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Looking across the Hole-of-Horcum from the path up through the oak woods
Looking across the Hole-of-Horcum from the path up through the oak woods to the car park on the A169

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Route No. 371 - Wednesday 22 September 2010
Hole-of-Horcum, Skelton Tower,
Dundale Pond circuit - 11km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area at 1:25000


Path along the edge of the plantation
Path along the edge of the plantation

Path down the hillside to the Saltergate Inn
Path down the hillside to the Saltergate Inn

After about 250m along this track we came to a gate across the track with a sign warning about the anti-terrorist surveillance in the area surrounding the Fylingdales base. Just before the gate at map ref. SE854938, we turned left through another gate along the edge of a plantation. About 400m along this path there was a stile ahead and a pedestrian gate to the right into some pasture land. We kept straight ahead over the stile and followed the path down the hillside through the plantation to the main road next to the near derelict old Saltergate Inn.

Today was forecast to be the last fine day before a wet cool spell and it proved to be accurate. We, that's my mate Jim and I, drove to the car park on the A169 Pickering to Whitby road at the Hole-of-Horcum at map ref. SE852937. Since we were last here the car park has sprouted a new name board which proclaims the name as the "Saltergate Car Park". The Saltergate Inn, now in a state of lapsed renovation, is about 500m away towards Whitby round a steep hill and hairpin bend. The peat fire there was alleged to have been burning for centuries but it's definitely out now. From the car park we set off along the main road northwards for about 150m and turned right on to a track between the plantations.

Start of the path along the edge of the plantation
Start of the path along the edge of the plantation

Sheep pasture beside the path
Sheep pasture beside the path

Saltergate Inn awaiting renovation
Saltergate Inn awaiting renovation

Leaving the main road , heading for Glebe Farm
Leaving the main road , heading for Glebe Farm
Sign at Glebe farm
Sign at Glebe Farm

We guessed that the house was probably a holiday cottage. Beyond the house we followed the path across some fields to the open moor.

We crossed the main road and took the path signposted down an access track at the side of the Saltergate Inn, and between some farm buildings, Glebe Farm, on our left and a stone built house a little further on, on our right.

Path on to the moor from Glebe Farm
Path on to the moor from Glebe Farm

Bee hives on the moor at the end of the heather honey season
Bee hives on the moor at the end of the heather honey season

Swaledale ewe watching our progress
Swaledale ewe watching our progress

Our first view into Newton Dale
Our first view into Newton Dale

The track of the North York Moors steam railway runs along the valley bottom, and below us a train hauled by a diesel engine stopped at Newtondale Halt.

At map ref. SE845948, the path turned left to follow the edge of the moor above Newtondale. I like this path for the contrast between the open moorland on our left and the steep sided, wooded valley of Newtondale on our right.

Heading for the path along the edge of Newton Dale
Heading for the path along the edge of Newton Dale

Deisel train at Newtondale Halt
Diesel train at Newtondale Halt

Path along the edge of Newton Dale
Path along the edge of Newton Dale

Cluster of autumn fungus in the heather
Cluster of autumn fungus in the heather

Path along the edge of Newton Dale
Path along the edge of Newton Dale

A small disused quarry on the edge of Newton dale
A small disused quarry on the edge of Newton dale

After about 3.5km we reached Skelton Tower at map ref. SE820928.

We continued to follow the path along the edge of Newtondale.

A view of the railway along Newton Dale
A view of the railway along Newton Dale

A small disused quarry on the edge of Newton dale
A small disused quarry on the edge of Newton dale

Path along the edge of Newton Dale
Path along the edge of Newton Dale

Heading for Skelton Tower
Heading for Skelton Tower

Steam train seen from Skelton Tower
Steam train seen from Skelton Tower

Looking back along the green track to Skelton Tower
Looking back along the green track to Skelton Tower

After our lunch we turned away from Newtondale and followed a clear green pathway across the moor and up the hillside to Dundale Pond at map ref. SE828918.

We sat on a ruined stone wall for our lunch with a lovely view along Newtondale. We could hear a steam engine whistle behind us at Levisham Station and shortly it came into view hauling a number of coaches with a lot of smoke as it worked its way way up the incline.

Skelton Tower
Skelton Tower

Skelton Tower
Skelton Tower

Green track climbing up towards Dundale Pond
Green track climbing up towards Dundale Pond

Looking back across Newton Dale from the top of the climb
Looking back across Newton Dale from the top of the climb

Sheep near Dundale Pond
Sheep near Dundale Pond

Signpost at Dundale Pond
Signpost at Dundale Pond

At the bottom of the slope we came to Levisham Beck at map ref. SE838917.

From Dundale Pond we followed the path down Dundale Griff for about 1km.

Sheep drinking at Dundale Pond
Sheep drinking at Dundale Pond

Fly Agaric fungus in Dundale Griff
Fly Agaric fungus in Dundale Griff

The path down Dundale Griff
The path down Dundale Griff from Dundale Pond to Levisham Beck

Path following Levisham Beck
Path following Levisham Beck

Looking back along the path above Levisham Beck
Looking back along the path above Levisham Beck

Cattle by the path into the Hole-of-Horcum
Cattle by the path into the Hole-of-Horcum

We continued across the fields to a gate next to Levisham Beck at map ref. SE845934. We followed the path through the gate and over the beck and into the moorland bowl of the Hole-of-Horcum.

There we turned left along a path that followed Levisham Beck upstream gradually climbing away from the beck. This path led us across fields past the old farmstead of Low Horcum (now some kind of outdoor centre I think).

Looking into the Hole-of-Horcum
Looking into the Hole-of-Horcum

The path into the Hole-of-Horcum
The path into the Hole-of-Horcum

Approaching Low Horcum
Approaching Low Horcum

The Hole-of-Horcum seen from Low Horcum farmstead
The Hole-of-Horcum seen from Low Horcum farmstead

Looking back towards Low Horcum
Looking back towards Low Horcum

Then we turned right, off the path, and made our way across the heather to a gate at map ref. SE 849938.

We followed the path starting to climb up slowly for a few hundred metres.

Path through the Hole-of-Horcum
Path through the Hole-of-Horcum

Climbing up to the path through the oak woods
Climbing up to the path through the oak woods

Looking back across the Hole-of-Horcum from the edge of the oak woods
Looking back across the Hole-of-Horcum from the edge of the oak woods

Looking back across the Hole-of-Horcum from the edge of the oak woods
Looking back across the Hole-of-Horcum from the edge of the oak woods

Through the gate the path led us up the steep hillside to a stile at the edge of the oak woods around the eastern rim of the Hole-of-Horcum below the main road (A169). We crossed the stile into the woods and followed the path climbing steeply up to the road with lovely views through the trees across the Hole-of-Horcum. At the top we came to a few steps p to the road edge and crossed the road back to the car park where we had started. The whole walk had been 11km. It had taken us just over 4 hours to walk including our lunch stop at Skelton Tower.

Path up through the oak woods to the car park at the A169
Path up through the oak woods to the car park at the A169

 

Looking back across the Hole-of-Horcum from the path through the oak woods
Looking back across the Hole-of-Horcum from the path through the oak woods