Five of the best walks in the North York Moors

Check out these circular trails in the western area of the North York Moors National Park. They are all between 10 and 12 miles long and will take 4-5 hours to complete. The walks include visits to some of the region’s most beautiful places such as the Esk Valley, Farndale, Rosedale Abbey and Hutton-le-Hole.

The western area of the North York Moors National Park

One Ordnance Survey map covers these classic North York Moors routes

The best map to use is the Ordnance Survey map of the North York Moors Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL26, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

RECOMMENDED MAP
Standard Ordnance Survey map of the North York Moors Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL26, scale 1:25,000.
Buy now on Amazon
View all Ordnance Survey maps

RECOMMENDED MAP
Weatherproof Active Ordnance Survey map of the North York Moors Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL26, scale 1:25,000.
Buy now on Amazon
View all Ordnance Survey maps


Walk 1 – Guisborough Woods and Highcliffe Nab

South-east from Slapewath towards Spa Wood, then south-west along the Cleveland Way to Highcliff Nab. South across Gisborough Moor to Percy Cross Rigg, then north-west across Hutton Moor to Hutton Lowcross Woods. Through the woods to Hutton Village Road and east to Brown Hill, before heading back to the start via Belmangate and the disused railway line. An 11-mile walk in the North York Moors.

Old Park Farm as seen from the Cleveland Way
Highcliffe Nab
The track across Percy Cross Rigg towards Hutton Moor and Hutton Lowcross Woods

Walk 2 – Commondale and Danby

South-east from Commondale to Castleton via Foul Green and Box Hall, then east along the Esk Valley Walk to Danby. South through Ainthorpe and up onto Ainthorpe Rigg before dropping into Danby Dale to join a minor road near Church House. North-west through the dale, again following the Esk Valley Walk, to High Castleton, then back to Commondale by way of Scale Foot and Thornhill Farm. A 10-mile walk in the North York Moors.

Llamas on Foul Green Farm
The Esk Valley Railway between Commondale and Castleton
Esk Dale as seen from Low Coombs Farm just south of Ainthorpe

RECOMMENDED MAP CASE
Aquapac Kaituna waterproof map case, reference 808. Ideal for keeping Ordnance Survey maps clean, dry and always at hand.
Buy now on Amazon
View all map cases


Walk 3 – Osmotherley and Over Silton

South from Square Corner to the top of Black Hambleton, then south-east along the Cleveland Way to White Gill Head. Further south for 1½ miles before leaving the Cleveland Way and heading generally west to Kepwick between Butcher’s Wood and Cowesby Wood. North-west across farmland to Nether Silton and Over Silton, then up through woodland to Hanging Stone. Finally north-east through Thimbleby Bank Plantation to Big Wood and east by way of Oak Dale back to the starting point. An 11-mile walk in the North York Moors.

The view north-west from Square Corner over Oak Dale and Osmotherley
The Cleveland Way heading south over Black Hambleton
Church of St Mary’s just outside Over Silton

Walk 4 – Farndale and Low Mill

West out of Church Houses to Monket House and uphill to join Westside Road, a track which crosses Rudland Rigg. South for three miles until the stone track becomes a tarmac road just before Hope Inn Farm, then east across Harland Moor and through woodland to Dale End Bridge. North through the dale to Rawson Syke and along Daleside Road to Low Mill. The last section of the trail follows the ‘Farndale Daffodil Walk’ alongside the River Dove to High Mill and back to Church Houses. An 11-mile walk in the North York Moors.

Westside Road (Track) across Rudland Rigg
The view west across the Farndale valley with Rudland Rigg on the horizon
The Daffy Caffy at High Mill

RECOMMENDED TORCH
Nebo NE6822 Redline 6000 lumens flashlight. Perfect for walking in the dark. Waterproof, rechargeable and extremely bright.
Buy now on Amazon
View all Nebo torches


Walk 5 – Rosedale Abbey and Hutton-le-Hole

South from Rosedale Abbey along Gill Lane, then south-east to Hollins Farm and around the eastern perimeter of Spaunton Moor, generally following the course of the River Seven. After High Askew, west across farmland through Lastingham and all the way to Hutton-le-Hole. North from the village across Hutton Ridge to High Snapes and lastly north-east back to Rosedale Abbey by way of Bank Top and Chimney Bank Cottages. A 12-mile walk in the North York Moors.

Great views of Rosedale from the White Horse Farm Inn beer garden
The village of Lastingham viewed from the grounds of St Mary’s Church
The Church of St Mary & St Lawrence in Rosedale Abbey

Look at these walking guides

Three very good paperbacks from the Amazon Cicerone store. There are many others to choose from. Although I make up my own walking routes, I regularly look at these guides for inspiration.

RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. North and East Walks. Howgills, Mallerstang, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Coverdale and Nidderdale.
Buy now on Amazon
View all Cicerone guidebooks

RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. South and West Walks. Wharfedale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale.
Buy now on Amazon
View all Cicerone guidebooks

RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
The North York Moors. 50 walks in the North York Moors National Park. Includes the Lyke Wake Walk.
Buy now on Amazon
View all Cicerone guidebooks