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Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor

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Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor
Author: visitryedale, Published: 17 Apr 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guidestar1 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guidestar1 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guidestar1 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guidestar0 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guide
North Yorkshire, Ryedale
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guide boot Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guide boot Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor Walking Guide
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A 6 mile (10 km) circular walk from the market town of Kirkbymoorside in Ryedale. The route heads north through Manor Vale Woodland and open fields to reach nearby Gillamoor with its pretty church and surprise view, before returning through plantations alongside the River Dove. This walk is part of the Visit Ryedale Collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Ryedale District Council. For more visitor information on the area including events and accommodation, go to www.VisitRyedale.co.uk

The walk has several climbs and descents throughout, including one steep climb within the plantation on the return leg. Many of the bridleways through woodland can be very muddy, slippery and rutted at times so good boots are a must. You will need to negotiate several wide field gates plus one stile (this is in the second half of the walk and has a tight wooden fence surround, so dogs may need a lift over). You will cross one horse paddock and you may also come across livestock in a couple of pastures in the second half so take particular care with dogs. Allow 3 hours.

There are public toilets in Town Farm car park (just behind the library) at the start and end of the walk. If you are looking for refreshments, you will find The Royal Oak pub in Gillamoor about half-way round (just before waypoint 3) or there are plenty of pubs and cafes centred around the Market Place in Kirkbymoorside at the start and end of the walk. OS Map: Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western Area. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Please respect people’s privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

Kirkbymoorside is located just off the A170 between Helmsley and Pickering. The walk starts and finishes outside the library at the top end of High Market Place. If you are coming by car, the long stay Town Farm pay and display car park is situated just behind the library (accessed from High Market Place between the library and The Kings Head). The fee for up to 6 hours is £4.30 (correct Apr 2016) or half price if you use a Ryedale Parking Smartcard. Approximate post code YO62 6AT. If you are coming by bus, the nearest bus stop is Kirkbymoorside Market Place. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit www.traveline.info. From the bus stop, walk uphill along the main street (Market Place) and just before the mini roundabout at the top, you will find the library on your left, where this walk begins.

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Walk Sections

Start to Manor Vale Woodland
Start to Manor Vale Woodland

Start point: 54.2706 lat, -0.9328 long
End point: 54.2737 lat, -0.9351 long

Standing with your back to the library, cross over the road and turn left along the pavement to reach the mini-roundabout at the top of High Market Place. Keep straight ahead into Castlegate, which climbs steadily between stone cottages.

Towards the top you will come to a fork, take the left-hand branch. At the end of this residential road, follow the road as it bends sharp left, passing Castle Lodge on your right. Now simply keep straight ahead to join the stone path which leads you to a wide wooden gate.

Pass through this gate to enter Manor Vale Woodland, with a large section of old castle wall on your left and an information board on your right. Around 1,000 years ago, Manor Vale Woodland was part of a Norman deer park and estate, at the centre of which stood Neville Castle (the most substantial remaining section of which you can see here). The castle was built in the late 1400s or early 1500s as a hunting lodge for the Neville family, holders of the manor of Kirkbymoorside. The slopes of the woodland are semi-natural ash woodland on limestone and in the spring this area is alive with bird song.

Manor Vale Woodland to High Park Farm
Manor Vale Woodland to High Park Farm

Start point: 54.2737 lat, -0.9351 long
End point: 54.2853 lat, -0.9402 long

Simply keep ahead on the wide path (a bridleway) through the woodland, ignoring any footpaths signed to the left. You will emerge to the edge of the grass clearing and a fork in the path. Go straight ahead (the right-hand branch), following the line of a fence on your right.

Continue ahead on the bridleway track and at the end of the woodland, ignore the footpath signed sharp left, instead keep ahead. The track continues with a tall hedgerow on your left and open crop fields on your right. After the length of two crop fields, stay with the grass track which swings right, taking time to enjoy the expansive views which have now opened up to your right. The track leads you past the buildings of High Park Farm on your left.

High Park Farm to Gillamoor Viewpoint
High Park Farm to Gillamoor Viewpoint

Start point: 54.2853 lat, -0.9402 long
End point: 54.3027 lat, -0.9503 long

Beyond the farm building, continue ahead to reach the corner of the crop field. Turn left through the hedge gap and then immediately dog-leg right and then left to continue on the bridleway, now a stone track with a tree line running on your left.

Continue on this stone track, which later becomes a tarmac track, for about 1.3 miles. Along the way views will open up ahead across the classic moorland terrain of the North York Moors. At the end of the lane, you will come to a T-junction at the edge of Gillamoor village. Bear right to join the pavement along Queen Street. At the next T-junction you will find the school on your left and the dog-friendly Royal Oak pub on your right (the perfect place for mid-walk refreshments).

Turn right, passing in front of the pub and then passing the Methodist Chapel, also on your right. At the edge of the village you will come to a fork, with the stone cross war memorial and St Aidan’s Church directly ahead. At this point, we take a small detour to visit the village’s viewpoint. Bear left (passing the church on your right) and immediately afterwards you will come to a bench marking the viewpoint. Known as Surprise View, this beautiful vista takes in the rolling sheep pastures in the valley bottom and the moorland slopes climbing at the far side. Nestled in the valley bottom are the stone buildings of Lowna Farm, home to Surprise View holiday cottages (named after the view that they sit within).

Gillamoor Viewpoint to Shepherd's Road
Gillamoor Viewpoint to Shepherd's Road

Start point: 54.3027 lat, -0.9503 long
End point: 54.2988 lat, -0.9388 long

When you have finished enjoying the view, retrace your steps back to the stone cross war memorial. Turn sharp left immediately after the cross for just a few paces and you will reach a fingerpost (before you reach the church entrance gate). Turn right onto the signed pubic footpath. This narrow path leads you down a shallow slope and then continues ahead with a steep woodland slope running down to your left (so take care with children and dogs).

Follow the path under power lines and you will come to a small fork. Take the right-hand branch (straight ahead) which leads you up an earth bank and to a wide gate at the edge of a horse paddock. Pass through the gate into the paddock, walk ahead for a few paces and cross the stile.

Now simply follow the enclosed path with the fenced paddock running on your left. Just before the end of the paddock, turn left through the wide gate to re-enter the horse paddock. Walk ahead, following the right-hand fence line which swings right to reach another gate at the bottom. Pass through this and walk ahead to join the obvious sunken woodland track. NOTE: This can be muddy and slippery so take good care. Follow this woodland track downhill and swinging steadily left. The banks each side are awash with wild garlic in the spring.

At the bottom, pass through the field gate and continue ahead into a section of grass pasture (which may be holding livestock). Ignore the track which turns away sharp left, simply keep ahead with a bank of intermittent trees on your left and the top fence of the pasture running up to your right. You will come to a waymarker post marking a crossroads. Go straight ahead on the main bridleway which leads you through a field gate to become an enclosed vehicle track, known as Shepherd’s Road.

Shepherd's Road to Low Park Farm
Shepherd's Road to Low Park Farm

Start point: 54.2988 lat, -0.9388 long
End point: 54.2796 lat, -0.9287 long

Simply stay on this track (a bridleway marked with blue arrows) as it leads you through the valley. The track leads you through another large section of hillside grazing pastures. Running in the valley bottom to your left you will be able to catch glimpses of the River Dove.

Beyond the pastures, stay with the bridleway track which leads you back into woodland. You will come to a staggered crossroads, bear left and follow the sandy track steadily downhill. Towards the bottom, ignore the first track forking right into the woodland and a few paces later you will pass a field gate on your left (marking the start of a grass pasture). Do NOT enter the pasture, simply keep ahead on the main track (with the pasture running on your left) for 40 metres and then fork right, leaving the main track to join a rough side track which climbs into the woodland. NOTE: There was no bridleway marker at this junction when we walked, so take care not to miss the turn.

Follow the track climbing fairly steeply through the woodland. (Parts of this bridleway are sunken and can be very muddy but you may find better footing along the left-hand bank). You will come to a staggered T-junction. Turn left and in 20 metres you will reach a fork. Take the right-hand branch which continues steeply uphill. At the top of the hill, stay with the main track which swings right, levelling off to reach a T-junction with a stone vehicle track (alongside crop fields).

Turn left to join this vehicle track (known as Back of Parks Road) and follow it to the end, a junction with a tarmac lane. Turn right, passing alongside an old cattle grid, and follow the lane, taking care of any occasional traffic. You will come to the entrance for Low Park Farm ahead.

Low Park Farm to End
Low Park Farm to End

Start point: 54.2796 lat, -0.9287 long
End point: 54.2708 lat, -0.9328 long

Stay with the vehicle lane which turns left here. The lane leads you past a pair of stone houses on the left and then continues downhill. Take time to enjoy the views of Kirkbymoorside which have opened up in the valley bottom ahead. Further along the lane continues between houses, eventually swinging sharp left to become Castlegate (which you should recognise from the outward leg).

Follow Castlegate down to the mini-roundabout at the end. Go straight ahead into High Market Place and you will come to the library where your walk began. If you are looking for refreshments, there are plenty of pubs and cafes centred around the Market Place. With an award-winning butcher, two bakeries, plenty of independent shops, several antiques shops and a weekly market, there is plenty on offer to while away the rest of your day in Kirkbymoorside. For more visitor information on the area including events and accommodation, go to www.VisitRyedale.co.uk

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author visitryedale 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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St Aiden's Church Gillamoor, April 2016
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Small cottage in Kirkbymoorside.
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