North York Moors Walks
Date: 19th December 2014
Distance: 5.8 miles
Time: 2 hours 10 mins
Start Grid Ref: NZ592091
A simple but rewarding walk following the route of the old Rosedale Railway on to Bank Top before returning over Greenhow Bank enjoying superb views of the Cleveland Hills.
Route Summary: Bank Foot - Ingleby Incline - Bank Top - Burton Howe - Greenhow Bank - Ingleby Bank - Bank Foot
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: The Rosedale Railway was an 11 mile goods-only railway from Battersby Junction that climbed up on to the moor and round the heads of Bransdale and Farndale to reach Rosedale. It closed in 1929 and today the majority of the route is now an excellent bridleway. Earlier in the year I walked a superb section of the old line around the head of Rosedale. The main point of interest on this walk was the steep 1 in 5 gradient Ingleby Incline where the line climbed up to over 400m above sea level.
The walk started from the end of the minor road at Bank Foot, where there is space to park a couple of cars next to where the bridleway leaves the road. The first part of the walk, following the bridleway along the bottom edge of Battersby Plantation, was supremely easy walking with good views west to the northern escarpment of the Cleveland Hills. Before reaching the incline we also passed some old railway cottages that are now used by forestry workers.
The climb up Ingleby Incline was steep but steady with good views of the rock strewn flanks of Greenhow Bank and, once above the treeline, a sweeping panorama of the Cleveland plain. At the top of the incline were the scanty remains of the old drum house which was part of the pulley system used to get the train up the incline.
From Bank Top, or Incline Top as it is marked on the OS map, we took a thin path a short distance east to join the Cleveland Way. We followed this north for a couple of miles making a couple of quick detours to visit the tumulus on Burton Howe and then an old hand post. All the while we enjoyed superb views of the Cleveland hills to the left and miles of heather moorland to our right.
Below Tidy Brown Hill we forked left off the Cleveland Way to follow a sometimes rocky track to Ingleby Bank and some more super views, this time of Easby Moor to the north and Battersby Crag and Warren Moor to the west. From Ingleby Bank we continued to descend the track which took us right back to Bank Foot.
This was a fine walk, apart from the climb up Ingleby Bank the only difficulty was the bitterly cold and very strong wind blowing in from the west. The route couldn't have been simpler and in fact, if it hadn't have been so windy, I'd have been tempted to extend it a bit further to Bloworth Crossing or even to revisit the summit of Urra Moor.
For anyone interested in finding out more about the Rosedale Railway I'd recommend the www.rosedalerailway.org.uk website which features a wealth of information and lots of old photos showing the railway as it used to look.