For the former railway in Rosedale, annual permits are available from Faccombe Estate Office, The Cottage, Stonegrave, York, YO62 4LJ, so invest in a new Ordnance Survey Explorer (Outdoor Leisure) map to plan your own exploration.
Newtondale Horse Trail
The National Park Authority has established a 35½ mile circular route for horse riders through the dramatic gorge of Newtondale. The Newtondale Horse Trail is a three day ride for small groups of two to four. If your horse is fit, you could complete it in two days. The Trail links with other bridleways in the area and you can start from any point.
Getting to the start - Pickering is on the A170, 17 miles west of Scarborough and you will find Newbridge, which is about a mile north of Pickering, on the Newton-on-Rawcliffe road. Details of parking for boxes can be found in the free leaflet - 'Essential Information for Newtondale Horse Trail Riders.'
Supplies and Accommodation - Newtondale is remote and there are few settlements along the route. It is wise to book accommodation and livery in advance and aim to complete each section before dusk. Pickering is a good place to stock up on supplies before you start and the villages of Newton-on-Rawcliffe (just off the route), Grosmont, Beck Hole and Goathland all have pubs and at least one shop.
Finding the Route - The Newtondale Horse Trail is waymarked with a distinctive symbol showing Skelton Tower, which is a prominent feature in Newtondale. Part of the route is shared with Forestry Commission horse trails. Cropton Forest is a working forest so be aware of timber operations and folow any diversions signs.
Be Prepared - The Trail crosses some remote areas of countryside, including open moorland, so be prepared. You will encounter fords, bridges, stony tracks, tarmac roads and steep hills. Some sections are muddy in wet weather. As the roads and villages can be busy in summer, your horse should be used to people and traffic. Weather conditions are unpredictable, so make sure you are adequately equipped with warm clothing and waterproofs.
A detailed guidebook on the Newtondale Horse Trail which includes essential information and an accommodation booklet is available from the North York Moors Online Shop price: £3.95.
If you don’t have access to your own horse there are numerous riding centres able to take you out to explore a quiet corner of the North York Moors National Park.
The North York Moors National Park
The North York Moors National Park is one of the most stunning landscapes in the country, it will simply make you stand and stare. It really is a very special place. The great variety of landscapes in the North York Moors is what truly makes it unique and gives it a character which so many people can enjoy. This is a land where dreams are made. Here you can experience the vast open space of moorland, listen to the call of the upland birds, walk for miles and miles or sit and watch the world go by.
You can wander through woods, saunter through picturesque villages of honey sandstone, throw pebbles in a stream or build sandcastles on the beach. All around are the signs of past generations, historic abbeys, embattled castles, churches, crosses, ancient routes. The local culture and traditions here are strong. You can listen, you can watch and you are welcome to join in.
Our Jurassic geology is perhaps second to none. Here the Father of English Geology made his discoveries and at the coast you can see dinosaur footprints and search for fossils as he may have done. But the reason why the North York Moors is so very special is probaby summed up best by Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx Abbey (1142-1167):"Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world."