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Country walk at Levisham
George Wilkinson enjoys a pleasant walk on the North York Moors across the sweet pastures of Levisham.
LEVISHAM was worth it, we agreed, sitting out on Horseshoe Inn’s green, looking down the single line of old houses and surrounded by the chat of feeding walkers, one of whom wore a T-shirt stating “Women out walking” which aided digestion, as we lunched well.
Eventually we ambled off, along a road. One way swings off to the village’s remote station and then stops. Ours is a dead end too, just a half mile with sweet pastures each side, and handsome belted cattle.
And the last stone wall is a horizon to the heather, and strong purple. This is Levisham Moor that is owned by the North York Moors National Park and isn’t for grouse shooting, so there is less fuss about dogs and such.
After a little stroll, the route’s all a stroll, across the moor we reached an edge and dramatic views of wooded Newton Dale and the next mile keeps to the edge and from the depths chuffing and hoots wafted up and reverberated as the steam trains threaded the gorge.
A thick hatch of heather flies danced around, red legs dangling, nice insects these. Sheep stirred up clouds of pollen, mountain bikers passed, our route topped out and we turned.
Seavy Pond was a spot for some sunshine dozing, a little pond bright and fringed with rushes, but every five minutes or so a walker or two would pass, to and from the Hole of Horcum a mile away.
We turned into the sun, but this brightness didn’t so much fade the purple as shift it towards the pink. A plaque tells of an Iron Age dike, a trench with a ditch each side. And then after a mile on the main track, a length of the Tabular Hills Walk, we reached Dundale Pond, a bigger one that looked dark and deep and sported dragon flies.
A fingerpost here has five fingers. A few minutes later there’s a track cum dead end road very much like the outward one, just as pleasing, and a drystone waller chatted about stone and the local Ginger Pig.
When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.
1. From pub, road (signed Levisham Station) 600 yards. Straight on at bend, not to station.
2. Wallstile/fieldgate to moor, left fork on track (bridleway fingerpost), by wall.
3. At wall corner (footpath fingerpost) 10 o’clock across moor, path.
4. Twenty yards before path goes steeply downhill, path on right to contour along top edge of valley. One mile.
5. Where ground roughened, ignore track/paths downhill into valley and follow path/track round to right.
6. Right to main track, immediately pass pond. One mile.
7. Pass larger pond (five-way fingerpost ‘Levisham’) uphill, fieldgate (fingerpost) wide walled track, becomes road.
Distance: Five miles.
General Location: North York Moors.
Right of way: Public and Open Access.
Date walked: August, 2011.
Road route: From A169 take side road signed Lockton ¼ Levisham 1½. Then ‘Levisham Only’.
Car parking: Roadside in Levisham.
Refreshments: The Horseshoe Inn at Levisham.
Tourist and public transport information: National Park 01845 597426.
Map: Drawn from OS OL27 North York Moors eastern.
Difficulty: Quite easy.
• Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.