Walk 1743 - printer friendly version
Sneaton Thorpe & Littlebeck from May Beck Walk
Author - Andy Chaplin
Length - 8.9 miles / 14.5 km
Ascent - 1000 feet / 303 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference NZ892024
Lat 54.409245 + Long -0.62718791
Postcode YO22 5JE (approx. location only)
This North York Moors walk starts at the May Beck Forestry Commission parking area (grid ref. NZ892024) just south of the May Beck plantation. About two-thirds of the walk follows the Coast to Coast route so it is mostly well-signed and easy to follow. Having driven along the road to the car park (which Is part of the C2C route) I chose to find an alternative way northward to a point further up the C2C route, but this did involve a path that was quite overgrown with ferns. On the plus side, a bit of trampling through the undergrowth helps keeps underused paths open.
So, cross the road bridge over the beck and take the second path on the right which is signed as a public footpath. Below the ferns it is obvious that there is a path there somewhere. The path dog-legs through the ferns then comes to a stile where the path is signed westwards. When the Newton House plantation peters out on you right you cross another stile and come onto Shooting House Rigg. Do not go to the four-fingered signpost in front of you but follow the track northwards along the wall to your left. Opposite New May Beck house, you rejoin the Coast to Coast route. Follow this across the moors to Middle Rigg.
For the entire route there are good views from the top of the rigg down towards the Many Beck valley or over towards Whitby and the coast. The last part of the C2C route is on an old farm track between hedges. At the road (grid ref. NZ916062) turn left and walk down to Rigg Farm and the Long Rigg beck. When the road starts to climb uphill take the footpath on the right and continue across fields to Beckside Farm in Sneatonthorpe. Across the road (grid ref. NZ906061) and slightly to the right, take the footpath that continues westwards across horse-stabling fields towards Lound House.
Cross the B1416 and then take Dean Hall Brow road past the Lound House camping site to Littlebeck. You pass Hempsyke where there are good views of the Little Beck valley and the Lions Head drinking fountain, which you cannot fail to see was made by John Allan of Hempsyke. Further down to Littlebeck is a memorial plaque to Nicholas Postgate who was hung drawn and quartered for being a Catholic priest which seems somewhat harsh for someone who was already in his eighties. In Littlebeck village take the signed C2C path along the beck. After just under a mile you will pass the Hermitage which is a 'room' carved out of a sandstone rock. Then continue on to Midge Hall tea rooms and Falling Foss waterfall. The C2C route passes both then continues southwards to the parking at May Beck.