Beck Hole from Goathland

North York Moors Railway

A short and easy walk that is an ideal introduction to walking in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. This walk starts at the village of Goathland that is famous for being the filming location for the television series Heartbeat. Goathland is therefore a kind of museum to Heartbeat's fictional village of Aidensfield. Everywhere you look there is memorabilia, references, landmarks and of course the famous Ford Anglia police cars used in the popular television series. This walk leaves busy Goathland behind and wanders off on a circular route passing the elegant North Yorkshire Moors Railway Station at Goathland before entering wild moorland. At the half way point there is the sheltered sleepy village of Beck Hole, where you can rest at the wonderful Birch Hall Inn that doubles up as a sweet shop. The second leg of the walk ascends a lovely route up the old Beck Hole Incline, now part of the Grosmont Rail Trail.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the car park in Goathland at grid reference NZ833013. There is ample parking in the main car park, a neighbouring over flow car park during busier periods and roadside parking just outside the village.
  2. To reach Goathland turn off the main A169 Pickering to Whitby road half a mile north of Eller Beck Bridge. Follow the minor road sign posted to Goathland and Beck Hole. Follow this minor road for three miles to reach Goathland Village. The car park is on the left after the shops.
  3. From the car park head back to the main road then turn left heading east away from the village towards the railway station. You will pass the famous Goathland Garage on the left also known as Scripps Garage & Funeral Service in Heartbeat. On the other side of the road the Goathland Hotel also known as the Aidensfield Arms in Heartbeat.
  4. Where the main road bends to the right head straight on and descend The Green to cross a bridge over Eller Beck and reach Goathland railway station. Goathland railway station is part of the North Yorkshire Moor Railway.
  5. Goathland railway station has had its own fame. As well as Heartbeat the station has been used but in many adverts and other shows over the years. It was also used as a filming location for the Harry Potter movies when it became the fictional Hogsmeade railway station.
  6. When you reach the railway station head through the gate and carefully cross the pedestrian crossing to reach the other side of the tracks. On the other side go through the gate then turn left and head north up Mill Scar.
  7. After walking along Mill Scar for half a kilometre the path drops to a small hamlet. Do not cross the wooden bridge or the stepping stones by the ford over Eller Beck. Instead when you reach the ford turn right and after thirty metres turn left over a wooden bridge crossing the small stream.
  8. Ascend the steep path through bracken up the hill side. When the path reaches the top of the hill head left over a wooden stile. Head east and pass the back of a small house and out buildings.
  9. The path then enters open moorland. Where the path splits stay on the path to the left that skirts the top of the valley. Follow the path through the bracken for over half a kilometre with occasional views left down to the North York Moors Railway and Eller Beck.
  10. After just over half a kilometre avoid the stile on the left and instead turn right. Follow the path which passes Lins Farm then reaches a road at Hill Farm. At Hill Farm turn left and descend the road to reach a railway bridge.
  11. Cross the railway bridge and follow the step road round a bend down into the sheltered sleepy village of Beck Hole. Walk through the village passing dozens of quaint stone built dwellings until you reach the bridge over Eller Beck.
  12. Next to the bridge at Beck Hole is Birch Hall Inn. An incredibly cosy pub on one side of the building and sweet shop on the other. Both serviced by the same member of staff through a cubbyhole. The Birch Hall Inn has a beer garden at the rear situated next to Eller Beck and its stunning gorge. Look out for bobbing Dippers and Yellow Wagtails on rocks in the beck.
  13. After enjoying the hospitality of the Birch Hall Inn cross the road and head down a track opposite the pub and to the left of a cottage and rear garage. Head through a wide wooden gate then follow the path round a bend to the left and past a beautiful cottage.
  14. The wide path then heads south east and starts the ascent of the old Beck Hole Incline that is now the pleasant route of the Grosmont Rail Trail. In the nineteenth century the incline was part of George Stephenson's Pickering and Whitby Railway.
  15. The incline was originally worked by horses, then an innovative cable system enabled the descending trains to pull up the ascending trains, steam followed later but the steep incline still proved to be troublesome. The railway was eventually re-routed via Eller Beck and the incline fell into decline.
  16. Once at the top of the incline the path passes through a gate and then another section of the incline before reaching a gate to Beck Hole Road. Turn right and follow Beck Hole Road to reach Goathland Village.
  17. After the walk why not join the Heartbeat tourists at Goathland, the fictional village of Aidensfield. You will find many interesting landmarks and the famous Ford Anglia police cars used in the popular television series are often on show. There is a tea room with delicious cream teas and if you fancy a drink and more substantial meal there is the Goathland Hotel.

Maps for this walk

Paper maps for this walk

Click to buy OS Explorer OL27 Map Click to buy OS Landranger 94 Map Click to buy Harveys Britsh Mountan Map North York Moors Click to buy Cicerone The North Yorkshire Moors

GPS files for this walk

Route map of this walk

Photos & Trip Reports

Beck Hole from Goathland

Planning for a walk

Check the weather

The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...

Plan your journey

Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.

Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...

Pack the right gear

Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...

  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Warm Clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Map & Compass
  • Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food & Drink
  • Seasonal Gear

Know what to do in emergencies

It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.

Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.

You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.

Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.