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Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpe

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Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpe
Author: VisitRyedale, Published: 12 May 2016 Walk Rating:star0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpestar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpestar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpestar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpestar0 Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpe
North Yorkshire, Ryedale
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpe
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpe boot Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpe boot Visit Ryedale: Norton and Menethorpe
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11 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 11 mph E
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IMPORTANT NOTE: Please read the full access information below, as there are some circumstances in which this walk will be impassable or not recommended.

A 6.5 mile (10.5km) circular walk from Malton rail station in the market town of Norton-on-Derwent in Ryedale. The route heads south-west, through sheep pastures, horse paddocks and the golf course to reach the tiny hamlet of Menethorpe before returning through fields and cattle pastures alongside the River Derwent. 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 is relatively flat with just a few gentle gradients. The riverside path for the return stretch can be muddy throughout the year, so good boots are a must (or wellingtons in the wetter months). This riverside path forms part of the flood plain and so the route should NOT be attempted when the river is running high or is in flood. Some sections of the paths are very narrow and can get overgrown. The walk crosses a number of grazing pastures holding sheep, racehorses (often with foals in the spring and summer) and cattle. You will need to negotiate a number of gates, kissing gates plus 10 stiles (4 of which are tall with wire fence surrounds so dogs would need a lift over). Given the amount of livestock and the design of the stiles, we would NOT recommend this route for dogs. Due to the soft nature of the riverside pastures, this walk is also one best reserved for the dry summer months. Allow 3 to 3.5 hours.

If you are looking for refreshments you can easily walk to the town centres of Norton-on-Derwent or Malton from the rail station at the start or end 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.

The walk starts and finishes from Malton rail station in Norton-on-Derwent. If you are coming by bus, the bus station is directly opposite the rail station, on Railway Street. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit If you are coming by car, park in the Water Lane pay and display car park which is accessed directly off Railway Street, just north of the river crossing. 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 YO17 7NR. To reach Malton Station, leave the car park back onto Railway Street, turn right for 200 metres (crossing the river) and you will reach the station on your right.

Walk Sections

Start to Access Drive
Start to Access Drive

Start point: 54.1324 lat, -0.7973 long
End point: 54.1281 lat, -0.7944 long

Standing with your back to Malton rail station (facing the bus station opposite), turn right along the pavement. Continue ahead along this road, with the rail line running on your right, and soon you are forced to swap to the left-hand pavement. At the end of the road you will reach the junction by the level crossing.

Turn right, crossing over the rail line and bearing right on the pavement into Welham Road. Continue until you reach the third turning on the right, The Avenue (marked as a private road – but don’t worry this does not apply to pedestrians). Turn right into The Avenue for just a few metres and immediately after the first house on the left, fork left to join the narrow public footpath between fences. (NOTE: this narrow path can get overgrown but is usually passable. If you have a problem, head back to the main road, Welham Road, continue along this past a handful of properties and then turn right up the first of a pair of long access tracks. You will find the point where the footpath would have emerged on your right).

Emerge from the narrow footpath onto the first of two access drives. Cross over this and pass through the (narrow!) squeeze gap ahead to reach the second of the two access drives.

Access Drive to Golf Course
Access Drive to Golf Course

Start point: 54.1281 lat, -0.7944 long
End point: 54.1229 lat, -0.8005 long

Take the stile directly ahead to enter the pasture (which is likely to be holding sheep). Walk diagonally right to reach the far right-hand corner. Cross the stile here to enter a paddock (which is likely to be holding racehorses – often with foals in the spring and summer months). Walk diagonally right across the paddock, heading for the nearest bungalow. At the far fence line, bear right to pass the bungalow on your left and, just beyond it, leave the paddock via a stile on your left.

You will emerge into the yard of a racehorse stable. Turn right along the stone access drive and continue as this becomes a stone and grass track, leading you to the gates for Holmegreen ahead. Turn left here to join a grass track between hedgerows, leading you past the car park for the golf course on your right. At the end, cross the stile to reach the entrance drive for Malton and Norton Golf Club.

Golf Course to Menethorpe Lane
Golf Course to Menethorpe Lane

Start point: 54.1229 lat, -0.8005 long
End point: 54.1121 lat, -0.8121 long

Turn right into the car park and then bear left, passing between the club house on your left and the pro shop on your right. Join the tarmac track, signed Park 10-18, which leads you through the heart of the golf course. Please show respect for the golfers by allowing them to play their shots before you proceed and keep your eyes peeled for any stray golf balls.

At the fork in the track, keep left. Walk ahead through the first gateway (or use the adjacent stile) and pass the beautiful spring-fed Welham Lake on your right. Cross the stone bridge over the waterways and immediately afterwards, turn right over a stile to enter a sheep pasture. Standing with your back to the stile, cross the field at about 10 o’clock. At the far side pass through the pallet gate and stile combination to enter a second pasture. Turn immediately left and follow the line of the fence on your left, heading for the bungalow.

Across to your left you will see the old buildings of Welham Park including the stables, barns and walled garden of Welham Hall. The hall dates from the early 1800s and the former surrounding parkland is now used as farmland and a golf course.

At the top, cross the stile (or use the two field gates ahead and then right) to enter a third pasture. Turn right along this pasture, following the line of fence on your right. The pasture narrows to become a grass avenue with a beautiful line of cherry trees running on your left (with the golf course beyond). At the end of the avenue, cross the stile (to the left of the field gate) to enter the edge of woodland. Follow the obvious narrow path through the pretty woodland, which soon climbs steadily to reach a stile at the top. Cross the stile and continue ahead on the path lined with mature trees. You will emerge out to a junction with a farm track and Menethorpe Lane.

Menethorpe Lane to Suspension Bridge
Menethorpe Lane to Suspension Bridge

Start point: 54.1121 lat, -0.8121 long
End point: 54.0994 lat, -0.8312 long

Go straight ahead to join Menethorpe Lane and follow this for some distance, taking care of any occasional traffic. As the tall hedgerows give way to lower stone walls, take time to enjoy the views of the Yorkshire Wolds across to your left and the Howardian Hills across to your right. Further down the hill you will pass the stone stables and manor house of Menethorpe Hall. The hall was built in 1888 by Henry Francis Dent, whose family still owns Ribston Hall near Wetherby. The stable’s 8-day turret clock was installed by Potts of Leeds, famous for the Leeds Town Hall clock.

At the bottom of the slope, stay with the lane which swings right. You will now see the pretty Menethorpe Beck running within the meadow on your left. Follow the lane as it swings left, crossing the beck to reach centre of the tiny hamlet of Menethorpe. Turn right (still on the main lane) and follow this as it climbs steadily. Where the road swings left, turn right onto the narrow tarmac footpath signed as the Centenary Way. Cross the small footbridge over the beck and a few paces later you will draw level with the beautiful suspension footbridge across the River Derwent.

Suspension Bridge to Stream Footbridge
Suspension Bridge to Stream Footbridge

Start point: 54.0994 lat, -0.8312 long
End point: 54.1182 lat, -0.8205 long

Do NOT cross the suspension bridge, instead keep straight ahead on the public footpath, signed as the Centenary Way, with the River Derwent running on your left. The Centenary Way is 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. You may have noticed that the waymark symbol for the trail is the rose window of York Minster.

The path leads you under the railway bridge to continue with the river running on your left and the railway running to your right. The River Derwent (not to be confused with the Derbyshire river of the same name) rises in Fylingdales Moor in the North York Moors. Water abstracted from the Derwent supplies towns and cities such as Hull, Leeds, York and Scarborough.

You will be following this riverside path all the way back to Malton rail station. In part, it can be very narrow and close to the water’s edge so take care with children. The river widens, leading you past the private Cherry Islands on your left. Just beyond the island, you will come to the first kissing gate on this return leg.

Pass through this to enter the pasture (which is likely to be holding cattle). Simply follow the left-hand field boundary, staying close to the river. At the end of this first long pasture, pass through the gate and walk ahead on the unmade track through a smaller second pasture (which can be very boggy). Go through the gateway into a third large pasture. Stay in the same direction for some distance, crossing a stile, passing through a kissing gate, going through a field gate and then crossing a small footbridge over a stream.

Stream Footbridge to End
Stream Footbridge to End

Start point: 54.1182 lat, -0.8205 long
End point: 54.1329 lat, -0.7975 long

Beyond this footbridge, continue ahead along the left-hand edge of a large crop field. At the end of the field, stay with the path which runs along a narrow strip of land between the river and the railway (this stretch can get overgrown). You will emerge to a T-junction with a stone track, with a level crossing to your right and a grass flood mound directly ahead.

Turn left along the stone track and, just before it ends in a crop field, fork left (ducking under the rope if you need to) across the grass, passing between two large trees to join the grass riverside path (with the crop field to your right). At the far end, pass alongside the field gate to join the grass avenue, with the flood bank running on your right. A little further along, fine views of Malton open up with St Leonard’s Church ahead and the grand properties of York Road sitting high above the opposite river bank on your left.

Follow the left-hand mown grass path leading you through the flood plain and you will emerge through a flood gate into the recreation ground. Keep straight ahead and join the access lane which swings right to become the pavement of Riverside View. You will come to a T-junction with Railway Street. Glance to your left and you will see the Old Weighbridge House, which was the weighbridge for the station yard during Malton’s railway heyday. Turn right for just a few metres to reach the rail station where the walk began.

If you are looking for refreshments, it is just a short walk to either Norton (south of the river) or Malton (north of the river). The heart of Norton is Church Street and Commercial Street 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 iFootpath and 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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