Goathland, Mallyan Spout and the Roman Road, North Yorkshire Moors Date Completed 7th November 2006
Start Point (OS Grid Ref) NZ 83343 01346 Total Distance 7.5 miles / 12.3 km
Walking Time 2 hr 59 min Total Height Climbed N/A
Total Time 4 hr 47 min Moving Average Speed 2.4 mph / 3.8 kph
OS Maps Explorer OL27 1:25,000 Landranger 94 1:50,000
Weather Conditions Cloudy with sunny spells and occasional showers. 10°C

Summits Height Status Download the GPS data file of this walk

Malton Town CentreHaving the opportunity of a 5-day Autumn break, we decided to go to North Yorkshire, as Scotland is a bit too far to go for such a short time. Our base for the first three days was Malton, about half way between York and Scarborough. This is situated just south of the North York Moors but gives relatively easy access to them.

We purchased the Pathfinder Guide to the North York Moors to give us some ideas for walks in this area, and decided that this one would give us a good introduction as it features a multitude of scenic delights.

After a hearty Yorkshire breakfast, we drove from Malton to Goathland via the Hole of Horcum, a spectacular sunken bowl caused by landslips due to water erosion. The only parking in Goathland is near the end of the village and costs about £2 per day.

First impressions of Goathland are that it is a peaceful, moorland village with sheep grazing the verges and nothing much going on; unfortunately its alter ego is 'Aidensfield' from the TV programme 'Heartbeat', so be prepared for busloads of grannies descending on the place. Thankfully this walk is not 'granny-friendly'.

The Mallyan SpoutThe walk starts at the car park (toilets provided) and we set off at about 10:20. The first part descends a 1 in 15 incline that was part of the original Whitby to Pickering railway which is now completely overgrown and provides a pleasant route into the valley below. At the bottom of this incline ( NZ 82172 02061 ) it is possible to take a detour to Beck Hole, but from here we followed a signposted route to 'The Mallyan' which climbs steeply over a hill via a well made path to descend alongside West Beck, the river that the Mallyan Spout flows into.

The next mile follows a well defined, but slippery in places, path alongside the river to the base of the Mallyan Spout, a 70 ft. waterfall at NZ 82418 01067 (50 min, actual time).

The Mallyan SpoutThis is probably impressive after heavy rain, but not the day we were there. Having fought our way through the photographers trying to get impressive shots of this, we continued alongside the West Beck in much more peaceful surroundings. This may be due in part to the slippery nature of this path as it winds at first through trees alongside the river, then across two wooden bridges before finally passing through fallen boulders underneath some crags at NZ 81761 00427 .

Shortly after this the path climbs to reach the road at NZ 81494 00291 where we stopped for a well-earned cigarette break whilst looking over the bridge into the West Beck (1 hr 55 min, actual time).

We did not cross this bridge but turned left up the road to pick up a short footpath that leads back down to the river and crosses via a footbridge. From here we crossed a few fields, playing 'dodge the cowpat', climbing gradually to reach the farm track near the top of Hazel Head. The views across the moors from here are quite expansive and photography would not have done them justice. This is true of most of the views across moorland in this area.

West BeckWe turned South down the farm track passing Hazel Head farm and descended the hill to reach the Wheeldale Beck, which we crossed via another footbridge at SE 81107 99038 (2 hr 40 min, actual time). From here it was a short walk along the right of way to the course of an old roman road, although the information boards here suggest that this is pre-roman. At its highest point this gives excellent views across to the crags of Howl Moor and has a stark bareness about it. Here we stopped for lunch despite the cold wind that came across the moor at us.

After lunch we continued south crossing a dry-stone wall to pick up the path west at SE 80777 98079. This path is easy to miss if you do not count your footsteps from the dry-stone wall (approx. 300 yd) or if you do not have a GPS, as there are many sheep tracks in the heather to add to the confusion. This path descends quite steeply below Skivick Crag which is quite unexpected after the roundness of the moors, and crosses the Wheeldale Beck via stepping stones at SE 81150 98248 (3 hr 30 min, actual time).

From here we picked up the track that leads past Wheeldale Lodge and continues North-east over a rise to Hunt House. Having crossed the bridge over the beck at Hunt House we took the path up onto the moor at this point (SE 81582 98721). After careful negotiation of the sheep paths in this area we spotted the large cairn the marks the path along the edge of Two Howes Rigg, a delightful walk with outstanding views across the area we had just walked through. This path eventually descends down easy slopes to reach the start of Goathland village from where it is a simple, if somewhat lengthy, walk back to the car park.

After returning to Malton we sampled the local hospitality of the Clarence Vaults (nice beer) and then had dinner at our hotel - roast beef BUT WITHOUT YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS(in Yorkshire - what a disgrace!!).