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WalkFest 2017

Image by Volunteer, Brian NicholsonImage by Volunteer, Brian Nicholson

Saturday 27 May – Monday 29 May 2017

Join us over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend for the return of our walking festival and enjoy a great programme of guided themed walks in some very special places. We'll have:

  • walks for all ages and abilities, with expert guides
  • afternoon tea walks with cake or evening strolls with beer!
  • children’s treasure hunts to moorland hikes
  • a chance to walk linear stretches of the Cleveland Way or Esk Valley Walk (with transport provided)

Bookings and information

Advance bookings and payment are essential for all WalkFest walks. Unless otherwise stated below, to reserve a place on any of the festival walks, please call 01439 772738 or call into The Moors National Park Centre, Danby.

  • Children are welcome but minimum ages apply, and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Dogs are allowed on a couple of walks, but must be kept on a short fixed lead at all times.
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear is essential. It's also your responsibility to choose walks appropriate to your ability and experience – participation will be at the final discretion of the walk leader.

Festival schedule 2017


Saturday 27 May

Over Moors and Dales
A 10 mile linear walk from Blakey Ridge, with some steep ascents and descents. It’s a chance to take in some lesser-known paths and expansive views, followed by visit to the Dawnay Estates’ ‘Robinson Danby Collection’ of local artefacts at Stonebeck Gate Farm, where tea and cakes are served. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: Adult: £10 Child: £10 (includes minibus, tea and cake) (minimum age 14)
Time: 9.45am – 4.30pm
Location: The Moors National Park Centre, Danby, for minibus to Blakey Ridge

Geocaching Treasure Hunt
Using one of our GPS units, enjoy a 3 mile walk searching for clues and goodies in hidden boxes along the way. You pay a charge (per family) for the GPS unit, plus a refundable deposit. The route takes about 2 hours to complete and you can just turn up on the day.  
Cost: Family £5, plus £20 deposit
Time: 10.30am – 2pm, drop in any time
Location: National Trust Visitor Centre, Ravenscar

Ampleforth Amble
Enjoy views of the Vale of Pickering and Howardian Hills on this circular walk of 6.5 miles on the southern boundary of the National Park. Take in the architecture of Ampleforth College, including the church designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, with the option of sampling its tearoom and admiring the Mouseman of Kilburn’s furniture. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: Adult: £5 Child: £5 (minimum age 14)
Time: 10.30am – 2.30pm
Location: Archway outside Ampleforth College (OS Grid Ref: SE 599 789)

The Derelict, the Restored and the Remains
Pass the historic Saltersgate Inn before crossing the moor to Newton Dale and the stunning viewpoint of Skelton Tower, for wonderful views of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on this 7 mile walk. The return route passes Dundale Pond, Bronze Age tumuli and views over the Hole of Horcum. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: Adult: £5 Child: £5 (minimum age 14)
Time: 11am – 3pm
Location: Saltergate car park, A169 (OS Grid Ref: SE 852 938)

A Taste of Smuggling
Step back in time to 18th-century Robin Hood’s Bay when smuggling was rife and discover its dangers, hiding places and secret passages. Join Paul Johnston from Baytown Beers and enjoy a gentle 60-minute stroll around Old Baytown, followed by the opportunity to taste locally brewed beer at The Victoria. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: £7.50 (includes beer tasting) (minimum age 18)
Time: 5pm onwards
Location: Robin Hood’s Bay Museum

Sunday 28 May

Conquer the Cleveland Way Part 1: Helmsley to Sutton Bank
This strenuous 10 mile linear walk starts in the historic market town of Helmsley, passes the fascinating 800-year-old ruins of Rievaulx Abbey and the site of the Hambleton Down racecourse, before encountering the dramatic Sutton Bank escarpment. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Time: 10am – 4pm
Cost: Adult: £6 Child: £6 (includes minibus) (minimum age 14)
Location: Sutton Bank National Park Centre, for minibus to Helmsley

Enjoy the Esk Valley Walk: Part 1: Castleton to Blakey Ridge
On this 7 mile walk, we follow gentle paths in Danby Dale before ascending to the Lyke Wake Walk route. Crossing Rosedale Head, we pass White Cross (Fat Betty) and the two Ralph Crosses, before following the road to the ancient Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: Adult: £6 Child: £6 (minimum age 14)
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge, for minibus to Castleton (OS Grid Ref: SE 679 998)

The Manor of Spaunton
Explore one of the few remaining English manors with an active Court Leet – hear about the role of the Commoner and the identity of the Lords of the Manor since the 18th century. Visit three villages, which all date back at least to Norman times, and enjoy tea and cakes in Appleton le Moors Village Hall on this 6 mile walk.
Cost: Adult: £8.50 Child: £8.50 (includes tea and cake) (minimum age 14)
Time: 10.30am – 1.30pm
Location: Appleton le Moors Village Hall

Mammal Track Treasure Hunt
Search the grounds for the animal footprints and discover which belong to each creature. Pick up the missing letters on the way to find the magic code word for the treasure box!
Cost: Adult: Free Child: £3 (minimum age 4)
Time: 11am – 4pm, drop in anytime
Locations: The Moors National Park Centre, Danby and Sutton Bank National Park Centre

A Taste of Smuggling
Step back in time to 18th-century Robin Hood’s Bay when smuggling was rife and discover its dangers, hiding places and secret passages. Join Paul Johnston from Baytown Beers and enjoy a gentle 60-minute stroll around Old Baytown, followed by the opportunity to taste locally brewed beer at The Victoria. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: £7.50 (includes beer tasting) (minimum age 18)
Time: 5pm onwards
Location: Robin Hood’s Bay Museum

Monday 29 May

A Moor Gate Meander
An 8 mile circular walk, requiring a reasonable level of fitness, which takes in moorland and dale, crossing Hawnby Moor and Wetherhouse Moor before descending into Bilsdale. Following the valley southwards on the return, there is then a gradual ascent back onto the moor. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: Adult: £5 Child: £5 (minimum age 14)
Time: 10am – 3.30pm
Location: Moor Gate car park (OS Grid Ref: SE 539 917)

Conquer the Cleveland Way Part 2: Clay Bank to Kildale
From Clay Bank this strenuous 9.5 mile linear walk heads up onto Urra Moor, the highest point on the North York Moors. The route takes in the remote Bloworth Crossing, where ironstone was once transported, and finishes in the small village of Kildale. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: Adult: £6 Child: £6 (includes minibus) (minimum age 14)
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Kildale village, for minibus to Clay Bank (OS Grid Ref: NZ 608 094)

Enjoy the Esk Valley Walk Part 2: Blakey Ridge to Castleton
Starting from the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge, the 9.5 mile route follows part of the former mineral railway line, before tracing moorland paths to reach the source of the River Esk, then descending into Westerdale to Castleton. Please bring a packed lunch. Sorry no dogs.
Cost: Adult: £6 Child: £6 (includes minibus) (minimum age 14)
Time: 10am – 5pm
Location: Rigg End car park, Castleton, for minibus to Lion Inn (OS Grid Ref: NZ 681 077)