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Crossing Stoney Moor
Crossing Stony Moor

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Route No 35 - 16 February 2002
Newton-on-Rawcliffe, Raindale Head,
Newton Dale circuit - 8 miles (12km)
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Outdoor Leisure 27 North York Moors Eastern area. 1:25000


The duck pond at Newton-on-Rawcliffe This morning I met up with half a dozen friends by the duck pond at Newton-on-Rawcliffe, about 5 miles north of Pickering. It was a bright, cold morning, just right for a good walk. We parked on the village green opposite the pub, which had been re-named "The Muddy Duck". We walked up the village street to take the very wet muddy track down Newton Banks through the woods to ford the stream before leaving the woods to cross Stony Moor. Steam train in Newton Dale seen from Newton BanksThe path across stony moor, an area of heather, rocks and small trees, brought us to Middle Farm - no longer a working farm but a very pretty restored cottage. The owner was out gardening and two small dogs eventually made friends after some initial yapping. We continued on the bridleway along the side of the cottage with lots of small birds darting amongst the trees. We followed the path down through the woods to cross a forest track and climb the winding path across a bridge over a stream and up the wooded bank at the other side to an Outdoor Pursuits Centre. Just before the centre we sat in the sun on the slope for a drink and a sandwich. It was very comfortable on the pine needles and the sun felt quite warm and we sat for some time before continuing along the side of the centre to take the path across the fields passed a ruined farm called Over Blow until we reached the tarmaced road just beyond. We turned right onto the road and followed it for a mile until it had become a forest track. At the top of a rise after a sharp bend in the road we turned right again onto a track along Waterpale Slack. Descending Newton BanksAfter about three quarters of a mile the track goes into a small cutting and we climbed the bank here to sit in the deep springy bilberry plants with a great view across Newton Dale to Skelton Tower on Levisham Moor. After our break we continued on the bridleway down a steep muddy ridge to the road in the valley bottom beside the railway. We turned right onto the road and followed it for over half a mile where just after we had passed a stone house called The Grange we turned right onto a bridleway.The climb back up Newton Banks to the village This took us up through the woods and across two fields - all very muddy - and through a final band of woodland to come out on a track along the boundary of the field strips behind the village property in Newton-on-Rawcliffe. There is a footpath through one of these strip fields and beside the stile is a sign board proclaiming the pub to be "The White Swan". We followed the path down the side of the pub field, which is now a touring caravan site, and we emerged just opposite our cars on the village green. The whole route was about 8 miles and took us just over 4 hours including two longish stops. Quite a few of our group are complaining of dodgy knees these days so 8 miles is enough.