An image of Castleton to Lealholm Walk

Book Tickets Online

About

The moorland villages of Castleton and Danby set the scene on this 7½-mile linear walk that wends its way from the higher moors down to the gentler reaches of the Esk Valley around Lealholm. The route passes The Moors National Park Centre, just outside Danby, whose hands-on activities, art gallery, play areas, woodland bird hide, grounds and café are a tempting stop. Pushing on, you climb up the daleside for fabulous views from Danby Beacon, before descending off the moors to pretty, riverside Lealholm. The Esk Valley Railway makes this an easy walk to do by public transport – take the train up to Castleton and then walk back down to Lealholm, following signs, waymarks and the salmon symbol for the ‘Esk Valley Walk’.

Great for: big-sky views, history lovers, nature lovers

Length:7½ miles (12km)

Time: 4 hours

Start/Finish: Castleton Moor station/Lealholm station

Grid Ref: NZ 684 084

OS Map: Ordnance Survey OL26 & OL27

Refreshments: Castleton, Danby, The Moors Centre, Lealholm

Toilets: Castleton, Danby, The Moors Centre, Lealholm

About this walk



This is the second section (EVW2) of the Esk Valley Walk, a 37-mile ‘Regional Route’ from Castleton to Whitby. Put all 4 sections together to complete the route, or walk each section individually for great days out in the Esk Valley – also see EVW1, EVW3 and EVW4.

Walk

The first half of the route follows woodland and field paths, with gates and one wall-stile en route and two short sections on minor roads. There’s a steep climb after point 11 up to the moor, after which the route follows the moorland road to Danby Beacon and then a well-defined moorland track towards Lealholm. Conditions on the moor can change quickly, even in summer, and visibility is sometimes poor.

Dogs

Please keep your dog under control at all times, and always on a short lead near livestock. In the moorland sections of the walk dogs must stay on the public right of way, and always be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July when birds are nesting on the ground. Sorry, but dogs are not allowed in the buildings at The Moors Centre.


Castleton’s royal connections

The small area of woodland known as Danby Park, outside Castleton, is actually the remnant of a medieval deer park. In the Middle Ages, deer hunting was an exclusively royal pastime – anyone else who wanted to hunt had to apply to the king for permission (and there were dire consequences for transgressors). To get around this, wealthy landowners enclosed their own deer parks for private hunting.

This particular deer park belonged to the powerful De Brus family, originally from Normandy, whose first base in England was Castleton (the Norman castle here was eventually demolished in the 13th century). The De Brus family interests later became divided between England and Scotland – and, six generations after they first arrived in Castleton, a Scottish De Brus (by now a Bruce) would claim the crown as Robert the Bruce, 14th-century king of Scotland and hero of Scottish independence.

Danby Beacon

There are sweeping 360-degree views from the high moorland at Danby Beacon, which has been the site of a warning post – in times of possible invasion – since at least the 16th century. The current beacon here dates from 2008, lit now in celebration rather than to warn of approaching warships in the distant North Sea.

An RAF radar station was sited here in World War II, and tracked the first enemy plane to be shot down over England (February 1940), which crashed near Whitby. One of the RAF pilots that day was Flight-Lieutenant (later Group Captain) Peter Townsend – later notorious for his relationship with Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister.

Oakley Walls

Evidence of early man – going back at least 4,000 years – can still be found in many places on the moors. Burial mounds (known as ‘howes’), boundary dykes and the remains of ancient field systems are typical of the archaeological landscapes in the National Park. On the open moorland they often stand out as the only visible landscape features, although in some cases they are so camouflaged by vegetation that it takes an expert to spot them.

The moors around Danby were surveyed in 1988 and over 400 sites of archaeological interest were found. They range from early prehistoric tool production sites, which may be over 6,000 years old, to 19th-century boundary stones. Along Oakley Walls two prehistoric cist burials were discovered by the farmer in 1946. These consisted of crudely constructed stone chambers which contained cremated bones – they may have been constructed as long as 4,000 years ago.

Did you know?

The Moors National Park Centre, in Danby, was originally a seventeenth-century farmhouse, later converted into a lodge (belonging to the Danby Estate), which was used as the base for grouse-shooting parties on the surrounding moors.

Facilities

Routes

  • Accessibility of route - Easy to access.
  • Description of route - The first half of the route follows woodland and field paths, with gates and one wall-stile en route and two short sections on minor roads.
  • Length of route (miles) - 8
  • Typical duration of route - 4 Hours

Map & Directions

Road Directions

The nearest railway station is Castleton Moor Station, which is 0 miles away.

Castleton to Lealholm Walk

Type:Walking Route

Castleton Moor Station, Castleton, Whitby, YO21 2EU
Close window

Call direct on:

Tel01723 383636

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)

What's Nearby

  1. For inside info on the National Park and a fun free day out. There’s an outdoor adventure…

    1.97 miles away
  2. The beautiful space of the Inspired by... gallery hosts changing exhibitions of work by…

    1.97 miles away
  3. The Arches Cookery School based in a converted barn at Grinkle Park Farm.

    5.71 miles away
  4. Staithes Gallery displays an astonishing variety of quality contemporary art inspired by…

    8.82 miles away
  1. Staithes is where the North York Moors meets the coastline a perfectly secluded small…

    8.9 miles away
  2. Recently named ‘Best Beach of the Year’ 2020 by The Times, Runswick Bay was described as…

    9.11 miles away
  3. The Lickerish Tooth was born from the minds of two drunk men, and a wife who went along…

    10.36 miles away
  4. Sandsend beach provides an ideal playground for the family with the beck providing safe…

    11.27 miles away
  5. Finest open air museum in Yorkshire. An amazing collection of rescued and restored…

    11.62 miles away
  6. Little Beck Wood is a glorious mix of oak, ash, alder and cherry under the canopies of…

    12.28 miles away
  7. Surrounded by bright purple heather, with a variety of colourful sphagnum mosses…

    12.47 miles away
  8. Based in the picturesque village of Ruswarp, Mini Monsterz is one of the biggest indoor…

    12.48 miles away
  9. Whitby Cliff Lift was opened 1931. It consists of a vertical shaft down from the cliff…

    12.81 miles away
  10. Conducted tour of small country brewery famous for its award-winning ales. Brewery tap in…

    12.94 miles away
  11. A historic ornamental garden including Whitby Museum and Art Gallery.
    The grounds,…

    13.08 miles away
  12. Whitby Museum is in beautiful Pannett Park, right in the heart of Whitby. It was founded…

    13.08 miles away
Previous Next
  • Borough of Scarborough Logo
  • Visit England Logo
  • Welcome to Yorkshire Logo
  • Borough of Scarborough Logo
  • Visit England Logo
  • Welcome to Yorkshire Logo

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss