Goathland & Beck Hole, Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire
(via Mallyan Spout and Thomason Foss waterfalls).
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time: 2 hous 20 minutes
Map: OS Explorer OL27 = North Yorkshire Moors, Eastern area
This is one of my all time favourite short strolls starting and finishing in the picturesque village of Goathland. The village was the base for the Heartbeat TV series, set in the fictional village of Aidensfield on Goathland, with many of the set props still on site as tourist attractions. Take care when driving through the village as the sheep tend to wander aimlessly in the road!
The route is about 3.5 miles and though not very challenging, it is not wheelchair or cycle friendly, but is family and dog friendly. This charming circular walk is easy, there is a bit of hill climbing but these areas have been stepped, so good for all ages and abilities. The short path to the Mallyan Spout is not managed and can be slippery on the moss covered rocks when wet, icy or snow covered, so care needs to be taken.
The route starts opposite St Mary's church - though a church has occupied the site since 1568, the current building was built 1821-1896. After passing through the kiss gate to the right of the Mallyan Spout Hotel and descend the staircase to the floor of the deep woodland gorge. The route follows the beck, first visiting the Mallyan Spout the highest single fall in the Yorkshire Moors and then after passing the Birch Hall Inn in Beckhole, visits the Thomason Foss waterfall that plunging into a deep natural bathing pool for a spot of wild swimming, set in a tranquil woodland valley - a great place for a picnic.
Birch Hall Inn at Beckhole, is a charming country pub (open 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily, except Tuesday when the pub is closed).
The walk is good in all weathers and in all seasons, with a nice pub halfway. At the finish back in Goathland there are a choice of tea rooms and ice-cream parlours or the Goathland Hotel (Aidensfield Arms in Heartbeat) in which to reflect over the walk. The railway station is well worth a visit, which has steam engines that run from Pickering to Whitby (March to October), and was used as the set for "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".