Beck Dale & Rievaulx from Helmsley

This North York Moors walk starts from Helmsley and takes in Beck Dale, the River Rye & Rievaulx Abbey before joining the final stage of the Cleveland Way from Rievaulx Bridge back to Helmsley.

Technical sheet
No. 292994
A Helmsley walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 23/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h10[?]
Distance Distance : 9.76mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 755ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 755ft
Highest point Highest point : 738ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 200ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : North York Moors
Location Location : Helmsley
Starting point Starting point : N 54.24731° / W 1.06362°
Download : -


(D)Take the B1257 out of town signposted towards Stokesley. After passing a sign to the Roman Catholic Church on your right, cross the Borough Beck then take the footpath immediately off on the right. It goes alongside the beck then continues up the track up Beck Dale which feels pleasantly secluded but not overwhelmed by the woods on either side. The track seems to service shooting positions all along Beck Dale. All of the tracks off on the side, which go up the dale sides, are marked no entry and the main path is clearly signed through Beckdale East Wood, Ouldray Wood and Collier Hag Wood.

(1)After 3.5km you leave the beck and follow the path which is signed up the east side of the dale. The signed path then goes off to the left through the wood before skirting a field on your right near High Baxton's Farm and coming to a meeting of tracks (grid ref. SE594877) as you approach Acre Grain plantation.

(2)Bear off left through the trees, downhill towards the beck again. Cross it, climb up the far side and follow the path as it bends to your left. The path through the next section of woods is reasonably clear but can get difficult to follow as there are motorbike and logging tracks that intersect periodically. You keep going westwards for 1.5kms staying in the woods and above Dark Gill valley to the south. With good reckoning you will come out at the gate overlooking Oscar Park Farm at grid ref. SE578882.

(3)Take the track along the side of the field, through Oscar Park Farm and out onto the B1257. Turn left along the road. After 100m there is a reasonably wide grass verge on the left hand side and although the road can be busy it is a safe walk to the track off on the right opposite the MP at grid ref. SE574865.

(4)Follow the track past Crabtree Hall down to the road at Rievaulx church. There are good views of the abbey as you descend. Turn right through Rievaulx and pass the remains of the abbey as you walk down the road towards Rievaulx Bridge.

(5)Turn left on the road away from the bridge and continue along the CW, initially along the road, then off on the track that climbs up through Quarry Bank Wood then skirts Whinny Bank Wood and Blackdale Howl Wood. As you approach Helmsley there are good views to the right of the castle below you and you enter Helmsley on the road past the pay and display car park on Cleveland Way.(A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 200ft - Helmsley
1 : mi 2.45 - alt. 531ft - Leave beck after 3.5km
2 : mi 2.97 - alt. 682ft - Bear off left downhill
3 : mi 4.48 - alt. 702ft - Take track past Oscar Park Farm
4 : mi 5.53 - alt. 617ft - Take track to right
5 : mi 7.12 - alt. 256ft - Turn left on road away from bridge
D/A : mi 9.76 - alt. 200ft - Helmsley

Useful Information

This is the final stage in a series of circular walks around the Cleveland Way. It starts and finishes in Helmsley where you can either park in the pay-and-display off the aptly named Cleveland Way or further out of the centre of town. The route takes in Beck Dale, the River Rye, Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle and completes the section of the Cleveland Way from Rievaulx bridge to Helmsley.

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

Opinions and comments


Global average : 3.33/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 2/5
Routemap quality : 3/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Mon 05 Aug 2019 10:42:29 CEST

Global average : 3.33 / 5

Date of walk : 01/08/19
Description quality : Disappointing
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Very good

The Beckdale Rievaulx walk is not for novice map readers. On coming to the top of Beckdale the forest plantation has been cut down and the path is difficult to find. Footpaths in the forest are seriously overgrown and an alternate route had to be found using forest paths. This is further hampered by the fact that the forest is used for motorsport and there are tracks all over. We used the edge of the forest to orient ourselves on the OS map and eventually found the gate out into the farm. Please note map and compass essential when negotiating the forest plantation. It may be better in winter when much of the foliage has died back.

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