North York Moors

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Cawthorn Roman Camps photo by Janet-Burdon

Cawthorn Roman Camps

Nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans built a group of fortifications overlooking the central moorlands of the National Park. This easygoing 1-mile trail offers you the opportunity to discover these remarkable earthworks and to imagine what life must have been like for the legionnaires who built them. The views from the escarpment almost defy description – from this vantage point the splendour of the North York Moors unfolds in front of you.

Walk info

Great for:
easy access, big-sky views, history buffs
1 mile (1.6km)
45 minutes
Cawthorn Roman Camps car park, 5 miles (8km) north of Pickering
Grid Ref:
SE 783 894
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL27
Cropton (2½ miles/4km), Newton upon Rawcliffe (3 miles/4.8km), Pickering (5 miles/8km)
Pickering (5 miles/8km)

About this walk

WalkThe trail starts in the far corner of the car park, next to the information panel and the disabled parking bay. It's a 1-mile loop – simply follow the marker posts showing a carved head of a Roman soldier. Please help protect the monument by keeping to the path.

The path has a hard, compacted surface and is fairly level. There is a short, undulating section on grass – wet weather may affect its accessibility. The site is exposed and quite often subjected to chilly winds – wrap up warm!

DogsAt Cawthorn Roman Camps please keep your dog under control at all times, preferably on a short fixed lead. Please also be a responsible dog owner and clean up after your dog – the site is regularly used by children and other groups on educational visits.

A blast from the past

Almost 20 centuries ago the Romans built a series of fortifications on the northernmost tip of their mighty empire. Now known as Cawthorn Roman Camps, the ditches and banks still stand as an impressive reminder of their ingenuity.

The camps were bought by the North York Moors National Park in 1983 to look after the area and to help visitors discover its secrets. Removing trees and scrub from the forts has safeguarded the archaeology. Bracken is also being controlled and footpaths have been made to help reduce the impact of visiting the monument.