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Raincliffe Woods Circular

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Raincliffe Woods Circular
Author: RichardJ, Published: 03 Jun 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guidestar1 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guidestar1 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guidestar1 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guidestar1 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guide
North Yorkshire, N York Moors
Walk Type: Woodland
Raincliffe Woods Circular
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guide boot Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guide boot Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guide
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A 5.5 mile circular walk through the ancient Raincliffe Woods on the edge of the North York Moors. The walk meanders though beautiful ancient woodlands along mostly dirt tracks that can get very muddy in wet weather. There are no stiles and the walk includes several climbs and descents, one climb being fairly steep. Approximate time 2 to 2.5 hours.

Raincliffe Woods has been described as the “the creme de la creme of woodland” by the Woodland Trust and comprises more that 400 acres of open access mainly deciduous woodlands. The woods are designated as Planted Ancient Woodland with some areas of Ancient Semi Natural Woodland. The woods are home to a very large range of native trees with some management to remove unwanted species from the area. In June, when the walk was completed, the paths were surrounded by a wide variety of wild flowers including bluebells and wild garlic.

Raincliffe Woods is situated 2 miles north west of Scarborough. The walk starts from the Dog Bark Bend car park on Low Road, east of the entrance to Ox Pastures Country House Hotel. Nearest post code YO12 5TD.

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Walk Sections

Start to Throxenby Mere
Start to Throxenby Mere

Start point: 54.2862 lat, -0.4625 long
End point: 54.2852 lat, -0.4524 long

Exit the car park on the left onto a wide woodland track. Take the lefthand track at the first fork and then at the T-junction turn left to follow the path as it meanders through the woods with a fence and field to your left.

Raincliffe Woods lies on steep north, east and west facing slopes leading up to Seamer and Irton Moor. The altitude varies between 150 and 575ft. The soil at the top of the slope is sandy over calcareous grit whilst lower down is a belt of Oxford clay and below this is sandy loam covering Kellaways rock. Throughout the woodland old quarries expose the underlying rock.

Continue along this path parallel to Low Road ignoring tracks off the right until you see Throxenby Mere ahead. The mere is a small glacial lake that is now a popular fishing destination (permits apply) and is also used frequently by local schools for pond dipping.

Throxenby Mere to Top of Hill
Throxenby Mere to Top of Hill

Start point: 54.2852 lat, -0.4524 long
End point: 54.2804 lat, -0.4546 long

Turn right along the board walk to follow the perimeter of the lake which will be on your left.

When you reach a gate at the end of the board walk go through the gate and turn sharp right almost back on your self and start the climb-up the hill through the woodland. Start by walking at about 2 O’clock looking for a gap in the large beech trees. Then bare left as you continue to climb. You will see a fence to your left. When you reach a T-junction turn left. Eventually you will reach a crossroads with a path going left into a field with a large radio mast. Turn right here.

Top of Hill to Gate into Fields
Top of Hill to Gate into Fields

Start point: 54.2804 lat, -0.4546 long
End point: 54.2744 lat, -0.4799 long

Pass through an old metal gate and continue walking for about 1 mile with the fence and fields on your left. Look out for the varied wild flowers and deciduous trees of Raincliffe Woods along this beautiful walk.

Raincliffe Woods appears in records as far back as 1286 and contains a rare example of ancient oak woodland on a northern slope. At the higher reaches where Raincliffe Woods meets Seamer Moor there are numerous Tumuli and barrows, evidence of ancient habitation. Today much of the land that borders the woodland is farmed but as well as the tumuli there are remains of ancient earth works that cut across the moors and down into Raincliffe.

Gate into Fields to Car Park
Gate into Fields to Car Park

Start point: 54.2744 lat, -0.4799 long
End point: 54.2739 lat, -0.4892 long

At the gate continue straight on with the fence on your left. When you come to the corner of the field turn left. Take care along this stretch of the walk as there is a sheer drop to the right which is disguised by trees and bushes. In about 300 yards you will come to a T-junction, turn sharp right here and start your descent.

You are now entering Forge Valley Woods a National Nature Reserve. The woods are named after the 14th Century forges that used to operate in the area. Traditionally the woods were coppiced to provide charcoal for the forge which processed ore from locally mined ironstone. The Forge Valley was cut by melting ice water at the end of the last ice age about 6,000 years ago.

Continue down the track to the car park ignoring paths to the left and right.

Car Park to Meadow
Car Park to Meadow

Start point: 54.2739 lat, -0.4892 long
End point: 54.2846 lat, -0.4674 long

Leave the car park by crossing the road and entering the woods opposite. Follow the path as it meanders to the left and reaches another road. Turn right and walk on the edge of the road. Take care as there is fast moving traffic along this road.
As the road goes down hill and starts to bend to the left look for a small footpath sign on the right and a path leading into the woods. Turn right here and enter the woodlands. Join the board walk and follow this public footpath until it emerges into Low Road at Peter’s Gate. Cross the road here and head uphill into the woods.

After a few yards and before the marker post turn left. Continue along the path running parallel to Low Road. When you meet a small car parking area turn left and then right and continue along the path. When you reach the next car park area turn right and then left along a board walk and then a bridge over a small stream.

Continue further along this path until you reach another car park. Enter the car park and turn right to exit the car park at 10 O’clock. Follow this path uphill with a field on your left. After approximately 100 yards turn left and follow the path through the tall beech trees as it starts to climb to the right with the valley below to your left.

Following this path you will enter an open area with small oak tees and a meadow beyond.

Meadow to End
Meadow to End

Start point: 54.2846 lat, -0.4674 long
End point: 54.2859 lat, -0.4613 long

Walk through the meadow until you reach a T-junction by an old tree stump. Turn left here and leave the meadow to re-enter the woodland. The area of planted oak trees is known as Raincliffe Meadow and was established by the Woodland Trust.

A little further on when you come to a three way fork take the lefthand branch and after about 20 yards look for a rough path to the left heading downhill through tall conifers. Follow this path downhill to join the track that you first took to leave the car park at the start. Turn left here to return to the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author Richard and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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3 gallery images for "Raincliffe Woods Circular"

2196_0Anne591471330598 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guide Image by: Anne59
Uploaded: 16 Aug 2016

2196_1Anne591471330599 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guide Image by: Anne59
Uploaded: 16 Aug 2016
Anyone know what this is? The top measured about 9" across.
2196_2Anne591471330599 Raincliffe Woods Circular Walking Guide Image by: Anne59
Uploaded: 16 Aug 2016


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