120. Levisham Station-Levisham-Farwath-Newton-on-Rawcliffe, 13th November, 2016
It’s a delightful short drive from Levisham to Levisham station, diagonally down a steep escarpment grazed by a big herd of Highland cows. Unfenced they often block the road and are so chilled out it is hard to get them to move . At the bottom of the hill is the station, where there is an honesty box for those who wish to park. A poster on the notice board warns of the danger of snakes. But it’s November - they’ll all be asleep by now. A path to the left of the station climbs up through woods and across a field to a track. Turning right here I was soon at a branch where I forked left to climb the rest of the hill as a glorious view opened out over Newton Dale. Then it was easy walk across a couple of fields and I was back in Levisham. The road from here to Lockton is two steep hills, down then up. (See 92 below.)I walked through the village and went half way down the down to just after the first steep hairpin. If you want to get from here to the church at the valley bottom you can do one of two things. You can turn right off the road down a track a couple of hundred metres after the bend. Or you can cut a corner by taking a footpath that leaves the road a little sooner. I did the second and as a result strongly recommend the first. The footpath is treacherous and horrible, really steep and really slippery. Towards the bottom I bowed to the inevitable and finished the descent as a sitting glissade down mud. Once safely down I kept going south past the ruined church and down Sleights Road to Farwath. This may well be the muddiest mile of walking I have ever experienced, alarmingly close to a swim.
From Farwath I trudged up Farwath Road then north again up East Brow Road past Howlgate Farm and East Brow House til eventually a path on the left leads across the fields to Newton-on-Rawcliffe with its Anglican and Methodist churches facing each other on opposite sides of the road as you enter the village. I went north right through the vllage and took a track that keeps north just before the main Rawcliff Road turns left. After about half a kilometer there is a footpath signposted off right over a stile. This wasn’t terrible easy to follow underfoot. Over the stile you find yourself in a wide strip of grassy pasture along the side of the hill with woodland above and below it. The thing to do is just follow the strip of pasture round to the right till you reach a fence with a gate in it. After the gate start a diagonal descent towards the woods. It was at this point I finally spotted the authors of all the fresh cow poo I had been avoiding stepping in since crossing the stile, a big old bull with a couple of cows, happily a fair way off. He glared at me for a minute before returning to his munching. As the woods got near the path became very clear and soon I was emerging back at the station. As I left the field a sign warning folk going the other way of a bull in the field but coming the way I did you get to enjoy meeting him as a surprise.
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