After the disappointment of yesterday’s walk we decide to visit a more popular area today. We have been told that Falling Foss and the surrounding area is attractive and my old walking book has a suitable walk.
We start from the car park at Falling Foss and go down the lane to the 30 feet waterfall. An attractive sight, which I imagine, would be spectacular after extensive rainfall. We walk by the tearooms at Midge Hall alongside May Beck, turning up a broad farm track within fifty yards.
We follow the uphill track passing through Foss Farm, shortly afterwards we leave the track and take the footpath to our right leading to Leas Head Farm. In the farmyard we stop to survey the map to ensure we take the correct route and have an engaging conversation with the farmer. He explains where all the footpaths lead and gives both dogs a good stroke. He has lived here for over forty years and is very friendly, (some farmers we have met would clearly prefer you not to be on the footpaths crossing their land), perhaps it is this idyllic location that makes him so good humoured.
We leave the farm yard by the footpath that leads onto the Leas Head Road (which is really a track) this takes us across a couple of fields. We then encounter a field with Bears and their calves. Smack bang in the middle of the track is a big Bull Bear. We contemplate our options. We have little appetite for a bear encounter and the map shows that if we retrace our steps a couple of hundred yards there is another footpath that will eventually take us to the next point on our walk. This option is unanimously accepted.
We cross a couple of fields (of sheep) and then join a track that takes us to open moorland. Following a clear path we meander across the moor until we reach a broad track running alongside pylons. We turn left to follow the track as it climbs up onto the moor.
We go over Parsley Beck and continue until we reach the top of the hill. Here we turn left to walk along Whinstone Ridge. There are extensive views across the moors and in places the heather is just coming into flower. In six weeks or so it will be absolutely stunning up here.
As the broad track turns right we continue on a narrower path on the edge of York Cross Ridge, within a couple of hundre yards we reach the remains of York Cross. Our route then continues on descending into Newton House Plantation.
As we join a broad track in the plantation there are Orchids and butterflies everywhere. We agree that this walk should be featured in the 100 best walks, not the one we suffered with yesterday. Around the corner and at a fork in the track we go left. Almost immediately Lynnie commands Dexter to leave something. There sunning himself by the side of the track is an Adder.
This is the first snake that we have seen on our travels, although I am sure we have been close to many. Sensing our arrival be decides to take cover. With in seconds I struggle to spot him in the grassy verge despite only being a yard or so away.
We continue along the sunny track and as we approach disused quarries we take a footpath to the left leading to May Beck. As we descend through the trees, keeping a close eye out for more snakes, we comment on what a cracking walk this is and wonder why the editors of the 100 Greatest Walks in Britain chose the walk at Rievaulx over this one. Emerging from the trees the path is high above May Beck, there is a steep drop to our left.
We gradually descend on the rocky path and close to the point where the path is at the same level as the beck I hear a screech from behind and turn to see Lynnie crashing to the ground. She has slipped on one of the wet stones.
First checking that all limbs are working, she gingerly gets up. Shortly after we continue. Soon reaching a small waterfall here we climb steps to reach a track, we turn right and walk down to May Beck car park.
I suggest to Lynnie that she waits here and I fetch the car, but she would prefer to keep moving, albeit slowly. This bit of the walk is very attractive. At a fork in the paths we take the route to the right to take us back up to the car park. We have covered just over eight miles and have been treated to a variety of walking that this area offers.
Time to get back to the Unicorn to let Lynnie rest up. She is having a bit of a rough week.
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map 27 – North York Moors – Eastern Area]
26th June 2014
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)