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Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridge

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Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridge
Author: VisitRyedale, Published: 25 Apr 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1  Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridgestar1  Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridgestar1  Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridgestar1  Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridgestar1  Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridge
North Yorkshire, Ryedale
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridge
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot  Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridge boot  Visit Ryedale: Pickering Castle and Newbridge
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A 2.5 mile (4km) circular walk from the market town of Pickering in Ryedale. The route heads north through quiet lanes and pastures to the railway crossing at Newbridge before climbing into woodland to visit Pickering Castle on the return leg. 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

The walk has a few climbs and descents throughout. You will need to negotiate one stile, several kissing gates, a footbridge and two flights of steps. The stile has wooden fencing surrounds suitable for medium-large dogs to pass through. The paths through woodland and pastures can get muddy. One field is used to graze cattle at times so take particular care with dogs. You will need to cross the railway at an unsignalled crossing point so take great care to look and listen for trains before you proceed at this point. You will have good views of Pickering Castle from the public paths, but should you wish to enter the grounds, these are managed by English Heritage and entrance fees apply. Allow 1.5 hours.

There are public toilets in The Ropery car park (at the start of the walk). If you are looking for refreshments, you will find Lowther Place Tea Gardens in Newbridge (just after waypoint 3) and there are plenty of pubs and cafes centred around the Market Place in Pickering at the end of the walk. OS Map: Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern 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.

Pickering is located on the junction between the A169 and the A170, about 17 miles inland from Scarborough. The walk starts and finishes outside the library on The Ropery, opposite the entrance for the short-stay car park. If you are coming by car, we suggest parking in the Vivis Lane long stay pay and display car park (just south of the A170) which will allow you to spend a few hours exploring Pickering after your walk. The car park fee is £5.80 for the whole day or half price if you use a Ryedale Parking Smartcard (correct April 2016). Approximate post code YO18 8TB. From the car park, walk back to the junction with the A170, turn right along the A170 and then take the first left into The Ropery (passing The Ropery short stay car park on your right). You will reach the library on your left. If you are coming by public transport, The Ropery bus stops are directly outside the library. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit

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Walk Sections

Start to Beacon Park
Start to Beacon Park

Start point: 54.2458 lat, -0.7795 long
End point: 54.2471 lat, -0.7825 long

Standing with your back to Pickering Library, turn left along the pavement and follow this over Pickering Beck. A few metres later, immediately before Pickering Station, turn left into Bridge Street. Follow this pavement crossing over the beck once more and passing Beck Isle Museum across to your right. Swap to the right-hand pavement at this point.

Continue ahead, on Potter Hill, passing the 1885 Methodist Chapel across to your left. At the end of this road, follow the pavement as it swings right into Middleton Road. Where Middleton Road bends left, keep straight ahead into Beacon Park First Avenue.

Beacon Park to Stile
Beacon Park to Stile

Start point: 54.2471 lat, -0.7825 long
End point: 54.2518 lat, -0.7791 long

At the end of First Avenue you will see a choice of two footpaths, one ahead and one to the right. Turn right and follow the narrow path between fences. The ground across to the left here is Beacon Hill, which once housed a motte and bailey castle and, much later, a nuclear observation bunker. Continue until the fence on the left ends. At this point you will have great views ahead of Pickering Church (to the right) and Pickering Castle (to the left). At this junction turn left, continuing between fences.

Further along you are forced to turn right. Follow this stretch of path downhill under a tunnel of trees (taking care as this section can be slippery when wet) to reach a T-junction. Turn left through the kissing gate and then keep ahead on the grass path, staying close to the left-hand edge of this clearing. At the far side of the clearing, keep straight ahead passing alongside another kissing gate to continue on a tree-lined path. Cross over the tarmac access lane and continue ahead between hedgerows. The path leads you to a stile (NOTE: you may come across cattle within this field).

Stile to Railway Crossing
Stile to Railway Crossing

Start point: 54.2518 lat, -0.7791 long
End point: 54.2566 lat, -0.7708 long

Cross the stile, and walk across the pasture at about 1 o’clock (heading for the right-hand end of a line of trees) to reach a wide field gate. Pass through this and continue ahead on the stone vehicle track. Follow the vehicle track all the way to its end where it leads you into the garden of Rock Cottage (don’t worry, this is a public right of way). This property is home to an artist and the garden studio is often open to the public if you wish to browse. Keep straight ahead, passing the studio and house on your left and garden buildings on your right.

At the far side, simply continue on the narrow path which leads you between hedgerows. After passing farm buildings on your right, the path widens to become a grass and stone track. About 150 metres later, you will emerge to a junction of tarmac tracks with the end of terraced houses ahead. Turn right (passing the end terraced house on your left) and follow the tarmac path which leads you to the rail crossing point. NOTE: this is an official but unsignalled crossing point so take care to look and listen for trains before you proceed. Cross the railway via the two kissing gates.

Railway Crossing to Pickering Castle
Railway Crossing to Pickering Castle

Start point: 54.2566 lat, -0.7708 long
End point: 54.2495 lat, -0.7765 long

Keep ahead, passing another row of terraced cottages on your left and then crossing the metal footbridge which leads you over Pickering Beck. If you are looking for refreshments at this point, Lowther Place Tea Gardens (walkers and dogs welcome) are along the driveway opposite.

Turn right for a few paces and then cross the road to fork left into the woodland corner, passing between two large boulders. Take the flight of wooden steps leading you up into the woodland and at the top take the right-hand branch at the fork, following the woodland path running parallel with the road down to you right.

NOTE: There are lots of paths within these woodlands so the next bit of navigation needs care, and the live GPS-based map should help to guide you. Stay on the main path, running closest to the road on your right. Dog-leg left and then right to stay on this main path. On your left you will pass some vertical stone rock faces, the remains of quarries. Pass the first information board and soon afterwards take the middle branch at the junction, following the path down and up through a gully then passing more quarry walls on your left.

After passing a Norman Conquest information board on your left, ignore the cycle path signed left, instead keep ahead for 30 metres and then take the left-hand branch at the fork, on a path leading you fairly steeply uphill. Bear left on the middle path and follow this as it swings right to reach a small picnic area. Pass the Newbridge Park sign on your left (and the picnic tables on your right) and continue ahead on the path which bears left, becoming a stone path which leads you to a T-junction with the walls of Pickering Castle ahead. Turn left to join the path which follows the line of the castle walls running on your right.

Eventually this path leads you to a junction at the main castle entrance. The 13th century Pickering Castle has been a royal hunting lodge, holiday home and a stud farm by a succession of medieval kings. Explore the grounds should you wish (entrance fees apply).

Pickering Castle to End
Pickering Castle to End

Start point: 54.2495 lat, -0.7765 long
End point: 54.246 lat, -0.7793 long

Turn left (away from the castle entrance) and then fork right down the steps leading you to the road. Turn right and then immediately left into Castle Road. Continue over the brow of the hill and then keep ahead on the tarmac path which leads you steadily downhill. At the bottom you will emerge to a junction with Park Street. Keep ahead along the pavement, passing the rail station on your right. Pass the end of Market Place on your left and a short distance later you will come to the library where this walk began.

With a castle, museum, several theatres and a heritage steam railway, Pickering has plenty on offer to while away the rest of your day. Surrounding the Market Place you will find several pubs and cafes as well as traditional local shops selling top quality goods and, in many cases, local and fair-trade produce. For more visitor information on the area including events and accommodation, go to

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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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