Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Hole Of Horcum, North York Moors

I learned about the legend of the Hole of Horcum a while back on a television programme and after having read walk reports in various magazines it has been a place I have been keen on exploring for some time.

On a recent weekend trip to Staithes and Dalby Forest Claire and I headed along the A169, turning onto the steep and narrow lane that took us through the village of Lockton to Levisham for the start of this circular walk. We were not far from Lyke Wake Walk territory and from the top of the Hole we had a great view of the ground we cover on our favourite challenge walk, from Simon Howe to Flyingdales and beyond.

Starting off in the picturesque Levisham, our walk headed onto a path through woodland, skirting the top of a fairly steep valley. The path was quite overgrown in places, but easy enough to follow.

Although we had glimpses of the valley below, it would be some time before we had clearer views ahead and so this is a good build up as you anticipate the glory of this natural amphitheatre.

Coming down the side of the valley, we started the impressive walk that takes you right into the heart of the Hole of Horcum, and it is a very impressive place to be. Either the legend of Wade the Giant who scooped up a giant hole in the ground, or the forces of nature have dug this huge hollow ground that engulfs you as you walk through.

A short steep climb along a heather-clad path brings you out onto the side of the main road, and from here you have fine views over Lyke Wake Walk territory, and a look into the Hole of Horcum behind.

From here we followed the route of the Tabular Hills Walk as it forges its way through the North York Moors.

Although it feels bleak and barren as it can be here, the path is actually a journey through man-made history, with lots of signs telling you of iron age barrows, bronze age dykes, mounds, ditches, Dundale pond and other ancient monuments.I am always amazed at how man's efforts to conquer the landscape inevitably are reclaimed by nature.

From here it was a short walk back along a lane to the top of Levisham village and our waiting car.

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