The Hole of Horcum is a popular walking destination in the North York Moors and it is easy to see why. A huge natural amphitheatre, carved out over time, together with some quite amazing landscapes.
When viewed from above, a view you get right at the start of the walk, it looks like a huge bowl carved out of the land. It is huge at 400 feet (120 m) deep and about ¾ mile (1.2 km) across. Quite spectacular to see with your own eyes.
Also known as a ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’, legend has it that a giant named Wade was having an argument with his wife. He scooped up some land to throw at her. In reality, the anomaly was created by water seeping up the hillside and eroding it, widening the valley over millennia.
This 5 mile circular walk gives you a whole experience of the Hole of Horcum. Walking around it from the top then back along, within and through the bottom of it.
The walk starts and ends at Saltergate Car Park and as soon as you get out of the car you get a panoramic view of this natural phenomenon.
After carefully crossing the road, turn right along the top of the rim/edge of the hole. Take in the expansive views.
You will then reach a gate with options to turn. Go through the gate and straight on. This takes you over Levisham Moor, amongst the heather and keeping the views over the Hole of Horcum from above. This is a wide path that runs for around 2 miles.
Then you will come to a signpost. To continue the circular walk, turn left where it is signposted ‘Hole of Horcum’.
In this next section the scenery changes and you follow rows of trees and a stream. Look out for the Highland Cattle.
At the bottom of this path you come across another signpost where the river and stream meet. Again turn left following ‘Hole of Horcum’.
From now on you are walking straight up the middle of the natural wonder. Taking in the views from within. The path passes through fields and beside an old farmstead that was located within here once upon a time. Sheep and cows graze all around.
Of course, we started up at the top and you can see straight ahead the final section which is a climb back up to the top. Not too long a climb, but take rests and, as you pause, look back over the landscape. It is definitely unique and to be savoured.
At the top of the climb you end up back on the path you started on. Turn right and back to the car park where a refreshment van awaits.