Jo’s Monday walk : Mallyan Spout revisited

The village of Goathland, in North Yorkshire, has any number of attractions, just one of which is the waterfall, Mallyan Spout.  At the bottom of a ravine, with a 70 foot drop, in full spate it is a beautiful sight.

The start point of my walk is beside the hotel of the same name, highly rated on Trip Advisor, for those of you who pay attention to such things.  I pass through the gate adjoining the coffee shop with scarcely a glance, eager to set eyes on the waterfall.  Almost immediately the path starts to drop downwards, and down some more, and then down again.  I’m not even thinking about the inevitable climb back up when my eyes alight on a perfect cluster of palest pink, wild orchids.

I listen hard for the telltale chuckle of water as I descend still further.  Finally I can hear it and, a few moments later, there it is.

Now I can’t pretend to anybody that this is an easy walk but, in not too damp conditions, it is perfectly possible to negotiate the stepped path down to the waterfall.  Turning left at the bottom, you need only follow the beck for a matter of yards to be within sight and sound.  It’s up to you how close you want to go.  To get a good look, a bit of scrambling over rocks will be needed, but there were families with quite young children making the trip.  Watch out for the ‘coin’ trees, shown above, set deep into the rocks.

How can you not love being in this leafy dell?  When you have gazed your fill, you have a choice to make.  You can retrace your steps to the bottom of the path that led downwards, and then continue to the right, alongside the beck.  This will take you on a 3 mile circular walk, via Beck Hole, as detailed in the link at the start.  Or you can be a bit more adventurous.

The walk I was following crosses the waterfall and continues along a ‘sometimes difficult’ footpath, and over two footbridges, according to my guidebook.  Sound challenging?  It only had a medium level of difficulty.  I thought that passing the waterfall might prove tricky, but the rocks weren’t too slippy and with the help of a steadying hand I managed it.  Balance is not my strong point.

There was a sense that the valley bottom had shifted, leaving behind the pedestal on which the first footbridge rested.  The second had a gentle curve, the pedestal still loosely attached.  Tree roots and boulders didn’t make for an easy walk, but it was the dampness underfoot that was my undoing.  Just beyond the footbridges a sign pointed upwards to Goathland, half a mile away, up a stepped incline.  It didn’t seem too bad an idea to me, but my companion was scathing.  Half a mile?  That’s not a walk!

A further sign, pointing out that erosion had affected the footpath ahead, did nothing to reassure.  A deep breath and on we went, slithering a bit in muddy patches and clambering around rocks and endless tree roots.  I was grateful for any handhold I could get and clung fiercely to ferns, roots, boulders, anything that would give me purchase.  Inevitably it happened. Stepping forward onto ‘firm’ ground, suddenly my foot had slid from beneath me and I dangled over the edge, in a less than comfortable version of the sideways splits.

I hauled myself up, with a little help, and stood there shaking for a minute or two.  The way back was just as fraught as the way ahead might be.  We looked at each other, recognising the folly of our situation.  As I limped forward, I was astounded to hear the sound of voices behind us.  Another foolhardy couple had disregarded the warning.  How reassuring, their presence. We exchanged a few words together, and then we carried on, leaving them resting beside the water.

The way ahead was no easier, sometimes promising to climb back out of the valley, only to drop you back down to the water’s edge.  I decided that the other couple must have turned back as there was no further sight nor sound of them.  My legs were growing weary when finally we stepped out of the undergrowth, and onto a narrow road.  An old stone bridge spanned the stream and we slumped against it.  A few minutes later, who should emerge from the woods but our couple, grinning triumphantly.

I have few photos of that latter part of the walk.  I was too busy hanging on, and hoping.  We stood chatting companionably to our fellow walkers for quite some time, relief in our laughter. They were from Dorset, on a first visit to Yorkshire, and traveling in a campervan.  We discussed good places to visit, and consulted each of our maps before agreeing to take slightly different routes back to Goathland.  Theirs appeared longer and we joked that whoever was back first should buy the beers.

Our route climbed gently through a forest of ferns, until at last we crested the hill.  Just the faintest hint of sunshine lit the rolling expanse ahead. Still we had to toil upwards, and upwards some more, but it no longer mattered.  We were free of the canyon.

Up above the woods it looked a long way down to the valley floor.  At the top of the stepped incline we had chosen not to climb, there was a map.  If you look closely you will see that there are two paths marked.  The one we followed, beside the beck, and an alternative ‘permissive’ path, a little higher up.  With hindsight….

Almost back to the village, something a little unusual caught our eye, through a gap in the stone wall.  Can you see what they are?

Alpaca!  I was prepared for moorland sheep, but this was a bit of a surprise.  The sheep were busy munching, and kept themselves to themselves.

Arriving at the long village green, we spotted, far ahead of us, our couple who had taken the ‘longer’ route.  No hurry to catch them up.  St. Mary’s Church was open, inviting a quick look inside.  Simple, but beautiful.  The stained glass, beacons of light.

I was wrong, of course.  There was a hurry!  We arrived at the pub at 2.40pm, only to find that they stopped serving food at 2.30pm.  The menu, tantalising, but out of bounds.  If you’re thinking that this walk was a disaster, start to finish, well, I might be tempted to agree with you. But that wouldn’t be true.  It was taxing, no doubt, but it gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have enjoyed.

You know, from the title of this post, that I’ve been here a time or two before.  For a look at Goathland itself, and details of the Rail Trail, take a look back at Steam’s up in North Yorkshire. I think I’ve earned a week off now, don’t you?

I’m away to the Algarve on Thursday, so that gives me plenty of time to catch up with everybody before I go.  I won’t be posting a walk next Monday, because I don’t have Wifi in Tavira.  I suspect it will be too warm to think about walking far.  I’ll be back the following week, though, and more than happy to have your company.  Details, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Many thanks to all of you who follow along so loyally, and to my lovely contributors, who make this all possible.  And now, enough of me- let’s put the kettle on!


We start with sunny September memories from Jude.  A swathe of beauty, fit for a queen :

Garden Portrait : Glamis Castle Walled Garden

And a walk to improve your photographic skills, with lovely Debbie :

A walk around quirky Bordeaux

Swirling mists in the Pyrenees, accompany Drake :

Like an upstair jungle

What mischief is Jackie up to, back in Toronto?

Hot Plate

Lady Lee makes Malta look irresistible again!

Our Malta experience 2

More beautiful memories from Becky!  She knows all too well that I love this place :

An evening stroll in Mertola

Agness hails originally from Poland, but she likes to keep on the move!

Mapping Melbourne- a Walking Tour around the City Sights

Cheryl conquers her fear of heights for some magnificent views.  Braver than me!

Hiking Inwangsan in Summer

And Woolly?  He’s lingering with the war graves :


I couldn’t choose a better traveling companion than Gilly.  Let her show you her home turf :

Views of Dartmouth

And for a jaunty Irish stroll, wouldn’t you just like to be beside Ann Christine?

Early Morning Kilkenny 

Let’s finish with another garden.  A classic beauty from Cady Luck Leedy :

Jo’s Monday walk : A Visit to Sissinghurst

That’s it for a little while.  Enjoy Summer, if you’re here in the UK.  I’ll be eating strawberries and trying to keep up with Wimbledon.  Take good care, all of you!  I’ll try to bring back some cake.



  1. I read this way back but life intervened between reading and response. I did indeed love it, which is why I couldn’t just click “like”. Those waterfall shots are beautiful, as are the orchids (and everything else.) The walk doesn’t sound like a disaster to me: it sounds like an adventure into all sorts of beauty and alpacas.

    1. Good to have you back, Denzil! 🙂 🙂 I’ve just returned from a Brass Band festival with friends in Durham and it’s time I did some serious catching up.

  2. I’m not sure if I missed something here – what is in the rock? It looks like silver coins, or is it something else?
    I’ve bookmarked this post for reference as I love the rock colouring… and I have a photo I’m working on that badly needs realistic rock colours!

  3. So glad that you’re out and about …. thought that something has happened to you or the boys. Wonderful post as always … talk about an open landscape. That image with the fern in the foreground = so beautiful. And you when you write … I can see everything as I had been there with you. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful.

  4. Looks like you had to earn the lush scenery for this walk Jo! Glad you didn’t stumble on the slick rock, and perhaps even more glad I got to enjoy the fruits of your near Yorkshire trek from the comfort of my blogging chair 😉

  5. That is quite a walk, or should I say climb, Jo! Lucky you got through without a pulled muscle. But indeed it looks beautiful. It is so leafy and vibrant it reminds me of walks in the rainforest here in Australia! Although I suspect the temperature might be a little lower. Sorry you missed out on the meal afterwards. I have posted about a walk along the beach in Stradbroke Island this week and linked to your walks.

  6. Well, you had me worried at a few points during your walk! Glad you made it back safe and sound. But what about lunch?? You must have been so disappointed that the pub stopped serving at 2:30! Enjoy your time in the Algarve. 🙂

    1. Not as worried as I had myself, Patti. 🙂 🙂 I did manage a sandwich in one of the villages many coffee shops, so not a total disaster. Thank you! Off soon 🙂

  7. what a walk, Jo and great captures too! the sheep, the waterfalls, lush greens and of course the church and its stained glass windows! all lovely! thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Have a safe trip, Jo – and a wonderful time! I’ll have some walks to share soon (I hope) – and I’ll be very happy to contribute. Thank you so much for sharing all those wonderful walks. I feel it is about time we travel to Britain again but this year it will be Périgord (France), and for the next, friends of our have planned for their wedding to take place in Italy… So I’m afraid visiting my favourite “island” will have to wait. But once we plan the trip, I will return to your blog for inspiration.

    1. That’s very kind of you, Tobias. I just ‘paint what I see’. 🙂 🙂 So many places I would like to be, and so many promised trips. I know I’m fighting a losing battle.

      1. Thanks Tobias. I have very limited access to Wifi in the Algarve. Purposely so. When we move out here permanently it will be different. I’ll catch up with you when I’m home next week xx

  9. I could feel myself slipping and sliding with you, Jo! Balance isn’t my strong suit either 😉 I’m intrigued by the first two pictures – are they coins embedded in wood?

  10. Goathland known from both “Heartbeat” and “Harry Potter”. Visited this amazing area several times. My old parants back on the tiny danish island loved my photos from this town as they feel they know from “Heartbeat”. Have heard there is a lot less sheeps in the area and it might be a big problem for the nature welfair. Amazing captured, dear Jo. Another wonderful walk. 🙂

    1. We didn’t see a shortage of sheep, Drake. Quite indifferent to me- I like a bit more of a welcome. 🙂 🙂 Thanks, hon, and I’m so glad your folks like this place. It really is beautiful.

  11. Very nice photos Jo, and this looks like a lovely place for a challenging, but rewarding walk. A waterfall with a 70 ft drop is impressive, and particularly for the UK. In all my rambles around the English countryside, I don’t remember a single waterfall. Umm… not sure how I missed them. ~James

    1. Maybe you came in the dry season, James. (whenever that might be! It’s rained all day here today 🙂 ) This green and pleasant land! Thanks and happy Independence Day!

  12. Very challenging and perhaps just as well you were not doing this walk alone? having a steady hand to hold on to must have been a relief?
    Very lush place and meeting some Alpacas on the way must have been fun? Such a shame you did not get a nice PUB meal at the end of this long and taxing walk. Well done Jo 🙂 Have a great time in the Algarve.

    1. I wouldn’t have attempted this on my own, Gilda. I’d probably be still lost in the woods, if so! 🙂 It is beautiful though, and I did manage to grab a sandwich elsewhere in the village (but no wine 😦 )

    1. Hello Lisa 🙂 There’s no doubt about the beauty of the area, is there? I’ve always loved the steam trains too. Thank you very much for the trip to Hull.

      1. I know that feeling so well. 🙂 🙂 Geoff had an even worse time trying to post a link on his phone. I’ve never even tried that. 🙂

  13. What are you like, taking the tumbly way? I wish I could remember where on Dartmoor that I took a similar ‘short cut’ and regretted it, getting a bit turned around and ending up home late. It was worth it for you though wasn’t it?
    I like to chat to strangers as well and always wonder about them afterwards. It’s all very green there, at least it didn’t rain on you and you found some more orchids x:-)x

    1. It is a beautiful part of the world, Gilly. The village is a bit commercial because of the Heartbeat connection, but it’s easy to see why it was chosen. And I did manage to get ‘away from it all’, bar 2. 🙂 🙂 They were a nice couple. I’d have liked a drink with them afterwards but we didn’t see them again.

  14. oh my you two do seem to find the challenging ‘strolls’ don’t you!! We are going to have to get you a walking stick by sounds of it. Have a fabulous time enjoying the warmth next week, but don’t melt as we want you back safe and sound the week after xx

  15. I think that is probably not a walk for me. An element of height, poor grip and no handrail is not for me! Neither is a pub with no food!
    But the waterfall looks great and there are wonderful views of nice green countryside. And those wild orchids would raise my spirits 🙂
    Have a great week away Jo

    1. A bit too much for me, too, Debs, but you’d like the alternative walk and the steam trains. There are plenty of places in the village to eat, but just that one pub. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for sharing your lovely walk.

  16. Grrrr…. I find it so annoying when I arrive at a place for lunch to find they have just stopped serving food/not open that day. Happens to me all the time! I hope you found consolation in a packet of crisps and a nice glass of wine. Not a walk that would appeal to me these days, slippy and steep are words I avoid, but I have walked around that area many years ago with my two boys in tow, we didn’t see the spout, but we did go to Beck’s Hole. I really need to take the OH up to Yorkshire for a holiday. Your landscapes are delightful.

    I’m guessing that at the moment you are watching Rafa – seems like an easy match for him. He dashes around the court as though he is on wheels!

    1. Correct! 🙂 🙂 Watching Rafa and then cooking tea because Mick has a job in half an hour. To be fair, if I hadn’t dithered in the church, getting that lovely angel sculpture for you, we might have made it. I would quite like to have met up with the couple from Dorset but we didn’t see them and just went to tearooms instead. No wine though. 😦 I did overreach myself a bit on the walk. One of these days I’ll come to grief! Lazing in the Algarve though, because it will be in the 30’s.

      1. Oh, so now it’s MY fault you missed out on lunch and wine? Huh! But thank you for the thought, (and the angel – I shall have to go back and look for it) and I’m very glad Mick didn’t let you come to any harm. Enjoy the Algarve – don’t you have a pool you can swim in to cool off? Or a paddle in the sea?

      2. Yes, there’s a very nice pool I sometimes use ‘unofficially’, so don’t sprag, and I shall definitely be doing my share of paddling. 🙂

  17. I’ve been sidetracked with other projects, and have soooo missed your walks! This one is gorgeous in photos, but I’m a little bit in the ‘better-you-than-me’ camp 🙂 And also, why is it that wild orchids are so much more lovely than the non-wild? Have safe and happy travels to the Algarve. – Susan

  18. That’s an exciting walk/hike, Jo! 😀😃 I’m glad you’re okay and it sounds invigorating – pity about the lunch! The clouds look as dramatic as the landscape!

    1. It’s a lovely location, Annika. I love the steam trains but I was just too tired to manage another hill to go and see them. 🙂 🙂 We did get a sandwich elsewhere though.

      1. I’ve been there once I think – where Heartbeat was filmed? The location on top of the moor is amazing and we had a sandwich in a cafe, sitting in an old train cart which our then young and Thomas the Tank Engine mad son just loved!

  19. What a (slippery) adventure, Jo! Sturdy footwear and moving handrail required. The setting is beautiful – a situation of effort and reward. Not being able to get food after such exercise must have been very disappointing. Enjoy your second home!

  20. What absolutely beautiful photos Jo and a fantastic walk. I hope to share one with you this week, actually a few condensed from my last week on the road (while I have some wifi). Hugs from the outback 🙂

  21. What an eventful walk! The green foliage draws me in and makes me think this walk could be one to recharge the batteries, but I think I would choose the easier trail! Hope you have a wonderful trip, Jo.

  22. A rather intrepid walk this week Jo – glad you survived intact! Lovely photos even though you were trying to hold onto ferns, trees etc. I have a feeling Goathland was where they made that tv series “Heartbeat” but I may be wrong? Hope you managed to get lunch somewhere too – I don’t do well if I miss meals!! Thanks for sharing another lovely walk and hope you have a great week 🙂

  23. I love those views of the green fields… the grass, the ferns and the trees; it’s like a green paradise 😉
    Thanks for sharing, Jo! Have a nice week!!

  24. Gushing waterfalls, slippery stones, stained glass windows, and lush green meadows! Such a wonderful recipe for a perfect walk. I loved every capture of yours and your words took me with you. I’d love to do this walk someday. Thanks a bunch for the mention below. Loved your little introduction! I’d have to add, I’m quite confident that you’d be able to do the hike. 🙂

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