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Looking north to Whitestone Cliff
Looking north to Whitestone Cliff

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Route No 264 - Wednesday 3 September 2008
White Horse Bank, Sutton Bank, Hambleton Inn, Oldstead Road circuit - 9km
Hambleton Hills, North York Moors. . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base
View the route in Google Earth

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


A harrow parked under the trees
A harrow parked under the trees

My neighbour,Jim, and I drove just a few miles to a tiny car park at the bottom of White Horse Bank near Kilburn (map ref. SE514806)

As usual the weather forecast was dire - more rain for as far ahead as they were prepared to forecast. But there was a short break in the rain with broken cloud this morning.

Setting out along the access road towards Acre House
Setting out along the access road towards Acre House

Path through the woods below Roulston Scar
Path through the woods below Roulston Scar

We followed the bridleway that runs along the farm road. Beyond the turn to Acre House farm the road became a track and after a few hundred metres it became a path through the woods

From the car park we turned right back down the hill, the way we had come. After about 20m we turned right off the road on to a tarmac farm access road.

Japanese water balsam by the path
Japanese water balsam by the path

Crinkly edged bracket fungus (possibly plicatua crispa)
Crinkly edged bracket fungus (possibly plicatua crispa)

At map ref. SE507813 where we turned right to follow the bridleway on a narrow path up the hillside through the trees.

At map ref. SE508811 the path joined a forest track with a stoney surface but we only had to walk on this for about 200m.

Path climbing up to Roulston Scar
Path climbing up to Roulston Scar

Path climbing up to Roulston Scar
Path climbing up to Roulston Scar

Then we turned left to follow a path that climbed steeply up the last part of the climb to the path on Roulston Scar around the glider airfield. The route climbs 180m from the car park to the path on Roulston Scar.

After climbing along this path for about 600m we reached another forest track at map ref. SE512817. At the track we turned right to walk along the track for just a few metres.

Tow plane landing at Sutton Bank glider field
Tow plane landing at Sutton Bank glider field

Looking back south west to Roulston Scar
Looking back south west to Roulston Scar

Looking north to Whitestone Cliff
Looking north to Whitestone Cliff

All the way there is an amazing view out across the Vale of Mowbray to the hills of the Yorkshire dales but these were hidden in the mist and low cloud today.

We walked along the path around the edge of the escarpment for about 1.5km to the visitor centre at Sutton Bank.

Footbridge over Cleave Dike east of Sutton Bank visitor centre
Footbridge over Cleave Dike east of Sutton Bank visitor centre

Sutton Bank Visitor Centre
Sutton Bank Visitor Centre

Path from Sutton Bank to Hambleton House
Path from Sutton Bank to Hambleton House

At the road we turned right to walk along the lane to the Hambleton Inn. On the way we met a long string of race horses heading towards Hambleton House. One or two were a bit skitish and we kept well into the side as they went by.

We stopped at the visitor centre for a coffee, just behind a coach load of ladies from Driffield who were out on a mystery tour. We eventually got our coffee and continued on our way. We took a path from the visitor centre car park at map ref.SE516830 and followed it through the woodland for about 1km to emerge onto a lane at map ref. SE523833 near Hambleton House.

String of race horses on their morning exercise
String of race horses on their morning exercise

After the harvest (I took this same shot last time I walked here)
After the harvest (I took this same shot last time I walked here)

The Hambleton Inn
The Hambleton Inn

After about 700m the road turned south west and continued straight on along an even narrower lane.

About 200m along the A170 from the Hambleton Inn we turned left at map ref. SE521829 to walk along a narrow road heading south (it's actually the top of the road up White Horse Bank).

The lane heading down towards Oldstead
The lane heading down towards Oldstead

Looking south east from the track down towards Oldstead
Looking south east from the track down towards Oldstead

A female Speckled Wood butterfly
A female Speckled Wood butterfly (the males are more orangey)

Looking north east from the track down towards Oldstead
Looking north east from the track down towards Oldstead

The lane heading down towards Oldstead
The lane heading down towards Oldstead

The whole route had been 9km and had taken us just over three hours to walk including our stops. We arrived back home just after 1.00pm and by half-past one the persistent rain had returned.

We walked along this lane for around 2km down the hill until we met the Kilburn to Oldstead road at map ref. SE522804. Here we turned right to follow the road back to White Horse Bank and our starting point.

Common toad flax in the hedgerow
Common toad flax in the hedgerow

Seat in a hedgerow bower by the road side
Seat in a hedgerow bower by the road side

The White Horse near Kilburn
The White Horse near Kilburn