I have lived in the North York Moors area most of my life and have walked extensively on the eastern half, we are so fortunate to have so much walking that I never feel the need. This Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend I decided to change that by walking up Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook's monument.
As the kids were both at Scout camp my wife joined me. We parked at a little car park just off the road that bisects Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook's monument and set off up the hill to the top of the moor. After 10 minutes we were back on flat ground walking along the top of the escarpment that was mined for ironstone many years ago. It was busy with walkers and bikers all out enjoying the Spring sun which is great to see, no couch potatoes here!
This path eventually joins the Cleveland way before descending to farmland and eventually taking you up the gentle zig-zag path that leads to the summit of Roseberry Topping. It was very windy at the top so we did not hang around, taking the descent path off the eastern side back down into farmland which would once have been an industrial landscape when the mining operations were in full swing.
The path from here turns south to a farm and after a short road section goes into woodland full of bluebells all reaching up to the warm sun. From here we turn south again along tree covered lanes and field paths full of lambs to arrive at Great Ayton. Be warned this paths ends abruptly at a busy road.
Turn left here and after a right hand corner a village green is seen ahead with a pub on the right where we stopped for a quick half. The Buck Hotel was a welcome stop even if it had no Yorkshire craft ale only Cumberland, shame on you!
From here retrace your steps and turn right towards Little Ayton, carry on along this quiet road and take the left turn before the bridge, this road is a dead end and ends at a farm with a cafe. Follow the clear Bridleway and footpath signs through the farm and along lovely farm tracks to cross the railway, and into a woodland. The path through this woodland is hard to follow as many other paths have been made by cyclist and motorcyclists, as long as you generally head uphill and eagerly you will hit a dry stone wall at the top with a wide bridleway following the contour of the hill. Turn left here until you reach a crossroads, take the right turn up a very steep wooded slope. After a short ascent you top out on a scrubby plateau with views south, eventually you exit the scrub to open moorland and see Captain Cook's monument ahead. From this summit magnificent views are to be had in all directions including Roseberry Topping.
Head from the monument towards Roseberry Topping on a paved path which descends down gently through woodland to your starting point.
A great walk of about 7 miles with excellent views and a beer stop, but be warned if you like to walk where no-one else does go very early to beat the crowds.
The path up Roseberry Topping on the Cleveland Way
The trig pillar and summit of Roseberry Topping
The view north from Roseberry Topping