Hole of Horcum Walk

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2.5-3.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
10.9 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
168 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.7
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama from the Hole of Horcum walk in North York Moors, England

So superbly beautiful from start to finish, the Hole of Horcum Walk is a popular, yet peaceful hike through the varied countryside. Begin high above a great ravine and continue along the rim towards the village of Levisham. From there, head into the heart of the Hole of Horcum - not to be missed!

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Route Description for Hole of Horcum Walk

We’ve always heard good things about this walk, but it was even more spectacular than imagined. The Hole of Horcum is of course impressive in its own right, but up on the open moorland, there are stunning views in all directions and the route back from Levisham is excellent. Definitely go further than the viewpoint that most people seem to get stuck at!

From the car park, carefully cross the main road and turn right onto a footpath that follows the rim of the Hole of Horcum. Views from here across the Hole of Horcum are spectacular! Some local folk stories claim a giant scooped away the land to make his home. In fact, the dip is a result of melt water eroding the land towards the end of the Ice Age.

Skirt along the ridge, climbing the stile that takes you on to the track to keep you high above the hole. Continue along this broad track across Levisham Moor, as it gradually pulls away from the edge. After 3.0 km and having passed two small ponds, you’ll arrive at a junction of five paths. Take the second left path, signposted towards Levisham. The grassy track climbs gently up to a gate, exits the moorland and continues onto a Land Rover track signposted towards Newton-Upon-Rawcliffe.

Continue along this track as it turns into a tarmacked road and brings you down into the village of Levisham, just over a 1.0 km from the gate. Pass the Horseshoe Inn – an excellent spot for a refuel if required! Continue down the main road through the village between grassy verges and the idyllic Yorkshire cottages.

Just 20 m past the sign warning of the steep descent of the road, there is a public footpath that turns sharply left off the road. Pass the bench following the footpath around to the left. Continue along the footpath as it winds, dips and climbs through a pretty woodland high on the banks above the valley. After climbing some steps, you soon come to a fork, veer left following signs to Horcum. Continue along this path for roughly 1.0 km until it drops down, out of the woodland, through a gate and to a junction.

Follow the sign towards to Hole of Horcum, stepping over a small Beck, and then a second via a small footbridge. Turn immediately left to follow Levisham Beck upstream, the path will gradually veer away and gain height on the stream. Keep ahead on the obvious footpath passing through several gates until finally emerging onto open farmland. Follow the track across the sloping farmland to bring you in the Hole of Horcum itself, enjoying the unique views in all directions.

Soon the path heads towards an abandoned farmhouse. Pass to the left and continue towards the fence line ahead. Turn left just before the fence, ignoring the broken stile and follow the arrow directing you down a further 100 m to another stile. Cross this onto a gravel track.

Follow this track as it takes you back up to the top, turn right to rejoin the footpath you started on. Continue along and return to the car park just ahead.

Walking route highlights

Hole of Horcum

In the Tabular Hills of the North York Moors National Park in northern England, you’ll find the spectacular Hole of Horcum. Kick off the walk by taking in the dramatic panorama from Saltergate over the Hole of Horcum, which is home to ancient archaeological remains.

Legend has that the hole was formed by the giant, Wade, who was a Saxon chief who grabbed a handful of earth to throw at his wife. In reality, the scallop-shaped valley was created by a line of springs formed between two rock layers.

Interestingly, the ridge marks the boundary between Middle and Upper Jurassic, which allows for incredible views over Saltergate and the surrounding moorland. The formation is unique in that the underlying limestone were formed by glacial run-off, so it is a mystery as to what the hole will look like in a few years as the earth continues to warm.

Find more amazing walks in North York Moors National Park:

Insider Hints for Hole of Horcum Walk

  • Definitely go the extra few miles to Levisham as the route back through the woodland is special.
  • Still not convinced, add in a pit-stop at the Horseshoe Inn at Levisham- cosy country pub with outdoor seating.

Getting to the Hole of Horcum Walk Trailhead

To get to the beginning of the Hole of Horcum walk, from Pickering, take the A169 towards Malton. After 7.5 mi you will see a car park on your right. Park here – the car park costs £2.50 for anything over 2 hours and you will need this time.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March - October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate to High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Hole of Horcum Walk Elevation Graph

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Hole of Horcum Walk Reviews

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