Langdale End Morra Head Wood River Derwent Round

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Langdale End is a small, very pretty hamlet situated at the southern end of the beautiful Langdale Forest which sits between Dalby Forest and Broxa Forest and houses a pub and church and also has a regular bus service. The Moorcock Inn is a very small interesting old fashioned pub with good food and is well worth a visit. There are tables and benches outside so you can admire the views while you have a meal and a drink. The views are awesome and the distinct Howden Hill, known as Sugar Loaf, dominates the area. This conical shaped hill developed by a capping of hard rock that protects the softer layer underneath. Langdale Forest mainly coniferous is several hectares in size and much wildlife can be seen such as deer and foxes, the felled areas are major sites for nightjars, the declining bullfinch and turtle dove are very common here and can be seen often. The forest also has adders, common lizard and slow worms. Slow worms can only be seen late at night but other wildlife can be seen if you take time to look and watch out for them. As the seasons change the forest is a wonderful place to find wild flowers, insects, butterflies, moths and fungus. Always take your camera you never know what you might come across. The River Derwent begins at the northern end of Langdale Forest and flows along the edge of the forest into Morra Head Wood then through the valley of Lang Dale and Forge Valley towards Scarborough then turns west through the Vale of Pickering then south through Stamford Bridge until it reaches the River Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh, east of Selby. The River Derwent is a beautiful river changing its appearance and character many times along its journey.

We park our car in the parking area just outside Langdale End and walk the road into Langdale, admiring the beautiful views we pass the church and the Moorcock Inn. We leave the village and take the right fork in the road. We soon come to another fork in the road and we take the right one. We follow this road, which has grass growing along its middle, up into the forest. We follow the forest track passing a bridleway on the left and carry on forward. We then come to where a footpath crosses the track and we carry on straight ahead staying on the track. When the track we take the right fork and after a short way the track splits again and we take the left fork and we see a road sign and we go through the gate on the right, with High Langdale written on it, and carry on forward downhill until we come to the house here we take the red arrowed footpath on the left and carry on down the hill. After a short way we come out of the trees and see some wonderful views we keep heading forward to the trees in front. Just inside the trees we take the path on the right (not signposted – if you go straight ahead you will come to a ford which is difficult to cross). We follow this path which after a short way turns to the right until we come to a footbridge and a waterfall. We go over the footbridge then over two stiles and then up the hill to the track at the top here we turn right and then after a hundred yards we turn right again. We cross a very small, narrow stone bridge and bear to the right keeping the River Derwent on our right in sight. (There are a lot of motorcycle tracks so just keep the river on the right). When we come to where the river and a stream meet we go over a footbridge and turn right and follow the River Derwent still on our right all the way back to Langdale where we parked our car.

Map of Langdale End Morra Head


This is a moderate to hard walk with a few steep inclines and declines.


Approx 7 miles using OS map OL27.


Langdale End is near Hackness and Scarborough in North Yorkshire.


Take the A170 to West Ayton and take the small road to Hackness. At Hackness turn left at the t-junction along Broxa Lane and take the right fork then the left fork to Langdale End.

Toilets and Refreshments

There are no public toilets. For refreshments there is the Moorcock Inn, in Langdale End.

2 responses to “Langdale End Morra Head Wood River Derwent Round”

  1. simon pollock says:

    the drainage before the last ice age was directly to the sea but the glaciation to the east led to the formation of a large and deep lake in harwood dale. This eventually overflowed between reasty bank and langdale rigg. The valley was probably scoured out in a year or two. It must have been an awesome sight.

  2. Phil spence says:

    Excellent walk which we did yesterday, though we took the public footpath on the outward section which runs parallel to the road and tracks. This is wonderful as you can make a short excursion up Howden Hill (known as Sugar Loaf). My Dad was the local GP and I use to cycle all over the area and frequented the Moorcock when Maud ran it. The Public Footpath traverses high pastures and ends up joining your route at High Langdale. Finding the route to the footbridge was tricky and we ended up crossing the ford which was shallow but wouldn’t in spate. Finding the second footbridge is tricky. What a shame motorbikes use the river path back, they’ve really churned it up. Thanks so much, despite growing up in the area I’d never find thus , so a big thank you.

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