Glaisdale, Egton and Egton Bridge

Nestled within the beautiful Esk Valley, the hillside village of Glaisdale, and its nearest neighbours Egton Bridge and Egton, might not take up much room on a map but together they boast more than their fair share of eclectic attractions.

Where else can you visit a tiny museum devoted to Victorian science, the oldest surviving gooseberry show or discover the longest remaining example of an 18th century beehive housed in a stone wall?

Descending into the wooded valley makes a lovely contrast to the wilder surrounding moorland and with plenty of ancient routes known as trods to follow, on-foot discovery is a great way to explore their charms.

Misty sunrise Glaisdale Credit James Hines
Misty sunrise, Glaisdale (c) James Hines

Conservation work is creating the native woodland landscape of centuries past while there are ongoing efforts to improve the water quality of the River Esk, which supports salmon and the rare Pearl Mussel, as well as otters and kingfishers.

Farming is, and always has been, important in Eskdale, but the characteristic slate-roofed cottages once housed scores of miners and workers who toiled in the ironstone mines and railway at the height of the Victorian iron rush.

Today you can still see evidence of the mines and an old trackbed, nicknamed Paddy Waddell’s railway, after the civil engineer who began building the line before financial problems stopped the development.

Beggar's Bridge

At the eastern end of Glaisdale, the road drops steeply down into the richly wooded valley of the River Esk. Here – near the station – is the well-loved, high-arched packhorse bridge known as Beggar's Bridge. Marked with the date 1619 and the initials “T F”, Beggar’s Bridge was built by one Thomas Ferres, who was Sheriff and, later, Mayor of Hull but originally the impoverished son of a Egton farmer.

As a youth, Thomas not only had to wade across the river every time he wanted to court his sweetheart Agnes Richardson, the local squire’s daughter, but also contend with her father who refused him her hand in marriage and denounced him as a ‘beggar’. Off went Thomas to seek his fortune at sea but, with the river in flood, was unable to cross to kiss his sweetheart goodbye. On his return Thomas claimed his bride and built a bridge to help future lovers. Beggar's Bridge may incorporate stonework from a 14th century bridge that had collapsed by 1577.

What is special about Glaisdale, Egton and Egton Bridge

Plan your visit

Plan your visit


Nearest bike hire and repair Yorkshire Cycle Hub

Car park - Near Egton Bridge Railway Station (free)

Nearest public EV charging points – Whitby

Glaisdale Village Store & Post Office

Pubs and tearooms

Farm shop at The Horseshoe Hotel, Egton Bridge

The Quiet Coach – a little free library at Glaisdale Station

Public toilets

Glaisdale station

Egton Bridge (Broom House Lane)

Help our rivers

There’s lots we can all do to help our rivers, either at home or out and about. Here’s a few tips.

View all share with care
Keep it clean - stop the spread

Keep it clean - stop the spread

Respect wildlife

Respect wildlife

Stick to paths

Stick to paths

If you like Glaisdale, Egton and Egton Bridge, why not visit

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