Hole of Horcum

  • Interesting & popular walk
  • Contrast of exposed moorlands & deep valleys
  • Start at the village of Levisham

A walk through the Hole of Horcum is a walk through a geographical masterpiece. Some describe it as a fist, others as a scoop or plunge.  I certainly felt something more than the traditional explanation (that it is the centre of a geological fault) should explain the steep sides and smooth valley bottom of the Hole of Horcum. Te only place I can liken it to is High Cup Nick in the Cumbrian Pennines.

Having said that, I actually prefer the walking along the moors to the west, easy, relaxed with good views with no inclination of what lies below.   It adds so much to the walk. Traditionally the ‘Hole’ is just a quick stop off from the A169 on the drive to Whitby. There is something magical about the valley floor which conjures up another age and I would certainly recommend this walk to anyone in the area.

Recommend: On the return to Levisham there is a temptation to follow the valley bottom all the way back but this does take you in to dense woodland which can severely damage the legs of anyone out in shorts!

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL27 North York Moors - Eastern area Buy Map
Start Point: SE 833907. Pass the Horeshoe Inn to the right and head up the lane
Height to Climb: 150 ms (492 feet)
Terrain: Excellent woodland tracks and paths in the valley bottom. Just avoid the path through the woods near Levisham.
Eating & Drinking: The Horeshoe Inn at Levisham is an excellent country inn to finish your walk at whilst there is a refreshment van at the Hole of Horcum car park
Similar Walks Nearby: Waterfalls of Goathland
Visiting Malo Cross
The villages of Levisham & Lockton
Places to Stay:


Eden House, Pickering


  1. Paul Verrall says:

    Just looking at your walk after googling Hole of Horcum walk and realised we did the route you suggest. Starting at Lewisham seemed logical and ensures you end at the pub! Route over the moors to main road is easy to follow and gives superb views over the valley and beyond. Heather and bird life in plenty. This way then allows you to follow the natural slope down, route generally easy to follow, Lower Horcum barn makes first part easy, just pass to it’s right. We chose the woodland which we did not find difficult. One bonus is the OS map showed the path emerging onto the road with still a good incline but somehow the path in reality came out at the start of the village, so no awkward last hike up a steep road. The pub serves good food and good selection of beers, friendly staff and plenty of outdoor seating for fine weather.

  2. jonny pyman says:

    We recently took the train to from Pickering to Newton Halt and walked back over the tops to Levisham on a well marked way. £18 return for the family, and an easy walk for littl’uns along the scarp. Note: to extend into Goathland would have doubled the price. Levisham gave us steam trains, hot chocolates and an excellent gent who gave us a demonstration of how to work the signal box. The coal fire helped too. Very enjoyable excursion.

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