Grosmont (pronounced Growmont) is the northern terminus of the scenic North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Many people follow a good path up to the moorland village of Goathland then return by train. A shorter but no less enjoyable walk is this circular route from Grosmont, which utilises the railway line trail to beyond the hamlet of Esk Valley then cuts over farmland and drops down to the River Esk before joining a fine track for the return leg. It is worth making a short detour at the start of the route by walking through the tunnel of the original Grosmont-Goathland line to see the fascinating engine sheds and locomotives yard. Goldfinches are frequently seen along the railway line, kingfishers and herons are present along the Esk.
1. Turn left from the car park and walk under the bridge bridge to Grosmont village centre. Go over the level crossing and turn right on a path signposted to the engine sheds. Before the tunnel (if not making detour) angle left up a slope to pass the old school building, now a cafe, and follow the path signposted as the Railway Trail. This good path eventually joins the railway line.
2. Continue along the Railway Trail. At the hamlet of Esk Valley continue straight ahead through a gate. Beyond a cottage on the left look for a gate and stile on the right. Cross over and follow wheel treads, but when they bear left continue uphill to find a path into Spring Wood on the right. Keep on a straight course uphill, following the field edge to a handgate next to Dowson Garth.
3. Cross a track to a gate and turn left to continue uphill at the field edge. Follow the obvious course of the path into trees to the left of High Burrows Farm and bear right in the wood to find a wall stile. Turn right on a tarmac road, continue past the farm and go left to follow an access road to Low Burrows. Bear left at the house and follow the path along field edges to another lane.
4. Cross over to another access road and continue downhill. Pass a house, go through a gate and keep a straight course. At the bottom go over a stile, bear right through marshy ground, turn left through a gap then go immediately right to cross a footbridge. On the other side keep to the left of a whitewashed house, pass through a gate to reach a track, go right and follow it out to the road. Turn right to return to the car park and Grosmont.
Difficulty rating: 2 stars.
Distance: 4 1/2 miles
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) sheet OL27, North York Moors Eastern Area
Parking: Grosmont (pay & display).
Public transport: Grosmont is on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Middlesbrough-Whitby Esk Valley line; also the 99 bus service between Whitby and Lealholm. For times call 0871 2002233 (charges apply).
Refreshments & toilets: Grosmont