full of spawn there was gruesome frog mating.

We reached a road and at a junction the rusted sign pointed to all corners: ‘Lealholm 1, Rosedale 8, Fryup 2, Danby 4 and Glaisdale 8’; these are back roads, there were more cyclists than cars. Busco Beck Farm is in transition, with new barns for old.

Our route had clipped the spring line, but so far it had avoided Glaisdale Swang, as in the Norse for a “hollow usually more or less boggy”.

The swang is certainly boggy, where two fans of streams collect before dropping down to the River Esk and, though we found a path across it, also marked with stones, we chose a different way back.

So, our track leads down and dry with fit, regenerating, gorse bushes each side. And then there is the road through a length of Glaisdale, with houses of various sorts and a backdrop of Esk Dale.

Here I bumped into an old friend, Mark Stratton, a farmer turned professional actor, he’d been on the moor. Every August his ace Esk Valley Theatre puts on a play at the village’s Robinson Institute. This year he directs All Things Considered, a comedy by Ben Brown.

Gazette & Herald:


When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed (wm = waymark, fp = fingerpost).

1. From The Green, up Mill Lane (dead-end). Gates to track and moor (Danby Estate info board). Main track for 1¼ miles.

2. Left fork at ‘Y’ junction, 100 yards, path on right in heather (metal bridleway sign), 100 yards, cross track and continue on narrow path through heather marked with 3 stones for 400 yards.

3. Stone slab bridge with stone markers. Continue on path, and ignore a faint left uphill to keep below old quarry heaps.

4. Right to road downhill (fingerpost), verge, first road on right (Glaisdale 2).

5. On left-hand bend and just before cattlegrid, stone track on right (sign), grass after house and downhill to new fieldgate, track then path downhill through gorse. Left to track after house, downhill.

6. Right to road and through Glaisdale village.

Gazette & Herald:

Fact file

Distance: Five miles.

Car parking: Roadside in Glaisdale.

Right of way: Public.

Date walked: March 2015.

Tourist information: Moors Centre 01439 772737.

Refreshments: Arncliffe Arms, Glaisdale.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors eastern.

Terrain: Moor.

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.