The Land of Iron – a 10km circular walk starting in the historic village of Rosedale Abbey in North Yorkshire
This walk is relatively flat save for the middle section where there is a sharp 150m lung busting pull up on to the top of the valley and the disused railway. The first part of the walk crosses fields with little in the way of prepared paths. Most of the last part of the walk is on the old track bed of the railway that served the iron mines in the area.
This 10km walk starts in the village of Rosedale Abbey. The fact the village is called Rosedale Abbey is a misnomer, as there was a priory there (nuns stay in Priorys, monks stay in Abbeys). The priory remained in existence from 1158 until the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry the 5th in c1535. There is actually very little left to see of the Priory as most of it was used when iron ore was found in the hills around Rosedale Abbey to build the infrastructure to support mining. That infrastructure in this “Land of Iron” still dominates the valley today, some 100 years after mining stopped. On this walk you will see from afar the buildings where the smelted the iron ore and up close you will walk along the trackbed of the railway that serviced the mines. Rather ingeniously they used a technique called drift mining, where they mined horizontally in to the side of the valley, but the ore was extracted via vertical shafts to bring the ore out at the top of the valley and on to the level of the railway.
The North York Moors National Park has project about this area called “Land of Iron” – for more information visit – https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/looking-after/landofiron
Getting Started in The Land of Iron
Park considerately in the area of SE 7241 9585 (topical.huts.dating). Head towards the centre of the village, at a village green/traffic triangle space keep to the left. After a hundred metres or so you will come to a sign post on the left marking a right of way that takes you on to a caravan park. Go in to the caravan park, but as soon as you hit a road, turn right and follow the road through the park. Keeping following the road through the park until you come to a split, with a gate on the right and the road continuing on the left. Go through the gate on the right (Don’t forget to close it). Continue to follow this path, resisting the temptation to cross the first foot bridge. Keep to the path until you get to SE 7102 9678. Here there is another footbridge (don’t cross it either).
From this point strike up the hill towards the aptly named Hill Houses and Hill Cottages. Once you make Hill Houses, turn left on to the road and continue to the first turn off the road at SE 7071 9770. You will walk through Craven Garth Farm as you make your way back to the floor of the Dale. Carry on across a footbridge, back up the other side of the Dale cross a road and the start of “THE BIG PULL” at SE 6976 9725. At SE 6941 9740, just after a style, the main path splits and goes right, you need to go left and start to follow an old trackway/holloway.
Follow the trackway up until you achieve the level of the old railway that served the mines around the Dale. Follow the old railway to the left – this is about the half way point. From here the only way is along and then down. At SE 6977 9623, marked on the map as “Pile of Stones”, (which is what Jacqueline calls anything remotely interesting on a walk!), you will be able to make out the remains of old pit heads, where the extracted iron ore was brought to the surface to be loaded on to railway wagons. Keeping going as the trackbed begins a gentle curve that allows you to look back along the Dale to see where you came from.
Carry on along the old railway track bed until you get to a bar over the path. Just after there the path you need to take goes left and down the hill, with an isolated house/farm on the right. This next bit is slightly difficult to navigate as the paths can be a bit faint.
From SE 7199 9517 continue down to the fence, and then bear left, keeping the fence on your right. Keep going down hill, you will cross a small golf course, please be respectful of the paying players. From the golf course, you will cross a road and then carry on following the path down the edge of a field. At the end of the field you will need to cross a style – if you have a big dog with you, this may require the help of another person to get over the style and then go down a small alley way before coming out on to a road that will take you the short distance back in to Rosedale Abbey to conclude your walk through the Land of Iron.
Why not stop in Rosedale Abbey for a well earned ice cream before returning back to Cliff House for a dip in our indoor heated pool?
About Cliff House Holiday Cottages
Cliff House Holiday Cottages in Ryedale offers the perfect base for a walking holiday in North Yorkshire, with short walks from our door as well as the North York Moors just 2 miles away and the Yorkshire Coast just 25 minutes we are well sited. With owners on site, we are usually always around to offer advice about walks and things to do in our beautiful part of the world. In each of our “Walking Friendly” cottages we provide maps, route cards for walks in the North Yorkshire, nature guides and binoculars to enhance your stay with us. For more walks from Cliff House Holiday Cottages, please visit our walks home page.
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