An 11-mile round-trip taking in some of the wildest and most remote scenery that the North Yorkshire Moors has to offer. Rosedale Abbey is the start and end point, and there are some charming pubs and tea shops to recuperate in at the end of this route. However, don’t expect to find the abbey anywhere as it has long since been plundered to build most of the charming cottages and homes which make up the contemporary village.

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Starting point


We headed out of Rosedale Abbey at about 10:00 having been a little delayed by the collapsed road on the way into the village. Initially we headed up the lower part of Rosedale Chimney bank marked by the distinctive 1:3 gradient sign on the Pickering road.

We soon left the Chimney Bank before it got steep at The White Horse Farm Inn to join a farm track bridleway. After a short treck along this farm track we took a right hand well signposted turn to climb onto the moor just before a farm where the track ends. We opted for the low route next to the dry stone wall.


Following a long but gentle slog across the low moor with Hartoft in the distance, we happened upon a plaque describing Rosedale’s history in the iron ore industry – this is next to some run-down shepherd’s huts labelled Abraham’s Huts on the OS26/7 maps.


The rest of the route up to lunch took us onto the top of the high moor of the Spaunton Estate.


Naturally it started to rain on us at the most exposed point on the moortop, so we descended into Lastingham for a well-deserved lunch stop by the stream of this charming village with quite a history.


Following lunch we took a look around St Mary’s Church in Lastingham which conceals a Norman Crypt in the mound on which it stands.


Inside the church, one can descend into this museum like crypt which has been beautifully preserved. It’s like a ‘church within a church’.


After a tour around the church it was starting to get a little bit cold (as predicted by the weather forecast) so we headed back onto the high Spaunton moor at pace to try and warm up. A long bleak gentle climb took us up to Ana Cross.


We only stopped at the cross for a minute as the weather was really drawing in, with high winds and an icy rain. We marched on towards Rosedale Chimney bank to descend back into the village for some refreshments in a café.


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