4. SB Walk 4 Limey Landscapes - Nettle Dale and the Hambleton Hills: Sutton Bank to Nettle Dale via Cold Kirby Village Nettle Dale back to Sutton Bank via Limestone Escarpment of the Hambleton Hills
This is a varied landscape and interesting walk of 9 miles and allow 6 hours with stops.
The Hambleton House to Cold Kirby section forms part of "Walk 46 Scawton and Cold Kirby" in "Walks on the North York Moors" Book Two by Jack Keighley
Sept. 2007: Leaving the Sutton Bank centre with its interesting sculptures, you cross the ancient Cleave Dyke via a footbridge and head of left through the woods.
After walking between the varied woodland on the purple heather lined path, you pass through Hambleton Plantation and Hotel Plantation until you arrive at the farm at Hambleton House and racing stables.
After walking east from Hambleton House you head north onto Cote Moor Road (part of Cleveland Way) en route to Cold Kirby. The path is through open farmland and hedgerows, which in September, still held a few wild flowers.
There are distant views of the heather clad moorland in the Bilsdale direction.
Eventually pass down the wide tree lined lane into the quiet, small, but attractive village of Cold Kirby.
Cold Kirby is essentially a one, wide street village with a number of attractive stone houses, most of which have a lovely flower garden. You can tell it is medieval in origin, just on the OS map and look for the narrow strips of land emanating at 90o from the village road.
The little 'pseudo-medieval' gem of St Michael's Church, Cold Kirby. It was built in 1841 on the site of the original 12th century medieval church, but its still a lovely little church in its rural village setting and the design has a medieval feel to it.
Some authentic early Norman? windows have been built high on the tower of St Michael's Church and inside is the original Norman font with a relatively modern wooden cover. PLEASE leave a donation to help with the upkeep of this beautiful old church.
The interior and chancel arch of St Michael's Church, Cold Kirby. Beneath the purple semi-circular chancel arch, the stones look as if they might be the original Norman stones?
Looking up the tree lined street of Cold Kirby village and out from the village over to the eastern farmland.
Last view of St Michael's Church as you head east down the stony track of Low Field Lane (below) on the Cleveland Way with views over the farmland to distant North York Moors.
Eventually you briefly enter the bottom eastern end of Flassen Dale and Callister Wood before heading north-west into upper Nettle Dale and through the forestry plantations. At the T junction in Callister you can take a ¼ mile deviation down the Cleveland Way to look at the fish ponds created by the monks of Rievaulx Abbey.
The first of the fish ponds built by the monks of Rievaulx Abbey in the 12th century. (For more views of a Rievaulx Abbey and walks see the Helmsley area section). Then back up the Cleveland Way to head north-west through upper Nettle Dale.
After Nettle Dale you turn north to head for Wethercote Lane along a track with sweeping open views of grain crops and the distant moorlands of North Yorkshire. The farmers must have so grateful for this good September weather after the awful July-August of the 2007 English summer!
Wethercote Lane is broad and was probably an old drove road for cattle.
Looking east down Wethercote Lane. In medieval times, many of the present day fields were used for grazing sheep, a major source of income for the 12th century monasteries like the nearby Rievaulx Abbey and Byland abbey.
At the next T junction you meet the Cleveland-Hambleton Road, used for centuries as a drove road to move cattle from Scotland to markets in Malton and York, and even further on to London and the south of England. Huge herds of sheep and pigs and turkeys were also herded around down these semi-green roads. You go over the old drove road in a westerly direction, straight on past fields of grain on the Hambleton Mosses to reach the edge of the Hambleton Hills.
The top of the limestone escarpment above Boltby Scar, looking west to the Yorkshire Dales and north along the Hambleton Hills.
From now, all the way back to Sutton Bank the path follows the edge of the cliffs and you get stunning views e.g. looking west from the top of Boltby Scar across the Vale of York to the Yorkshire Dales (far distance) and the most western part of the Hambleton Hills (far right).
A Spruce tree blown in a westerly direction at the edge of the limestone escarpment. At Hill Fort Windypits the path goes through a clearly identifiable ancient defensive or boundary marking dyke dug at 90o to the path.
Just south of the Hill Fort Windypits is a flat grassy knoll of a tumulus - an ancient bronze age burial mound (500 to 1500 BC, i.e. 2500 - 3500 years old!), so the remains of this high status citizen looks out over the Vale of York.
The rich agricultural land below the Vale of York and the outline of distant hills of the Yorkshire Dales and Pennines.
From the escarpment path, the views of, and from, the impressive White Stone Cliff (or White Mare Crag).
After passing by Whitestone Cliff you get the first views of the glacial in origin, Lake Gormire and then through a small wood of mainly silver birch and a few oak trees, after which the views of Lake Gormire return.
Just before returning to the Sutton Bank National Park visitor centre your last views are of the impressive cliffs of Roulston Scar (in the distant left of the picture, see Walk 1) and the end of an excellent and varied walk.
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