Jo’s Monday walk : A Stokesley Circular

Looking towards Roseberry Topping on the Yorkshire Moors

Looking towards Roseberry Topping

Stokesley is an attractive market town, situated on the River Leven, on the northern edge of the Yorkshire Moors.  It also has the advantage of being surrounded by a flat bit of terrain, so it was greeted with delight as our last walk of the year by my walking group.  The fact that we were ending at a garden centre, with coffee and cake, influenced nobody. (honestly!)

Life can’t be total perfection so we were advised to anticipate a little mud.  And we found some! But not too much. Come along and see.

The fields are just a little bit muddy

The fields are just a little bit muddy

We parked at Strikes Garden Centre, a mile or so from Stokesley.  Walking towards the town, we took the first ‘public footpath’ sign on the left, and crossed the field towards the farmhouse above.  The path swings off to the right and follows a little stream all the way in to Stokesley.

It might be a nice place to live, with that lovely backdrop

It might be a nice place to live, with that lovely backdrop

But, of course, you'd have to like farming!

But, of course, you’d have to like farming

I'm much better at walking!

And I much prefer walking!

Stokesley was granted a charter to hold fairs by Henry III, as far back as 1223.  To this day a weekly market takes place on The Plain, the main square, every Friday, and on the first Saturday of each month there’s a Farmer’s Market too.  Tying in with the Agricultural Show, a four day fair takes place each September, and spans the full length of the High St.

The stream leads us towards Stokesley

The stream will lead you towards Stokesley

At this point we duck down underneath a road bridge.  Careful- it’s a bit slippery!  There was a hard frost the night before and there’s still a little evidence on some of the leaves.

The path curves to the right and in a little while you’re passing between cottages and out onto Levenside.  There is always a flurry of ducks hereabouts on the River Leven.  Sorry guys- no bread today!  We’re eating cake.

Follow the river around to your left and you come to the Pack Horse Bridge, which dates back to the 17th century.

The Pack Horse Bridge and a couple of walkers

The Pack Horse Bridge and a couple of walkers

There are several bridges close together at this point.  Any one of them will take you across the Leven and into the High St., where gracious Georgian buildings are part of a pleasing blend of architecture.  The oldest building in town, the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, has a medieval tower and chancel.  It contains some woodwork carved by the locally famed Mouseman of Kilburn.  His Visitor Centre at Kilburn is not too far away.

Meanwhile, Christmas has come to Stokesley.  But I didn’t see a tree in the main square!

Our steps begin to quicken as we realise that we’re now on the home straight.  Taking the right hand option at the junction, in no time Strikes Garden Centre is back in sight.  I’ll leave the walkers to queue in the cafe while I show you a few of the Christmas sights.  Lots of trees in here!

But you can almost certainly guess who my favourite is

Bet you can guess who my favourite is?

Just one more Monday walk and it’ll be Christmas!  I’ve no idea where we might wander next week, but I hope you’ll keep me company?  If you’re too busy, I’ll understand.  As the sign says, ‘Tis the season to be jolly!’

walking logo

I also hope you’ll make time to visit these wonderful walks this week.  Get that kettle on and we’ll take a stroll together, without leaving our armchairs.  If you’d like to join in, details are on my Jo’s Monday walks page, or click on the logo above.  Very many thanks to all my contributors.

Drake’s getting festive in lovely Strasbourg this week  :

Cool impression through cold walk

And Amy has a message, beautifully shared  :

Egret on the lake

When Jude mentioned Clovelly I thought we were in Devon.  So wrong!  :

Clovelly Beach to Bondi

Sue’s taken me to a city I’ve always wanted to see.  Brownie points to Sue, but I’ll skip breakfast!

Spain- Bilbao, the Basque Country, with eels and sherry for breakfast

Meg, meanwhile, has given me a glimpse of a Newcastle in Australia.  No sign at all of ‘fog on the Tyne’.

Visiting an old friend

Thanks a lot for sharing, everybody.  I so enjoy it!  Have a happy, healthy, walking week!


  1. This was a lovely post, Jo! filled with adventures and exciting photographs to study and feel like we traveled around to special places with your being our wonderful guide! Thanks for this and hope you have a merry and festive holiday season, Jo!


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