NZ5703/02 Clay Bank to Round Hill
This walk takes us from the very useful Clay Bank car park up to Round Hill, the highest point on the North York Moors (if not quite the best viewpoint). From Round Hill the walk continues on until it joins up with the Rosedale railway, before dropping down into Greenhow Botton on the incline once used to lower the output of the mines onto level ground for the journey to the outside world. This is a rather dramatic piece of engineering and even now is a steep path. We then cross Greenhow Botton, giving us an unusual close-up view of the northern escarpment of the moors, before climbing back up to Clay Bank.
Ascent: 1,100ft/ 340m
Length: 7 miles/ 11.5km
Map: Explorer 026 North York Moors West
Last Walked: 3 November 2006
1 (NZ 571 035)
From the entrance to the Clay Bank car park, turn left and follow the main road as it heads south towards Bilsdale. There is plenty of space to walk safely on the verges here, but take care anyway - this is a busy stretch of road.
2 (NZ 572 033)
At the top of the pass turn left onto the Cleveland Way and follow it as it climbs up onto Carr Ridge, Urra Moor and eventually to Round Hill. This path is just about impossible to miss now, being virtually paved in large sections. If in doubt head uphill until there is no more up to go.
3 (NZ 594 015)
We are now at Round Hill, the highest point on the North York Moors. The top of the hill itself is slightly to the north of the Cleveland Way, so take a brief diversion to visit the summit. Sadly the top of Round Hill is a little too far from the northern escarpment to make a really good viewpoint in that direction, but the views to the west, south and east are impressive. From Round Hill return to the path and continue east along the Cleveland Way.
4 (NZ 611 016)
Here we are going to leave the Cleveland Way. After passing Round Hill the path begins to lose height as it heads towards Bloworth Crossing. Just as the path begins to level out it reaches the branch of the Rosedale Railway that went down the incline. Turn left onto the old railway and follow it as it runs north towards the incline.
5 (NZ 608 025)
We are now at the top of the incline. Follow this steep but straight path as it cuts down the side of Greenhow Bank. This is a steep enough path on foot, but it must have been rather alarming on an ore wagon.
6 (NZ 599 035)
At the bottom of the incline our path follows the edge of the trees. Ignore the track that turns very sharply to the left just at the base of the incline and continue north for a short distance on the level, until reaching a path that leads into the field to the left (signposted public right of way). Head out across this field, in the general direction of Old Sheepfold Farm, just visible at the far side of the field. After a short distance the path joins a rough farm track, which leads
7 (NZ 596 031)
Pass through the farmyard and turn right onto a better track that heads north west towards New Sheepfold Farm before passing just to the left of the farm buildings.
8 (NZ 590 035)
Having passed the farm buildings turn right onto a lane. Follow this lane along the western side of the farm. Ignore the track that turns off towards Midnight Farm and continue north.
9 (NZ 588 038)
The road north from New Sheepfold Farm curves left and then right. Towards the end of the curve right pass through a gate into the field to the left (signposted footpath). This path leads across four fields before reaching West Wood Farm. The path is very obvious in the first two fields - in the first field it cuts across the narrow southern tip of the field and then curves gently to the right. In the second field it cuts diagonally across to the opposite right hand corner.
It is possible to get a little confused at this point (I did..). On the OS maps this second field is marked as being part of a bigger single field. Pass through the gate at the north western corner of this new field, and follow the path as it follows the left hand edge of this third field. This side of the field curves around to the right, following a small stream. The exit at the north west corner is hidden until we are quite close to it, but once it comes into sight is very obvious, and is well signposted as a footpath. Don't be tempted to pass through the gate in the western tip of the field - this leads into an odd shaped field that is a dead end.
Head diagonally across the next field, heading towards the middle of the western edge of the field, where a farm track enters the field. Follow the footpath west along this track and around the edge of West Wood Farm, following the signposts.
10 (NZ578 042)
At the far side of West Wood Farm we reach a lane. Turn left and follow this lane as it climbs back up to the Clay Bank car park