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Looking across Newton dale from the hillside above Levisham station
Looking across Newton Dale from the hillside above Levisham station

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Route No 267 - Wednesday 8 October 2008
Fox & Rabbit pub, Newton Dale,
Levisham, Lockton circuit - 10km
North York Moors . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base
View the route in Google Earth

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area


Path down into Newton Dale from the Fox & Rabbit pub
Path down into Newton Dale from the Fox & Rabbit pub

We parked on the wide grass verge at the side of the A169 (Pickering to Whitby road) opposite the Fox & Rabbit pub at about 9.20 and we set off walking by half past nine. We headed west along the farm access road opposite the Fox & Rabbit starting at map ref. SE844882.

The weather was absolutely perfect this morning with bright sunshine, clear blue sky and light wind. Such a lovely change from the rain and gloomy cloud we have been having lately. My neighbour, Jim, and I set off fairly early from home because Jim had to meet his grand daughter from school at 3.15 pm.

Path down into Newton Dale from the Fox & Rabbit pub
Path down into Newton Dale from the Fox & Rabbit pub

Autumn colours developing in the hedgerow trees
Autumn colours developing in the hedgerow trees

We turned left on to the track and crossed level crossing over the North York Moors steam railway track at map ref. SE829883. We followed a very pleasant path through the woods parallel to the railway for about 1.5 km. to map ref. SE820901.

After about 400m the access road turned to the right and we continued straight on into a field and down a narrow steep sided valley into Newton Dale. At the bottom of the hill we turned right and walked about 250m up the valley to join a track at map ref. SE830883.

Crossing the North York Moors Railway in Newton Dale
Crossing the North York Moors Railway in Newton Dale

Footbridge over Pickering Beck in Newton Dale
Footbridge over Pickering Beck in Newton Dale

Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale
Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale

This brought us into a field with the bridleway we should have been on just a few metres up the hill side. We joined this bridleway and followed it out of the field and into the woods at map ref. SE821902. We continued along the bridleway to map ref. SE821907.

It was near this point that I realised that I had been getting a bit too blase about the map reading. We should have followed the path up the other side of Pickering Beck and the railway. We were very fortunate to find a farmer's bridge over the river leading to a level crossing over the railway at map ref. SE821901.

Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale
Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale

Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale
Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale

Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale
Path just west of the railway along Newton Dale

We could hear a train whistle in the distance so we waited to see it come into Levisham Station below us. When the train came in to view it was hauled by a blue streamlined engine which looked to me like the "Mallard", but I have been informed by Rod Taylor that it is another A4 Pacific locomotive, the "Sir Nigel Gresley" in the same colours. This train had to wait in the station for several minutes until another train came up the line from Pickering to pass in the station.

Here there was another bridleway up to the right climbing the hillside to map ref. SE824906 where it crossed a path to Levisham village coming up from Levisham Station. We turned right on to this path and headed towards Levisham village. After about 100m there was a seat by the path with a lovely view over Newton Dale where we sat to admire the view.

Climbing up to Levisham East of the railway
Climbing up to Levisham East of the railway

Steam trains about to pass in Levisham station
Steam trains about to pass in Levisham station
Entering Levisham village
Entering Levisham village by the pub
Looking across the steep sided valley of Levisham Beck from the road  just below Lockton to Levisham village on the hill top (far left of the photo)
Looking across the steep sided valley of Levisham Beck to Levisham village on the hill top (far left of the photo), from the road just below Lockton

Lockton village
Lockton village

At the seat she sat down between us clearly very ready for a rest after her storming climb up from Levisham Beck. We exchanged the usual pleasantries about the weather and our respective walks before we continued on our way, leaving her with the seat to herself. It was only last week that Jim and I had walked the muddy path from Lockton down to the beck and up to the seat so today we walked along the road down the hill to cross Levisham Beck and then up the valley side to Lockton.

Once the trains had gone we continued on our way up to Levisham village. We followed the road through the village to map ref. SE832902 where a path comes onto the road after climbing up from Levisham Beck. Just next to the road behind an earth bank is a seat with a nice view across the valley. We stopped here for our lunch. When we had almost finished our break a lady came powering up the path with two trekking poles.

Lockton village
Lockton village

Lane heading South from Lockton
Lane heading South from Lockton

We crossed the main street and followed a lane heading south from the village for about 1.5 km to a farm called Farfields. From the farm we retraced our steps along the farm access road back to the A169.

I'm still very slow on the hills and Jim was waiting for me by a large tree at the start of the main street in Lockton at map ref. SE841899.

Farm machinery stored in a muddy field
Farm machinery stored in a muddy field

Aberdeen Angus beef cattle grazing by the A169
Aberdeen Angus beef cattle grazing by the A169

The whole route had been about 10 km and had taken us around four hours to walk including our stops to watch the trains and to have our lunch.

There our car was parked opposite the Fox & Rabbit pub. On the way home we stopped in Helmsley for our usual large coffee and toasted tea cake. We arrived home in good time for Jim to go and collect his grand daughter from school.

Arriving back at the Fox & Rabbit on the A169
Arriving back at the Fox & Rabbit on the A169