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Dales Trails

The church at Langdale End/photo by Arnold Underwood

Broxa Forest/from a photo by Arnold Underwood

NORTH YORKSHIRE - Broxa Forest

'Forest Trails'

On this walk, the sections along the escarpment provide panoramic views across the surrounding countryside towards Fylingdales Moor in the north and over Langdale to the south. The mixed woodland by the river is full of colour in autumn.Fact File

Distance 13km (8 miles)
Time allow up to 5 hours
Map OS Explorer Outdoor Leisure North York Moors East
Start/Parking Reasty Bank Forest Enterprise car-park
Terrain One very steep descent and a steep ascent, riverside path can be wet, otherwise easy going on forest paths and tracks
nearest Town Scarborough
Refreshments Pub at Langdale End (but check opening times)
Toilets none
Public Transport none
Suitable for all
Stiles 4

  1. (Start) From the car park head west, crossing the minor road where it descends into Harwood Dale, and follow the 'Blue Man' along the edge of the forest. Breaks in the trees allow extensive views north over Harwood Dale to the moors beyond. Ignore any tracks leading off, and stick with the Blue Man for 2.5km (1 miles) along the escarpment and round the corner at Barns Cliff End.

  2. (2.6km (1 miles) About 100m (110 yds) after the bend, you reach a 'Blue Man' sign on the right indicating a path down the escarpment. Turn down this path, which is very steep in places and can be muddy - fortunately there are plenty of trees to grab, slowing your descent. Ignore any side paths and head on down to arrive at the riverbank near to where Harwood Beck joins the River Derwent.

  3. (3.1km (2 miles) At the bottom of the bank say farewell to the 'Blue Man' and head south in the company of the river below the steep escarpment of Barns Cliff. This path can be very wet in places and at the time of writing numerous fallen trees provided further obstacles. The path passes through beech, conifers, and gorse always within sound if not sight of the river. After about 2.5km (1 miles) you reach the forest boundary and cross a stile into open grassland. Maintain a course along the bottom of the hillside passing a small ox-bow lake to another gate/stile. Beyond the stile is a very boggy area and, because of the close proximity of the river, the path is diverted up the bank. This diversion is a narrow path, which is quite tricky to negotiate when wet. If conditions are dry it could be easier to keep along the riverbank. After passing through an area of scrub you reach the road at a gate/stile by Langdale Bridge. The quaint Moorcock pub is about 400m ( mile) up the road past the church at Langdale End. A visit there will mean having to return to the bridge to continue the walk.

  4. (7.5km (4 miles) From the stile by Langdale Bridge, take the path bearing right and tackle the steep climb straight up Broxa Bank. After climbing the grassy hillside, pass through a gap in bushes to join a bridleway. Turn left and follow this, less steeply, on up the hill to a gate where you join the Broxa road. Walk through the tiny village, after which the road becomes a narrow lane bounded by tall hedgerows. About 800m ( mile) after Broxa you re-enter the forest. The road now becomes wide but un-metalled, and leads unerringly back to Reasty Bank. Be aware of forestry vehicles, and any other traffic using this dirt road as a short cut.

  5. (11.5km (7 miles) Stick to the forest road for 2.5km (1 miles), until it reaches the northern edge of the forest. From here you retrace your steps along the edge to Reasty Bank.

Along the Way

Langdale End comprises just a few scattered farms and cottages, a church, and the quaint Moorcock inn. It is a popular spot for a break by those venturing into the forest on foot or bicycle, or for the less active following the Dalby Forest Drive by car. If you do venture off the main tracks, be sure to have a compass with you - it is easy to lose your bearings in a forest, when you can't see the wood for the trees. Also, remember that this is a working forest and access to some areas may be restricted, by tree-felling etc. Be aware of any such operations and follow any diversions that may be indicated.

Arnold Underwood (Aug 2002)

This page was created by
Arnold Underwood

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