Ryedale Market Towns Trail: Part 4 Rillington to Pickering

in Pickering

Ryedale Market Towns Trail: Part 4 Rillington to Pickering is a 23.5 kilometer point-to-point trail located near Rillington, North Yorkshire, England that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options.

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The Route

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This is a linear route that forms part of a long-distance trail. If you intend to walk this stretch as a stand-alone route, there is a bus suitable for the return leg which runs Mon-Sat only (with NO SERVICE on SUNDAYS). A linear walk from Rillington village to Pickering in North Yorkshire, forming the fourth part of the Ryedale Market Towns Trail. The route begins by crossing two historic parkland estates, with views of Scampston Hall and Knapton Hall and a reminder of times gone by. The middle stretch crosses the typical landscape of this part of the Derwent Valley, crossing vast expanses of flat arable land via quiet lanes and field tracks. Arriving in Thornton-le-Dale, there is time for a quick pit stop to enjoy the picturesque village setting, before crossing farmland with lovely views to reach Pickering.


The Ryedale Market Towns trail is a 67 mile (108km) long-distance circular trail, created to allow walkers to enjoy the highlights of Ryedale, visiting each of the five market towns along the way. It is published through a collaboration with the Ryedale District Council.


The walk follows a mixture of pavements, quiet lanes, farm tracks plus paths that cross several crop fields and four sheep pastures (so take care with dogs on this stretch). You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, some flights of steps plus 4 stiles. The majority of the route is relatively flat, but there are a couple of very long steady climbs as you pass through Thornton-le-Dale. You need to cross the railway at an official but unsignalled crossing point, so make sure you look and listen carefully for trains at this point. The middle stretch is easy-going, level walking, with simple navigation, following some quiet lanes and simple farm tracks across the bottom of the Derwent Valley. Allow 6-7 hours.


If you are completing the whole 67 mile trail, there is no accommodation in Rillington at the start of this point. You can arrange accommodation either in Malton (a 15-minute bus journey from Rillington) or at the Providence Inn in Yedingham and there are plenty of choices in Pickering at the end of the route. If you are walking this stretch as a stand-alone walk, there are bus connections to take you from Pickering (via Malton) back to Rillington, running Monday to Saturday (with no usable connections on Sunday). You would need to catch Bus 840 from Pickering to Malton (a 30-minute journey) and then Bus 843 from Malton to Rillington (a 15-minute journey). Check connections before you travel but, with waiting times in Malton, you can expect the journey to take between one and two hours.


There are public toilets in Thornton-le-Dale and in Pickering at the end of the walk. If you are looking for refreshments, there are two pubs (The Fleece Inn and The Coach and Horses) in Rillington at the start, the popular Farmhouse Bakery and Coffee Shop in Scampston (open 10am Wed-Sun), the Walled Garden Cafe in Scampston Hall estate (open Easter to October, 10am Tues-Sun plus Bank Holidays, free entry), the Providence Inn in Yedingham (check opening times), lots of pubs and cafes in Thornton-le-Dale and you will be spoilt for choice in Pickering at the end of the walk. OS Maps: Explorer 300 Howardian Hills and Malton and OL27 North York Moors Eastern Area. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Please respect people’s privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

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