North York Moors Walk - The White Horse at Kilburn and the Cleveland Way
- Credit: Welcome to Yorkshire
Andy Chaplin guides us on a walk that takes in some of the county’s most loved landscapes
Author and vet James Herriot's views on the views from Sutton Bank were clear - he considered them the finest in England. This walk, which follows parts of the Cleveland Way is one that takes in the best of them. It starts from the free Forestry Commission parking just below the White Horse at Kilburn - it is also possible to start from Sutton Bank National Park Centre above Sutton Bank if the car parks around 'the horse' are full.
From the car park climb up the steps at the side of the horse - it's a steep start. Continue along the top and follow the path below and at the side of Yorkshire Glider Club - gliders have been taking off here since 1933. The view off the cliffs to the left are spectacular and you may see gliders taking off or landing on the field to your right.
Past the club, take the path on the right signposted Cleveland Way to Hambleton, follow it through the trees, cross the A170 and walk along the road past the no longer open Hambleton Inn. Staying on the Cleveland Way, turn left off the road and follow the track towards Hambleton House. The path turns off right, in front of the house and keeps to the right of the horse-exercising track. There is a left turn after the exercising field and a right turn onto the Cote Moor Road track.
At the road turn right into Cold Kirby, a pretty village and farming community where the most likley traffic you'll see are tractors. Take the left hand road at the fork before St Michael Church, which has origins dating back to the 12th century. Turn left on the bridleway that passes through Ailred Barn. Keep going through the buildings, through a couple of gates then straight on over the fields. This and the next bridleway, after crossing Back Lane, are clearly visible. Carry on and cross Wethercote Lane.
As you approach the woods in front of you keep over to the fence on the right and you will pick up the path that descends down through pretty Murton Wood. It can be muddy and slippery as the track descends down to and then crosses Limperdale and Sledhill Gills - a lovely place to explore in the autumn as the leaves turn to russetts and golds. Going up the other side it is a track - half way up you can choose to stay on the farm track or take the bridleway - they merge again shortly afterwards.
Carry on along the track then join the road - still going towards Murton Grange. At the junction with Peak Scar Road take the bridleway on the other side that leads down Peak Scar Gill, a limestone crag formed in the early 18th Century when a land slip created the steep sided gorge. Take a moment to enjoy the views to the right into Ryedale, with Hawnby Hill and the Bilsdale transmitter clearly in view. When you cross the gill the track doubles back up the opposite side and when it comes out of the wood and starts to turn north westwards take the bridleway that goes sharply uphill, off on the left.
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Going uphill you pass a ruined cottage and can then see the buildings at Noddle End. There are grouse feeding paths along the hill crest to your right - ignore these and head for the Noddle End buildings. The bridleway then continues as a green farm track alongside the wall on your left until Gowerdale Wood - off on your right - comes to an end and you reach a gate that marks the start of open country. Continue straight on with the wall still on your left and you come to the information board about Sneck Yate.
Go straight over the Hambleton Street track on the Cleveland Way to High Paradise. Past the house/tearooms take the road downhill then follow the Cleveland Way sign off on the left as the road bends to the right. Go down then up and through the end of Boltby Forest then cross Sneck Yate Bank road.
The Cleveland Way path to Sutton Bank is clearly marked all the way with great views from Boltby Scar, Whitestone Cliff and Sutton Brow. As you get closer to Sutton Bank the path is split between walking and bike-riding which makes it easy going. Cross the A170 at Sutton Bank and continue along the path signed to the White Horse. Shortly afterwards you are back on the path you had started on - and have a better view of Ivy Scar as you approach it this time - and only have the knee-jarring descent to the car parking remaining in order to complete the walk. u