Back in the deep dark days of lockdown, when we weren’t allowed to drive anywhere to go for walks, I made a list of all the places in Yorkshire I wanted to visit when we were finally allowed out again. One of the places near the top of my list was the waterfall Mallyan Spout near the village of Goathland. We spent all summer delaying a trip here because we knew the waterfall was a popular spot for tourists and locals alike and didn’t want to visit when it was absolutely heaving, therefore, a rainy weekend at the end of October seemed to us the perfect time to visit. What we didn’t take into consideration was the sheer amount of rain which had fallen: when we got to the path leading to the waterfall, the river had swallowed the path completely, leaving nothing but a raging torrent of water which neither of us fancied wading through with two water loving dogs. So sadly, we didn’t actually get to see the waterfall, but we still had an enjoyable walk from one the North York Moors’ most famous villages.
We’d originally planned to follow this 3 mile circular route from the North York Moors National Park website, starting from the honeypot village of Goathland, before making our way to Mallyan Spout and back via the hamlet of Beck Hole.
Goathland has been inhabited since the Middle Ages, but became famous in the Victorian period, when visitors flocked to the pretty village to see the waterfall which is easily accessed via a short walk. The return section of the walk takes you along the old railway line which would have brought visitors in from Pickering.
The start of the walk takes you along pavement to reach the Mallyan Spout Hotel, and it is here that you pick up the footpath which leads to the waterfall. The path is uneven underfoot and can be slippery when wet – we can certainly vouch for this!
Once you’ve seen the waterfall (lucky you) you double back on yourself to head towards Beck Hole. The path climbs fairly steeply in places to gain height, following the top of the gorge along enclosed tracks by the edges of fields and woodland. For such a short walk, we were both surprised by how much effort was required!
When you reach Beck Hole, you pick up the path of the old railway line and follow this all the way back to Goathland. After a very soggy walk for the most part, we were both glad to pick up a dry well surfaced track! This section of the walk takes you through mixed woodland and it was lovely to see all the autumn colours, and helped cheer me up about not being able to see the waterfall.
The path brings you out neatly at the back of the North York Moors car park – it’s always a great feeling to turn a corner on a wet and windy walk and all of a sudden see your car waiting for you! This is a large car park with plenty of spaces but I expect it gets very busy in summer. It’s a flat rate of £3.50 to park all day, payment by card or app (Pay By Phone) only. A big plus for the car park is that it also has toilets you can use!
Dog friendly rating – 4/5. Once you leave the pavement, the entirety of this walk is through woodland or on enclosed tracks – ideal for dog owners who want to avoid livestock. There were plenty of places where you could let your dog off the lead – we chose to keep ours on leads as the river was flowing so fast, and then we didn’t want to get ambushed by any pheasants on the woodland sections. We did both comment on what a lovely local dog walk this must be – not too long, no stiles and no livestock. What more could you ask for?!
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