North Yorks Moors Walk - Coxwold
Enjoy a peaceful walk through gentle countryside with sweeping views. Terry Fletcher is your guide
Coxwold is a clear contender for the title of one of Yorkshire’s bonniest villages. From the 15th century church of St Michael, where an impressive sign declares Coxwold the winner of the title of Best Kept Village, the main street drops past the Faucongberg Arms and mellow cottages and grander houses set against a backdrop of rolling fields and woodland.
This walk, sandwiched between the North York Moors and the Howardian Hills, takes in four delightful villages and some gentle countryside with sweeping views of the Vale of York and the escarpment of the moors around the White Horse.
Walk downhill from the church to the crossroads and turn right towards Easingwold. An old railway signal box marks the end of the village and after another 200 yards, take a footpath on the left to High Leys. Cross a bridge to enter a large field. Turn right and follow the hedge to a footbridge in the far corner.
Cross it and turn left, following a high hedge to a gate at the top of the field. This leads into another large pasture which is left by a very discreet stile skulking in the upper hedge by the top right hand corner. Head rightwards uphill to the top corner where a stile leads onto a farm track.
Turn right for 150 yards to where the track becomes enclosed. Here take a bridleway on the right to Beacon Banks and Husthwaite, passing along the edge of a wood and crossing two large fields. Where the wood ends, vast views open up and the path passes the OS trig point and continues along the same line to reach a road.
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Turn right into Husthwaite and then left along Main Street. Immediately after the church take a footpath on the right. It curls round behind cottages before heading away downhill across the fields to reach a lane.
Turn left and after about half a mile, immediately after the White Horse Riding School, take a bridleway on the right which heads for a tree in the middle of the field. Continue into another field where the path becomes clearer for a while. In the corner of a third field the path cuts through a hedge before climbing to the right of the farmhouse of Angram Grange.
Take the farm track on the right of the buildings and follow it to the road. Cross straight over and follow the right hand boundary across two fields. Where the main track bends sharp right continue straight on up a slight hill into the trees. Curl rightwards between farm buildings and then left along a signed footpath by a barn to leave the farm via a gate and broad track that sweeps to the right heading towards the White Horse.
The track deteriorates before apparently ending at a gate. Carry on following the right hand boundary for 100 yards until it is possible to cross the beck by a broad gate and turn immediately left, now following the opposite bank through more fields and across a farm track. At the end of the next field turn left through a gate and immediately right, still following the beck and the occasional reassuring yellow waymark. The path eventually emerges onto a road which is followed leftwards into Kilburn.
From the square by the pub enter the churchyard and take the clear path through a white gate and up the hill towards High Kilburn. At the road turn left and follow it through the village and on to a sharp left hand bend where we take the public footpath to the right, passing a barn with a distinctive curlew weathervane.
Go through the gate and turn left to follow the field edge. Cross the stile in the field corner and turn right through trees until it emerges on a lane. Turn right along this quiet by-way past Fox Folly Farm. After another 200 yards at a right hand bend two tracks leave the road. Take the left hand one and climb a hidden stile to enter the field. Follow the right hand hedge until a footbridge leads through it. Follow the right edge of the new field, cross another footbridge to a gap in the hedge in front where a three pointed signpost signals the route leftwards to Coxwold.
About three quarters of the way along the field a signpost hidden in the undergrowth points the way rightwards to Coxwold, climbing the hill past a solitary tree. t the fence on the hilltop the tower of Coxwold church comes into view. Carry on in the same line crossing a stile and the untracked Town Pastures to reach the road by Shandy Hall, former home of Laurence Sterne who wrote his classic Tristram Shandy there.
Distance: 8.5 miles/13.5km
Time: 4-5 hours
Map: OS Landranger 100 Malton and Pickering
Terrain: Mostly farm tracks, field paths and country lanes. Sharp eyes needed to spot some signs and stiles
Refreshments: Pubs in Coxwold, Husthwaite and Kilburn