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The Valley Church by Levisham Beck between Lockton & Levisham
The Valley Church by Levisham Beck between Lockton & Levisham

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Route No. 581 - Thursday 30 April 2015
Lockton, Levisham Beck, The Valley Church,
Sleights Road circuit - 5km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area


There was room to park on the wide grass verge opposite the cemetery
There was room to park on the wide grass verge opposite the cemetery

Looking back past the sign post to the cemetery wall
Looking back past the sign post to the cemetery wall

Path contouring round the hillside to a gate in the wall
Path contouring round the hillside to a gate in the wall

Start of the little wooded valley
Start of the little wooded valley

There is a sign post on the grass verge opposite the cemetery indicating a public footpath through a field gate a few metres off the road. We went through the gate and followed a path contouring around the hillside for about 100m to a pedestrian gate through the wall at the end of the field. The path continues through the gate but, just through the gate, our route turns off this path and heads down the steep slope where there is no defined path to follow. The right of way crosses a deeply rutted farm track to reach the start of a narrow wooded valley.

Each Spring for over a decade now we have had a short break with my wife's two sisters and their husbands, somewhere with good walking for the brothers-in-law and some good sightseeing for the sisters. This year we are staying in a holiday cottage on the edge of Sleights overlooking the Esk valley in the North York Moors. Today's walk starts in Lockton just off the A169 Pickering to Whitby road at map ref. SE846899. We parked on the wide grass verge opposite the cemetery at the eastern end of the village.

Setting off through the gate
Setting off through the gate

Heading down the hillside across a farm track at the bottom
Heading down the hillside across a farm track at the bottom

There was agood wide path down the little valley
There was a good wide path down the little valley

The path continued down the wooded valley
The path continued down the wooded valley

The path continued down the wooded valley
The path continued down the wooded valley

The path continued down the wooded valley
The path continued down the wooded valley

Home made iron gate near the footbridge
Home made iron gate near the footbridge

We passed through a narrow home made iron gate and turned right to cross a footbridge over the beck, then turned left to continue along the path.

We continued down this little valley where there was now a clear path which can be very muddy at times, but it was dry today.

The path continued down the wooded valley
The path continued down the wooded valley

The path continued down the wooded valley
The path continued down the wooded valley

 Wood anemonies by the path
Wood anemones by the path

Footbridge over the beck
Footbridge over the beck

Sign post where the path forks
Sign post where the path forks . . .

Bluebells by the path
Bluebells by the path

Path from the sign post heading for the road
Path from the sign post heading for the road

At the junction marked by the sign post we kept to the left hand fork in the path. We followed this path for about 350m to a sharp bend in the road at map ref. SE834902.

The path climbed up the steep sided valley through dense woodland for a few hundred metres to a wooden sign post on the right of the path.

we kept to the left hand fork
. . . we kept to the left hand fork

Primroses by the path
Primroses by the path

Woodland path heading for the road
Woodland path heading for the road


Joining the road on a bend from the woodland path

Walking 100m up the road from the bend
Walking 100m up the road from the bend

Path from the road down to the church & Levisham Beck
Path from the road down to the church & Levisham Beck

Forget-me-nots by the path
Forget-me-nots by the path

We turned left off the road to follow this track down for about 250m to The Valley Church at map ref. SE832900.

At the road we turned right to walk up the hill along the road for about 100m to a track on the left hand side of the road.

Our turning off the road on the left
Our turning off the road on the left

Path from the road down to the church & Levisham Beck
Path from the road down to the church & Levisham Beck

Path from the road down to the church & Levisham Beck
Path from the road down to the church & Levisham Beck

The Valley Church of St. Mary The Virgin

The Valley Church of St. Mary The Virgin

Ruins of the Valley Church
Ruins of the Valley Church

Yew tree at the Valley Church - a few hundred years old
Yew tree at the Valley Church - a few hundred years old?

Ruins of the knave at the Valley Church
Ruins of the knave at the Valley Church

Ruins of the knave at the Valley Church
Ruins of the knave at the Valley Church

Weir on Levisham Beck
Weir on Levisham Beck

Approaching the footbridge over Levisham Beck
Approaching the footbridge over Levisham Beck

Leaving the weir to walk up to the Sleights Road track
Leaving the weir to walk up to the Sleights Road track

We crossed the footbridge over the beck and continued along side the beck for a few metres to a weir before climbing up the bank to join a track called Sleights Road heading down the valley.

We spent a few minutes exploring the site of the church and noticed that the churchyard was still in use for burials. From the church we continued along the path down to Levisham Beck.

Path from the footbridge to the weir on Levisham Beck
Path from the footbridge to the weir on Levisham Beck

Path up from Levisham Beck to the Sleights Road track
Path up from Levisham Beck to the Sleights Road track

Following the Sleights Road track down the valley of Levisham Beck
Following the Sleights Road track down the valley of Levisham Beck

Enjoying the view across the valley of Levisham Beck
Enjoying the view across the valley of Levisham Beck

Path up through the scrub to the woodland
Path up through the scrub to the woodland

Narrow path up the steep hillside
Narrow path up the steep hillside

We crossed the pasture to the edge of the scrub and woodland and a few metres into the woodland the path doubled back to climb up to the valley rim at the top edge of the woodland.

We followed the Sleights Road track down the valley of Levisham Beck for about 500m. Then we turned left off the Sleights Road track to follow a feint path heading diagonally up the valley side.

Looking back down the slope to the Sleights Road track
Looking back down the slope to the Sleights Road track

Climbing up from the bend in the path
Climbing up from the bend in the path

Reaching the grassland at the top of the climb
Reaching the grassland at the top of the climb

Looking across the valley of Levisham Beck where the path doubles back to climb the hillside
Looking across the valley of Levisham Beck where the path doubles back to climb the hillside

Grassland along the top edge of the wood
Grassland along the top edge of the wood

Path along the top edge of the woods
Path along the top edge of the woods

Seat in the woods where the path turns sharp right
Seat in the woods where the path turns sharp right

We continued along the path just inside the top edge of the woodland for a few more hundred metres to another seat in the woodland. Here the path turned sharp right and passed between the houses on the edge of Lockton to emerge into the street at map ref. SE839899.

We continued along the grassland just above the top edge of the woodland for about 350m. The path then passed through a pedestrian gate to a seat with a fine view across the valley. There were a few small headstones here amongst the daffodils.

Going from the grassland back into the top edge of the wood
Going from the grassland back into the top edge of the wood

Path along the top edge of the woods
Path along the top edge of the woods

Path between to houses on the edge of Lockton
Path between to houses on the edge of Lockton


The path emerged onto the street in Lockton

Following the road through Lockton
Following the road through Lockton

Parish Church of St. Giles in Lockton
Parish Church of St. Giles in Lockton

The village hall in Lockton
The village hall in Lockton

We continued past the village hall and out to the edge of the village where our car was parked opposite the cemetery at the end of our walk. It was only a short walk of about 5km but we had passed through some interesting and very pretty countryside along the way. The walk had taken us almost two hours including our exploration of the Valley Church.

We followed the road through the village past a cafe and pleasant village green area to the parish church of St Giles. Just beyond the church we came to Lockton Youth Hostel, a small, plain brick building. After the youth hostel the road bent round to the right and headed down past farm vehicles parked by a farm entrance.

A cafe just off the village street in Lockton
A cafe just off the village street in Lockton

Lockton Youth Hostel
Lockton Youth Hostel

Back to the car at the end of the walk
Back to the car at the end of the walk

Farm vehicles parked along the road in Lockton
Farm vehicles parked along the road in Lockton

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