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Path climbing up Newton Banks to Newton-on-Rawcliffe
Path climbing up Newton Banks to Newton-on-Rawcliffe

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Route No. 455 - Thursday 16 February 2012
Cawthorne Roman Camp,
Newton-on-Rawcliffe circuit - 12km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area


Visitors' path around the Roman Camps
Visitors' path around the Roman Camps

There are several different types of camp constructed overlapping each other and information boards to help you make sense of it all. After a stroll around the camps we left the car park and followed the road around the outside of the camps.

Today my mate, Jim, and I drove to the Roman Camps at Cawthorne, map ref. SE782896. This is a site where Roman Troops who were garrisoned in York (Eboracum), came on exercises to dig practice earthwork defences.

The viewing platform at the Roman Camps
The viewing platform at the Roman Camps

The Roman Camps seen from the viewing platform
The Roman Camps seen from the viewing platform

Following the Tabular Hills route along the road down Cawthorne Banks towards Keldy
Following the Tabular Hills route along the road down Cawthorne Banks towards Keldy

Turning off the road towards High Cawthorn
Turning off the road towards High Cawthorne

Path through the woods to High Cawthorn
Path through the woods to High Cawthorne

Bracket fungus on a birch tree
Bracket fungus on a birch tree - they're very hard

This is a very pretty part of our walk through woodland and across some pasture land to a track at map ref. SE785914. The weather was fine but there were shower clouds about and as we approached the corner of the field near High Cawthorne, a bright rainbow appeared ahead of us.

We joined the route of the Tabular Hills walk at map ref. SE777893, heading north towards Keldy. At the bottom of Cawthorne Banks below the Roman Camps we took the footpath off the road to the right towards High Cawthorne, still following the route of the Tabular Hills walk.

Path through the woods to High Cawthorn
Path through the woods to High Cawthorne

Path through the woods to High Cawthorn
Path through the woods to High Cawthorne

Gate into pasture land at High Cawthorne
Gate into pasture land at High Cawthorne

Path through the woodland approaching High Cawthorne
Path through the woodland approaching High Cawthorne

Rainbow over High Cawthorne
Rainbow over High Cawthorne

Track heading north from High Cawthorne
Track heading north from High Cawthorne

We turned right at this junction
We turned right at this junction

Track to the road near Stape
Track to the road near Stape

Stape is a tiny village strung out along this road for over 1km. At the road the Tabular Hills walk makes a detour along the road but we continued straight across the road.

From the field we followed the track northwards for about 600m to a junction in the track where we turned right to continue along the Tabular Hills walk heading east. After about 1.5km along this track we reached a minor road on the edge of Stape at map ref. SE797920.

Track heading north from High Cawthorne
Track heading north from High Cawthorne

Track to the road near Stape
Track to the road near Stape

One of a series of badger tracks on the path
One of a series of badger tracks on the path

Track to the road near Stape
Track to the road near Stape

Crossing the road near Stape
Crossing the road near Stape

Our turning in front of Middle Farm
Our turning in front of Middle Farm

Approaching the foot of Newton Banks
Approaching the foot of Newton Banks

The path crosses some attractive but muddy scrubland called Stony Moor, with heather, coarse grass and young trees. After about 1km we reached a ford across a stream at the foot of Newton Banks. We crossed the stream and continued along the Tabular Hills route climbing up Newton Banks.

From the road we followed a path through some woodland and across the fields to join a farm access road that took us past 'Upper Farm' and along to 'Middle Farm' (there is 'Lower Farm' a little further on). Here we turned right off the access road and rejoined the Tabular Hills walk heading southwards towards Newton-on-Rawcliffe.

Path to Middle Farm
Path to Middle Farm

Path across Stony Moor
Path across Stony Moor

Ford over the beck at the foot of Newton Banks
Ford over the beck at the foot of Newton Banks

Woodland at the foot of Newton Banks
Woodland at the foot of Newton Banks

Path climbing up Newton Banks
Path climbing up Newton Banks

Path climbing up Newton Banks
Path climbing up Newton Banks

Where the track joins the road into Newton-on-Rawcliffe there is a seat looking down the village street with a pretty bank of snowdrops and yellow aconites at the side of the track. We stopped here for our lunch.

The route up Newton Banks was a very pleasant track through the woods with views of Newton Dale away to our left. At the top of the climb there is a small cattle shed that in my memory seems to have been in the same rather ramshackle state for the last twenty years.

Looking across Newtondale from Newton Banks
Looking across Newtondale from Newton Banks

Cattle in their shed at the top of Newton Banks
Cattle in their shed at the top of Newton Banks

Snowdrops and yellow aconites on the bank by the path into Newton-on-Rawcliffe
Snowdrops and yellow aconites on the bank by the path into Newton-on-Rawcliffe

The village pond at Newton-on-Rawcliffe
The village pond at Newton-on-Rawcliffe

Entering Newton-on-Rawcliffe
Entering Newton-on-Rawcliffe

The lane leaving Newton-on-Rawcliffe
The lane leaving Newton-on-Rawcliffe

Path across the fields from Newton-on-Rawcliffe
Path across the fields from Newton-on-Rawcliffe

After about 400m we came to a fork in the lane and here we took a footpath in the middle of the fork, across the fields. After about a kilometer the path led us to another lane at map ref. SE798899.

After our lunch break we continued into the village, leaving the route of the Tabular Hills walk. Near the southern end of the village at map ref. SE812904, we turned right off the village street to follow a lane out of the village.

The main street in Newton-on-Rawcliffe
The main street in Newton-on-Rawcliffe

The lane leaving Newton-on-Rawcliffe
The lane leaving Newton-on-Rawcliffe

Path across the fields from Newton-on-Rawcliffe
Path across the fields from Newton-on-Rawcliffe

Path across the fields from Newton-on-Rawcliffe
Path across the fields from Newton-on-Rawcliffe

Two ladies on horseback gave us a cheery greeting
Two ladies on horseback gave us a cheery greeting

We turned right and followed the lane for a little over a kilometer to a road junction at map ref. SE799910.

As we reached the lane two ladies on horseback gave us a cheery greeting as they rode by.

Joining the lane at map ref. SE798899
Joining the lane at map ref. SE798899

Following the lane to the road at map ref. SE799910
Following the lane to the road at map ref. SE799910

The view south from the road
The view south from the road

From the view point we continued along the road round to the entrance to the Roman Camps and returned to the start of our walk. The whole route had been about 12km and it had taken us three and a half hours to walk including our lunch stop and a tour of the Roman camps at the start of the walk.

At the road junction we turned left and walked along the road for 1.2km to a view point at map ref. SE788904. There is a seat here and through a gap in the trees there is a lovely view out across the Cropton Forest and below is Elleron Lake. The recent snow has all melted and the fields and woods were green again but the lake was still frozen and had a layer of snow on it in the shadow of the hillside.

Approaching the view point along the road
Approaching the view point along the road

Seat at the view point over looking Elleron Lake and the Cropton Forest
Seat at the view point over looking Elleron Lake and the Cropton Forest

Background Notes:
This walk starts at the Roman military camps at Cawthorn near Cropton on the southern edge of the North York Moors. There are the remains of four different types of Roman Fort here. There's some disagreement amongst archeologists about the purpose of these forts but generally it is believed that they were a training site for Roman troops who were stationed here to learn how to build fortifications. The story is complicated by the fact that the forts seem to have been occupied for a number of years and then the site was unoccupied for about a decade before another type of fort was built. It's an interesting place to explore with good information boards around the site. Over half of our walk from the Roman Camps follows the route of the Tabular Hills walk that links the Cleveland Way at Helmsley with the Cleveland Way at Scalby on the coast at Scarborough so it's possible to walk a complete circuit of the North York Moors from Scarborough up the coast and around the northern edge of the park, down to Helmsley and across the southern edge of the park back to Scarborough. We follow the road from the Roman camps, down the bank to the Cropton Forest and follow a very pretty path through the woodland past Ellerton Lodge, a rather grand house and grounds. We follow a track to the road from Pickering on the edge of the village of Stape where the Joseph Rowntree School in York has an outdoor centre with access to the Cropton Forest and the open moors. From Stape we cross the road from Pickering and continue along the Tabular Hills route across an attractive but muddy area of scrubland called Stony Moor. We walk through some pleasant woodland to cross a pretty little tributary of Pickering Beck to climb up a steep woodland path with views across Newton Dale to our left. The path brings us into Newton-on-Rawcliffe where there is an ancient village green and large duck pond with seats for a lunch stop and a pub opposite the duck pond. From the village we follow a track and path across the fields to the west of the village to reach a view point on the road on the edge of a steep bank down to Sutherland Beck. From the seat at the viewpoint you are overlooking the Cropton Forest that stretches for about 4km west of the viewpoint and about 7km to the north. Directly below the viewpoint is Ellerton Lake. It's a man made lake about 400m long with a dam across Southerland Beck. From the view point we walk along the road back to our starting point at the Roman Camps and the end of our walk.

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