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Route no 1 - Saturday 18 August 2001
(Note: Foot & mouth disease precautions were still in force when I did this walk)
Levisham Station to Newtondale Halt
North York Moors Railway
Newtondale, North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

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

My train arriving at Goathland
My train arriving at Goathland

After about a mile the route turns off left onto a stoned forest road starting up the valley side and after about 100 yards turns left again onto a path through the bushes to climb one of the narrow ridges (called Waterpate Slack) leading up to the rim of the valley. At the top the path is in a small cutting but if you climb the bank there is a lovely view across Newtondale to the moor oposite and the ruins of Skelton tower on the edge.

The foot and mouth disease precautions are still firmly in place in most of North Yorkshire, so to-day I chose a route which the Forestry Commission has opened on its land in Newtondale. I drove to Goathland station on the North York Moors Railway and took the first train, at 10.10am, to Levisham. It's a very pretty ride along Newtondale from Goathland with the wooded valley sides getting steeper as they get higher until they are topped by sheer sandstone cliffs. The heather moors are bright purple at this time of year making a lovely patchwork with the bright green bracken and the darker green billberry plants. The route is well signposted with large dark blue arrows (the signs were removed when the disease precautions ended) The route starts off along the tarmaced forest road in the valley bottom.

Road from Levisham Station
Road from Levisham Station

Path at the top of Waterpate Slack
Path at the top of Waterpate Slack

View across Newtondale
View across Newtondale

View along Newtondale from Needle Point
View along Newtondale from Needle Point

It continues around the valley rim along an edge called Killing Nab Scar to Needle Point where I sat on a seat with a great view down the valley to eat my packed lunch.(There are good maps of the routes posted at the railway stations). Needle point was a tall pinacle of rock but it collapsed several years ago.

The signposted route follows forest tracks around the valley rim before descending to the stoned forest road near Newtondale Halt on the North York Moors Railway - if you've had enough you can get the train back to your car but there is another circuit which is well worth walking.

The rock fall on the way to Newtondale spring
The rock fall on the way to Newtondale spring

My train arriving at Newtondale Halt
My train arriving at Newtondale Halt to take me back to Goathland

Newtondale spring

Just below Needle Point there is a footpath signposted to Newtondale Well (when you get there it's called "Newtondale spring"). It is only a short diversion of about 200 yards but the path is obstructed by a large rock fall at present but it's possible to cross with care.
After my detour to the spring the route descended a pretty path overlooking the railway line in the valley bottom and I returned to the stone forest road in the valley bottom. It was about half a mile along this road back to Newtondale Halt in good time for the 13.49 train back to Goathland. A very pleasant walk of about 6 miles.

Newtondale Spring

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