Walking in Goathland

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Long before Heartbeat and TV fame, the tumbling waterfall of Mallyan Spout helped put Goathland on the map as a tourist village in the nineteenth century. See the spectacle that charmed Victorian visitors on this 3-mile circular route from the village, which descends into the wooded valley bottom and to the waters of West Beck before returning along part of the track bed of the original Whitby-to-Pickering railway line.

Great for: woodland wanders, family walks, nature lovers

Length:3 miles (4.8km)

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Start/Finish: Goathland car park

Grid Ref: NZ 833 013

OS Map: Ordnance Survey OL27

Refreshments:Goathland and Beck Hole

Toilets: Start/Finish of walk

About this walk


The first part of the walk follows the pavement alongside the village road in Goathland. There are steps on the descent into the wooded valley, and steps and gates on the ascent – all paths may be slippery and muddy after rain. The rocky path alongside West Beck to Mallyan Spout can be challenging, especially after heavy rain – take great care.


The waters of West Beck can be fast-flowing after rain. Please keep your dog under control, and always on a lead near livestock.

Mallyan Spout

The water cascading from Mallyan Spout rises from springs in the moorland above Goathland. It finds the easiest route downhill until it meets New Wath Scar. This deep ravine was cut by the flowing water of West Beck, which over thousands of years has eroded a path through the sandstone. At Mallyan Spout the sides of the ravine are 70 feet high and almost vertical. Water draining from the moors has no option but to tumble over the edge – forming a towering waterfall for us to enjoy. It's even more spectacular after rain but take care – the wet rocks can be treacherous under foot.

Goathland's first railway

Goathland dates back to at least the 12th century, but until 1836 it was a mere farming village. Then George Stephenson's railway arrived, bringing visitors en masse. The final part of the walk follows a straight, even path that marks the line of the original railway – it may seem like a gentle uphill stroll but the 1-in-10 gradient was too steep for horse-drawn carriages. The solution was to attach the coaches (via a rope around a pulley at the top of the hill) to a wagon containing water tanks. The tanks were filled with water and the weight of the wagon hauled the carriages up the incline.

It all made for a slow and dangerous ascent, and was eventually abandoned in favour of a more level route, but you can still find evidence of the original railway – from the line of the track to former railway workers' cottages like Incline Cottage.

Did you know?

Until the 1950s, Goathland's village green formed part of a 9-hole golf course – with several of the drives crossing the quiet village roads.

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  • Parking with charge



  • Parking with charge


  • Accessibility of route - Easy to Access.
  • Description of route - The first part of the walk follows the pavement alongside the village road in Goathland. There are steps on the descent into the wooded valley, and steps and gates on the ascent – all paths may be slippery and muddy after rain.
  • Length of route (miles) - 3
  • Typical duration of route - 1 hour 30 mins.

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Start/Finish: Goathland car park.

Public Transport Directions

Accessible by Public Transport: Goathland station is 1 mile away.

Mallyan Spout and Beck Hole Walk

Type:Walking Route

Goathland Car Park, Goathland, Goathland, North Yorkshire, YO22 5LX
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Call direct on:

Tel01723 383636

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

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