A 3 mile circular walk around the wooded Pennine valley of Hardcastle Crags, near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. Owned by the National Trust the valley comprises a beautiful shallow river, Hebden Water with steep wooded valley sides and you will have chance to discover lots of wildlife plus some industrial archaeology along the way. If you have children with you, you may wish to bring along crayons and paper as there are several engraved markers around the site, showing the various leaves and seeds in the woodland.
Levisham and Newton Dale
Distance: 5½ miles
Duration: 2 hours
Level of walk: Medium View Walks Key
This is a great walk for any season as it offers relatively sheltered paths and stopping off points, and encompasses some moor walking together with a couple of climbs and some dramatic views. Your pooch will appreciate being able to be off-lead on lovely wide green paths and also perhaps have a paddle in Levisham Beck.What else you need to know
How to get there – from the A169 Pickering to Whitby road, turn left around five miles north of Pickering, following signs passing through Lockton to Levisham.
Suggested map – OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern
Car park – roadside parking in Levisham village
Start – Horseshoe pub in Levisham village
Length/time – 5½ miles and 2 hours
Terrain/difficulty – MEDIUM – green paths which are easy to follow through wooded areas, some quiet roads and uphill walking.
Dog friendliness – both off-lead romping and swimming/paddling opportunities, one stile to get over, very little road walking and you shouldn’t encounter too many sheep and the village pub is very dog-friendly.
Food and drink – Horseshoe Inn at Levisham and the Fox and Rabbit Inn (5 minutes away on the A59) are both dog-friendly and serve food, just make sure you check times when food is served.
Public toilets – for patrons of Levisham village pub.
Other interesting info:
Levisham Station, is the first halt after leaving Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR). It was opened in 1836 by the Whitby and Pickering Railway before being taken over by the York and North Midland Railway nine years later. Originally worked by horses, the line saw its first steam-hauled service from Pickering in 1846.
After becoming part of the North Eastern Railway in 1854 and the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923, the line became part of the nationalised British Railways in 1948. The Beeching Report of 1962 recommended the closure of all railways serving Whitby, and the line from Malton via Levisham was closed in 1965.
After the line was taken over by the NYMR in 1973, Levisham station was reopened and it is once again possible to reach Whitby by a steam-hauled train. Since 2007, the NYMR Artist in Residence Christopher Ware has occupied a studio at Levisham station, which is open to the public whenever trains are running – and on other days too. http://warehouseart.com/dev/
- With the Horseshoe pub behind, head along the main street out of the village. There are wide grass verges for you and your pooch to walk on, away from the road, although there is hardly any traffic! Where the road bends right downhill, look for a wooden footpath sign on the left. Follow the path left as it follows the hotel boundary hedge, keeping close to the tree line as it heads downhill. Ignore the path that heads straight down into the valley bottom.
- The path is clear and easy to follow, and levels out before climbing a flight of wooden steps. Continue along the gently undulating path, high above the valley below. At a wooden signpost, continue ahead towards Horcum – in the distance, traffic can be seen on the A169 road as the path bears left.
- After a while the view opens out and Levisham Brow can be seen below on the right. Continuing onwards, the view opens up to reveal the moors and valleys. A gnarled wooden footpath sign points back towards Levisham. The path heads downhill to a waymarked gate, pass through it and continue to a footpath sign near Levisham Beck to the right. In this area there a plenty of opportunities for romping, paddling, and swimming or simply having a break.
- Following the sign for Dundale Pond, take the broad green path uphill as it becomes narrower and more eroded – with another beck to the right. At the end of the tree line, keep right where the path forks, heading towards a wooden signpost. There may well be sheep grazing here as the walk enters moorland.
- Following the sign for Levisham Station, keep straight ahead passing Dundale Pond to the right. At the corner of a stone wall, continue ahead following a blue arrow and keeping the wall to the left. Keep straight ahead at the end of the wall to the top of the rise from where there are panoramic views of Newton Dale – and the road down to Levisham station below.
- The path heads downhill towards the road. Turn left at the road and continue a short distance uphill before following a public bridleway sign to a green path above a track on the right. Be careful not to follow the track, which leads to a closed gate and private land. Keep ahead on the green path and look out for a well camouflaged sign on the right pointing towards Levisham village.
- Take the left fork, and follow the path as it climbs uphill – quite steeply, but the reward is a wooden seat at the top commanding spectacular views of the moors and Newton Dale. Levisham station can be seen down below, and steam trains can often be seen – and heard! Continuing on, the path bends left and right before leading uphill to a stile.
- Climb the stile, then turn left immediately and head along the edge of an arable field, keeping a stone wall to the left. Pass through a waymarked gate and continue ahead to a road. Follow the road straight on for a short distance, back into the village of Levisham.