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North York Moors Walk
Iburndale and the Esk Valley from Stainsacre

Nat Park - North York Moors - North York Moors East

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Andy Chaplin

Length - 10.3 miles / 16.7 km    Ascent - 1070 feet / 324 metres

Time - 6 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NZ913083
Lat 54.46188 // Long -0.593028
Postcode YO22 4NT (approx. location only)
what3words start rigs.aims.stag

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Iburndale and the Esk Valley from Stainsacre Photo from the walk - Iburndale and the Esk Valley from Stainsacre Photo from the walk - Iburndale and the Esk Valley from Stainsacre
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Stainsacre is a small village just off the A171 on the way from Whitby to Scarborough in the North York Moors. About two thirds of the walk takes in the valleys of the Stainsacre, Rigg Mill, Sneaton Thorpe and Little Becks which all flow north towards the Esk valley. The final third initially follows the Esk Valley Walk from Sleights towards Whitby and the last mile and a half is on the old coastal railway path.

To start this North York Moors walk park in the village at grid ref. NZ913083 then, as you walk back towards the railway bridge, take the footpath off on the left across horse-grazing fields towards the Stainsacre Beck. When you get to the beck cross on the footbridge then bear left and follow the beck upstream on a track through the woods. The path heads briefly north then west before joining a permissive path that heads south from the end of Golden Grove road.

The path heads south on a ridge with a beck on either side. After 500 metres, when the track heads off left to Dale Farm, keep straight on across fields until you come to the track off on the right down to the houses in Rigg Mill wood. Cross Rigg Mill beck on the footbridge then take the path between the houses which bears slowly west then south on another permissive path through woods and fields to Sneatonthorpe.

Head south on the road for 250 metres then take the path off on the right (signed on the left of the road) which goes through another stable yard then westwards across fields to Lound House. On the way make sure you are on the south side of the hedge at grid ref. NZ899061. To the north there are views all the way to the coast and Whitby Abbey. When you reach the road go right then left off on Dean hall Brow past the farm campsite.

Stay on the road until you pass Hempsdyke Hall then take the path off on the right towards Little Beck. There are good views across the Little Beck valley to Blue bank on the far side and northwards to the Esk valley. Follow the path at the side of Busco Gill all the way down to the beck then follow the path on the east side of the beck to the stepping stones at Throstle Nest. The map shows the path continuing on the eastern bank but, on the ground, it seems to have switched to the west side. So cross the stepping stones and continue north to the footbridge at grid ref. NZ874061. Cross back here to the east bank and continue north by the beck to Iburndale.

In the village, go left on the road, cross the Iburndale beck then follow it northwards to the sports ground in Sleights. From this point you pick up the Esk Valley Walk (EVW). This is well signed all the way along the south side of the Esk valley to Ruswarp. At Ruswarp the EVW crosses the river and heads towards Whitby. For bridge fans - both the road and rail bridges are interesting structures.

Stay on the EVW until you come to the old railway line on the outskirts of Whitby. You initially cross the old loop connection between the existing railway and the old coastal line then take the Cinder Track back to Stainsacre. Whilst most railway walking can be a bit boring this is notable for the fact that you cross the Esk on the old Larpool Viaduct. After the viaduct, it is another 1.5 km back to Stainsacre.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2130 Robin Hood's Bay & Hawkser from Fylingthorpe - moderate - 10.0 miles/16.3 km

Walk 1464 Blue Bank & Sleights Moor - easy/mod - 7.8 miles/12.6 km

Walk 1743 Sneaton Thorpe & Littlebeck from May Beck - moderate - 8.9 miles/14.5 km

Walk 2091 Kettleness and Mickleby from Lythe - moderate - 9.7 miles/15.8 km

Walk 1758 Newton House Plantation & Stony Leas - moderate - 10.3 miles/16.7 km

Walk 1623 Burn Howe Rigg from Jugger Howes - moderate - 10.0 miles/16.3 km

Walk 3471 Robin Hood's Bay from Ravenscar - moderate - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 1744 Hayburn Wyke from Ravenscar along the Cleveland Way - moderate - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 3533 Mallyan Spout and Beck Hole from Goathland - easy - 3.0 miles/4.9 km

Walk 1922 Goathland & Howl Moors - moderate - 11.2 miles/18.2 km

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