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Pickering and Pickering Woods

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Pickering and Pickering Woods
Author: Claire, Published: 09 Jun 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Pickering and Pickering Woods - walking guidestar1 Pickering and Pickering Woods - walking guidestar1 Pickering and Pickering Woods - walking guidestar1 Pickering and Pickering Woods - walking guidestar0 Pickering and Pickering Woods - walking guide
North Yorkshire, N York Moors
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Pickering and Pickering Woods
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Pickering and Pickering Woods - walking guide boot Pickering and Pickering Woods - walking guide
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A 6 mile circular walk from the market town of Pickering in the North York Moors. The route heads north out of the town following Pickering Beck and on through the paths of Pickering Woods. The walk then crosses the beck and the railway before returning along a quiet country lane to explore the town itself.

The route is relatively flat with just a couple of small gradients. The woodland and field footpaths are very uneven and can get very muddy after wet weather. There is one stile (with a gap in the fence alongside for dogs) plus several gates. One of the fields you pass through is likely to be holding sheep. At one point you will need to cross the railway line at an un-signalled crossing so take particular care with children and dogs here. There are public toilets in the short stay car park which you pass near the start of the walk. Allow 2.5 to 3 hours.

Pickering is on the main A170 between Scarborough and Thirsk. The walk starts from the Vivis Lane long-stay pay and display car park. Approximate post code YO18 8TB.

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Walk Sections

Start to Lowther House
Start to Lowther House

Start point: 54.2441 lat, -0.7809 long
End point: 54.256 lat, -0.7703 long

Leave the car park onto the road and turn left back towards the town centre. As you reach the lights ahead use the crossings first right and then left to go ahead into The Ropery (passing The Ropery short stay car park on the right).

Keep ahead, passing the tourist information centre on the left. Cross over Market Place and you will pass Pickering Station on the left. Keep ahead on the main road (Undercliff) and as the properties on the right end, cross over to continue on the left-hand side of the road. Further along on the left you’ll pass an old trout farm. Just before you reach the bridge ahead, look out for a sign on the right for Lowther House.

Lowther House to Kissing Gate
Lowther House to Kissing Gate

Start point: 54.256 lat, -0.7703 long
End point: 54.2593 lat, -0.7527 long

Fork right here onto the public footpath, heading for the house. Pass to the right of the house and keep ahead through a kissing gate into Pickering Woods (part of the Duchy of Lancaster estate). Follow the woodland path climbing steadily with the beck down to the left.

Keep ahead and soon the path continues with fenced pastures on the left. Some distance in, ignore the first kissing gate on the left – instead keep ahead on the woodland edge path. Take time to enjoy the spectacle to the right, a seemingly endless slope of beech trees towering above you with a sea of wild garlic and other wild flowers below. Continue for some distance further to reach the second kissing gate on the left.

Kissing Gate to Footbridge
Kissing Gate to Footbridge

Start point: 54.2593 lat, -0.7527 long
End point: 54.2641 lat, -0.7363 long

Pass through the gate into the pasture and bear right following the woodland edge on your right, heading for a gate at the end of the field where it narrows. As you approach, you’ll see that there are actually two gates at the end – you need the left hand one. Cross over the stile alongside this, and follow the footpath into the pine plantation.

Follow the path ahead and eventually it crosses a tiny footbridge over a stream. Continue through the next section of woodland with ancient trees and a lovely mix of wild flowers including wood anemones. Soon you’ll reach a large wooden footbridge over the main river.

Footbridge to Log Cabin
Footbridge to Log Cabin

Start point: 54.2641 lat, -0.7363 long
End point: 54.2607 lat, -0.7658 long

Cross the footbridge and after just a few yards you’ll reach the railway line. Use the two gates to cross the line, taking particular care to listen for trains carefully before doing so. Go up the steps ahead and then turn left onto the stone track.

Eventually you’ll pass out from Pickering Woods via the gap alongside a vehicle gate. Bear left to join the stone vehicle track. The road begins to climb steadily and as you emerge from a tunnel of trees you’ll have lovely views across to the left of the rail line swinging left round the valley bottom with the woodlands and a farm as a backdrop. If you’re lucky (as we were!) you may get a steam train passing through to perfect the scene.

Pass by a stone house on the right and keep ahead as the road begins to climb again. Further ahead you’ll reach a log cabin on the right (called The Owls) opposite cow sheds.

Log Cabin to Pickering Station
Log Cabin to Pickering Station

Start point: 54.2607 lat, -0.7658 long
End point: 54.247 lat, -0.7782 long

Keep ahead on the tarmac road – Blansby Park Lane. You’ll emerge to a T-junction at the end. Turn left and cross the level crossing (New Bridge) and then the stone bridge over the river. (On the left you’ll see the path to Lowther House that you took on the outward leg). Keep ahead on the main road back into Pickering to reach Pickering Station.

Pickering Station to End
Pickering Station to End

Start point: 54.247 lat, -0.7782 long
End point: 54.2444 lat, -0.7801 long

After the station, take the next left into Market Place and follow the main shopping thoroughfare uphill.

According to a legend, the town was named by King Peredurus. The king lost his ring and accused a young maiden of stealing it. Later that day the ring was found inside a pike, caught in the river for the king’s dinner. He was so happy that he married the young maiden and named the town Pike-ring.

At the junction at the top, bear right heading downhill. Follow the road as it bears right, passing the impressive Liberal Club building across to the left. Bear right down a short alleyway to come to a T-junction with the main road.

Turn right onto Hungate and pass the theatre on the left and auction rooms on the right. Cross over the river and ahead you’ll reach the main crossroads at The Ropery. Turn left here onto Vivis Lane to reach the car park where the walk began.

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

2 comments for "Pickering and Pickering Woods"

Al lovely walk not to difficult although we had a buggy with us which was a challenge in the woods but worth the effort

By charlie1 on 23 May 2015

A lovely walk, I would recommend using the GPS feature when looking for the small wooden bridge as it is very easy to miss. Other than this the instructions were very easy to follow.

By Danny1967 on 23 Nov 2016

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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