A lovely walk in a wooded valley on the North Yorkshire Moors
This is a fascinating walk through a wooded valley with, in parts, very steep drops from the track to the beck. The tracks are rough and stony in parts but not too difficult. It is interesting that it is part of the coast-to-coast walk, ending at Robin Hood’s Bay just a few miles away. Along the route is a magnificent 30ft waterfall called Falling Foss – the latter a word from the Old Norse language, used by the Vikings who settled in these parts. The waterfall is next to the tea room garden, which was originally a gamekeeper’s cottage, and now a popular break for walkers. If you look down at the beck below the waterfall you should see the local Grey Wagtails. In the outdoor café area, many of the local birds can be seen, such as Robin, Blue and Great Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird and Woodpigeon. But journey on and you’ll shortly come to The Hermitage, an 18th Century cave cut out of a huge boulder and the ‘home’ of a hermit living alone and using the forest for food, shelter and fuel. Who it was carved by, and why, is not explained. Then move on to Littlebeck Wood for those woodland birds such as Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and many others. Now walk back on the other side (west) of the beck including some open areas to add to the variety.