On Sunday 9th of August 2020 I visited the North York Moors Railway (NYMR) for the first time this year to take some photos of the trains as they travel along the line.
Sadly like most places this year they haven't been able to open like they normally do. They were due to open the line to the public in April but with what was going on in the world they had to remain closed. On Saturday 1st August 2020 they started to run passenger trains, but were limited services. They would be running two services, Pickering to Levisham non stop return and Grosmont to Goathland non stop return.
I decided to visit the Grosmont to Goathland section, as this is an uphill section of track and the steam locomotives have to work really hard, and they can produce some great smoke which looks good in photos.
The railway would be running 4 trains, the first one leaving Grosmont at 09.30am then every 2 hours until the last train at 03.30pm.
Darnholme can be a very popular location for photographers and videographers due to the curve of the line and the ability to be able to have some nice high points of view of the line. This area is very limited in parking and is best arriving early in the morning. If you are unable to park, you may have to either park in the main car park and walk, or find a suitable and legal place to park along the side of the road. I will direct you from Goathland Station, as once in Goathland this is easy to find. From the station you want to travel west along Cow Wath Bank, passing The Goathland pub on your left, and on your right will be Scripps Garage. Both were famous for featuring in Heartbeat. As you reach the main car park, turn right onto Beck Hole Road and keep driving until you pass Goathland Primary School which will be on your right. You will then want to take the first right pass this school onto Darnholme Lane.
Once on Darnholme Lane, keep driving to the very end. You will eventually drive over a bridge and then over a FORD. After the FORD on your right is a space for three cars to park. I must warn you that the road is very narrow in some spaces, and can be tricky if vehicles are coming the other way. Also please remember to be courteous to residents and respect there property. I say this as in the past I have seen people just park up blocking gates, entry and exit points and also parking on their property.
Once parked up you will need to follow the grass path which will lead round to the left away from the Eller Beck. You will come to a group of trees in the middle and a small wooden bridge. Cross this bridge and continue to walk the path towards the railway line boundary. It will start to get over grown and I suggest you wear proper foot wear as even on sunny days this area can still be a little boggy. Keep following the narrow path along the side of the railway line and it will start to go up hill and you will reach some steps. As soon as you arrive at the steps you will see to your left some clearings and this is where I stood for my first location. Yet again this area can be very boggy and uneven so care must be taken.
There is a second way to get to this area, and that is via Goathland Railway Station. From the railway station you will need to cross over the tracks using the crossing. Once across the tracks and through the gate the other side, there will be some more steps leading off the platform. There will also be a sign post marking the footpath. From here you will need to take the left footpath. I warn you this goes uphill, so can be a challenge for those who find it hard walking up steep hills or steps. Keep following this footpath and eventually it will start to go down hill and you will arrive at the spot where I took the photo. This second route would be more advisable if there was no where to park near by.
Below will be grid reference points that you can type in on Grid Reference Finder and this will also show you where I was stood when taking the photos.
If you haven't used Grid Reference Finder before, once the page is open, on the box on the left type in the X (Easting) and Y (Northing) the following EASTING 483603, NORTHING 501966 and then click go. This will then show you the location I was standing. I will also include the co-ordinates for all the other areas further in this blog.
Beck Hole Bridge
Beck Hole Bridge was my third location in my You Tube video and this isn't too far from Darnholme. Directing you from Darnholme location you will want to drive back up Darnholme Lane back to the junction. Turn right back onto Beck Hole Road and continue to follow the road. The road will twist and turn and start to go down hill. You will pass a pub on your left called the Birch Hall Inn. Keep driving and the road will start to bend to the right and will climb a steep hill. You will cross a bridge to the railway. Follow the road round to the left and keep driving and you will eventually come to a small area where you can park. Yet again you will need to make sure you park with in the area and not blocking the road. Once parked up, walk back the way you came down the hill back to the bridge. Once on the bridge you can choose any location to stand (making sure you keep yourself safe from vehicles). I was stood at the end of the bridge near a gate to the NYMR.
Grid Reference Finder co-ordinates X (Easting) 482158 , Y (Northing) 502354
There were two locations in the Esk Valley where I took photos. The location I am about to direct you too was the last location in my video, and like with Beck Hole Bridge is on route to where I took my second photo in the video. From Beck Hole bridge keep following the Beck Hole Road until you reach Cow Wath Bank (which is the main road that takes you into Goathland from the A169). Turn left at this junction and continue until you come to the A169. Turn left onto the A169 and then take the first left onto Fair Head Lane which is sign posted Grosmont and Egton. Keep following the road and all signs for Grosmont. You will eventually drive over the railway crossing at Grosmont station. Follow the road and you will go underneath a railway bridge with some public toilets on your left. On the other side of the bridge along the road you will have Grosmont car park on your right. Pass this and keep driving until the road bends slightly to the left over a stone bridge. There are now two options to take. If you don't mind driving through a FORD especially one that can be deep sometimes keep reading. If you do not like driving through a FORD, skip to the text below the photo and I will direct you via the longer way to Esk Valley.
Once through the FORD keep following the narrow road until you come to a give way where you will see a sign post on your right saying Esk Valley. Turn left onto Lease Rigg Lane and continue to drive for about 100-120 metres. On your left you will see an area where you can park and a gate to a farmers field. Do not park and walk away from your vehicle as access to this gate is required 24 hours. Please note you could be asked to move at any time by the owner of the fields, and please be courteous as the owner could easily put a stop to people parking and photographing the trains from this location.
Grid Reference Finder co-ordinates X (Easting) 481957 , Y (Northing) 504638
To get to this location without driving through the FORD, keep driving on the road and continue to follow it as it twists and turns and climbs through the countryside. This will seem like a very long road and that you're driving away from the Esk Valley, but it's the only other way to get there without turning around and going a longer way via Goathland. Eventually you will come to a little village with 30 mph signs and a sign saying Egton Bridge & Goathland (straight ahead) and Whitby and Guisborough (to the right). Follow the road to the left and then at the next give way turn left onto High Street. Keep following this road which will take you through Egton and under another railway bridge with Egton station on your right. Follow the signs for Goathland as you leave Egton and keep looking out for a sign that says Goathland 4, Pickering 15. When you see this turn left and follow the road until you come to another left turn and a sign post saying Esk Valley 1. This will bring you back onto the road that comes out from the FORD.
The final location which was the second location in my video was between Esk Valley and the Grosmont engine sheds. From the location above, continue to drive and take the first left. The road will bend round to the left then the right and you will then see a row of houses and a sign saying "PRIVATE ROAD". Just to the left you will see a dirt track with some parking spaces at the start. Park here and continue to walk down the dirt track and eventually you will come to a gate which says "The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, PRIVATE". This is the location for my second image.
Grid Reference Finder co-ordinates X (Easting) 482604 , Y (Northing) 504669
I hope this blog has been useful and please feel free to message me with any questions you may have.