Jo’s Monday walk : Egton Bridge

This isn't actually Egton Bridge, but isn't it pretty?

This isn’t actually Egton Bridge, but it is a bridge in Egton, and a very pretty one!

And just beyond it lie two lovely sequences of stepping stones.  But I’m getting ahead of myself! My walk today is for the physically fit among you but, if you like, I’ll do the hard part and you can join in on the flat.  How does that sound?

We begin at the Beggar’s Bridge, just outside the village of Glaisdale, on the River Esk.  It was my intention to walk you up into the village for a look around, but one of us had the good idea to follow the river in the direction of Egton Bridge.  It looked fine on the map, so who was I to argue?


It's a distinctive looking bridge, but not in use any more

It’s a distinctive looking bridge, but not in use any more

Beggar’s Bridge has a tale to tell.  An inscription on the bridge suggests that it was built in 1619. Thomas Ferries, the son of a moorland farmer, used to ford the River Esk to court his young lady, Agnes.  The lady’s father did not consider him a suitable match for his daughter, so Thomas resolved to seek his fortune at sea.  With the river in spate, he was sadly unable to cross over to kiss his sweetheart goodbye.  Returning a wealthy man, Thomas of course married his Agnes, and, quite naturally, built a bridge on the very spot.

Today the crossing would have resulted in merely damp feet

Today the crossing would have resulted in merely damp feet

‘A tale of trods and bridges’.  Wouldn’t that have made a great post title?  I’m tempted to change it, but I’m already well into my stride. In an uphill direction, unfortunately!  This is no path that idles beside the river.  I should have been warned when I saw this stone.

A message, do you suppose?

A message, do you suppose?

Part of this walk follows an ancient pathway, paved with stone slabs, know as ‘trods’.  They are common throughout the York Moors National Park, and the oldest date back to medieval times, when monks traveled extensively hereabouts.  The path I am taking, through East Arncliffe Wood, is known locally as ‘Monk’s Trod’.  Those monks must have had much stronger legs than me!

Onwards and upwards!

Onwards and upwards!

Up I trod, thanking my lucky stars that there hadn’t been much rain to render the trods slippy. Ferns tickle my calves and a hint of honeysuckle tickles my nose.  In no time at all the river is far below, and I am surrounded by dense green.

Beyond the trods the path continues to wind and dip through the woods.  I can hear the whine and clunk of loggers, striving to keep the forest in check.  Just as I am starting to tire, the woods part and I am out on a country lane.  I can’t say I’m sorry.  It’s now just a case of rolling down into the village of Egton Bridge, past another ford, and a cottage or two.  A good time to join me!

I spot this promising sight over the hedge

On the edge of the village I spot this promising sight over the hedge

But then this sign catches my eye

But then a sign catches my eye

You know what happens next, don’t you?  The highlight of the walk for me.  I didn’t even know that there were stepping stones at Egton Bridge, but my good friend Jude remarked that she had stayed there when her boys were small.  She remembered some stepping stones, but thought they might have been the ones I featured in my Lealholm walk.  To my great delight, I found not just one set of stepping stones, but two.

The first stepping stones, in dappled shade

The first stepping stones, in dappled shade

And the second set

And the second set

And a few toadstools

With a few colourful toadstools

And these beautiful phlox alongside a small lock gate

And these beautiful phlox, alongside a small lock gate

After a wander around the pretty village, I’m beckoned by the sunny benches outside the Horseshoe Hotel.  It seems like a good time to pause for food, before tackling the route back to Glaisdale.  There’s a Specials board beside the bar, and the sandwiches come with wonderful homemade wedges.  The river chatters along in the background.

Before leaving Egton Bridge, I’m drawn to the garden at St. Hedda’s Church, and the memorial shrine to Father Nicholas Postgate.  A Catholic priest, he was executed at York in 1679 for his work in the priesthood, on the Moors.

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Then I’m happy to retrace my path over the stepping stones, and follow the River Esk out of the village.  The beatific scene lulls me into a false sense of security.  A vintage car tootles past.  I fail to realise that an uphill clamber lies ahead.

A well disguised footpath leads off to the left, almost at the top of the bank, and steeply up to a stile.  Through the woods, there’s a field or two to cross, but then it’s all downhill.

And finally I'm within sight of the Beggar's Bridge

And finally the Beggar’s Bridge is back in sight!

Details of my walk can be found on this link which includes a free downloadable map.  It’s a 5 mile circular and you’ll be just in time for the Gooseberry Show at Egton Bridge if you hurry.  It takes place on the first Tuesday in August every year.

I hope you enjoyed the walk (especially my uphill bits), and that you’ll stay for coffee and a read.

walking logo

Many thanks for all your support.  Last week was a bumper week for shares, but it’s a little less strenuous this week.  I’d love you to join me, whenever you feel like taking a stroll.  Details are on the logo above and my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Feet up, and here we go!


Sample the delights of Corsica with Drake.  I wish I could!

Simplicity isn’t bad at all

Getting one of your 5 ‘e’s or a little exercise?  Many thanks, Anabel!

The Dunmore Pineapple

The foodies among you will LOVE this one from Junk Boat Travels :

Weekend cooking Union Station

Share Elisa’s delicious flower photography.  What a privilege!  Healthy too!

Back to the garden, and a Monday Walk

You all know Jude’s an advocate for Cornwall.  Have a look and see why:

On the Edge

Boats, reflections, blue sky… you have to know I’m in heaven with this one.  Thanks, Ruth!

Franklin on the Huon River

And if, as here, it’s raining and you have time on your hands, why not join the folks at Monday Escapes?  I met some lovely people there last week.  Happy walking all!  See you next week.


  1. Pingback: Monday Escapes #11
    1. A mix, really! 🙂 Mostly just with Mick, like this one. I walk with the group every Monday (unless it’s raining) but some of them are repeat walks, and not always very interesting, or I might not have a good set of photos to go with, so I pick and choose what to post. 🙂

  2. Well done Jo, you are obviously fit. I would have joined at the start of easy part or maybe ever only at the hotel at sandwich time! I would love to try out those stepping stones. 😉

  3. My kind of village – love seeing your photographs of the water and stepping stones, the pathway looked like it was tiring, but beautiful.

      1. I’ll say – I was worried when I first saw the path that you were going to tell us about a mishap on the trail. Thank goodness not! You do visit the best places ~

  4. Another interesting walk, Jo. Seems like you’ll never run out of new places to take your faithful followers. The “onwards and upwards” would be very treacherous in wet weather. I loved seeing those stepping stones, but I think I’ll give them a swerve. I’m sure I’d probably end up with wet feet. 🙂

    1. I do occasionally wonder what I’ve started, Ad! No end in sight 🙂 I’m quite good at stepping stones as solid as these. It’s the flat wobbly ones that get me! 🙂

    1. Oh bless you, thanks very much! I’ve just come back from feeding my husband and was thinking I should really shut up shop here and do some ironing 😦 But I’ll link your post to my next week’s walk first. Just 5 minutes more 🙂

      1. Thanks. Isn’t it annoying how life gets in the way of blogging. I haven’t posted for a month, because we went on holidays and I came straight back to work and it’s been so busy. It took me more than a week to get this post published.

      2. I am looking forward to retirement. We are having an extended holiday soon, with a drive around Australia. I’m thinking of it as retirement practice. As for the wrinkles, I’m happy to age with grace and dignity, because it’s far better than the alternative!

  5. Hello Jo, what a glorious walk! Although you went uphill, your narrative is so enticing and relaxing! The photos are blissful and make me want to join you.
    You have so much beauty around you and we are lucky for you share it with us. Thanks!
    Have a wonderful week.

  6. A like is not enough for your post walk Jo it is so pleasing.
    I love photos of pathways they remind me of the path I am on.
    Stone bridges trods as Pauline calls stepping stones, moss and toad stools
    Then you do not forget to add in a lonely little yellow flower most people would overlook.
    That is what I find so delightful on your walks the little gifts from nature we can at times fail to appreciate.

    1. People like yourself keeping me company along the way tends to focus my attention, Jack, but there is so much joy to be found. You just have to look. 🙂 Thanks very much for your company and enthusiasm.

  7. Never mind their legs, those monks had strong arms lugging those trods up there, and don’t they look wonderful? And the stepping stones, I wish i could hop across, we don’t seem to have many down around here. It looks like the Beggars bridge will be reclaimed by nature eventually, but I hope its walked enough to keep a tiny way over. Yes, I’m very glad you did that climb uphill so that I didn’t have to, cheers hon x:-)x

    1. It’s popular walking territory up here, Gilly, so I think the Beggar’s Bridge will last a while yet. So much rain this last 36 hours though that it will definitely be shrouded in green and the river burbling! Hugs, darlin’ 🙂

  8. Less than 8 km sounds reasonable especially if the sun isn’t blasting. I’m back (hardly). It’s good to see that things are running smoothly here even though you are stepping stones.

    1. Hello sweetheart! Good time? I did think of stopping by but I thought I’d leave you in peace for a little while 🙂 Didn’t want to burst your bubble 🙂

      1. 😀 how kind of you, Jo 🙂 It was a relaxing time; I’m numbed by mosquito bites and for being soaked in too salty water for a huge amount of time 😀 To remind you that this Thursday there is the “last minute” guest challenge with the theme “gold inside”. I’ve just seen his photos – yummy 🙂

      2. Caramba! I’m following up on Restoration. You might have seen my link to you from the garden at Seaton Delaval last Thursday. There was no subject for the Special so I took the initiative. 🙂 I’ll link, of course, and look forward to a bit of gold. 🙂

      3. No- I wasn’t expecting you to see it till you returned, Paula, and I wouldn’t have mentioned it if you hadn’t commented about Thursday Special. Hugs, darlin’. Hope you’re rested as well as itchy! 🙂

  9. I really enjoyed that walk with some of my favourite things; a walk in the woods, a little hump bridge and stepping stones (what is it about stepping stones) and a story of love requited! Thanks Jo

    1. I think Dianne was right when she said that it all looks like something out of a fairytale, AG 🙂 I even found woodcutters! Fortunately no trolls under the bridge 🙂

  10. This is the one! I remember the bridge and the trods! I may even have some photos of them. And I appreciate the benches – I certainly won’t have taken photos of those then! Actually it must have been 20 years ago when we were there. Easter 1995 just before my daughter left for South Africa.

    1. Knew it must be 🙂 I have big bad trolls on the brain this morning. Ever since someone mentioned fairytale. Or is it the weather? Glad to have brought back memories, Jude. Root those photos out!

      1. BTW I think your beautiful ‘phlox’ photo might actually be some type of bellflower (campanula moesiaca). I saw some in one of our local gardens and it took me a while to ID it. It is absolutely stunning and I love your image. The petals look almost fake – like a silk imitation.

  11. That 5 mile walk would take me a half day if I stop at every beautiful sights of which there are plenty here. Thanks for taking us with you.

  12. That Thomas must have been a good catch after all, Jo! 😀

    The entire scene reminds me of a children’s fairy-tale with the woods and the bridges and stepping stones. What a very pretty walk 😀

  13. Lovely challenging walk, Jo….glad to have had the virtual (but alas not virtuous) opportunity….I will get fat with this lack of exercise:(

    1. You can only do what you can do, Sue, and you do that very nicely. I’ve spent the day on my butt, catching up on here because the rain hasn’t stopped. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Jo! What a lovely thing to say! By the way, I might have done 1/3 of a mile walking to the surgery and back this morning…before it rained! I hope you’ve sorted your WP woes out, I don’t seem to have had a problem…. (Now I’ve tempted Providence, as my mother would have said!)

      2. Header’s back in place. Not really the one I wanted but it hardly matters now. Before the rain, Sue? We didn’t have a before 😦 😦

  14. I’m rather pleased with myself for keeping up with you, Jo. I did cheat, however, and walked next to the trod instead of on those bumpy stones. 😊 Well worth the climb and keeping my balance on the stepping stones. I missed the cake, though I really don’t need it.

  15. Looks a lovely walk in a great part of the world. I’m a sucker for stepping stones – those ones look great! Glad to have found your blog too – as a keen walker I’ll hopefully be over to share a stroll or two on your Monday linky. #MondayEscapes

  16. Hi Jo,
    That low river crossing with the flood gauge remionds me of here. We have ever so many of those.
    Thanks for taking me on that interesting walk,

  17. What a lovely walk, Jo. Was the weather nice or was it at hot? I imagine it was slightly cool, or at least I hope so, with all that uphill climbing. Sometimes I wonder if we speak the same language! You know me, with my American English, wondering about trods and tootles and limber hills! 🙂

    1. Sorry, chuck! (Are you STILL awake?) I should supply a translation service 🙂 It was pleasantly warm, Cathy. Not hot. I’d have sat on the stepping stones and paddled if it was 🙂

      1. Jo, I went back to sleep until 8:30 and am now getting a very slow start on my morning! I definitely need a translation service to help with my British friends’ blogs! I loved the stepping stones, and probably would have put my feet in and “paddled,” as you say!

  18. What an enjoyable walk Jo – I really felt I was walking with you! I loved all the little stories along the way about the characters and history. Moles Cottage sounds delightful and the stepping stones look great fun (on a dry day!). Wonderful photos as always – looks like you picked a good day weather-wise for this walk 🙂

    1. It’s fabulous, Amy! I knew it was a bit special from Sue’s posts but this is so beautiful. I meant to mention the name ‘Bow’ too- interesting fact 🙂

  19. I love stepping stones, but haven’t seen any like this for so long, and I can’t even remember where! Thank you for sharing this deligthful walk Jo, I enjoyed every step of it and I wish I could live at Mole House 🙂

    1. That’s my fitness training out of the way for this month 🙂 I almost always include a link so that people can follow the walk if they want, but it’s maybe not always obvious, Sue. Mine is more of a photographic reminisce 🙂 You too!

    1. I have it- thank you so much! Tower Hill makes me smile every time I see it- it reminds me of a tower block of flats in London (Tower Hamlets, I think it’s called) Could anything be more different? 🙂
      The Moors are in bloom with heather right now and a beautiful place to be.

      1. I haven’t been to the northern hemisphere when the heather is out. I would love to see it and love seeing it through others eyes via blogs.

  20. lovely narration Jo as I followed your walk with its ups and downs – wonderful surprises on the way too p.s. river paths are rarely for idlers especially in regions north of Watford! pps. south of you this week on my Peak walk

    1. Thanks a lot, Laura 🙂 It was a walk I never really meant to do as we were supposed to be heading towards Lealholm from Glaisdale, to compliment the walk I did there the other week. But all’s well that ends well 🙂

      1. those accidental walks are often the best! – once followed Thames from St Margaret’s only to discover I was pursuing the ‘New River’ – but gave me the chance to first join up with your restless Mondays 🙂

    1. A lady recovering from flu should never go tripping up trods, Ann! 🙂 Hope you’ve recovered beyond the armchair stage now? Many thanks for liking me lots 🙂

  21. I opened up to find my header was back to default too. I checked forums and they were overflowing with bloggers fuming and angst. Those poor WP “happiness” engineers had been at it again. But then I went away to cook dinner and when I came back all was back to normal.
    Anyway Jo this walk is a stunner. I noticed how those trods all had a distinct dip in the middle, worn, no doubt, by the millions of feet that had tramped over the trods down the ages. Lovely summery photos, I’m getting very nostalgic for good old blighty…

    1. A trip to the UK a possibility, Pauline? I know where there are lots of trods- I just didn’t have a name for them before. 🙂
      Thanks, darlin’! My Header’s still AWOL but I haven’t the patience to tinker. Lots of other things to do, but not walking today. Drip! Drop! Drip! 🙂

      1. I wish Jo, it is on my dream list….Went to see movie “Mr Holmes” today and the scenery and photography was incredible, I drooled over it. The story line and acting was typically good English, understated but believable. It had me feeling quite nostalgic…

    2. The Pomme fairy magic worked! Header’s back 🙂 Not actually the one I wanted because I’ve accidentally deleted that while fiddling about. Beggars (bridge?) can’t be chosers 🙂 Thank you Fairy Pomme!

  22. What is it about stepping stones? I love them too! That was a nice find for you at the end of your walk. I love a pretty bridge, so does Monkey! We love watching the river flow past, it can be so mesmerising. The tale of Beggar’s bridge is a lovely one. I’m glad Agnes waited!

  23. That looks a brilliant walk. I love the bridge and the story about it. Seems a really beautiful part of the country. The photos are supberb.

    1. Hi Colin! 🙂 I’m itching to get back down there because the heather’s out. Fabulous! But maybe not in today’s heavy rain 🙂 Thanks for your company!

      1. yes it is raining here too. It hasn’t been the best summer this year, but hopefully August will be better 🙂

      2. We’ve had very little rain so I can’t complain. August sees me off down to Bristol for the hot air balloons so I hope it’s fine for that. You got any plans? 🙂

    1. Lots of goodies coming in already this week! Thank you very much, Violet 🙂 I saw you on Jude’s benches yesterday and meant to come for a look. I’ll make it today! 🙂 Pouring right now so definitely not the weather for trods.

  24. A beautiful post Jo. So many treasures: the bridges, the stepping stones, the trods, the dapples, the toadstools, the stories and your writing. I should have walked the uphill bits with you – no exercise for too long, except of my blogging finger.

    1. I seem to remember Killing Nanny Meg 🙂 It’s a fabulous area, Meg. If you ever come to Yorkshire come when the heather’s in bloom. Paradise! Thank you for your kind words, hon. 🙂

  25. Lovely walk. We had a great weekend in Glaisdale last year and did a walk from the Beggar’s Bridge, but I don’t remember stepping stones so it can’t have been that one. I’ve pinged my latest over to you and see it has arrived, hope you approve.

    1. I’m sure I will, Anabel, thanks! I’m just munching toast and cursing WP. Nothing new there then 🙂 Yes, I think there are a couple of routes from the Beggar’s Bridge. My links take you to some alternatives.

      1. Yes, I noticed after reading your comments that my header has disappeared too. Will have to hope they fix it as I’m not in a place with good access at the moment (but am racking up more walks for you!)

  26. Jo, your walks get better by the week! I love the lonely bench in the clearing and the stepping stones. But I am missing your customary cake treat at the end. Are you on a diet?

    1. Sorry, Madhu! I was hot and thirsty so I settled for half of Guinness 🙂 Mick had a sarnie, which looked great, but nobody at the tables nearby had dessert 😦 Must try harder! Thank you 🙂

    1. Morning Andrew! 🙂 Thank you. Not much walking going on here because it’s pouring. You picked the right week. 🙂
      I’m having technical troubles this morning. Can’t get the Header to appear at all. Any ideas?

      1. Seems to be a common problem Jo. More tinkering I guess.
        We were lucky with the weather, a little bit of rain but mostly sunny and fine – shirt sleeves weather! It was the same in Northern Ireland in June, my luck is bound to run out soon!

      2. Certainly some tinkering going on. My background colour has reverted to the default black and I am not able to change it back at all!

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