Let's Walk the North York Moors – Western Area


Walking in the North York Moors Western Area

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Let's Walk
The North York Moors
Western Area

ISBN 9781898550174

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Bounded by Bilsdale and Ryedale to the east, the western area of the North York Moors National Park incorporates the plateaux of the Cleveland Hills and the Hambleton Hills, which rise dramatically to form an imposing natural boundary.

These spectacular hills extend from the White Horse of Kilburn to Roseberry Topping, and they trace the boundary of the moors throughout their entire length. The Cleveland Way, which begins in Helmsley, traverses these lofty ridges en route to the North Sea coastline at Saltburn. The trail showcases many miles of spectacular scenery with good firm walking underfoot. The two ranges merge near Osmotherley, and one can easily distinguish the variance in their respective characters.

To the south, the Hambleton Hills follow a broad, undulating ridge that supports arable farming almost to the summit. The landscape comprises large fields and scattered settlements, with woodland covering much of the lower escarpment. The ecclesiastical ruins of Rievaulx and Byland Abbeys share the south-east corner with the ancient market town of Helmsley and its mighty castle. However, one of the best-known locations in this range of hills is probably Sutton Bank, which James Herriot, Yorkshire’s most famous vet, described as ‘the finest view in England’. This impressive panorama overlooks Gormire Lake, one of Yorkshire’s three natural lakes, and long-distance views extend westward across the Vales of York and Mowbray.

Meanwhile, heading north, the Cleveland Hills rise much more abruptly to individual summits, transitioning into wilder, heather-covered moorland. The Clevelands embrace some of the highest hills in the North York Moors, rising to 1490 feet (454m) at Round Hill on Urra Moor, the highest point within the National Park.

In addition to foresty plantations on the lower slopes, the Cleveland Hills bear scars of an industrial past from the large-scale mining of alum, jet and ironstone. In the nineteenth century, Cleveland produced one-third of the UK’s ironstone, which led to the rapid growth of Middlesbrough and established the Teesside iron and steel industry. Although nature has helped to reduce the scars left behind by this exploitation, many relics from that era remain of interest to industrial archaeologists.

This personal guide incorporates:

Full-colour maps with numbered arrow pointers for each of the walks.

Route directions with grid references beside each map to aid navigation.

Background information for each walk.

Illustrated with 33 colour photographs of prominent features seen during the walks.

Walks in the North York Moors
Western Area

The White Horse and Scotch Corner 7.5
Shandy Hall and Byland Abbey 7.75
Hawnby Hill 8.25
Paradise and Boltby Forest 6.5
Rievaulx Abbey and Old Byland 6.5
Oak Dale and the Silton Forest 7.3
Scugdale and Carlton Moor 6.75
Raisdale and Bilsdale West Moor 7.5
Bilsdale and the Roppa Crosses 6.1
The Wainstones and Urra Moor 8
The distances are in miles

Sample pages of walks featured in the books can be viewed and printed out from The Walks page.


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