A circular tour of Farndale: ridge top and valley bottom

This lovely walk takes you on a tour of upper Farndale; a delightful and peaceful valley in the North York Moors. Starting at Low Mill it heads immediately uphill onto Blakey Ridge and follows the old iron ore railway towards the head of the dale, with great views, before descending into farmland and eventually taking the riverside path back to Low Mill. Where the walking is on the road these are quiet and traffic will be infrequent.

Technical sheet
No. 2492461
A Farndale West walk posted on 28/08/19 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 28/08/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h20[?]
Distance Distance : 11.77mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1106ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1099ft
Highest point Highest point : 1237ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 371ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : North York Moors
Location Location : Farndale West
Starting point Starting point : N 54.34808° / W 0.966511°
Download : -
Old iron works Signpost Moorland Landscape Old railway and Rosedale


Park at Low Mill in the National Park car park (voluntary donation).

(D) Leave the car park, turn left on the road and head south past the old post office to a road junction on the left.

(1) Turn immediately left onto the quiet road leading over a bridge and uphill to a T junction.

(2) Go straight over the road and take the signposted track up to Cragg Cottage. The track goes to the right of the house; it crosses the parking area for the house to a gate in the fell wall.

(3) Go through the gate, turn left and take the path which slants uphill to a stile.

(4) Cross the stile and continue diagonally uphill to a gate. (Note between points 3 and 5 the bracken will be thigh and even chest high during August and the path will be obscured in many places. If it has not been beaten down by previous walkers this can make your ascent rather arduous)

(5) Go through the gate and continue diagonally uphill, when the steeper part of the ascent is over the path heads over the moor to the road along the top of Blakey Ridge.

(6) Immediately ahead and on the other side of the road is a footpath marker. Cross the road and take this footpath over the moor. If you lose your way in the bracken and take the track which comes out on the road further north you can follow the track beside the shooting butts or the footpath slightly north again : they both lead to the same place which is the fenced off old shaft called Sheriff's Pit and the remains of a mine building.

(7) Turn left onto the old iron ore railway and follow this well maintained track in a northwesterly direction with good views across the head of Rosedale. (Look out for cyclists) You will arrive at a wooden information board about the railway at Little Blakey. Turn off the railway and take the path up to the road.

(8) Cross the road and at the junction to Church Houses, go either in front of or behind the bridge parapet and turn right back onto the old railway. Pass a metal gate and follow the railway, past the garden of the Lion Inn and round the head of the dale to an obvious railway embankment on the col between Farndale and Westerdale. Wooden signpost.

(9) Turn left and follow the path downhill to a gate.

(10) Pass through the gate, the path becomes faint but follow sheep tracks to the left of the stream/gully to pass through another gate in a wall. The path improves and you follow it curving around to the right across a field with the remains of spoil heaps on the bottom and left hand side of the slope. Pass through a second field and then a third to join the road opposite Esk House farm. (Note there may be sheep in these fields so keep dogs on their leads)

(11) Turn left and follow the quiet country road south passing Lendersfield House and gently downhill. Look out for a footpath on the right (Easy to miss if it is overgrown). If you get to Long Causeway you have gone too far.

(12) Go through the gate (nettles) and down some steps into a field. Walk downhill with the wall to your left to the bottom and use the gated footbridge to cross the River Dove.

(13) After crossing the river, turn immediately left and follow the path across the field to an old hedgerow. There is a marker post with yellow arrows. Do not go through the obvious gap in the hedgerow but turn left and walk up with the hedge on your left to take a stile in the top left corner of the field.

(14) Walk over the next field with the wall on your right to take stone steps over the wall in the top right corner.

(15) Now, cross the next field diagonally leftwards to the house (Eller House). Go through the gate on the left and then another gate on the right to pass through the parking area for the house. Come out on the road.

(16) Turn left and follow the quiet country road with some short uphill parts to pass Shotten Hill and Broom Hill farms. Pass Monklet House and the junction to Church Houses. Continue along the road and look out for a path on the left into a field. Again this may be obscured by undergrowth but there is a good gate next to the path if the nettles are high.

(17) Walk down through the field with the wall on the left and keep heading downhill to the River Dove.

(18) Cross the gated footbridge and turn right. Cross the next short field diagonally to a gate. Go through this and turn right on the track/metaled road to High Mill. (Daffy Cafe tea room). Just past the old mill buildings (now homes), go through a gate onto to path beside the river. This is the Farndale Estate and the path is well maintained, some sections with York stone flags but most on a hard core surface. The path leads you through farmland with the river meandering beside you, it passes through a small wood and then brings over a bridge to the road at Low Mill. Turn right and walk back to the car park (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 397ft - National Park car park
1 : mi 0.06 - alt. 397ft
2 : mi 0.31 - alt. 413ft
3 : mi 0.67 - alt. 646ft - Cragg Cottage
4 : mi 0.77 - alt. 722ft
5 : mi 0.94 - alt. 846ft - Gate
6 : mi 1.4 - alt. 1152ft
7 : mi 2.04 - alt. 1109ft
8 : mi 4.03 - alt. 1217ft
9 : mi 6.84 - alt. 1142ft
10 : mi 7.13 - alt. 997ft - Gate
11 : mi 7.66 - alt. 689ft
12 : mi 8.05 - alt. 594ft
13 : mi 8.32 - alt. 512ft
14 : mi 8.44 - alt. 515ft
15 : mi 8.54 - alt. 551ft
16 : mi 8.68 - alt. 587ft
17 : mi 9.99 - alt. 610ft
18 : mi 10.28 - alt. 430ft - Gated footbridge
D/A : mi 11.77 - alt. 397ft - National Park car park

Useful Information

Good, clean toilets are available at the car park. It is possible to make a detour to the popular Lion Inn, and the Daffy Cafe at High Mill may be open.

The walk is on a mixture of well maintained paths (the old railway and the Farndale Estate path) but there are sections on open moorland and through farmland.

I did this walk in approach shoes and wearing shorts on a hot day in August. The shorts were not great for battling my way through the bracken on the way up to Blakey Ridge and whilst the approach shoes were appropriate had I done this walk in after rain there are sections which will get boggy and muddy.

Please keep dogs on leads as there are sheep on the open moorland and you will pass through farmland with both sheep and cows.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The views of Farndale and Rosedale a great and I always marvel at the remains of the old iron ore railway and the infrastructure that was upon the moors.

I originally planned that this walk would follow the old railway all the way past the head of the dale to the Bloworth Crossing and then take the south track down onto the top of the Rutland Ridge before taking the track (point 369 Dicken Howe) down to Monket House just before waypoint 17. This would add another 4 miles onto the route and would cut out most of the walking on country roads in the valley bottom but would still have the section beside the river)

If you are a climber this walk passes beside some good bouldering venues and given a full day you would have time to climb a few problems en route if you pack your boots and chalk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Mon 09 Sep 2019 10:04:43 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 09/09/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Good walk taking in the remains of the old iron works

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