I’m finally finishing off my May 2022 Yorkshire series, following on from my previous posts on York, Ripon, Whitby and Rievaulx. Yorkshire is such a wonderful part of the UK. As our largest county, North Yorkshire has loads to offer, not least its namesake – York itself. But there is so much more to the area, from stunning coastline, to historic towns and wonderful National Parks. One such National Park is the North York Moors, a beautiful area spanning from just north of York itself all the way to the coastline.
During a stay in a wood cabin in Griffon Lodge, on the outskirts of the National Park, I headed for a solo walk in the Moors. I picked a simple route between Thornton-le-Dale and Ellerburn, and boy was it beautiful!
Location: I parked in the Thornton-le-Dale carpark, which is a pay & display open all day. It’s just through the village centre and has ample parking being an official National Park carpark.
Hike distance and time: The hike distance is only 3km, so it’s really more of a walk than a hike – taking around 1-1.5hrs depending on how many times you stop to take photos.
Terrain: The walk is largely flat and there are no difficult parts at all so it’s suitable for all abilities.
You can find the route I followed HERE.
Regarded as one of the prettiest villages in the National Park, with a picturesque river running through it and lots of bridges and perfect houses, Thornton-le-Dale is a great choice for a walk. Starting at the carpark, follow the signs in to the village, through the little nature reserve. Be sure to enjoy the little cottages lining the streets as you arrive at the village green.
B. Thornton-Le-Dale to Thornton Mill
Once you arrive at the village green, turn right and go past the almshouses. These houses were founded in 1670 to house 12 poor people in the village. After walking past the almshouses, turn left as you’re going over the bridge, past the stunning Beck Isle Cottage.
Continue following the path round until you reach a road, where you turn left and follow alongside the stream again until it passes under a road, where you turn right between the stream and the hedgerow and head in to the woodland and fields.
C. Thornton Mill to Ellerburn
Follow the path alongside the river, through the woodland and with views out over to the fields. Visiting in Spring meant there were lots of lambs just being born as I visited so they added a super cute touch to the walk! The path is quite long, running through a number of gates varying between wooded path and open field.
Eventually you will come out in a farm yard, where you turn left and head to Ellerburn church. The church of St Hilda is dedicated to the first abbess of Whitby Abbey and the building dates from 1050 (and earlier) so is a very special (nearly 1,000 year old) church.
D. Ellerburn to Thornton-Le-Dale road
From the church, take the minor tarmac road slightly uphill until you reach a fork in the road, where you veer right and then shortly afterwards left through a gate by the Public Footpath sign. I really loved the flowers lining the way on this section of the walk.
E. Thornton-Le-Dale road to carpark
On the final leg of the walk, follow the path down until it meets the road, where you turn right on to Brook Lane and then left on to the Whitby road, ending up back on Thornton-Le-Dale village green and back to the car park. You definitely deserve an ice cream after that!
What do you think of this lovely little walk? I thought it was the perfect choice for a quick stroll on a mild evening in May. Thanks for reading – stay safe and happy travelling.