GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Esk Valley Walk

35 miles (56 km)

A stunning walk through the North York Moors National Park from Castleton to Whitby.
The walk begins with a loop from Castleton which passes through Danby Head, Westerdale Moor, Farndale Moor and High Blakey Moor. You return to Castleton where you begin the next section through Esk Dale to Danby and then the climb to Danby Beacon. From here it leads to Leaholm, Glaisdale, Egton Bridge and Grosmont with several sections along the River Esk. The final section takes you through Sleights to the finish point at Whitby, on the North Sea. See the Sleights to Whitby Walk for more details on this nice section.
The walk passes the North York Moors Railway which you can take for part of the route. The steam railway is a significant tourist attraction and may be the busiest steam heritage line in the world, carrying around 350,000 passengers in 2009.

Esk Valley Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Esk Valley Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


Near Whitby you could stop off at The Bridge Inn in the little village of Ruswarp. The pub has a lovely garden area by the river where you can sit and watch the old steam trains go by. It's a splendid place to relax with a drink on warmer days. They also do very good food and have a fine selection of ales. You can find them on the High Street at a postcode of YO21 1NJ for your sat navs. It's also dog friendly if you have your canine friend with you. Near here there's also the option of climbing to the Larpool Viaduct for views over the area. The impressive 13 arch structure was built in 1882 to carry theScarborough & Whitby Railwayover theRiver Esk. It's now owned by Sustrans and carries the Cinder Track, a shared cycling and walking trail runnning to Robin Hood's Bay.
At the picturesque village of Egton Bridge there's the Postgate Inn to consider. The tradtional country inn dates back to 1860 and also provides bed and breakfast accommodation. The Inn was a regular feature in the popular TV series "Heartbeat" that was set in the North York Moors under its stage name "The Black Dog”. They serve good quality food and have a nice garden area to relax in on warmer days. You can find them at postcode YO21 1UX for your sat navs.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

If you are doing the walk in early spring then be sure to try the Farndale Daffodil Walk as you pass through the area. This delighful circular walk explores the 'wild' daffodils of Farndale. The flowers are very well known in the area and attract large numbers of visitors in the spring. The River Dove also runs through the area with the pretty daffodils lining the riverbank. It's a pcituresque sight and well worth seeing if you have time to take a small detour from the route.
Near Glaisdale look out for the Beggar's Bridge. The splendid packhorse bridge dates back to 1619 and is Grade II listed.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Yorkshire Walks and North York Moors Walks pages.


River Esk - - 199011

River Esk near Sleights

Floating Drydock, Parkol Marine - - 1401263

Floating Drydock, Parkol Marine with Whitby Abbey in the background

Bridleway approaching Hecks Wood - - 810337

Bridleway approaching Hecks Wood

Towards Westerdale Moor and Eskdale - - 895166

Towards Westerdale Moor and Eskdale This view is north, and one of the options for the Lyke Wake Walk, followed this route, but with the need to avoid boot erosion, and the understandable desire to visit the Lion Inn at Blakey, most walkers now continue east along the disused railway line.

Abandoned Railway Viaduct over the River Esk at Whitby - - 1605143

Larpool Viaduct. Abandoned Railway Viaduct over the River Esk at Whitby

River Esk and Ruswarp Bridge - - 657892

River Esk and Ruswarp Bridge. The village of Ruswarp is on the far bank with the tower of St. Bartholomew's church prominent.

River Esk at Egton Bridge - - 1866434

River Esk at Egton Bridge

St Hedda's Church, Egton Bridge - - 595835

St Hedda's Church, Egton Bridge. This magnificent church deserves its nickname 'Cathedral of the Moors'. St Hedda's has strong links with priest and martyr Nicholas Postgate who was born in this area and ministered to the Catholic population of this part of the moors.


GPS Files

GPX File

Esk Valley Walk.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Esk Valley Walk.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)