This week our route of the week comes courtesy of the British Horse Society.
Distance: 95km (60miles)
Time: 4 days (fit horse and rider)
Ordnance Survey maps: OS Explorer Map OL26 and OL27
Parking:(please note that charges may apply) Horse Boxes: North section – Kirkby House Farm (Judith: tel 01642 711008). South section – Carlton Grange (tel 01439 770259)
Toilets & refreshments:Black Swan, Kirkby; Lord Stones Cafe, Carlton in Cleveland; pubs in Osmotherly; Gold cup Inn, Nether Silton; The Inn, Hawnby; the Plough, Fadmore; Feversham Arms, Church Houses).
This circular route takes in the North York Moors, Dales and Forests enabling horse riders, off road cyclists and walkers to enjoy this unique and picturesque landscape. The route mostly follows public bridleways, unsurfaced roads and forestry tracks. There are some sections on minor roads which generally have light traffic but may be busy at weekends and bank holidays. The route can be ridden in any direction, starting at any point you find convenient and it provides some challenging riding over beautiful terrain of the North York Moors with some steep climbs.
Points of interest on the route include an interesting and rare four faced sundial (dated 1800) set on a high plinth in the garden wall beyond the Royal Oak pub in Gillamoor; many panoramic views; a disused railway line that highlights the industrial heritage of the area, where iron ore from the mines in Rosedale was carried over the high moorland to join the mainline at Battersby Junction, then onwards to the blast furnaces of Middlesborough between 1861 and 1926; views across to Roseberry Topping and a monument to sea fearing explorer Captain James Cook who was born and went to school in the village of Great Ayton, near to the route.
For those of you who have an interest in flora and fauna, we would recommend you consider taking the Atlay Bank Bridleway option on the approach to Kepwick during May and June as this area is renowned for its wild rhododendrons at this time of year!
Please note that on the most northerly boundary of the ride (GR530035) hang gliders and paragliders are often seen when the winds are favourable on the edge of the escarpment close to the bridleway. The route has two alternative routes marked should you wish to avoid riding past this area.
Being a circular route you can start your ride/walk/cycle from several places including the Black Swan pub in Kirkby-in-Cleveland, Appleton-le-Moors, Helmsley, Swainby or Kepwick. For a detailed route description that begins at the Black Swan in Kirkby – please visit the Emagin website.