The Fryup Dales lie in the heart of the North York Moors. This is farming lands overlapped by some low grassy, bracken strewn ridges offering pleasant and interesting walking. Danby is a lovely village.
I first discovered the Fry Up Dales on my Coast to Coast walk. Although tired at the time I clearly remember thinking they looked peaceful and enjoyable to explore. I was not disappointed when I returned a few years late on a warm summer’s afternoon. ‘The Heads’ is the high ridge separating Great Fryup from Little Fryup. Fortunately a convenient bridleway skirts the ridge which offers an excellent perspective of both valleys/dales. Similarly enjoyable is the return over Danby Rigg. Here there are some interesting standing stones and excellent views over this section of the Esk Valley.
Duck Bridge is a beautiful packhorse bridge on the road to Great Fryup Dale. It was named after George Duck of Danby who rebuilt the original medieval bridge. Of more historical interest is Danby Castle, a few hundred metres uphill to the south of Duck Bridge. Here is where Catherine Parr, Henry V111s sixth wife was brought up. Danby itself is an attractive village, the river and old stone buildings creating a pleasant image of times past. The National Park liked it so much they put the National Park headquarters here.
Try and walk the high ground here rather than stick to the lower roads which, aside from endless tarmac walking, does not offer the true characteristic of these dales.
Even though some of the paths on the ridges are intermittent it is comforting to know sticking exactly to the path does not matter. This is access land whereas the paths lower down are not and you have to stick to paths or roads.
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