Walk 1525 - printer friendly version
Beck Dale & Rievaulx from Helmsley Walk
Author - Andy Chaplin
Length - 9.8 miles / 15.8 km
Ascent - 1000 feet / 303 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SE609838
Lat 54.246274 + Long -1.0669215
Postcode YO62 5AZ (approx. location only)
This is the final stage in a series of circular North York Moors 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.