This outing works well if you take the 08.50 train from Whitby, alighting at Egton at 09.10, returning on the 15.01 train from Danby, arriving in Whitby at 15.43. This gives plenty of time for doing the walk as well as enjoying refreshments in Danby at the end.
Leaving Egton station, turn right, under the railway bridge, and continue south to cross over the River Esk, then a few hundred yards west, continuing straight ahead on a quiet lane for about a mile. Take a bridleway off to the right, heading northwest through East Arncliff Wood. You will eventually come to the famous Beggar’s Bridge.
Take the road southwest for a short distance to the first turning to the right and follow this lane into the middle of Glaisdale village, then turn right. At the crossroads, turn left (southwest) onto a lane which soon becomes a rough track (Glaisdale Rigg) running across Glaisdale Moor. Reaching a road, turn sharp right, and almost immediately leave the road, turning left onto a bridleway, heading down into Great Fryup Dale.
Joining a lane, turn left and continue your descent, going through the hamlet of Street. A mile further on, take a minor footpath to the right (this cuts the corner off the lane), rejoining the lane after about half a mile. You are now entering Little Fryup Dale. At Stonebeck Gate Farm, turn right, following the bridleway, past Forester’s Lodge, and through fields of rough sheep pasture to Castle Lane, then turn right, northward. You will soon pass by the remains of Danby Castle on your right. Ignore the turning to your left and continue northeast until you reach Duck Bridge.
From here, heading west, take Easton Lane, which leads to the northern end of Ainthorpe. Then turn right, following the road north, across the River Esk and over the railway bridge. You are now at the end of the walk: Danby station is to your left.
Some features and places of interest
For much of this walk, one steps upon or alongside pannier tracks, which were created for packhorses, with a surface of stone “trods”. It seems likely that most of these date from the 18th Century, although some the original routes are considerably older.
Saint Hedda’s Church, Egton Bridge, open in the daytime, has a display of artefacts associated with Nicholas Postgate (1599-1679). He was a Roman Catholic priest who, disguised as a gardener and living secretly in a cow byre near Ugthorpe, served the people of this area for 20 years, until betrayed to the authorities and subsequently tried and executed.
East Arncliff Wood and The Delves is actually a post-industrial landscape, featuring extensive evidence of iron-ore extraction and other quarrying, mostly from the Middle Ages.
Beggar’s Bridge, near Glaisdale (1619), and Duck Bridge, near Danby (circa 1386; restored in the early 18th Century), are both excellent examples of packhorse bridges. Their height is necessary to cope with the enormous spates of river water which occasionally occur in this area.
Danby Castle dates from the 14th Century. Its ruins are now incorporated into a farmstead. Catherine Parr once lived here, prior to becoming the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. Danby court leet, a manorial court composed of local landowners, still convenes here, but it is now solely concerned with managing common land.
Start the walk at Egton
End the walk at Danby