Bilsdale, the Esk Valley and the Central Moors

A leisurely day's driving on quiet roads, taking in the very best of Temple Moore and the central and western North York Moors. From Helmsley the route heads north up Bilsdale, via Rievaulx Abbey. It crosses the moors into Cleveland, then continues through the lush farmland of the Esk Valley. Experience the wide open spaces of the high moors before heading south again through the picturesque Tabular Hills.

  • Approximate distance: 67 miles
  • Approximate time: 4-6 hours
  • Roads: Good B-roads and quiet country lanes - some steep and narrow sections, with passing places available
  • Maps: Ordnance Survey Travel Map Road 4 North England; Ordnance Survey Landrangers 94
  • Start: Helmsley
  • Parking: Roadside parking at many places en route. Pay and display car parks in Helmsley, Rievaulx and Danby (Moors National Park Centre). Free car parks in Chop Gate, Kildale and Low Mill
  • Temple Moore Trail locations: All Saints', Helmsley; St Mary's, Rievaulx; St John the Evangelist's, Bilsdale; St Botolph's, Carlton-in-Cleveland; St Augustine's, Kirkby-in-Cleveland; St James's, Lealholm; St Mary's, Farndale East; St Aidan's, Gillamoor; St Gregory's Minster, Kirkdale; the Old Vicarage, Helmsley
  • Refreshments: Available at many places en route, including Helmsley, Rievaulx, Chop Gate, Carlton Bank (Lord Stones Cafe), Kildale, Castleton, Danby, Blakey Ridge (Lion Inn), Church Houses and Gillamoor
Bilsdale, the Esk Valley and the Central Moors

Directions

  1. Start in Helmsley market place. Take the Stokesley road (B1257) by All Saint's church, heading north. After approximately 3 miles, turn left onto Rievaulx Bank.
  2. Take the first right for Rievaulx Abbey and St Mary's church. After the abbey continue uphill to rejoin the B1257.
  3. Turn left and keep going up Bilsdale for approximately 7 miles to St John the Evangelist's church, on the righthand side of the road near Fangdale Beck.
  4. Continue on the B1257 to Chop Gate. Turn left on a narrow lane up Raisdale.
  5. The road climbs and then drops steeply down Carlton Bank before arriving in Carlton-in-Cleveland where you can visit St Botolph's.
  6. Continue through the village and turn right, passing through Great Busby before reaching Kirkby-in-Cleveland and St Augustine's church.
  7. Carry on along the same road through Great Broughton and Ingleby Greenhow. After Battersby, cross the railway and turn right to Kildale. Go through Commondale and over Sandhill before turning right to Castleton.
  8. Go up the hill onto the main village street and turn left to Danby. Turn right, and then immediately left by the Duke of Wellington Inn onto Lodge Lane. On the sharp bend in the road by the Moors National Park Centre, bear left up the hill onto Park Bank. Stay on the road as it narrows, ignoring two turnings off to the left. Eventually the road turns downhill and leads into the village of Lealholm. St James's is near the bottom of the hill on your right.
  9. Carry on in the same direction as before, turning right after Mill Lane Farm. Pass Wheat Bank Farm and Furnace Farm, ignoring a further turning to the right. Go past two more farms and Great Fryupdale Outdoor Centre. At a junction turn right.
  10. Go left after Crossley House Farm on a narrow lane leading over moorland for approximately 3 miles. At Danby Head the lane joins the Rosedale road. Turn right to arrive at Rosedale Head and the main Kirkbymoorside-Castleton road.
  11. Go left past the Lion Inn. Not long afterwards, take a right turn and go steeply downhill. Take the first left past Lodge Farm and then the first right. Temple Moore's church of St Mary is to the right of the road before you get to Church Houses.
  12. In Church Houses turn left, then right. Go right at the next junction and follow the lane through Low Mill, taking a right at the T-junction near Lowna for Gillamoor. You'll find St Aidan's on the left as you enter the village.
  13. Carry on through Gillamoor to nearby Fadmoor. Turn left and then right. Continue on Starfits Lane for about 2 miles until you come to a crossroads. Turn right. After the road crosses Hodge Beck, a righthand turn takes you to St Gregory's Minster in Kirkdale.
  14. Make your way back to the road and turn right in the direction you were travelling in before. You'll come out on a bend in the A170. Turn right and return to Helmsley, approximately 2.5 miles further on. The vicarage Temple Moore built for his patron Vicar Gray is set back from the road on your right as you enter the town.

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