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Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering

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Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering
Author: VisitRyedale, Published: 02 May 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide star0 Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide star0 Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide star0 Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide star0 Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide
North Yorkshire, Ryedale
Walk Type: Long distance path
Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering
Length: 15 miles,  Difficulty: boot Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide boot Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide
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IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a linear route that forms part of a long-distance trail. If you intend to walk this stretch as a stand-alone route, there is a bus suitable for the return leg which runs Mon-Sat only (with NO SERVICE on SUNDAYS).

A 15 mile (24km) linear walk from Rillington village to Pickering in North Yorkshire, forming the fourth part of the Ryedale Market Towns Trail. The route begins by crossing two historic parkland estates, with views of Scampston Hall and Knapton Hall and a reminder of times gone by. The middle stretch crosses the typical landscape of this part of the Derwent Valley, crossing vast expanses of flat arable land via quiet lanes and field tracks. Arriving in Thornton-le-Dale, there is time for a quick pit stop to enjoy the picturesque village setting, before crossing farmland with lovely views to reach Pickering.

ABOUT: The Ryedale Market Towns trail is a 67-mile (108km) long-distance circular trail, created to allow walkers to enjoy the highlights of Ryedale, visiting each of the five market towns along the way. It is 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

ACCESS: The walk follows a mixture of pavements, quiet lanes, farm tracks plus paths that cross several crop fields and four sheep pastures (so take care with dogs on this stretch). You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, some flights of steps plus 4 stiles (all of which had gaps suitable for dogs when we walked). The majority of the route is relatively flat, but there are a couple of very long steady climbs as you pass through Thornton-le-Dale. You need to cross the railway at an official but unsignalled crossing point, so make sure you look and listen carefully for trains at this point. The middle stretch is easy-going, level walking, with simple navigation, following about 5 miles of quiet lanes and 3 miles of simple farm tracks across the bottom of the Derwent Valley. Allow 6-7 hours.

LOGISTICS: If you are completing the whole 67-mile trail, there is no accommodation in Rillington at the start of this point. You can arrange accommodation either in Malton (a 15-minute bus journey from Rillington) or at the Providence Inn in Yedingham (6 miles into this stretch) and there are plenty of choices in Pickering at the end of the route. If you are walking this stretch as a stand-alone 15-mile walk, there are bus connections to take you from Pickering (via Malton) back to Rillington, running Monday to Saturday (with no usable connections on Sunday). You would need to catch Bus 840 from Pickering to Malton (a 30-minute journey) and then Bus 843 from Malton to Rillington (a 15-minute journey). Check connections before you travel but, with waiting times in Malton, you can expect the journey to take between one and two hours.

FACILITIES: There are public toilets in Thornton-le-Dale (12 miles into the walk) and in Pickering at the end of the walk. If you are looking for refreshments, there are two pubs (The Fleece Inn and The Coach and Horses) in Rillington at the start, the popular Farmhouse Bakery and Coffee Shop in Scampston (open 10am Wed-Sun, 1 mile into this stretch), the Walled Garden Cafe in Scampston Hall estate (open Easter to October, 10am Tues-Sun plus Bank Holidays, free entry, 1 mile into this stretch), the Providence Inn in Yedingham (check opening times, 6 miles into this stretch), lots of pubs and cafes in Thornton-le-Dale (12 miles into this stretch) and you will be spoilt for choice in Pickering at the end of the walk.

OS Maps: Explorer 300 Howardian Hills and Malton and 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.

GETTING THERE: The walk starts in Rillington village, at the junction between the A64 and the High Street. If you are coming by public transport, there is a bus stop outside the Fleece Inn (served by buses from Malton). For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit www.traveline.info. If you are coming by car, there is roadside parking along the High Street or nearby Woodlands Road. Approximate post code YO17 8LA.

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Walk Sections

Start to Scampston Walled Garden
Start to Scampston Walled Garden

Start point: 54.1579 lat, -0.6948 long
End point: 54.1697 lat, -0.6792 long

The walk begins at the crossroads between the A64 and the High Street in the centre of Rillington (alongside the Village Hall and the Coach and Horses pub). From the Village Hall, cross over the A64 Scarborough Road (using the pedestrian crossing) to reach the Coach and Horses and turn right along the pavement, passing the pub’s car park on your left. Follow this left-hand pavement through the village and then, before you reach the 40mph signs, fork left onto the tarmac side road, Sands Lane. This quiet lane leads you between houses then horse paddocks to reach a staggered junction with another lane.

Go straight ahead to join this lane, signed to Scampston Hall. Follow the lane ahead, passing between sections of parkland enclosed with typical black metal fencing. The park of Scampston Hall evolved throughout the 1700s, culminating in a design by Lancelot Capability Brown in 1782. The park hosts many events throughout the year, including Game and Country Fairs, Agricultural Shows and Car Rallies.

Stay with the main lane as it swings left into the village and then bending right to pass the church on your left. (NOTE: From this right-hand bend, you can take a detour left for just a few metres to reach The Farmhouse Bakery and Coffee Shop, usually open Wed-Sun, if you fancy a morning coffee stop). Beyond the village, the road bends left (passing the private entrance for Scampston Hall on your right). As you draw level with the visitor car park entrance on your left, turn right onto a side branch of the lane to reach the entrance for the Walled Garden.

This is a good spot to pause and learn a little about your surroundings. Scampston estate was bought by the St Quintin family towards the end of the 1600s and has remained as the family home ever since. The hall is a fine example of a regency country house. The hall and parkland are a popular filming location. Most recently, the hall hosted the filming of the 2015 BBC TV adaptation of An Inspector Calls. The Walled Garden was a feature of the original estate, but fell into serious disrepair. It was restored, modernised then re-opened in 2005. You can explore the garden should you wish (open Easter to October, Tues-Sun, fees apply) or there is also a cafe (same opening times, free entry) should you be in need of an early cream tea!

Scampston Walled Garden to Knapton Hall Drive
Scampston Walled Garden to Knapton Hall Drive

Start point: 54.1697 lat, -0.6792 long
End point: 54.168 lat, -0.6534 long

Walk straight ahead on the access lane, passing the Walled Garden on your right. At the corner of the garden wall, follow the lane swinging right, then left (past Dairy Cottage) and right again. About 30 metres later, turn left to cross the bridge over a small stream, with a waterfall running below. Follow this concrete then stone track ahead through the woodland, crossing a stream and then bending right. About 60 metres later, where the stone track bends right, keep straight ahead on the grass track leading you through an avenue of lime trees.

At the end of the avenue, go ahead between two old stone gateposts. This track leads you ahead across the end of a belt of trees, and then turns immediately right to continue with the trees on your right and a fenced crop field on your left. At the bottom of the field, go ahead through the hedge gap and turn left along the pavement of the A64. Follow this pavement as it forks left to join the side road to Yedingham. At the crossroads, go straight ahead.

As the lane bends right, look to your right to see an old brick enclosure with a metal gate. This was the area’s Pinfold, used to impound stray livestock. The owner could pay a fee to reclaim the animals (to cover the costs of the pound keeper and feed) within three weeks, otherwise the livestock were sold at market. Pinfolds are a feature found in most English medieval settlements.

Continue ahead past the white property, Corner Farm, on your left and then turn immediately left on the road into West Knapton. Just 40 metres along, turn right onto the signed footpath, passing through two old metal kissing gates to enter a sheep pasture. This is the start of the parkland surrounding Knapton Hall. With your back to the gates, cross the pasture at about 11 o’clock, go through a wooden kissing gate into a second pasture and walk straight ahead to cross this. At the far side, a metal kissing gate leads you out onto the driveway for Knapton Hall.

Knapton Hall Drive to Rail Crossing
Knapton Hall Drive to Rail Crossing

Start point: 54.168 lat, -0.6534 long
End point: 54.1814 lat, -0.6479 long

If you glance across to your left, you will be able to see St Edmunds Church which once served the estate. Today, the church is maintained by the local diocese but is not used for any church services. The current church dates from the 1870s and has a richly-painted ceiling and a baptistry decorated with fish, water birds and butterflies.

To continue, cross the drive and go ahead through the next kissing gate to enter a third sheep pasture. Follow the subtle grass track heading across this pasture (maintaining your previous direction) with views of Knapton Hall and St Edmunds across to your left. At the far side, go through the pair of kissing gates to enter a fourth pasture. Do NOT walk ahead, instead cross the pasture at about 10 o’clock (you are heading for a point between the right-hand edge of the cream pebble-dashed cottage and the left-hand edge of the red brick terraced cottages visible in the distance). At the far side, exit the pasture via a metal kissing gate and walk straight ahead to join the road (passing the cream pebble-dashed cottage on your left).

Follow the lane as it swings right, passing the rows of red-brick cottages in East Knapton. With the entrance for Guild House ahead, follow the lane as it dog-legs left then right to pass between the farm buildings of Guild Farm. After passing the first large barn on your left, fork left to join a stone and grass vehicle track (soon running with a hedge on your right and a crop field on your left). Stay with this stone track, bending right to pass between fields and then bending left to follow a hedge and ditch on your left.

This track leads you to a junction with an access road (for an energy facility) and the rail crossing. NOTE: This is an official but unsignalled rail crossing point, so make sure you look and listen carefully for trains before you cross. Cross the rail line via the two small bridle gates.

Rail Crossing to Yedingham
Rail Crossing to Yedingham

Start point: 54.1814 lat, -0.6479 long
End point: 54.2043 lat, -0.6329 long

At the far side, go straight ahead on the grass track with a crop field on your right. In the field corner, turn right and follow the grass track along the top of this, and two further, crop fields. You are now walking within the flat expanse of the Derwent Valley, which will be our companion until we reach Thornton-le-Dale. Across to your right you can see the Yorkshire Wolds, and to the left are the North York Moors. The valley is typified by large crop fields, criss-crossed with farm tracks, access lanes and dense hedgerows. This makes an ideal habitat for lots of wildlife so keep your eyes peeled. We were lucky enough to see a kestrel and several roe deer.

You will reach a junction with an access drive, with the buildings of Ochre Farm ahead (and a pretty orchard just to your right). Turn left along this access drive and follow it all the way to a junction with the B1258 Malton Road. NOTE: You will be following this B-road for about a mile, traffic is usually light but do take care and use the wide grass verges as much as possible. Turn right along the B1258 and follow it for a mile to reach the village of Yedingham. Once in the village, join the left-hand pavement and follow this swinging left to pass the Providence Inn within Yedingham on your left.

Yedingham to Skelton Wath Farm
Yedingham to Skelton Wath Farm

Start point: 54.2043 lat, -0.6329 long
End point: 54.201 lat, -0.6924 long

With the Providence Inn on your left, go ahead along the pavement to cross the River Derwent. Where the main road bends right, turn left onto the side road signed to Marishes. A few metres along at the road junction, go straight ahead (signed to Marishes), ignoring the right turn to Pickering.

The navigational challenge simplifies significantly for the next stretch, as you will be simply following this tarmac lane. Watch out for occasional vehicles, but traffic is usually very light. Don’t be surprised if your only companions are the hedgerow birds. Follow the lane for 2.5 miles, passing several isolated farms along the way. About 300 metres after passing Derwent House on your left, just before the road swings sharp right, you will see the entrance for Skelton Wath Farm ahead.

Skelton Wath Farm to Willow Grange
Skelton Wath Farm to Willow Grange

Start point: 54.201 lat, -0.6924 long
End point: 54.2131 lat, -0.6995 long

Do NOT follow the footpath into Skelton Wath Farm ahead, instead follow the road as it swings right. About 300 metres later, where the road bends sharp left, turn right onto a grass and stone farm track. NOTE: This is a bridleway, although the waymarker was missing at the time of writing. Follow this hedge-lined track leading you ahead (towards a metal field gate), bending left immediately before this gate and then continuing its journey taking several more 90-degree turns along the way.

When the hedgerow on your right ends (with a crop field immediately on your right), you will have views of the hills in the north ahead and to your right. As you draw level with the end of this crop field, go straight ahead through the gateway to continue on a stretch of track with hedgerows each side once again. At the end of this stretch you will come to a junction with a drainage dyke, Row Dyke, ahead. Turn left here and follow the track, with the dyke running on your right, to reach the buildings of Willow Grange Farm on your left.

Willow Grange to Thornton le Dale
Willow Grange to Thornton le Dale

Start point: 54.2131 lat, -0.6995 long
End point: 54.2363 lat, -0.7215 long

Pass the farm buildings on your left and, immediately afterwards (with the farmhouse across to your left), turn right to join the tarmac access lane. This is the start of a lane called Hurrell Lane, that will lead you all the way into Thornton-le-Dale (about 1.2 miles). Pass the access lane for Charity Farm on your left and continue ahead on Hurrell Lane.

Further along, the lane begins to climb, signalling that we are leaving the flattest part of the Derwent Valley behind. The houses at the edge of Thornton-le-Dale come into view ahead, as we are approaching civilisation once again. As you pass the first village houses on your right, join the right-hand pavement and follow this as it swings right to reach a T-junction with the main A170. Cross over to the far pavement (the safest crossing point is just across to your right, where you will see a drop-kerb just before the bus stop).

Turn left along this far pavement, heading steadily downhill towards the village centre. You will pass beautiful rows of stone cottages, the pretty stone All Saints Church on your right and then cross over the idyllic beck (with the much-photographed scene of the thatched beck-side cottage on your right). Keep ahead to reach the crossroads in the village centre, with the old stone cross and a bus shelter on the triangular green to your left. If you have the time, it is well-worth exploring Thornton-le-Dale which is home to a number of tempting cafes, pubs and shops. There are public toilets within the visitor car park, signed off to your left.

Thornton le Dale to Hagg House
Thornton le Dale to Hagg House

Start point: 54.2363 lat, -0.7215 long
End point: 54.2407 lat, -0.7456 long

When you are ready to continue, return to the main crossroads junction. Standing with the New Inn on your left, facing the main A170, turn left to join the pavement running alongside the A170. Follow the pavement passing the classic car garage on your right and heading gently uphill to leave the village. At the brow of the rise, cross over the road with care to join the pavement that begins on the right-hand side of the road. Just before the 40mph signs, turn right across the grass verge and cross a stile (there is a dog gap to the right) to enter a crop field.

Follow the path that heads diagonally left across this first crop field and three more, crossing three more stiles and one hedge gap along the way (all of the stiles had dog gaps just to the right of them when we walked). At the start of the fifth field, you will reach a T-junction with a stone vehicle track.

Turn right along this, heading uphill, only to a point where you draw underneath the powerlines (with a waymarker post on your right). Turn left here to join the grass track, with a hedgerow running on your right. At the end of the field, keep ahead as the track narrows to become a path leading you downhill through woodland. Towards the bottom, head down a short flight of steps, pass through the small wooden gate and you will emerge to the paved driveway alongside Hagg House.

Hagg House to End
Hagg House to End

Start point: 54.2407 lat, -0.7456 long
End point: 54.246 lat, -0.7791 long

Turn left to the bottom of the paved area and then turn right onto the tarmac drive (passing through a gateway). Almost immediately, where the main tarmac swings right, go straight ahead to join a track across a grass area. (NOTE: This area is part of the High Oaks Lodges and Glamping site, so you may see lodges or pods here as the facilities expand). The track leads you to a wide gate (at the start of a belt of woodland, just to your left).

Pass through this gate to join the narrow footpath running ahead through the woodland belt. Follow the path as it swings right and then, almost immediately, turn sharp left to join a side branch between wooden gateposts. The path continues with a fenced sheep pasture on your right. Follow this fenced path ahead and then turning right along the length of the field. NOTE: This path is very narrow and so is prone to becoming overgrown, although it is only one field length. If the path is impassable, there is an alternative permissive path running parallel, in the tree belt on your left.

At the end of the field, pass through the make-shift gate and walk ahead, passing the farm buildings on your right. Keep straight ahead to join the stone vehicle track, which later becomes a tarmac lane leading you past the first houses on the outskirts of Pickering. At the road junction, go straight ahead, joining the pavement along the residential road. Keep ahead, ignoring any side roads. Eventually, after passing the infant school on your right, you will come to a T-junction.

If you need to catch the bus to Malton, turn left (downhill) to the roundabout and you will see the main Pickering bus stops just to your left. Otherwise, to complete the walk, turn right (uphill) for a few paces and then use the pedestrian crossing to swap to the left-hand pavement. Just before the line of lime trees begins, turn left onto a small tarmac lane. Follow this between stone walls to reach the Old Rectory on your right.

Stay with the road as it bends left, heading downhill and, part way down this slope (just after the Old Vicarage on your right), turn right into a tarmac alleyway. This becomes a paved walkway leading you through the churchyard. Keep straight ahead through the churchyard, exiting via the flight of steps and you will emerge to the top of Pickering Market Place. Walk straight ahead, heading downhill, and enjoying the tempting range of shops, cafes and pubs. At the crossroads, turn left for a few paces to reach Pickering Library where this stretch of the Ryedale Market Towns Trail ends.

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network Ryedale Market Towns Trail Part 4: Rillington to Pickering Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 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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