LET us relax and take the train along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to either Levisham station or Newtondale Halt (request stop) to enjoy a walk along the escarpment overlooking Newtondale.

Along the way you will come across some very good natured Highland cattle – at least they were when I did the walk.

These majestic beasts, with their magnificent sweeping horns and long rich hair, are one of Britain’s oldest, most recognised breeds.

They are tough animals and have survived for many years on the poor grazing lands in the highlands of Scotland, facing cold winds and heavy rain. Even though they live in tough conditions, they have a long breeding life of around 18 years.

The Highland beef these cattle produce has lean, marbled flesh which is both tasty and tender with the added bonus of being low in fat and higher in protein than other breeds.

When I walked the route, a rather large, but seemingly friendly, old bull walked past. He stopped, turned his head, his large eye surveying me and seemed to say ‘not more darned tourists’, before swaggering away to look after his concubines.

Your route

Gazette & Herald: Gazette Levisham walk small Let us take a walk from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway through Newtondale. You have a choice of starting points from the train, either Levisham station or Newtondale Halt.

I suggest you use Newtondale Halt platform, then you will have a choice of refreshment at Levisham. If you do use Newtondale Halt you must inform the guard on the train at your departure station or the train will not stop.

Leave the platform, then cross underneath the railway track at the bridge. Turn left after the bridge to walk between the railway and the beck.

Cross a couple of stiles and a footbridge to climb steeply into the forest. Soon you will cross a stile on the right to leave the forest, then continue to climb, quite steeply at times. Climb a wooden staircase and soon you reach the top of the escarpment. Turn right here and eventually the path goes left to join a wider track going right.

Continue along, passing Skelton Tower, then in just over a mile you reach a narrow road. Go left here towards the hill, near the seat go left again across the face of the hill for a steep climb.

At the top, bear slightly right to a wall, then follow the wall straight ahead and round to the right to reach a gate and a stone stile into a lane.

Continue downhill along the lane all the way to Levisham and the Horseshoe Inn for refreshment.

Leave the inn towards the village and almost immediately turn right past the church along a country lane. Not far, at the second left bend, leave the road to go straight ahead over a stile into a field. Cross the field, then cross another stile into another field.

Exit this field in the distant right hand corner and bear right over the stile along a narrow path across the middle of the hillside.

The path bends left, then right around the hill, to follow a wider track downhill with grand views across Newtondale.

At the bottom of the hill follow the sign for ‘Station’ and cross a stile near the gate, then bear right to go downhill to a small gate at the bottom of the field. Pass through the gate into a wood and follow this path to soon exit onto the road, turn left here to Levisham station. At the rear of the station in the car park is the drinks machine.

Facts of the Levisham country walk

Distance – Six miles/9.6km

Time – 2½ hours

Start/parking – Park at the railway station car parks at either Pickering or Grosmont and take the train to Newtondale Halt, this is a request stop so you must inform the guard on the train before you leave the station. Grid ref of Newtondale Halt is: 835948

Best map – OS Outdoor Leisure 27

Refreshments – The Horseshoe Inn at Levisham. There is also a drinks machine at the rear of Levisham station

Public toilets – Levisham station

Guide book – Twelve Scenic Walks from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway by J Brian Beadle published by Trailblazer at £2.50, available from Trailblazer Outdoors in Pickering, book shops, NYMR railway stations, visitor centres and tourist information centres

View a printable map of the Levisham country walk>>