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Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trail

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Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trail
Author: VisitRyedale, Published: 17 May 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star0 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trailstar0 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trailstar0 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trailstar0 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trailstar0 Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trail
North Yorkshire, Ryedale
Walk Type: Town or city
Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trail
Length: 1 miles,  Difficulty: boot Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trail boot Visit Ryedale: Kirkbymoorside Discovery Trail
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A 1.3 mile (2 km) circular walk (part of which is easy access) from the market town of Kirkbymoorside in Ryedale. The route discovers some of the highlights of this delightful town including the Shambles, Market Cross, Old Police Station and the large pond, the site of a former moated castle that now creates the perfect picnic spot with glorious views across the town. 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 first half of the walk follows pavements around the town, making this stretch suitable for pushchairs. The second half includes a few steps and two kissing gates plus a climb up a rough grass meadow. This latter half of the walk can be muddy or a little overgrown in part, but is worth it for the views. Allow 1 hour.

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 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 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 Tinley Garth
Start to Tinley Garth

Start point: 54.2706 lat, -0.9327 long
End point: 54.2701 lat, -0.9322 long

The walk begins outside the library, which itself has an interesting past. The foundation stones were laid by Viscount Helmsley (Earl Feversham) and his son in August 1912. The Feversham Estate owned large parts of Kirkbymoorside until 1916 when half of the town was sold in public auction. Standing with your back to the library, cross over the road with care to reach the far pavement and turn right along this for just a short distance.

Kirkbymoorside means church dwellings beside the moor and today it is a bustling market town with a beautiful cobble-edged main street. Started in 1254, the weekly market is held on Wednesdays with a variety of stalls lining the cobbled main street.

Just before you reach Memorial Hall, take the first turning on the left, Crown Square. Continue for just 20 metres and then turn right down the cobbled street, The Shambles (passing the back of Memorial Hall on your right). Memorial Hall was built around 1730 with stone from the ruined Neville Castle (more about that later) and it housed shops, a courtroom and workshops. Open fronted butcher shops once lined The Shambles and the central drain would have carried away the mess created by the roadside butchery.

At the end of The Shambles you will reach the old stone Market Cross which dates from the early 1600s. Beyond the cross, follow the road as it swings right around the end of Memorial Hall to reach the pavement back on Market Place. Cross over, turn right (up the hill) and then take the first turning on the left, Tinley Garth.

Tinley Garth to Methodist Chapel
Tinley Garth to Methodist Chapel

Start point: 54.2701 lat, -0.9322 long
End point: 54.2691 lat, -0.9333 long

Ignore the first side road on your right, Town Farm Close, and just a few metres later you will see the GP surgery on your right, which is housed in a former school. This school catered for the town’s 11-15 year olds until 1953. After a short life as an auction house, it was converted into the town’s surgery in 1985.

Immediately after the surgery you will pass a large red brick house on your right, Glengarry. This was once the police station, built in 1851, and you will notice the small lamp above the door and the bars across one of the ground floor windows, once the town jail.

Next door but one, you will find the old Bethel Congregational Chapel. Dating from 1792, this property was closed for worship around 1950 and is now converted to premises for a pair of small businesses.

Follow Tinley Garth as it swings hard left and continue to the T-junction at the end of the road. Turn sharp left into West End and just a few metres along you will pass the Quaker Meeting House on your right. The Friends Meeting House was built in 1652 and is still in use today.

Follow the road steadily uphill and towards the top you will pass the tallest building in the street on your left, the former Methodist Chapel. The current building dates from 1861, but was built on the site of an existing chapel. After closure and a short spell as a Judo club, it was converted to private flats.

Methodist Chapel to Millennium Garden
Methodist Chapel to Millennium Garden

Start point: 54.2691 lat, -0.9333 long
End point: 54.2708 lat, -0.9297 long

Continue along West End and you will emerge to a crossroads with Market Place and Church Street. In the centre of this crossroads is an ornate lamppost, Chisholm Monument. The monument is named after the local police officer stationed here on point duty directing traffic. It provides a central platform for the Kirkbymoorside-In-Bloom floral displays.

Cross over the road with care and walk straight ahead into Church Street. As the road narrows you will pass The Moorside Room on your left. The Moorside Room was built in the 1600s as a grammar school, later becoming a Home Guard post and food office during World War II, then a library and today providing a modern venue for community use.

Immediately afterwards, turn left up the flight of stone steps and go through the gate to enter the churchyard. (NOTE: If you need to avoid these steps simply keep ahead along the lane passing the churchyard on your left). Take the central paved path which leads you directly to the church doorway. All Saints is an early Saxon church that has been enlarged several times since the 9th century. The churchyard has many old and interesting grave stones, some of which have been restored by the local history group. Standing facing the church doorway, turn right (passing the church on your left) and notice the particularly ornate pair of stained glass windows. Keep straight ahead down the steps to reach a T-junction back on Church Street. Turn left along this.

Just a few metres along, bear left through the wide wooden gate to enter the fenced orchard and remembrance garden, Millenium Garden. Follow the path uphill, passing the peace pole to reach the bench at the top. This is a lovely spot to pause and contemplate the world, enjoying the views across the town’s rooftops and beyond. Within the skyline you will be able to see a domed windmill tower. This building never fulfilled its intended purpose as a wind-powered mill. It was built in 1839 but due to a dispute with a neighbour, its sails were never hung. Instead, it served as a corn mill for a short time, powered by an oil-fuelled engine.

Millennium Garden to Moated Castle Site
Millennium Garden to Moated Castle Site

Start point: 54.2708 lat, -0.9297 long
End point: 54.272 lat, -0.929 long

NOTE: The next section of the walk includes steep grass paths and kissing gates, so if you need to avoid this, simply retrace your steps back along Church Street to reach the centre of town to finish your walk.

For the full route, head back down the grass path, fork right over the footbridge and use the gate to re-enter the churchyard. Turn right along the paved path, with the Millenium Garden across to your right. Stay with the paved path which turns right and leads you out of the churchyard via a kissing gate. You will notice a pretty stream running into the garden on your right. Take the grass path ahead, leading you steeply uphill through this meadow and passing under powerlines. At the top of the slope you will come to a T-junction in the grass path, with a section of trees and bushes ahead. Shortly, our route will continue to the right, but first we turn left to visit the old castle site. Turn left along the grass path and take time to enjoy the views to the left. Over the brow of the small mound ahead, you will come to a large pond, marking the site of a former moated castle.

The town has had two castles, but sadly today there is very little evidence of either. The first was built here on Viviers Hill before the Norman Conquest, a wooden ditch-enclosed structure overlooking the town. The second, Neville Castle, was built in Manor Vale Wood (on the northern edge of the town) during the 1400s. The pond here provided fish for the occupants of Viviers Hill Castle which William the Conqueror gave to the Stuteville family in the 11th century. Today, this makes the perfect spot for a picnic and, given how far you can see, you can understand its appeal as the site of a defensive castle.

Moated Castle Site to Howe End
Moated Castle Site to Howe End

Start point: 54.272 lat, -0.929 long
End point: 54.2694 lat, -0.9287 long

When you have finished at the pond, turn round and re-trace your steps back along the grass path with the views now across to your right. Do NOT turn right down the path from your outward leg, instead bear left down the slope to reach a kissing gate. NOTE: This section can be muddy or overgrown (or both!), so if it is too much for you feel free to head back into the churchyard the way you came to end your walk.

For the full route, go through the kissing gate and keep ahead on the narrow path between sections of scrub. As you emerge out to a grass hillside meadow, stay with the path which follows the line of the boundary on your right. In the bottom right-hand corner pass through the remains of a kissing gate to reach the town’s recreation ground. Bear right to follow the line of the hedgerow on your right and at the far side leave the recreation ground through the gate onto Howe End.

Howe End to End
Howe End to End

Start point: 54.2694 lat, -0.9287 long
End point: 54.2706 lat, -0.9327 long

Cross over the road and bear right, passing between the Old Barn on your right and Petch House on your left. The Petch family has had a long legal association with the town. The first John Petch built this house in 1785, when he practiced as the town’s solicitor. His family lived and practiced here in an unbroken succession until the death of the last John Petch in 1929.

Continue to the T-junction at the end of the road. Cross over with care to reach the far pavement and turn right, heading uphill along Market Place. Keep ahead at the crossroads and on the left you will pass the Black Swan and the George and Dragon. The building that houses the Black Swan was already 100 years old when the front porch was added in 1632. Its wide front originally incorporated the baker’s shop next door. The George and Dragon has been an inn since the 1200s and for much of its history had its own brewery. The rear buildings were once used as a corn exchange.

Simply continue up the hill into High Market Place and you will reach the library on your left where the 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

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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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