This is one of our favourite walks and has been done by Mr TH and a very pregnant me and the three of us once Monkey had arrived and was around 11 months old.
When we did it BM (Before Monkey) we decided to park in Goathland, walk to Grosmont and catch the train back. While this was lovely, I found the last bit hard going and stressful as it was taking us a lot longer to walk with my back and hips playing up. This meant that we were dangerously close to missing the last steam train and risking a ride on a diesel. I really wanted to go on a steam train so ended up walking a lot faster than I was really capable of and not really enjoying the last part of the walk.
PM (Post Monkey) we decided to catch the train from Pickering to Grosmont, walk back to Goathland then jump on the train back to Pickering. This gave us plenty of time as we knew that we’d get a ride on a steam train on the way there even if it was a diesel on the way back. We also had a two for one ticket from the Yorkshire Evening Post.
We parked at Pickering station, where you can park all day for £5 and got to the platform just in time for the train. Monkey was very interested in the noise and steam from the train and once we were on it found great fun in waving out of the window to everyone on the platform.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway travels through some of the most spectacular countryside in England and you can take the train from Pickering to Whitby. My favourite part is the journey through Levisham, where as a child we’d often see the steam in the valley from the last train of the day and my dad would drive as fast as (safely!) possible to reach the crossing in time to see the train go by.
At Grosmont we decided lunch was in order before setting out on our walk, so went to our favourite place for lunch, the Old School House Café. For any railway enthusiasts, the terrace is the ideal spot for a bit of train spotting and we were lucky enough to see the Sir Nigel Gresley puff it’s way out of the station. For families there is not only the entertainment of passing trains for little ones but also a small play area with a variety of toys and books inside. Lunch over the walk commenced and we were soon winding our way around the engine sheds and out into the fields.
When we walked the route in June the year previous we had commented on the number of bramble bushes and how amazing it would be to walk along picking the fruit. Well this time we walked in September and we loved giving Monkey her first taste of ‘straight off the bush’ blackberries. Some were a bit sour though and her face was a picture that unfortunately we didn’t capture.
It was a lovely walking day, sunny but not too warm with a light breeze. We followed the path alongside the track for a while, giving Monkey the opportunity to wave at a passing steam train. We enjoyed a break at what is becoming ‘our bench’, where we’d had lunch the year previously, with llamas and ponies in the field behind the bench.
It was all just too much then for Monkey who promptly fell asleep in the LittleLife carrier, and didn’t even wake when a train chugged past with a hoot.
There is a path that is suitable for pushchairs and wheel chairs all the way from Grosmont to Goathland, but both times we have done the walk we have decided to take a slightly different non pushchair friendly path so we can visit the falls at Mallyan Spout. The path has a short climb up and down through trees until you reach a point where carrying straight on takes you up to the Mallyan Spout Hotel and right to the falls. It’s a bit of a slippery scramble in parts, but when there’s been enough rainfall, it is a wonderful sight and even allows you to stand behind it. We had lots of fun splashing the now awake Monkey before retracing our footsteps and heading up the hill to grab an ice lolly in the hotel café.
We wandered back through Goathland village, surrounded by the free grazing sheep and looking at all of the 1960’s cars dotted around the village, celebrating it’s setting as the long running location of Yorkshire Televisions Heartbeat. The walk back to the station is all down hill and we enjoyed our free tea that was part of the 2 for 1 ticket.
We lucked in with another steam train to take us back to Pickering as the late summer sun began to set over the North Yorkshire Moors.