Cracking walks, charming tea rooms and Castle Howard’s stately presence
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level2 Two
For this weekend, we’re going on a rewarding journey that will explore the contrasting and beautiful scenery of the North York Moors and the neighbouring Howardian Hills.
With walks jam-packed with interest, the opportunity to re-fuel at some great tea rooms and an emphasis on eating good food in the company of a lovely group of people, the ingredients are all there for an enjoyable weekend to be had by all.
North York Moor Weekend Dates:
- Friday 19th – Sunday 21st July
In a nutshell:
- Marvel at the varied scenery – from dramatic coastline, striking geological formations, gently rolling hills and wild moorland.
- Feel invigorated after days out in the fresh air whether it’s involved strolling with plenty of view stops or tackling tougher terrain.
- Be captivated by the many sights along the way, including the grandness of Castle Howard, the steam train and intriguing rock formations.
- Savour the great grub on offer after all that exercise.
- Slow down and relax as the charms of Lockton work their magic.
A bit about the area:
The Howardian Hills
Nestled between the National Park and the Vale of York, the Howardian Hills are characterized by gently undulating landscape clad in a patchwork of arable and pasture fields and woodland, and interspersed with picture-postcard villages.
The area is steeped in history most notably with Castle Howard, a stately home that needs little introduction, and which is surrounded by miles of beautiful parkland.
North York Moors National Park
The National Park is a special place where forests and moorland eventually give way to a coastline which combines dramatic headlands with sweeping bays of golden sands.
Throughout the National Park there are hints of days gone by, whether it’s the remains of a mine or the features and sights in the coastal villages that re-create those days when smuggling and fishing were in their heyday.
Welcome to Lockton, a village in Dalby Forest in the heart of the North York Moors which is so peaceful that shoulders soon start relaxing after a hectic week.
As you walk through the door a Large Outdoors host will be there to greet and introduce you to your fellow walking companions.
There’s plenty of space for lounging while you mingle with the others before we sit round the table to enjoy the freshly-prepared evening meal.
Once the Large Outdoors cheeseboard emerges, we usually find firm friends have already been made and the chatter continues late into the evening.
Saturday plus the Sunday during the Easter Weekend:
A leisurely breakfast begins at 8am where there’s normally a healthy helping of banter served up alongside the tea and toast.
We then discuss and confirm the plan for the day ahead including what walk we have settled on, and the clothing and equipment that will be needed. As with all our trips, the focus is on having a great day out.
With that in mind our qualified guides will choose a walk depending on the weather, and what they think the whole group will enjoy.
Walk options we’ll be considering:
The Bridestones: A 10-mile jaunt from the front door that takes us through some really stunning countryside. Following quiet woodland trails we eventually leave the forest behind and emerge onto Staindale Moor heading for the famous Bridestones.
These naturally occurring sandstone rock sculptures with intriguing names such as The Pepper Pot and the Sentinels are great for wandering around and so we spend a little time here before continuing our loop back to Lockton.
Hop on a steam train for a walk through Heartbeat country: With the fantastic North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s steam train on our doorstep it seems only right to make full use of the facility.
We’ve devised a route that involves a short hop on the steam train from Levisham station to Goathland, a village that has been made famous as the setting for many films and TV series including Heartbeat, Harry Potter, and All Creatures Great and Small.
From here we wander through the village and follow a trail up to the Bronze Age standing stones of Simon Howe on the open moorland which is turned into a sea of purple by the heather in late summer. From here we descend through pretty forest tracks to re-join the railway.
Hole of Horcum and Levisham: This is a more challenging walk that explores one of the most striking natural features in the National Park.
At 400 feet deep and three-quarters of a mile across, the Hole of Horcum is unmissable.
Although formed by a natural process called spring-sapping where water gradually undermines the rock above, local legend has it that Wade the Giant scooped up a handful of earth to throw at his wife during an argument!
We walk through the centre of this amazing feature before climbing to the top and walking around the Western edge, passing Skelton tower and down into a valley clad in ancient woodland with a babbling brook flowing through. From here we follow a route that runs parallel to the line of the steam train back to Lockton.
Other alternatives: Quite frankly, with so much choice on our doorstep, we could list endless alternatives. There might be a walk to the delightful coastline between Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay, following the Cleveland Way National Trail; or we could head to Rosedale or Farndale, a hamlet which is famous for its daffodil-lined trails in spring time.
After all that exercise there’s only one good way to replenish energy reserves and that’s to pay a visit to the Lockton Tea Rooms and gallery.
Here there’s an array of cake (did we mention that the North York Moors is the Capital of Cake!) and other tasty treats to temp you, but one word of warning – leave room for the evening meal.
Back at base, there’s time to unwind and freshen up before we serve our evening meal. Post-dinner there’s more lounging time, often with some night owls staying up quietly chattering into the early hours.
It is time to pack up and take a short drive into the Howardian Hills. You’ll instantly know when we’ve arrived as the stately presence of Castle Howard comes into view.
The stately home, which was put on the visitor map after the TV series Brideshead Revisited was filmed here, was originally constructed in 1699. Well, in fact building work continued for nearly a century creating one of the grandest private residences in Britain which remains in the Howard family today.
This walk strolls through Castle Howard’s fascinating parkland, following the Centenary bridleway along easy tracks.
As we walk along, the horizon will be dotted by the temples, follies and monuments constructed in days gone by including The Temple of the Four Winds, The Mausoleum and The Pyramid.
With walk completed, we ensure there’s ample time to visit Castle Howard’s farm shop and gift centre before we head to the tea room or local pub for a well-deserved Sunday lunch.
Good to know:
The Old School House
Free Collection from Malton Train Station:
Nearest Station: Malton
Collection Times: 3pm
For this weekend we can collect and return train travellers to the train station that is nearest to our base.
Places for this shuttle service are limited and must be booked at least seven days before the trip takes place by contacting the Large Outdoors office to reserve space.
At the end of the trip we will endeavour to get you back to the same station by a certain time. However as the finishing time might vary, we would strongly advise booking an open return ticket that will provide you with greater flexibility.
Kit lists – You can view our kit lists here…
For important information on what’s included with our standard trips, such as what food we supply, arrival times and answer to our most commonly asked questions please visit out our FAQ’s page
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What our members have to say...
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018