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Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hill

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Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hill
Author: VisitRyedale, Published: 09 May 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hillstar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hillstar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hillstar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hillstar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hill
North Yorkshire, Ryedale
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hill
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hill boot Visit Ryedale: Norton and Auburn Hill
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A 6 mile (10km) circular walk from the market town of Norton on Derwent in Ryedale. The route performs a loop to the east, taking in long stretches of peaceful arable fields and the southern tracks and lanes which are home to many horse racing stables. 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 couple of steady climbs and descents. About half of the route follows pavements alongside the local roads with the remainder following unmade footpaths and bridleways through the fields. The paths are generally firm but the bridleway tracks can get very muddy at times. You will need to negotiate 3 stiles, (2 standard wooden stiles and 1 wooden ladder stile). The stiles have wooden fence surrounds, the tightest of which has a gap suitable for a medium-large dog to pass through (our standard poodle just squeezed through) but larger dogs may need a lift over. You will need to cross one paddock that is likely to be holding horses. Allow 3 hours.

If you are looking for refreshments you will find several pubs and restaurants on Church Street and Commercial Street near the start of the walk. OS Map: Explorer 300 Howardian Hills and Malton. 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.

Norton on Derwent, often referred to simply as Norton, stands on the banks of the River Derwent in Ryedale and is easily accessed from the A64. The walk starts and finishes outside the swimming pool on Church Street. If you are coming by car, park in the free (correct May 2016) St Nicholas Street Car Park, accessible from Church Street or St Nicholas Street. Approximate post code YO17 9AQ. If you are coming by bus, alight at the bus stops on Church Street (The Derwent Arms W-bound or ATS E-bound). If you are coming by train, Malton rail station is just 0.3 miles away from the start point. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit

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Walk Sections

Start to Norton Park Farm
Start to Norton Park Farm

Start point: 54.1324 lat, -0.7881 long
End point: 54.141 lat, -0.7567 long

The walk begins on Church Street, directly outside the swimming pool and fitness centre (just by the pedestrian crossing). As the road name and the style of surrounding grounds suggest, the swimming pool sits on the site of a former church, St Nicholas Church. The mediaeval church on this site was demolished in 1814, rebuilt, and then demolished in 1901.

Standing with your back to the swimming pool, turn left along the pavement and keep straight ahead at the mini-roundabout into Commercial Street. Further along, pass Norton Trinity Church on your left, keep ahead at the next mini-roundabout and then stay with this left-hand pavement as it swings left to become Scarborough Road. The pavement leads you across a red brick bridge over a dismantled railway – more about that later.

Now simply follow this roadside pavement for about one mile until it ends alongside the white farmhouse and surrounding buildings of Norton Park Farm across to your left.

Norton Park Farm to Dismantled Railway
Norton Park Farm to Dismantled Railway

Start point: 54.141 lat, -0.7567 long
End point: 54.1266 lat, -0.7512 long

Cross over the road to turn right onto the stone farm track (signed as a public footpath) with a hedgerow running on your left. This farm track leads you past the beautiful stone Winflower Hall beyond the hedge on your left and then on through a low wide gateway to reach the buildings of Low Field Farm ahead. Immediately before the tall wooden gates, stay with the stone track which bends right (past a pond on your right) and then left to reach a wide field gate.

Cross the stile alongside this to reach the edge of a crop field. Turn left and then right to follow the track running along the left-hand field boundary. Stay with this track for the length of three fields, to reach the row of tall straight poplar trees, which mark the line of the dismantled Malton to Driffield railway. This railway line opened in 1853 and passenger services on the line gained the nickname of Malton Dodger. Between the 1920s and 1950s, the line was used to transport chalk from the Burdale and Wharram quarries. Passenger services ended in 1950 and, after the quarries closed in 1955, the railway line closed in 1958.

Dismantled Railway to Newstead House
Dismantled Railway to Newstead House

Start point: 54.1266 lat, -0.7512 long
End point: 54.1211 lat, -0.7643 long

Go straight ahead to cross the old railway line and just 20 paces later turn right, leaving the main track to join a narrow footpath marked with a yellow arrow. This path bears right, following the line of a fenced horse paddock on your left. Cross the wooden ladder stile ahead to enter the next paddock (which is likely to be holding horses). Cross the field diagonally left to reach the far left-hand corner.

Cross the stile to leave the paddock and walk directly ahead following the left-hand edge of a crop field. This path is part of the Centenary Way, an 83 mile long-distance path from York Minster to Filey Brigg that was opened in 1989 to mark the 100th anniversary of Yorkshire County Council.

At the end of the first field, stay with the grass track which bears left (alongside an earth mound) and continues along the left-hand edge of a second large crop field. Further along the path dog legs left and then right and at the end of this next stretch you will emerge to the pavement alongside Beverley Road. Turn left along the pavement and follow this past Ayton Holme on your left. About 90 metres later, before you reach Newstead House and the side road on your left, cross over the main road to turn right. Follow the narrow dirt path up the grass bank to join the signed public bridleway which leads you away from the road.

Newstead House to Whitewall Corner
Newstead House to Whitewall Corner

Start point: 54.1211 lat, -0.7643 long
End point: 54.1199 lat, -0.7917 long

Follow this sandy bridleway track between hedgerows (keeping a careful look out in case you meet any horses). In the field across to the right is a beautiful small ornate red brick utilities building. As you reach the brow of the hill, take a moment to glance through the gap in the hedgerow on your left. You may well be lucky enough to see some of the local racehorses in training. Norton continues to be one of the principal centres in the country for the horse racing industry. This area is home to many trainers and stables.

Continue straight ahead, passing the buildings of Blink Bonny Stables on your right. These stables are named after the thoroughbred racehorse champion, Blink Bonny (1854-1862). In a career that lasted from 1856 to 1858 she ran 20 times and won 14 races, including the Epsom Derby. As you reach the large stone property Auburn Hill on your left, notice the blue plaque on the wall of Wold Cottage on your right. John Shepherd and William I’Anson both lived here and as trainers won the Epsom Derby, The Oaks and 3 St Ledgers. Before you reach the road, glance into the garden of Auburn Hill on your left where there are some interesting medieval remains.

At the T-junction with the road, turn right along the pavement and then cross over to take the first turning on the left, Bazeley’s Lane. Follow the right-hand pavement which leads you past Spring Cottage Stables on your left. Where the pavement ends, cross over to join the raised walkway that runs along the left-hand side of the road. Take time to enjoy the views of Norton and Malton that have opened up ahead. When the raised walkway ends, simply keep ahead along the road edge, taking care of any occasional traffic. Continue past Whitewall Stables on your right to reach the junction at the end of the road, Whitewall Corner.

Whitewall Corner to End
Whitewall Corner to End

Start point: 54.1199 lat, -0.7917 long
End point: 54.1325 lat, -0.788 long

Turn right to join the pavement running alongside Welham Road. You will be following this road all the way back into the centre of Norton. Towards the end of the road, cross over St Nicholas Street (or turn into this street for a short-cut to the car park). A few metres ahead you will come to the road junction by the level crossing. To return to the rail station turn left, otherwise follow the pavement as it swings right into Church Street.

Keep ahead you will come to the swimming pool on your left where the walk began. If you are looking for refreshments, the heart of Norton is Church Street and Commercial Street (the other side of the mini-roundabout), which is bustling with activity and shops, consisting of a good mix of local shopping and businesses including restaurants and public houses. 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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