Thornton-le-dale to Dalby Forest Visitors Centre Round

Watch the video of this walk

Thornton-le-Dale is considered as one of the prettiest villages in England even though it is situated on the A170. Thornton Beck which winds its way through the village is crossed by a series of small bridges and passing by one of the most photographed thatched cottages in Yorkshire, adds to the appeal of Thornton-le-Dale. This village has also got a lovely pond, just next to the car park, with fish, brown trout, and swan mussels also mallards, moor hens, kingfishers, dippers, grey wagtails and emperor dragonflies. There is also a tea rooms, restaurant, pubs and a selection of shops. At Dalby Forest there is over 8,000 acres of woodland to explore so there is plenty to do. From the visitors centre there are paths and way marked trails for walkers, cyclists and the disabled. You can hire bikes from the Purple Mountain Bike Centre for all ages and abilities. There is also an adventure play park and nearby there is a picnic area with plenty of tables to have a picnic or barbeque. There is a restaurant if you wish to buy a meal or snack and a shop for gifts and souvenirs. You can also go an a horse and cart ride, but if you are feeling really energetic you can Go Ape on the high ropes and zip wires up amongst the trees.

We park in the car park, £2.20, in Thornton-le-Dale. We go past the wild life pond and over the little foot bridge into the village centre and turn right along the road to the next bridge. We take the path on the left just before the bridge and pass by the famous thatched cottage to another little foot bridge and turn left towards Thornton Mill. We then take the footpath following the beck to Low farm, past the fish farm ponds (look to the left to see the waiting herons), through the trees of Thornton Dale until we reach the Forest Drive road which takes us to Dalby Forest Visitors Centre. From here we turn back following Dalby Beck on the other side until we come to High Paper Mill Farm. Passing this farm we take the footpath on the left, through a field, and at the crossroads of paths and bridleways we take the right footpath up the hill until we come to a road then turning right we pass a service reservoir and come to the main road. Here we turn right back into Thornton-le-Dale.


Easy flat walk. Some paths from visitor centre suitable for disabled and wheelchair users. 7.5 miles using OS OL27 map.


Thornton-le-dale – North Yorkshire


From York take the A64 towards Scarborough and then take the A169 to Pickering. At Pickering roundabout turn right onto the A170 towards Scarborough and Thornton Dale is about 2.5 miles.

Toilets and Refreshments

Toilets are in Thornton-le-Dale car park and at the visitors centre in Dalby Forest. Shops, Cafes, tea rooms, bakeries and pubs in Thornton-le-Dale. Gift shop, restaurant and picnic/barbeque table areas in Dalby Forest visitors centre.

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