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Goathland Out and back trail run 01/07/2022

Nice route today of around 14 miles out and back from Goathland to Beggars Bridge, Glaisdale. Varied route of woodland trods, old railway lines and some road. Plenty of short sharp descents and ascents to keep the legs ticking over. Starting from Goathand where Heartbeat was filmed for many years we dropped down into the village before descending the incline onto the old railway line which forms part of the Grosmont to whitby rail trail. The line itself was one of the first in the country and initially was used by horse drawn carriages before Stephenson invented his locomotive. Much of the old line passes areas where iron ore and alum were dug out of the neighbouring hill during the early 19th century. In two places it also flows over the Murk Esk which joins with the river Esk at Grosmont. As you get towards Grosmont the route leaves the railway line and climbs up above the engine sheds which gives good views of the locomotives which make up the North Yorkshire Moors railway. Once in the village the route passes over the railway again and follows the road down to the Egton Estates Toll Road also known as Barnards Toll road. This runs up to Egton Hall and passes the old toll keepers cottage where there is still a tariff board on the wall dating from 1947. The route then goes into Egton Bridge via the road which you follow towards Rosedale for about a mile before turning off into Arnecliff Woods.

Something to look out for are the giant Redwood trees that tower above their neighbours, they are at least 100 years old having been planted sometime in the 19th century.

The road out of Egton bridge climbs sharply up towards the hamlet of Delves. Its a runnable hill but will get the quads and lungs working hard. Leaving the road the route follows the FP into Arncliffe Woods which is on the Wainwright Coast to Coast route as is the route all the way from Beggars Bridge into Grosmont. The woods themselves are ancient and this is evidenced by the tell tale signs of coppicing which was prevalent in the Middle Ages. Arnecliff also spelt Arncliffe and Arncliffe is old English for Eagles Cliff, or where Eagles live it first appeared in the Domesday book commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086.

Within the wood there are many large crags and boulders which could well have been the home to Eagles, sadly long since gone. One particular stone that you pass in the wood appears to be split in two and legend says that if you walk round it three times your wishes will come true. Apparently at one time there was a giant yew tree growing up through the middle of the stone which caused it to split. Another thing to look out for is the stone trod which runs through part of the wood, this agin has medieval origins and is said to have been used by monks travelling from Guisborough Priory to Whitby Abbey. Not sure how they would have got on in their thin leather strap shoes as the stones can be cantankerous when wet or icy.

At the end of the wood the path drops down to river level and the turn around point at Beggars Bridge. Built in the 17th century the pack horse style bridge is said to have been placed there to enable two lovers from opposite sides of the Esk to meet each other more easily....

From the bridge it is a simple about turn and retrace your steps back to Goathland, however should you wish to consult your map there are a myriad different ways you could run back to the start from that location....

In all the route out and back was just over 13 miles, with a mixture of terrain, ascents, descents and plenty to see of interest. The whole route is runnable and lends itself for a chance to stretch the legs especially on the toll road and disused railway trail. Best of all for me there is a long steady climb up the incline back into Goathaland, for those of you on Strava it has a segment.

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