Friday, 17 June 2016

Walk Around The Moors And Mallyan Spout Waterfall - Goathland To Grosmont

Starting near Goathland this walk is full of variety including the best of Yorkshire from woodland to Moors and Mallyan Spout waterfall. Passing through farmland you approach Grosmont and a steam train station transporting us back to the 1800's.

Foggy and overcast I struggled for a good picture, but the sky did clear eventually. Wet terrain made for rather uncomfortable conditions but this should be a cracking 10.5 mile stroll in dry weather. Wildlife is plentiful and you are never far from the whistle of steam trains or tweet of a bird.

Walk Around The Moors And Mallyan Spout Waterfall - Goathland To Grosmont Route

Starting point: Car park of Mallyan Spout Hotel in Goathland, postcode YO62 6UA 
Distance: 10.5 miles
Time: 6 hours to 7 hours
Highest point: 220 meters
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Terrain: Mainly track and fields with a little concrete but can be very wet and boggy with rainfall
Highlights: North Yorkshire Moors, woodland, old stone buildings, steam trains and waterfalls along streams.
GPX Route: Download here

Below is a map of the route, its fully interactive. If you download ViewRanger simply click 'view route in full..' and from there 'get this route' and enjoy. You can sync to your phone app and just follow the route with no stress or navigation. Alternatively download the GPX route to upload and use with other apps.

Photography and Blog

The day commenced before noon with a 30 minute drive to Goathland leaving behind blue skies for a misty blanket of fog. It never fails to surprise me how just 18 miles can bring about two completely different forecasts. Never the less, I knew this would be the case and hinged my day on the mist lifting around early afternoon.

My planned route began in the busy car park of Mallyan Spout Hotel in Goathland. A building full of character, sat among grand grounds. Large wooden windows beam light through old stone walls which are lined with vines weaving around every crevasse and crack. Not bad accomodation for a weekend walking getaway.

Striding out I made tracks toward farmland and my first taste of what lie ahead. I imagine most of Yorkshire was dry that day, all but the ground I walked upon. Fog kept warm rays from the sun at bay, the result, wet grass and muddy tracks.

Diversity was rife from mile one, sheep lined each path, randomly placed caravan sites littered farmland and fields were breached by wooden bridges over streams, even a steam train runs from Pickering to Grosmont and follows the beginning of this walk. I could hear the whistle and hiss, transporting me back to the 1800's.

After two miles I reached the Moors, by far my favourite stretch. For the next 1.5 miles I felt like the only person on earth, left alone to wonder the planet after an Apocalypse. The thin, rough track lined my way between a vast stretch of heather and trickling streams. Birds danced through the sky and tweeted playfully as baby rabbits skipped by and sheep stared, as though seeing an alien race for the first time. In the end I opted for my own ambiance and a playlist kicked off with 'Help' by 'The Beatles'.

A lonely road separated my long track of isolation without a car in site, I could have enjoyed this pilgrimage all day but fell disappointed at the site of yet more fields marking the end of my Moors and the start of more wet, boggy terrain.

Nearing 2pm and that time I'd expect warm rays to pierce this unrelenting mist, the skies stayed gloomy and I began worrying this would be it for the next three hours. On a more positive note, the walk added yet more diversity with quaint, old abandoned buildings dotted between long stone walls. The weather only added to the creepy, almost haunted aura of the moors and surrounding farmland.

As my walk evolved so did the landscape. Upon finding Grosmont I welcomed hard concrete paths and wished farewell to the horribly wet grass and tracks that soaked my feet to the bone. While I prefer open countryside it was nice to visit Grosmont and see its infamous steam train station, such a classic emblem of the Moors I was fortunate to see one in action.

Mist beginning to lift I made tracks back to Goathland and through yet more wet and muddy fields. I enjoyed the few features back including streams and woodland but felt relieved to reach Beckhole which marked the beginning of the end and a stroll to Mallyan Spout waterfall.

This stretch proved more tedious than enjoyable. Navigation was a pain with numerous tracks running off in different directions and the weather just left everything damp and miserable. I did reach my waterfall in the end and took a few photos. On a glorious summers day I'd highly recommend this walk and especially Mallyan Spout, but on a wet, overcast afternoon there are better places to be.

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