Printable version of walk SE 6899/01: The Farndale Railway

The route of the old Rosedale Iron Ore railway is one of the best high level paths in the North York Moors. The only flaw with the stretch that crosses Farndale is that it does not easily fit into a high level circular walk, and so for this walk we are going to use the railway for the entire walk.

Despite using the same path coming and going, the views on this walk are rather different during each half. On the outwards stage, we are heading north west, with our eyes drawn towards the heather. On the return trip, we are heading south east, and the view down Farndale dominates. For a walk that uses the railway as part of a longer circular walk see Walk SE6795/02, a northern circuit of Farndale starting at Low Mills.

Ascent: 670ft/ 200m
Length: 11.5 miles/ 19km
Map: Explorer 026 North York Moors West
Last Walked: 14 June 2006

There is plenty of parking at the point where the railway crosses from Rosedale to Farndale, on Blakey Ridge.

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Opposite the car park a side road descends down the side of Blakey Ridge into Farndale. Cross the main road along the ridge, and head along this side road. After a short distance, and before the road begins to plunge down into Farndale, turn right onto the very clear path that leads down onto the abandoned railway.

Follow the railway around the top of Farndale all the way to Bloworth Crossing, at the top of Rudland Rigg, where the railway joins the Cleveland Way

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At Bloworth Crossing turn through 180 degrees and head back along the line of the railway. Odd though it may seem, the views heading back along the railway are very different - most of the time on the way out we are looking north west towards the high heather moors, while on the return journey our gaze is drawn south down the full length of Farndale.

This walk can be easily modified or extended. Round Hill, the highest point on the moors is only one and a half miles to the west of Bloworth Crossing, and can be reached by continuing west along the Cleveland Way.

Another alternative from Bloworth Crossing would be to turn right (north) towards Greenhow Bank, which offers impressive views west along the northern edge of the moors.

If you are willing to scramble across the heather then Stony Ridge, one of the highest points on the moors is well worth a visit. The top of the ridge is only half a mile north of the northernmost point on the railway, where it curves around Middle Head. This is access land, and entirely without paths, so be prepared for some awkward walking. Head uphill from the railway, always aiming upwards. The top of Stony Ridge is a large fairly flat plateau, with spectacular views in all directions, but is almost always entirely deserted.