Sutton Bank and the Kilburn White Horse Walk
This challenging circular walk in the North York Moors visits the Kilburn White Horse, the lovely Gormire Lake and the scar at Sutton Bank. It's one of the premium walks in the park and a must see if you are in the area.
You start at the car park which sits just under the white horse and pick up the Cleveland Way to take you to the 978 ft (298 m) summit of Sutton Bank. The hill is a high point in the Hambleton Hills and commands splendid views over the North York Moors, the Vale of York and the Vale of Mowbray. At the summit you will find the fascinating Sutton Bank National Park Centre where you can find out how the dramatic landscape was formed in the ice age. From the viewing platform there are views of Roulston Scar, Hood Hill and Lake Gormire. There's a handy view indicator which displays all the landmarks you can see. Also look for gliders setting off from the top of the hill on fine days.
From the summit you descend through woodland to Gormire Lake, passing the striking Whitestone Cliff as you go. You continue through the countryside before a final woodland section through the Hoodhill Field Plantation returns you to the car park.
The area is also great for mountain biking. The North York Moors National Park Authority has created a green, blue and red trail. These are all waymarked and start from the Sutton Bank National Park Centre where you can hire bikes.
Our Hambleton Hills Walk starts from the Kilburn White Horse and is a great way of extending your walking in this lovely area.
Just to the south east you can also visit the splendid Byland Abbey. The 12th century abbey includes extensive ruins and wonderful brightly coloured medieval floor tiles.
PostcodeYO7 2EY - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Sutton Bank and the Kilburn White Horse Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Sutton Bank and the Kilburn White Horse Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Sutton Bank and the Kilburn White Horse OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Sutton Bank and the Kilburn White Horse Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The visitor centre houses a nice cafe which is ideal for refreshments after your walk. There's also interesting exhibitions and a comprehensive gift shop.
Another nice option is to head to nearby Oldstead and pay a visit to the noteworthy Black Swan. This fine restaurant has a Michelin Star and was awarded The Best Restaurant in the UK 2018 by The Food and Travel Magazine and the ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the World’ by TripAdvisor, in 2017. The inn is housed in a fine looking 16th-century building with a nice garden area outside. They also do high quality accommodation if you need to stay over. You can find the inn about half a mile south east of the White Horse in Oldstead with a postcode of YO61 4BL for your sat navs.
The Black Swan, with pretty Cherry Blossom in the garden area:
The area is great for dog walking with lots of nice woodland trails to explore. There are also water bowls provided at the visitor centre.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just a few miles north east of the site you will find Rievaulx Abbey. The abbey is well worth a visit if you have time after your walk. Here you can explore the ruins of the former Cistercian abbey before continuing to the beautiful Rievaulx Terrace. These 18th-century landscape gardens contain woodland, grass banks, wildflower meadows and two temples. It's another major highight of the area and makes for an easy stroll after the more challenging climb.
Head a few miles south and you could pay a visit to the worthy little village of Coxwold on the edge of the Howardian Hills. The village is notable as the location where the author Laurence Sterne wrote the well known novel 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy'. You can learn about his life and works at the museum at Shandy Hall, where he wrote some of his most famous novels during the 18th century. In the village you can pick up the circular Coxwold Walk which visits Newburgh Priory and Shandy Hall before heading to Byland Abbey. The priory is another historic highlight of the area dating back to 1145. The grounds are a lovely place for a stroll with a water garden, hand crafted topiary, a walled garden, woodland and a large lake.
For more walking ideas in the area see the North York Moors Walks page.