Cleveland Way Circular Walk - Great Ayton
This lovely circular walk from Great Ayton uses public footpaths and a section of the Cleveland Way to take you to two of the highlights of the area. On the route you'll visit Captain Cook's Monument before a climb to the wonderful Roseberry Topping for magnificent views over the North York Moors. It's a 7 mile hike with woodland trails, moderate climbing, heather moors and splendid views throughout.
The walk starts in the village of Great Ayton in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, on the edge of the North York Moors. The village is notable as the boyhood home of Captain James Cook, the British explorer and navigator with many notable local landmarks to in the area.
From the village centre you head north east toward Rye Hill before passing through Slacks Quarry. You then head south past the pretty Larners Lake and Great Ayton train station which makes an alternative start point for the walk.
The next stage takes you past Round Hill before climbing to Captain Cook's Monument. The structure is an obelisk 60 ft (18 m) high in memory of the great British explorer. It's from here you pick up the Cleveland Way and follow it north across Great Ayton Moor where there's pretty heather and woodland trails. The trail eventually bends round to climb the summit of Roseberry Topping. The distinctive hill has a summit with a symbolic half-cone shape and jagged cliff, which has been likened to the Matterhorn in Switzerland. From the summit there are wonderful views of the Cleveland plain and the Pennines on a clear day.
After taking in the views the route descends through Newton Wood before returning to the village.
To continue your walking along the Cleveland Way, head north east through Hutton Lowcross Woods to the popular Guisborough Forest and Walkway.
For more circular walks along the trail try the splendid Great Ayton Circular Walk, the Sutton Bank and the Kilburn White Horse Walk, the Osmotherley Circular Walk or the Wainstones Walk.