Where is this walk?

Hole of Horcum walk

September 21, 2018

The Hole of Horcum walk takes you to a tourist hot spot near Whitby. Rather than just a visit to the ‘Hole’ the day is much enhanced by a longer walk at Levisham, approaching via the high moors and returning along the floor of the valley.

The Walk

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.  In reality it has developed over time as water welling up from the bedrock stream has gradually eroded the valley sides. As a result these have collapsed creating the vast amphitheatre. It is very similar to High Cup Nick in the Cumbrian Pennines.

The Hole of Horcum walk is much improved by an approach along the moors to the west. This is easy, relaxed with good views and no inclination of what lies ahead. On arrival at the the head of the Hole of Horcum the surprise is complete. Traditionally the ‘Hole’ is just a quick stop off from the A169 on the drive to Whitby. However there is something magical about the surroundings after descending to the valley floor. In addition the walking at this stage is easy on a wide track. Towards the end of the walk the path enters some woodland and a short climb in to Levisham.


The woodland before entering Levisham is quite thick. Walking in shorts proved to be a bad choice as the path I took was overgrown with brambles and thistles.

Navigation Tips on the Hole of Horcum walk

The path in the woods near Levisham is quite difficult to follow. At one stage I was unsure I was on the path and it became a little bit of a battle. Just keep high as you approach the village.

  • 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.

  • 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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