North York Moors

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Newtondale photo by Mike Kipling


Explore the forest tracks of Newtondale on a 6-mile circular route that combines easy valley-bottom walking with a climb into the trees for a lovely woodland wander. The upper section includes a magical route around a deep woodland cleft overflowing with mosses, ferns and grasses. Keep your eyes and ears open – the line of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is never far away and you’ll often hear the whistle of an oncoming train and even see wisps of steam rising above the trees.

Walk info

Great for:
woodland wanders
6 miles (9.8km)
3 hours
Levisham station car park (honesty box for payment), 8 miles (13km) north of Pickering
Grid Ref:
SE 818 910
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL27
Levisham (1.5 miles/2.4km), Lockton (2.5 miles/4km) and Pickering (8 miles/13km)
None on the route
GPX file, MMO file

About this walk

WalkThe route follows quiet lanes, forest tracks and paths, with several ascents and descents which are steep, uneven and rocky in places. There are two gates at Kale Pot Hole Farm, but no stiles en route. Parts of the walk are on paths and tracks over Forestry England open access land. Some of these tracks are occasionally closed for tree-felling or other operations, although the land is usually always open at weekends.

DogsYou can let your dog off the lead in Forestry England woods, but always make sure that they are under control. Please keep your dog on a lead in the field near Kale Pot Hole Farm as livestock may be present.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The railway line through Newtondale dates back to the earliest days of steam in the 1830s, when famous railway engineer George Stephenson was asked to plan a line between Whitby and Pickering. The line finally closed in 1965 – a victim of the 'Beeching axe' – but the 18-mile section between Pickering and Grosmont was brought back to life in the 1970s by a determined and enthusiastic group of volunteers.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is now the most popular heritage railway line in the country, and steam trains once again run all the way through to Whitby.

Levisham station

All the stations on the line have their own character, but Levisham is quirkier than many. It's been restored to the way it looked in 1912, while during Pickering's annual October 'Railway in Wartime' event the station and surrounding area become a lively centre for re-enactment groups remembering the days of World War II.

Finally, ever wondered why Levisham station is a steep mile-and-half's walk below Levisham village? It's thought that when the line was planned in the 1830s, the local landowner, the Reverend Skelton, allowed the station to be built – provided it was handy for his house down in the valley, rather than up in the village.