Discover Breathtaking Views of Little Fryup Dale on Your Danby Walk
Commence your Danby walk from the village hall car park in the centre of Danby in the North York Moors. Start by heading south, crossing both the railway and the River Esk bridges. Continue along Ainthorpe Lane, then veer left onto Brook Lane, passing through Ainthorpe. This route sets the scene for an enchanting walk in the North York Moors, blending historical village charm with moorland and countryside beauty.
Progressing further, leave the road behind for a public bridleway ascending onto the moors. Here, the path heads south, unfolding the expansive Ainthorpe Rigg moorland before you. Soon, youʼll reach a path veering south-west across Danby Rigg. This stretch offers spectacular views into Little Fryup Dale and Great Fryup Dale, a highlight of your North York Moors walk.
Next, take Jack Sledge Road, actually just a narrow path, which leads you down into the valley, towards Botton Farm. Journey west across the valley floor, passing the Wesleyan Chapel by the side of the minor road at Danby Botton. Ascend to intersect the Esk Valley Walk, a highlight for those seeking a comprehensive Danby walk experience.
Following the Esk Valley Walk north, youʼll navigate through several farms, continuing through the valley all the way to High Castleton. From there, descend to New Road, then head north-west. The footpath weaves through farmland, including Scale Foot, Thornhill, and Westgate Farms. After descending to cross the railway, you have the option to extend your adventure towards Commondale via Foul Green, offering a chance to explore Commondale village before retracing your steps.
Proceed east, then south-east along a stone track, passing Moorside and Box Hall. This leads to a brief stint down Langburnʼs Bank, before rejoining the Esk Valley Walk. The final leg east through Danby Parkʼs woodlands brings you full circle back to Danby village. This marks the completion of a delightful 12½-mile journey, a quintessential North York Moors walk that captures the essence and beauty of the region.
Danby Walk: Maps and Tools
Visit either the OS Maps website or the Outdooractive website to view this walking route in greater detail. Both platforms offer a range of features, including the ability to print the route, download it to your device, and export the route as a GPX file. You can also watch a 3D fly-over and share the route on social media.
Danby Walk: Distance, Duration, Statistics
Distance: 12½ miles
Distance: 20 kilometres
Duration: 6 hours
Ascent: 1834 feet
Ascent: 559 metres
Type: Circular walk
Danby is a village and civil parish in the former Scarborough district of North Yorkshire, England. The 2011 UK census reported that Danby parish had a population of approximately 1400. The area benefits from rail services between Middlesbrough and Whitby. Additionally, East Yorkshire’s summer Moors Explorer bus connects Danby with Malton, Beverley, and Hull. The village is situated on the Esk Valley Walk, used partly on this Danby walk.
A short distance to the south-east, visitors find the remains of Danby Castle. This structure stands prominently on the slopes of Danby Rigg. Constructed in the 14th century for Lord Latimer, it showcased his wealth. The castle was a blend of defence and luxury. Catherine Parr, later Henry VIII’s sixth wife, once resided here. Now a wedding venue managed by The Gilchrist Collection, part of the castle serves as a farmhouse and the venue owners’ residence. The Danby court leet, an ancient baronial court, now manages common land and meets in the castle’s courtroom.
Another highlight is the Danby Agricultural Show, an annual event every August. It features traditional country pursuits including show jumping, sheepdog trials, and displays of livestock and machinery. There are also competitions in horticulture, crafts, and produce. Started in 1848 by Canon John Atkinson, the event draws around 6000 visitors. This gathering is an integral part of the local culture and offers a glimpse into traditional rural life, making it a perfect addition to any Danby walk.
The Danby Beacon is another point of interest. Part of a historical network, it dates back to the 1600s as a lookout for French invasions. Though the original beacon has since decayed, a new one was unveiled in 2008 by Lord Downe of the Danby Beacon Trust. Made from blued stainless steel, it features a flame-shaped basket atop a bronze-decorated cup. The beacon sits near a Bronze Age burial mound, linking the beacon to the area’s ancient past.
During World War II, Danby became crucial for its radar station, one of the first to guard the north-east coast. This station played a vital role in the interception of enemy aircraft by Group Captain Peter Townsend. It remained operational until 1957, preceding the RAF Fylingdales early warning station.
Recommended Ordnance Survey Map
The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the North York Moors Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL26, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.
Danby Walk: My Photos
Danby Methodist Church, built in 1811, and the Victoria Jubilee School, added in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 50th year on the thrown.
The Esk Valley Railway at Danby.
Esk Dale and, in the background, Danby Low Moor, as seen from Low Coombs Farm just south of Ainthorpe.
The view of Danby, Esk Dale and Danby Low Moor from the standing stone on Ainthorpe Rigg.
Great views of Little Fryup Dale from Ainthorpe Rigg, one of the many highlights of this Danby walk.
Looking down on the village of Botton near the head of Danby Dale. Botton is one of nine Camphill Village Trust communities across England which provide homes for people with learning disabilities.
The Old Smithy at Danby Botton.
Wesleyan Chapel at Danby Botton, roughly one-third of the way round this Danby walk in the North York Moors.
A beautiful peacock butterfly by the side of the path in Danby Dale.
A wooden footbridge carries the Esk Valley Walk across a boggy section of land near Plum Tree Farm.
Looking down into Esk Dale from High Castleton. This is the halfway point of this North York Moors Danby walk.
Millennium bench on Commondale village green.
War memorial on Commondale village green.
Looking south-east down into the Commondale Beck valley from Foul Green, Commondale. The Esk Valley Railway is just visible.
Llamas on Foul Green Farm, Commondale. About two-thirds of the way round this North York Moors Danby walk.
The Esk Valley Railway between Commondale and Castleton.
The view of High Castleton from the Esk Valley Walk at Danby Park.
Amazon’s Top Walking Boots: Four Standout Choices for Men and Women
For walking and hiking, the right boots are essential for both comfort and safety. While Amazon boasts a wide range, certain boots emerge as top-sellers. From those, here are four I personally favour. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission from any purchases made through the links provided. This helps support the upkeep of this website. Rest assured, you won’t pay a penny extra, but your purchase will contribute to keeping my site running smoothly. Happy walking!
These fully waterproof leather walking boots feature a Gore-Tex lining, ensuring no water enters whilst allowing feet to breathe and stay cool. Made from full-grain leather, they promise unmatched durability and comfort. The boots come with memory foam tongues and cuffs that mould to your feet for a tailored fit, and the Vibram Hillmaster outsoles offer confidence on challenging terrains.
Made from durable suede and abrasion-resistant textile, these men’s hiking boots are both lightweight and sturdy. The upper material is enhanced by a 360° full rubber sheath. Their dual-layer midsole with Bilight technology ensures ergonomic cushioning and grip, especially on extended hikes. The Vibram Wrapping Thread Combi outsoles allow a natural walking feel, and the Gore-Tex lining provides waterproofing, breathability, and optimal weather protection. Furthermore, the patented Salewa 3F system ensures flexibility, a secure heel grip, and a blister-free fit.
Specially designed for women, these hiking boots offer waterproofing and breathability, thanks to their Gore-Tex lining. Crafted from full-grain abrasion-resistant leather, they’re durable enough for the toughest hikes. The Supalite soles ensure stability and traction, and the EVA midsoles add comfort for extended walks.
These hiking boots incorporate a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, blending breathability with superior waterproof performance. The combination of pigskin leather and mesh on the uppers, along with the suede outer material, ensure durability and style. Enhancements include 100% recycled laces, webbing, and mesh lining. Additionally, bellows tongues, protective toe caps, and Vibram TC5+ rubber soles ensure protection and ease on any terrain.