Dog Friendly Walks

Dog Friendly Walks : Pickering Castle Circular (2½ easy)

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Middleton Road, Pickering

  • Map - Outdoor Leisure 27 (North York Moors - Eastern)
  • Distance - About 2½ miles
  • Stiles - Two - both 'Hamish friendly'
  • Date walked - 14.4.07

This route provides opportunity for free on street parking in Pickering and a shortish but interesting walk including a visit to dog friendly Pickering Castle (where there is also free parking for castle visitors).

We started in Swainsea Lane off Middleton Road (approx SE 7907 842). Middleton Road runs north of, and almost parallel to, the A170. If approaching from the Kirbymoorside direction it is a left turn marked 'local traffic only' just after the Pickering town sign. From that direction Swainsea Lane is on the left and signed 'Askham Bryan College and Leisure Centre'.

We suggest you park between Middleton Road and Swainsea Drive. Look for a tarmac footpath on the RIGHT HAND SIDE (RHS) just beyond the junction with Swainsea Drive and next to a bungalow 'The Highlands'. Follow the path as it runs behind the college with a field on your RHS at first, then round a RH bend with playing fields on your left hand side (LHS). There was a bin here when we walked.

At the end of the path - where it joins a residential road - TURN LEFT onto a marked footpath between fences (the playing fields are still on your LHS). TURN LEFT over the left of two stiles - Hamish easily passed under the post and rail fence. Follow the path just beyond a stile going right over the fence but BEAR RIGHT immediately after on a narrow path down through a thicket. At the bottom of the thicket TURN LEFT along the LHS of a field. Go AHEAD through a wooden kissing gate.

KEEP AHEAD over a track crossing the path (field on RHS) and follow the path to another stile. KEEP AHEAD over the stile (Hamish scrambled under the stile; a larger, less agile dog might need to be lifted). Look across the field for corrugated farm building opposite - aim just to the left of these even though there is not a clearly walked path (don't be tempted by a clearer path bearing left). Part way across the field you'll see a gate - go AHEAD through it to reach a wide track.

KEEP AHEAD on the track to pass the farm buildings on your RHS then ahead again to pass a house (with sculpture studio) on your LHS (don't turn right towards a level crossing). KEEP AHEAD on a footpath after the house with a field and the railway on your RHS. KEEP AHEAD through a metal gate (open when we walked), pass more building on your RHS, through another gate (again open when we walked) and on to a clear path towards buildings.

Join a metalled lane by the houses then KEEP AHEAD over the railway level crossing to reach a metalled road. TURN RIGHT over bridge (note railway building at New Bridge away to your left). When we walked a duck was giving swimming lessons on the stream under the bridge to a gaggle of young. KEEP AHEAD to a road junction (lane going off hard left) then join a marked footpath at the junction.

TURN LEFT (from road) to join the path, then climb a few steps ahead into the wood (the finger post also indicates another, lesser, path to the left here). Bear a little right keeping the road on your RHS. TURN RIGHT at a paths T-junction and follow the path almost parallel to the road on your RHS in the direction of Pickering. The path passes through woods with old quarry working making 'cliffs' on your LHS. You'll pass a number of information boards - 'Pickering Wildlife Ancient and Modern', Pickering Jurassic Sea' and 'The Norman Conquest and The Bahamas'. Shortly after the final board the paths gets closer to the road and we put Hamish back on his lead (he was chasing interesting scents).

CROSS THE ROAD WITH CARE when the path reaches it and follow the pavement ahead (e.g. turn left) for about 25 metres then TURN LEFT and CROSS BACK onto a marked footpath. Follow the path ahead along a low stone wall. At the end of the wall (or shortly before if you prefer) TURN RIGHT to join another path towards the castle. You can follow the path either way around the castle we TURNED LEFT and followed the path past a tower with a disused entrance gate. Keep going to pass a more substantial tower with gardrobes to reach English Heritage's car park.

Just beyond the car park note Castlegate, KEEP AHEAD then TURN RIGHT across the ditch for Pickering Castle or LEFT DOWN STEPS to continue the walk. At the bottom of the steps CROSS ROAD WITH CARE and KEEP AHEAD into Castle Road (marked as a no through road for cars but footpath to town centre and railway station). KEEP AHEAD on the path with good views over houses to the railway then follow steps down to the main road. TURN LEFT and pass the station (don't turn hard left up a small lane with steps). CROSS THE ROAD near the station entrance but KEEP AHEAD to reach a road junction.

TURN RIGHT over a bridge towards The Beck Isle Museum. KEEP AHEAD as the pavement climbs a little to the RHS of the road. TURN RIGHT at road (by T-junction), CROSS THE ROAD then BEND LEFT with it into Middleton Road. Swainsea Lane, and your starting point, is a short distance on the RHS after the school.

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