Turn right on the main road from the Moors Centre, passing the car park on your left. 100 yards or so after bending left, go through a gate in the hedge on your left signposted for Lealholm, then diagonally uphill to the wall in the far corner. With the wall on your left, cross a couple of stiles and follow the path above Park House to soon enter a farmyard with more dogs than you can shake a stick at. And you probably shouldn’t. The track soon joins a metalled road which you should follow for a mile or so rising slowly uphill and revealing lovely views of Eskdale and Little Fryupdale away to your right.
Shortly before the road dips down to Houlsyke, a signed path on your left (slightly to the right of a wider track), leads up to a ladder stile over a wall. Brace yourself for a long slog uphill keeping a wall to your left and head through 2 gates before emerging on to moorland where you soon turn right on a minor road to spend quality time gasping for breath.
After passing Oakley Walls Farm on your right, immediately opposite a gated road going back downhill, turn left on a wide track into the heather. You will soon see that this leads directly to Danby Beacon, standing proudly at the highest point in the distance. The Beacon dates back to the 17th Century when it was first erected to warn of a marine invasion from the French, had a lease of life as a radar station in the Second World War and was rebuilt to reflect local history in 2008.
After a gentle mile downhill on the road to Danby the road suddenly turns sharp left. Take a path to the right alongside the stone wall ahead of you. Follow the path/wall as it turns left then downhill to the secluded valley of Clitherbeck. Cross the stream at the bottom of the hill using a footbridge 150 yards to the right of the wall, then bear left over a stile and diagonally up to a gate taking you into young woodland.
Emerge through a 2nd gate, then go right up to another gate in the wall. (If you are headed back to the Moors centre, reject that gate and head alongside the wall to another gate into mature woods. The Moors centre is at the end of the lower level path on your left).
For Danby village, go through that gate in the wall at the top of the field, head uphill through bracken, then join a wider track heading down and left to the excellence of the Stonehouse Bakery Cafe, the Danby Health Shop and or one of the best pubs in the Esk Valley, the Duke of Wellington.
AN EDITED EXTRACT FROM MY BOOK “RAMBLING ON AND ON” AVAILABLE FROM DANBY MOORS CENTRE, DANBY HEALTH SHOP OR ONLINE FROM WWW.WALKING-BOOKS.COM (search for “rambling on and on, Stuart Bell”)