North York Moors Walks
Hole of Horcum
Date: 9th February 2013
Distance: 5.7 miles
Time: 2 hours 45 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE852936
A memorable walk down in to the Hole of Horcum with wonderful views on the return over Levisham Moor.
Route Summary: Saltergate Car Park - Hole of Horcum - Low Horcum - Dundale Griff - Dundale Pond - Seavy Pond - Levisham Moor - Saltergate Car Park
1. The Hole of Horcum from below the A169
2. The path leading down into the Hole of Horcum
3. The abandoned farmhouse of Low Horcum
4. Levisham Moor
5. The Horcum valley as it narrows above Levisham Beck
6. The tree lined path in Dundale Griff
7. The wide grassy path along Levisham Moor
8. The tiny Seavy Pond
9. Above the Hole of Horcum
10. The unmarked top of Levisham Moor
11. The trench of Newtondale from Levisham Moor
12. Saltergate Bank
Walk Detail: The forecast for much of North Yorkshire and the north-west was for a cloudy dull day, the exception was out towards the east over the North York Moors. I therefore decided to head out in that direction in search of some blue sky and, once I'd driven over Sutton Bank, I found it in abundance.
I'd been wanting to explore the Hole of Horcum since driving past it on my way back from a camping trip to Robin Hood's Bay a couple of years back. A natural steep sided valley the sudden view of the Hole from the side of the A169 Pickering - Whitby road is really quite stunning.
From the Saltergate car park I followed the path north to the head of the valley where a path, slippery with ice, led me down into the valley itself. For the next couple of miles I only saw one other walker as I enjoyed a fine ramble down the valley, going past the abandoned farmhouse of Low Horcum, to where the valley narrows above Levisham Beck. All along this section I particularly enjoyed the view of the steep flanks of Levisham Moor immediately to the west.
After crossing Levisham Beck I immediately took a path climbing up along the tree-lined Dundale Griff. After a supremely easy walk up alongside the griff I arrived at the reedy Dundale Pond from where I took the wide grassy path heading north across Levisham Moor. After another couple of miles of striding along I left the path briefly to gain some views back down into the Hole of Horcum before crossing back to the other side of the path so that I could stand at the highest point of Levisham Moor (old peak bagging habits die hard).
There was not much depth to the view from the top so I moved a bit further north to where the moor steepens above the first of two drops down to the steep trench of Newtondale. To the north and west there was a wide sweep of moorland including, to the north-west, Urra Moor, the highest point in the North York Moors and which, from my vantage point, still seemed to have quite a bit of snow on it. After soaking up the view a while it was then a simple walk returning to the main path and then back to the car park.
This was a super little walk, the scenery and sunny conditions combining to make it a memorable walk indeed. I'd enjoyed myself so much that, when I got back to the car, I decided to take advantage of the good weather to do a second walk heading in the opposite direction from the same starting point to visit Blakey Topping and Malo Cross.