Dalby Forest and the Bridestones

Dalby Forest and the Bridestones

Dalby Forest and the Bridestones

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Dalby Forest and the Bridestones
Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 3 hours
Level of walk: MediumView Walks Key
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Please note that the Dalby Forest and the Bridestones walk is available on the iFootpath website and App

Why you should do this walk…
If you want a walk with a sense of wild freedom, where your pooch can enjoy extensive time off the lead on long grassy tracks and paths, this is the one for you.  In spite of the title, there is little time spent in the actual forest – most of the walk is in peaceful open countryside with great views of the North York Moors and the almost ‘other-worldly’ Bridestones.
What else you need to know
There is a charge of £4 (Feb 2012) per car to enter the Dalby Forest complex, but once in parking is free.
How to get there – Take the A170 Pickering to Scarborough road to Thornton-le-Dale. Turn off at the crossroads in the centre of the village, and head along Whitby Gate following the signs to Dalby the Great Yorkshire Forest. After about 1½ miles turn right and follow the road to the forest drive toll-booth. After paying the entrance fee, continue along the road through Low Dalby – passing its visitor centre and car parks. Stay on the forest drive and head to the Staindale car park near Adderstone Wood. There is a sign by the entrance to the car park saying Bridestones.
Suggested map – OS Explorer Map North York Moors Eastern Area OL 27
Car park – Low Staindale (Bridestones) car park
Start – in the car park
Length/time – 4½ miles, takes around 2½ hours
Terrain/difficulty – MEDIUM, mainly on easy to follow tracks and green paths, with an uphill climb at the start
Dog friendliness – apart from a short section along a quiet, single-track road, well-behaved dogs can be off the lead virtually all the way round. No dog bins seen and just two stiles to negotiate.
Food and drink – the nearest dog-friendly pub is the excellent Fox and Rabbit on the A169 Whitby Road, near to Dalby Forest – see our Directories for details. The café at the Dalby Forest Visitor Centre does not permit dogs, but Dalby Courtyard café has outside seating where you can sit with your pooch in warmer weather.
Public toilets – by the entrance to the Low Staindale car park. Also at the Dalby Visitor Centre and Dalby Courtyard.Other interesting info:
The Bridestones are knobbly sandstone outcrops formed 150 million years ago, and can be seen along the nature trail in Dalby Forest surrounded by 300 acres of moorland.  There are many walking trails in Dalby Forest for you and your dog to explore.

The Walk

  1. Take the footpath from the car park and head towards the trees, passing a National Trust sign for The Bridestones. Continue ahead on the path and at a kissing gate, bear right to a fork by a National Trust information board. Take the left path and head uphill, bearing right near the top of the climb through an area of birch trees heading for the open moorland.
  2. Continue on towards the impressive Low Bride Stones, now in sight ahead. From here there are great views of Bridestone Griff below and the North York Moors. Having past the stones, there is the option of a quick detour to the left to view the High Bride Stones as well. The walk however, continues to the right at this point following a yellow way-marker along a narrow path through the heather on Bridestones Moor, making for the tree line in front.
  3. The path comes out on to a broad track. Turn left and follow it along the edge of a forest for around ½ mile. This is a great area for your dog to romp around!
  4. At a National Trust information board by a gate, turn left along an uneven path and keeping the wire and post fence to the right, head towards a pond. The path wiggles downhill and stays close to the fence.  At a National Trust marker-post, bear right towards a way-marked stile. There is no dog-gate here, so pooches will have to jump or be carried over but smaller dogs will probably be able to squeeze under – just as Izzy did!
  5. Turn left immediately through a metal gate leading to an enclosed farm track with wide grass verges on either side. This is another great opportunity for some bounding about! Approaching some farm buildings, turn right following a yellow way-marker into a field following the hedge line and fence to the left. Look out for cattle at this point. At the corner of the fence, follow another yellow way-marker to the left on a grassy path along the edge of bank which slopes away to the right.
  6. With a wire and post fence to the left, head towards the tree line in front while looking for a stile at the bottom right hand side of this rectangular enclosure. Cross the stile into the next field – again there is no dog-gate so most pooches will need a hand to get over. Keep straight ahead along the edge of the field respecting the landowner’s request to ‘use the grass verge’ with the fence and dry-stone wall to the right. Bear left, staying on the edge of the field, but now with buildings in view ahead and to the right. Head towards a wooden gate.
  7. Pass through the gate and turn left along a single track road (Pasture Road) for a short distance. After the road dips and bears right, follow a green and white public footpath sign to the left along a wide enclosed farm track. Keep ahead through the farm towards a wide metal gate by a National Trust Bridestones sign. Follow the track – it is safe for well-behaved dogs to be off the lead again here – downhill through another gate towards a house.
  8. After bearing right past the front of the house, turn immediately left. After passing chicken coups at the rear of the house, the path turns into a grassy track as it heads downhill towards a stream. Use the stepping stones to cross the stream, and continue ahead, with trees and a wire and post fence to the left, towards a kissing gate. Pass through the gate and head back along the path to the car park.

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  1. Josh botterill  - 30/05/2014 - 5:06 pm

    This was our first walk through this site and what can I say the directions where all spot on and correct well explained and easy to follow my wife and I loved this walk but our dog holly the collie loved it more so planning our next walk already

    • corina  - 01/06/2014 - 2:50 pm

      Thanks for the comment and really hope you enjoy the rest of the walks on the site 🙂

  2. Victoria  - 05/07/2014 - 10:17 pm

    This was a really beautiful walk and the instructions were spot on as usual. Can’t recommend this site often enough. That said, the dog-unfriendly stiles on this walk were a real problem for us. Only very small dogs would be able to fit underneath and only very large or extremely acrobatic dogs could jump over. My partner and I had to lift our lab cross over – muddy, precarious and not pleasant for anyone! We probably won’t be doing this walk again because of it, which is a real shame.

    May be worth mentioning that when we did the walk (July 2014) entrance to to forest was £7 per car. You can buy a year pass for £42, which we did because of all the other walks that start in the forest. There were also a lot of sheep in the latter stages at this time of year, meaning quite a lot of on lead time for most dogs.

  3. Danielle  - 22/08/2015 - 10:18 pm

    This walk was abandoned at point 4 as the walk way was so overgrown it came above our heads and was a nightmare! We retraced our steps to point 3 and instead of following the previous waymarker we carried on and ended up at high stain dale car park and took the oath by the lake back to the original car park which turned out to be roughly 4 miles. We had traveled two hours to do the walk and maybe will try later in the year.
    Car parking £7

  4. Danielle  - 22/08/2015 - 10:18 pm

    This walk was abandoned at point 4 as the walk way was so overgrown it came above our heads and was a nightmare! We retraced our steps to point 3 and instead of following the previous waymarker we carried on and ended up at high stain dale car park and took the oath by the lake back to the original car park which turned out to be roughly 4 miles. We had traveled two hours to do the walk and maybe will try later in the year.
    Car parking £7

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Walking on mostly flat terrain, little walking up hill and few styles or dry stone walls to negotiate. Distance from 1 to 5 miles.

Some walking up steep hills over rugged terrain, negotiating dry stone walls. Distance from 3 to 6 miles.

A lot of walking up steep hills over rugged terrain, and some scrambling up rocks. Distance from 6 miles upwards.

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