Today’s day trip is best enjoyed with a walk from the village of Levisham and is perfect for the now (at long last) spring weather. The walk from the sleepy but beautiful North Yorkshire Moors village of Levisham follows the deep valley to the little river of Levisham Beck, which if you follow upstream leads you to the famous Hole of Horcum.
That’s right: the Hole of Horcum. I’ve got your attention now haven’t I? So what is the Hole of Horcum? Well, for one, it’s the location of the 11th rudest named place in Britain, presumably up there with Penistone, Upper Dicker and Wetwang. However, it is it much more than that.
The Hole of Horcum is a an enormous hollow in the North York Moors, 400ft deep and stretching 3/4 of a mile across. Legend has it that the hole was created when a giant Saxon chief called Wade threw a handful of earth, scooped up from the moors, at Bell, his wife. The missile missed Bell and landed about a mile to the east of the hole, creating the 800ft hill that is now Blakey Topping. Another slightly more dull explanation is erosion caused by spring water and no doubt something to do with hard and soft rocks. Recently the hole was featured in a more modern kind of fiction in Yorkshire writer Ross Raisin’s debut novel God’s Own Country.
The hole is a wonderful site and awe-inspiring when seen in the evening light. Nearby you can walk to Skelton Tower where there is a superb view across a valley overlooking the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as it meanders through a thickly wooded gorge. Built as a shooting lodge in 1850, Skelton Tower is now a ruin but the view is wonderful and the place has an eerie charm.
You can then make your way back to Levisham and to catch the Moors Railway as it winds its way to Scarborough.