LOCAL WALKS AROUND RAVENSWORTH
There are a number of enjoyable and scenic walks in and around the village of Ravensworth. These can provide lovely views of Holmedale and the local countryside and can be chosen to suit your preference of short or long, easy or more strenuous.
A few local routes are suggested below.
Route 1 - Circular walk through Gayles or Dalton
This is a relatively short walk from Ravensworth, offering a variety of views of Holmedale. Total distance is around 3 to 3.5 miles and it should take you around 45 mins to 1 hour.
Start from Ravensworth village green walking past the Bay Horse towards Holmedale Beck. Cut left just before the road bridge across the beck and go through the gate into the field alongside the long straight section of Holmedale Beck, walking the length of the field (around 750 metres) to the style at the other end. If you are lucky you may spot a Kingfisher which periodically nests in this area, flying the length of the beck.
After crossing the style walk alongside and then across the fields, following the public footpath signs until you arrive at the group of buildings at Low Fields. Then take the stone road up to the left towards the hamlet of Gayles. An alternative, longer route can be taken by continuing on the footpath through the fields towards Dalton.
From Gayles walk around 150 metres to the left on the main road towards Kirby Hill until you reach a gate at the corner of a field just after the next farm track from the left. Walk across the field at an angle eventually reaching a footpath just beyond a wall. Follow the footpath through a series of gates and styles until you reach Flats Bank, the road back towards Ravensworth.
Route 2 - Circular walk to Gilling West and back
This walk tracks the route of Holmedale and Hartforth Becks as they flow to Gilling West. Total distance is 7 to 8 miles and the walk should take 2 to 2.5 hours plus any time for a break at Gilling West.
Follow the Richmond road out of Ravensworth and cut left onto the footpath which runs past Holme Beck Barn. Follow the footpath alongside and across various fields and styles until you reach Homedale Beck. Follow the path along the beck, crossing Comfort Lane beside the humpback bridge and continue on past the old Hartforth Mill, now converted into a residence. Cross the bridge over the beck and follow the track round to Hartforth, re-crossing the beck using the humpback bridge at Hartforth. From Hartforth the route follows a footpath across fields to Gilling West. There are a couple of pubs in Gilling should you wish to take a rest and some refreshments.
The route back to Ravensworth follows a farm track (Waters Lane), past Crabtree House Farm, joining a footpath to the south of Hartforth Woods, leading to Whashton village. From Whashton follow Rachael Lane turning left on to Comfort Lane and returning to Ravensworth.
Route 3 - Circular walk through Kirby Hill
This walk offers great views across Holmedale and beyond, including Teesdale and the Cleveland Hills. Total distance is around 4 miles and the walk should take you 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on walking speed. The walk includes total climbing of around 150 metres.
Follow the road towards Gayles from Ravensworth (Flats Bank), crossing the main road at the crossroads and continuing up to the top of the track. Turn left at the top and follow the track alongside the army ranges. On a clear day this section offers great views towards Ravensworth and beyond, to the north. Continue along this track for about 1 mile, until you reach the road junction at Sturdy House Farm. At this point go through the gate to the field on the left and head across the field at an angle, crossing the beck and heading towards the woods further on. Cross the style and follow the marked footpath through the woods emerging at another style into a grassed field. Continue across another style to the left and across another field to the style at the top corner. From here you will descend towards Kirby Hill with great views to left and right. At Kirby Hill you have the choice of returning to Ravensworth via the main road or crossing the style just beyond the Shoulder of Mutton to the footpath leading to Ravensworth past the ruined castle.