45. Roseberry Topping
Meeting Point: Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum, 101 High St, Great Ayton, Middlesbrough, TS9 6NB
This stage of the forays into Yorkshire takes us to a starting point in Great Ayton, before we cross the River Leven at Little Ayton. We follow a path across fields, and then into Easby Wood, passing near to the old Ayton mines. Our walk winds around the hillside above the river and back around into Ayton Banks Wood.
From here, we head to Captain Cook’s Monument out on Easby Moor. Erected in 1827, it stands 18 metres high in memory of the famous circumnavigator.
We carry on over the moor back into woodland, before looping round to the much-climbed Roseberry Topping. Visible from miles, it is perhaps the best-known hill on the North York Moors. Its distinctive cone-shaped summit with a jagged cliff has drawn comparisons with the much higher Matterhorn in the Swiss-Italian Alps.
Dropping down from its 320 metre summit, we head back to the starting point at Great Ayton. A super stage of The Big Smile, packed with spectacular viewpoints, geological interest, and an abundance of wildlife.
Distance: 21.3 km (13.24 miles)
Difficulty Rating: ★★★☆☆
Sponsored By: S G Petch Darlington