Walk 1544 - printer friendly version
Chop Gate, Round Hill & Stumps Cross Walk
Author - Andy Chaplin
Length - 10.1 miles / 16.4 km
Ascent - 1350 feet / 409 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SE559994
Lat 54.387027 + Long -1.140727
Postcode TS9 7JL (approx. location only)
This North York Moors walk covers the moors between Bilsdale and the top of Bransdale. There is one fairly steep climb towards the start of the walk then the majority of the rest of the walk is on well defined moors tracks. While there are views into the valleys the main experience is to be reminded how large an expanse of moorland there is once you have climbed up from the North Yorks Moors valleys and get into the remote uplands.
Park at the Village Hall (grid ref. SE559994) where an all day ticket costs £1.00. The fee goes to the upkeep of the hall and toilets area available here too. In my two visits there have never actually been any parking tickets so it can be more of an honesty payment rather than a parking charge.
Cross the B1257, follow it to the right and take the stile just after the driveway into Esp House. The path crosses the field and continues over another couple of stiles as it makes its way between the back of Esp House and Hagg Wood. Follow the path across the fields, generally along the line of the fences, towards Seave Green. As you come into the village pass two houses on your left and shortly after the second pick up the track around a third and continue down towards Bilsdale Beck. Turn right up the road towards Bilsdale Hall and St Hilda's Church. When the road goes around to the left towards the church take the bridleway off to the right.
Bend round to the left at the side of the Hall, pass the path going downhill on your right and continue on through the gate into open country. Pass an old stone barn and through a gate in the wall as you keep ascending on the bridleway up to Medd Crag. The path loops around to get to the top and you come out at bridleway signs that will indicate the well defined moors track that heads off to the north east away from a stone mounted plaque that tells you that you are on the Nawton Tower Estate.
Carry on for a mile and a quarter until you get to the Cleveland Way just before the Round Hill trig point. All of the tracks are well defined, crushed stone moors tracks and although they tend not to be signed they are easy to find. Take the next unsigned path on the right which is just over half a mile after Round Hill at the top of Cockayne Head. This path leads southwards towards the start of the Bransdale valley.
At the next junction of 5 tracks take the one on the right that leads down to the rocks near the Hodge Beck. Follow the track as it crosses the beck then turns south along the side of Black Hill. If you keep on going to the Stump Cross at grid ref. SE617982 there are views into Bransdale - although you cannot see all the way into it.
Head back on the track slightly to the left that heads northwest then west across Slape Wath Moor. You get views into the valleys of the Tarn Hole and Tripsdale Becks crossing the latter as the track weaves its way down then up the side of the beck valley.
At the top of Nab End Moor turn right on the track towards the sign that indicates the path down to William Beck Farm. From the top you can see the farm and Chop Gate beyond it. Pass through the farmyard and take the farm road back towards Chop Gate. In the last field before the road angle off right towards the stile where it all began then cross the road back to the village hall parking.