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Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale

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Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale
Author: DogWalksYorkshire, Published: 09 Jan 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide star1 Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide star1 Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide star1 Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide star0 Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide
North Yorkshire, North York Moors
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide boot Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide boot Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide
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0002_sunny_intervals Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide Today's weather
17 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 19 mph SW
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0002_sunny_intervals Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale Walking Guide

A 6 mile circular walk from Danby in North Yorkshire. This walk offers a real taste of the North York Moors and one of its prettiest dales and valleys, without endless trekking across moorland, which is not always much fun for your dog. There are some lovely enclosed paths where your well-behaved pooch can be off-lead for a romp as well as a couple of gentle climbs to get the blood pumping. The walk includes panoramic views of the moors, dales and heather upland giving a feeling of a wide-open space and freedom – that’s not found everywhere!

The terrain is medium difficulty, mostly on green, enclosed or rugged moorland paths. There is some road walking along very quiet roads, especially at the end, but the views at the same time are extremely rewarding. You will need to cross the railway twice at official but unsignalled crossing points, so look and listen carefully for trains before you cross. There are a couple of gentle climbs and one fairly steep descent. You will need to negotiate three stiles (two of which dogs will need a hand over). On the moorland section, dogs need to be under close control during the nesting season and if sheep are grazing. Allow 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the North York Moors Visitor Centre at Danby. From the A19 York to Northallerton road or Middlesbrough take the A172 towards Stokesley and, avoiding the town centre, continue on the A173 for a short distance before turning off to follow the signs towards Kildale. Keep on the same road through Castleton, towards Danby and once in the village follow the brown sign for the North York Moors Visitor Centre. From the A171 Whitby to Middlesbrough road near its junction with the B1366 (Liverton Road), follow the sign to Danby and then from the village continue to the NYM Visitor Centre. If you are coming by public transport, the Moors Bus runs directly to the centre on certain days and Danby rail station is just a short walk away. Approximate post code YO21 2NB.

Walk Sections

Start to Easton Lane
Start to Easton Lane

Start point: 54.4654 lat, -0.8947 long
End point: 54.4615 lat, -0.8994 long

From the car park at the North York Moors Visitor Centre, cross the road following the footpath sign to Ainthorpe and pass through a gate with a yellow arrow and a fish symbol (Esk Valley walk). Head along the grassy path towards the trees ahead, then follow the yellow arrow and fish symbol past a statue of an ‘old man’ over a footbridge towards another gate. Continue on the path at the edge of a field as it bears slightly right and uphill towards the railway – the ‘Esk Valley’ line. After obeying the warning signs, cross the line and continue ahead along the wide, grassy path. At the corner of the field, pass through a gate and turn right along a quiet road, following the footpath sign to Ainthorpe.

Easton Lane to Fox and Hounds
Easton Lane to Fox and Hounds

Start point: 54.4615 lat, -0.8994 long
End point: 54.4599 lat, -0.9154 long

Just after the road bends, follow a green and white public footpath sign on the left. Cross a small wooden footbridge and pass through a gate. The path is obvious as it heads along the edge of a field next to a hawthorn hedge. The views are lovely now and at the time of our visit, the purple heather was just starting to come through. Follow the path as it turns to the right and follow the yellow waymarker ahead on an old stile, keeping the hawthorn hedge to the left.

Continue ahead at the next waymarked stile (most dogs will be able to slip through it) and keep a stone wall to the right. Cross another stile (some dogs will appreciate a helping hand over this one) and head along the enclosed path next to a dry-stone wall on the left. At the next stile (again some dogs will need a hand here), cross over and turn right on to a stony enclosed track towards the village of Ainthorpe. At the road, turn left uphill, passing the dog-friendly Fox and Hounds Inn.

Fox and Hounds to Slate Hill
Fox and Hounds to Slate Hill

Start point: 54.4599 lat, -0.9154 long
End point: 54.44 lat, -0.9055 long

Stay on the road as it leaves the village, but where it bears left, follow the bridleway sign on the right pointing towards a path through a large waymarked gate on the edge of the moor. The path continues across Ainthorpe Rigg and is rugged in parts but does offer beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. There may be sheep or ground-nesting birds around, so be prepared to put your dog on the lead. The path climbs steadily and is easy to follow as it passes occasional blue waymarkers and tall stones, which act as guides when the weather is not so good.

When people first settled in Danby Rigg about 8,000 years ago there was no moorland. The area was covered by woodland and people hunted game and fish, and gathered plants. Early farmers burned the woodland to create areas to grow crops and keep cattle, and they also used the height of the Rigg to warn of impending attack. The woodland eventually died out due to cattle grazing, creating the moorland that we see today.

At a junction of paths keep straight ahead before dropping down into Little Fryup Dale. Before doing so, don’t forget to take a breather to enjoy the panoramic views! The initially rugged path descends sharply, but soon turns grassy as it heads towards a road junction by a farm. There is a pleasant green area here with a bench – perfect for a tea and buns stop!

Slate Hill to Little Fryup Beck
Slate Hill to Little Fryup Beck

Start point: 54.44 lat, -0.9055 long
End point: 54.4468 lat, -0.893 long

Suitably refreshed, head along the road opposite the path from the Rigg and continue downhill next to a dry-stone wall on the left. After passing through a gate next to a cattle grid, look for a green and white public bridleway sign on the right pointing down a track to the left. Head down this track, following the sign for Stonebeck Gate Farm and Forester’s Lodge. Visible on the left is Ainthorpe Rigg, and the path down from the moor. Keep on the track as it bears left towards a farmhouse – following the yellow waymarker. Just before reaching the farmhouse, turn right and follow another yellow waymarker through a gate into a field.

Bear left towards the corner of the farm buildings, then head diagonally and downhill towards a waymarked (arrow barely visible when we visited) wooden gate in a stone wall. Follow a succession of waymarkers as the path heads along the edge of the field next to a wire and post fence as it bears left and downhill towards a gate and some trees. Pass through the waymarked gate and cross a footbridge over Little Fryup Beck.

Little Fryup Beck to End
Little Fryup Beck to End

Start point: 54.4468 lat, -0.893 long
End point: 54.4656 lat, -0.8946 long

Continue along the clear track, enclosed by walls on each side – ideal conditions for well-behaved dogs to be allowed off-lead. Pass through a large gate and continue on the track as it winds uphill towards a road – time for Pooch to be back on the lead.

Turn right along the road (Castle Lane) and continue past Crossley Gate Farm towards the remains of Danby Castle. The views along this section are very pretty and the road is very quiet. Near the castle, turn right at the junction and continue along the road downhill towards the medieval (14th century) packhorse bridge, Duck Bridge, by a ford in the River Esk.

Continue on past the bridge, heading once again for Ainthorpe but just before entering the village, turn right through a gate into a field and follow the grassy path back towards the railway line. Again, after taking heed of the warning signs, cross the railway and head back along the path towards the North York Moors Visitor Centre.

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3 comments for "Danby, Ainthorpe and Little Fryup Dale"

We are staying at the Fox & Hounds so easy to start from there, instructions very easy to follow, we made it back in about 51/2hours...

By tillybott1 on 23 Aug 2018

There is a bridle way on the right just after the Fox & Hounds pub. Ignore it as the one you need is further on up the hill!

ADMIN RESPONSE: Remember to use the live GPS map on the App to help guide you, if you are ever unsure of the right path to take.

By jerrywood on 06 Nov 2017

Park at the fox and hounds in ainthorpe to avoid parking charges at the moors centre.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thanks for the tip. Of course, the pub isn't associated with this walk so you would need landlord permission to use a pub car park.

By boyes on 03 Apr 2017

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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