North York Moors CAM

Sunday 19th March 2000

Today's walk: Hutton-le-Hole - Ana Cross - Lastingham (8 miles)


 

Today's walk starts at the car park in the picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole (Grid Ref: 705 902)

Hutton-le-Hole lies in the small valley of Hutton Beck which flows down from the heather covered moorlands. The traditional stone cottages are built around a large green with white wooden fences and divided by the beck. Moorland sheep graze the verges throughout the year keeping the grass in immaculate condition

Unfortunately for traditionalists, in recent years Hutton-le-Hole has become a very popular tourist attraction - this has led to the village school, old shop and post office becoming shops and cafes mainly aimed at visitors - farming in the village has almost been taken over by tourism. Even today, in mid-March, there were hundreds of visitors and the car park was almost full

One attraction I do recommend is the Ryedale Folk Museum which is situated in the centre of the village

 

From the car park turn right and uphill on the road that leads from the village - after about a hundred yards turn left at the public footpath sign - soon after, leave the green path where it forks and follow the wider but slightly rougher track up to the right - don't worry if you miss the turn because the two paths eventually meet up further on

Here we look west across the little valley of Hutton Beck over to Barmoor Lodge and the road junction that turns off to Gillamoor

 

Follow this track, steadily gaining height, until you reach the access road to Spaunton Lodge. Turn left and follow the road, ignoring the first path off to the right - at the private road sign, bear off right across a stone covered culvert and follow the track straight ahead and dead north over Hutton Ridge

 

After about a further of a mile we reach a junction near this cairn (Grid Ref: 705 932) - turn right and follow a good track which as you can see winds its way north-eastwards across Spaunton Moor for the next mile or so . . .

 

. . . crossing this little ford over Loskey Beck . . .

 

. . . and a bit further on looking south down another small tributary valley of the beck

Soon we reach the road from Hutton-le-Hole to Rosedale - turn left and follow it north for the next mile or so - keep to the wide grass verges as this normally quiet road can become quite busy on weekends and in summer

When you reach the top of Chimney Bank I recommend continuing for a short distance down to the 'lay-by' at the first bend and having a wander about to enjoy the splendid views and a bit of history . . .

 

Rosedale is steeped in history and in one particular period, between the late 19th and early 20th century, the discovery of ironstone brought about a dramatic change to the existing farming community

Here, near the top of Chimney Bank, we see some of the old calcifying kilns - there still remains much evidence of this once thriving industry and on another day we will go on a superb walk and look in more detail at this part of Rosedale's past

 

From just below the kilns we look north-west up Rosedale . . .

 

. . . and north across the farmland down in the valley

The village of Rosedale Abbey lies hidden from this viewpoint at the bottom of Chimney Bank - I would normally recommend a visit to the village to anyone but not on today's walk - Chimney Bank is long and st-e-e-e-ep whether you're walking up or down it and if you want tackle it in on this walk you're a 'tougher cookie' than me!

Today we return a couple of hundred yards back up to the top of the hill and turn left, taking the track heading south-east across Spaunton Moor towards . . .

 

. . . Ana Cross

(Grid Ref: 724 938)

More than 3 metres tall, Ana (Ainhowe) Cross is the tallest, and considered by some, the finest, of the 37 crosses on the North York Moors. At one time, Ana Cross stood almost 8 metres high but over the years, faced with the battering gales that can sweep across these moors, has toppled over on several occasions - in fact, it has only just recently been restored in the last couple of years

 

Today it is a welcome resting place for walkers

 

From Ana Cross we follow a narrow path south across Spaunton Moor and then continue along a wider track for a couple of miles until . . .

 

. . . the pretty village of Lastingham comes into view - continue down the road into the village and at the junction turn right

 

Today, in the mild weather, we sat outside the Blacksmith's Arms and enjoyed a pint!

 

Straight opposite the pub is the church of St Mary

Built in 1078, the church occupies the site of a Celtic monastery founded by St Cedd in AD 654 and contains one of the few apsidal crypts in England

Leave Lastingham by following the road past the pub and then west towards Hutton-le-Hole

 

After about a mile we look north from the road across to Bainwood Head Farm with Hutton Ridge beyond

Just past this point we leave the road on the left and follow the signed footpath along the edge of a wood then over a small footbridge before crossing a couple of meadows and arriving back in . . .

 

. . . the village of Hutton-le-Hole

 


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