Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Country walk at Square Corner
GEORGE WILKINSON enjoys a mostly fast and uninterrupted march at Square Corner on the North York Moors.
SQUARE Corner car park was quiet on a breezy grey day. We marched off for the moors of Snilesworth.
For nine tenths of the route the tracks took us fast, uninterrupted and undistracted at about a thousand foot altitude. Of plants there is the heather, of birds the grouse, of insects we admired the energetic pond skaters.
It wasn’t really the weather for views, but we caught a glimpse of the plains the far side of Osmotherley, Northallerton way.
The focus is bound to be on the Swainby Shooting House, visible for miles. It’s like a small, plain field barn, standalone, of sandstone, asbestos roofed, with a plank door and no windows. Also there are boundary stones and here the River Rye starts. A mile further north we reached the edge of the moor, the edge of the Cleveland Hills and could see out that way over Scugdale.
We didn’t halt on Black Moor for the No Entry sign that is made with a stubborn permanence from welded steel. We quite admired the style of grouse butts, they are square, semi-underground, lined with dark wood, have a gravel floor, and are softened with bilberry, and there are dozens.
Tucked away, just off a line of butts, is another shooting house, again you will have seen this from afar, it’s made of timber with a green tin roof and with windows.
Now came the ten per cent of the walk that is different, no track but biodiversity, even a rowan tree in berry and a buzzard in the sky. We stopped, checked and slowed.
Stony Moor Sike was a stream one step across, but note after heavy rain there is no short and simple route option here.
There’s also the River Rye to cross, this was a pleasure, the prettiest part of the walk, and the fresh stream has waterfalls, and somewhere perhaps a bridge that we didn’t search out, so again, not after heavy rain.
The last couple of miles of track were notable for another steel No Entry sign, its stippled rust very coordinated with the heather and, as I had been searching for the colour, that’s it. The purple heather was rusting.
When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.
1. From car park, right to road, half mile, pass bridleway on right (signed), 200 yards.
2. Track on left, immediately pass pond and gatepost with notices. After a mile ignore track on right.
3. Pass shooting house and ignore track on left after 50 yards.
4. Track on right (old metal No Entry sign).
5. Detour from main track to see shooting house, or stay on main track.
6. At junction, ignore track on right from the shooting house, and take track on left downhill, 100 yards, ignore track on left. Downhill.
7. On left-hand bend, just as track begins to rise, take lesser grassy/heather track on right, swings down and right, 100 yards.
8. Left, no path, down steepish, by rowan tree, to step/scramble over stream, and up to wall corner. Keep wall to your left, path, field boundary to your left and then by fence by wood.
9. At wood end follow wire fence down to stream, step/scramble over stream, follow wire fence up and round the wood, some ‘paths’.
10. At stone grouse butt, right on mown path uphill by grouse butts, right to track.
11. Track on left (old metal No Entry sign), one mile, right to road back to Square Corner.
Distance: Nine miles.
General location: North York Moors.
Start: Square Corner.
Right of way: Open Access Land.
Date walked: September 2011.
Road route: Via Osmotherley or Hawnby.
Car parking: Free car park, or roadside.
Tourist and public transport information: Sutton Bank TIC 01845 597426.
Map: Drawn from OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors western.
Difficulty: Moderate if fine.
Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.