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Looking across Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake
Looking across Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake

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Route No. 512 - Thursday 18 July 2013
Sutton Bank, Roulston Scar, Hood Grange,
Gormire Lake, Cleveland Way circuit - 9km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


Roulston Scar seen from the Cleveland Way at Sutton Bank
Roulston Scar seen from the Cleveland Way at Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank Visitor Centre
Sutton Bank Visitor Centre

Crossing the A170 at the top of Sutton Bank
Crossing the A170 at the top of Sutton Bank

From the car park we crossed the main road (A170) at the top of Sutton Bank and followed the Cleveland way path around the edge of the escarpment towards Roulston Scar around the edge of the airfield used by the Yorkshire Gliding Club.

The gorgeous summer weather just goes on and on. It's too hot to drive far or to walk too far, so this morning my mate, Jim, and I drove just a few kilometers to the North York Moors Visitor Centre at the top of Sutton Bank, map ref. SE516830. (It's a pay & display car park)

Wild flower meadow at the visitor centre
Wild flower meadow at the visitor centre

Roulston Scar seen from the Cleveland Way at Sutton Bank
Roulston Scar seen from the Cleveland Way at Sutton Bank

Control Tower at the Yorkshire Gliding Club airfield on Roulston Scar
Control Tower at the Yorkshire Gliding Club airfield on Roulston Scar

Small tortoise shell butterfly by the path
Small tortoise shell butterfly by the path

Steep path down the escarpment
Steep path down the escarpment

Turning on to the bridleway down the escarpment
Turning on to the bridleway down the escarpment

It's a long time, quite a few years in fact since I last walked this path and it was a very pleasant surprise to find that the rough path through the undergrowth has been upgraded into a gravel path about 1.2m wide. We followed this path down to a broad forest road at the bottom of the slope at map ref. SE507813. At this forest road we turned right to follow the stony road for 500m (keeping left at the fork) to map ref. SE505818.

After 1.2km, at map ref. SE514818, there is a path off to the right going down the steep face of the hillside. We followed this path for about 250m through the woodland, down the slope to a forest track running around the contour of the hill. At this track, just a few metres to the right, there is a bridleway continuing down the hillside.

Our turning off the Cleveland Way
Our turning off the Cleveland Way

Turning on to the bridleway down the escarpment
Turning on to the bridleway down the escarpment

The bridleway down the escarpment
The bridleway down the escarpment

Turning at the bottom of the slope where the bridleway joined a stony forest access road
Turning at the bottom of the slope where the bridleway joined a stony forest access road

Wooded slopes of Sutton Bank
Wooded slopes of Sutton Bank

Approaching the bend where we turn off the forest road
Approaching the bend where we turn off the forest road

The path down to Hood Grange
The path down to Hood Grange

Gate on to the farm access road at Hood Grange
Gate on to the farm access road at Hood Grange

Crossing the A170 to the farm access road opposite
Crossing the A170 to the farm access road opposite

Here the path turned left inside a fence along a stream at the back of the farm. The path then turned right to cross the stream on a footbridge and continued for a few metres to join the farm access road via a pedestrian gate. We turned left and followed the farm access road out to the main road (A170). We crossed the main road and took a public bridleway up the tarmaced farm access road to High Cleaves a few metres to the left.

At this forest road we turned right to follow the stony road for 500m (keeping left at the fork) to map ref. SE505818. Here the forest road bends to the left and on the outside of the bend is a footpath, marked by a finger post. We followed this path dropping down from the edge of the forest road for a few metres to the edge of the woodland. The path then led us along the field edge to Hood Grange farm.

Our turning off the forest access road
Our turning off the forest access road

Footbridge over the stream at Hood Grange
Footbridge over the stream at Hood Grange

Cattle by the access road at Hood Grange
Cattle by the access road at Hood Grange

Bridleway along the farm access road to High Cleaves
Bridleway along the farm access road to High Cleaves

Cattle at Hood Grange farm
Cattle at Hood Grange farm

Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves
Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves

Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves
Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves

We turned right to follow a public footpath down the slope . . .
We turned right to follow a public footpath down the slope . . .

Path through the woods towards Gormire Lake
Path through the woods towards Gormire Lake

We followed this track for about 400m passing through two sets of gates along the way until we reached map ref. SE499831. Here the bridleway continued straight ahead but we turned right to follow a public footpath down the slope along the edge of the field to a stile at the bottom of the slope. We crossed the stile into some woodland and followed the path to the left and then right to climb up the wooded hillside. After about 200m we reached the top of the slope where there was a wooden finger post indicating the way along the path to Gormire Lake.

We walked along this access road for about 200m and here the access road turned sharp left, but we turned sharp right along a farm track for about 30m. Here the farm track turned sharp left but just before the turn in the track we turned left off the farm track to follow the bridleway through a pedestrian gate and along the edge of a field for about 250m. to map ref. SE501827. Here the bridleway went through a wooden field gate and turned left along a fenced grassy track.

Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves
Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves

Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves
Following the bridleway to by-pass High Cleaves

. . . along the edge of the field to a stile at the bottom of the slope
. . . along the edge of the field to a stile at the bottom of the slope

Wooden finger post on the path to Gormire Lake
Wooden finger post on the path to Gormire Lake

Meadow Brown butterfly by the path
Meadow Brown butterfly by the path

Ringlet butterfly on a fence rail by the path
Ringlet butterfly on a fence rail by the path

Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake
Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake

Start of the permissive path around Gormire Lake
Start of the permissive path around Gormire Lake

Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake
Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake

Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake
Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake

There was a sign warning that it could be the dreaded 'blue-green' algae and any contact should be avoided. We sat in the shade on the lake edge for a drink and just to enjoy this lovely place. We continued around the lake edge until we were roughly opposite our starting point at map ref. SE504832.

The lake is in a bowl in the hillside below Whitestone Cliff and we followed the path down into the bowl until we met the permissive path around the lake at map ref. SE502830. Here we turned sharp left almost doubling back to follow the path along the edge of the lake. The long hot spell had encouraged the growth of a thick layer of green algae over the whole lake.

Taking a break on the lakeside
Taking a break on the lakeside

The permissive path around Gormire Lake
The permissive path around Gormire Lake

Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake
Gormire Lake from the permissive path around the lake

Large bracket fungus on a birch tree
Large bracket fungus on a birch tree

Gormire Lake from the public footpath on the south side of the lake
Gormire Lake from the public footpath on the south side of the lake

A beech tree that fell over many years ago and then just kept on growing
A beech tree that fell over many years ago and then just kept on growing

A last look at Gormire Lake as we began the climb away from the lake
A last look at Gormire Lake as we began the climb away from the lake

Permissive path straight up the hillside away from the lake
Permissive path straight up the hillside away from the lake

Finger post where we joined the path through South Wood
Finger post where we joined the path through South Wood

A dog rose, much too pretty for such a name!
A dog rose, much too pretty for such a name!

Array of wild flowers on marshy land by the path
Array of wild flowers on marshy land by the path

Track up the hillside towards the Cleveland Way
Track up the hillside towards the Cleveland Way

There's a feint path straight ahead for about 100m to a sunken track climbing up the hillside, but we turned right and followed a path along the fence line for a little over 100m to a point where the sunken track made a bend out almost to the boundary. We joined the track here and followed it up the long steep climb to the top edge of the woodland at map ref. SE506839.

Here there is a permissive path straight up the hillside away from the lake to join the public footpath coming down from the visitor centre. After about 120m, at this footpath we turned left to follow the footpath through the woodland called South Wood. This very pretty woodland is a nature reserve and we followed the path through it for almost 500m to a stile over a dilapidated wooden fence.

About to turn left on the path through South Wood
About to turn left on the path through South Wood

Wild honeysuckle by the path
Wild honeysuckle by the path

Path through South Wood
Path through South Wood

Track up the hillside towards the Cleveland Way
Track up the hillside towards the Cleveland Way

Track near the top of the climb up to the Cleveland Way
Track near the top of the climb up to the Cleveland Way

Joining the Cleveland Way at the top of the climb
Joining the Cleveland Way at the top of the climb

Lovely blue harebells by the path
Lovely blue harebells by the path

Viewing platform near Sutton Bank
Viewing platform near Sutton Bank

We stopped in the cafe there for a large coffee and a bacon sandwich, a very pleasant end to our walk. The whole route had been 9km and it had taken us over four hours to walk including our break by the lake. The climb from the lake up to the Cleveland Way is around 160m.

Here we turned right to join the Cleveland way route. There was a lovely view from the Cleveland way but the hills of the Yorkshire dales that are normally visible away to the west were lost in the heat haze today. After about 1.4km along the Cleveland Way we came back to the Sutton Bank Visitor Centre and the end of our walk.

Looking north from the Cleveland way near the top of our climb
Looking north from the Cleveland way near the top of our climb

Approaching Sutton Bank along the Cleveland Way
Approaching Sutton Bank along the Cleveland Way

Sculpture at Sutton Bank Visitor Centre
Sculpture at Sutton Bank Visitor Centre

Gormire Lake covered in green algae seen from the top of Whitestone Cliff on the Cleveland Way
Gormire Lake covered in green algae seen from the top of Whitestone Cliff on the Cleveland Way

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