There is much of interest to explore and see as well as the impressive views across the Vale of York.
The 89 bus leaves Osmotherley at 8.50am or 12.30pm on its way to Stokesley (do check the times however and not Sunday) and arrives in the small village of Carlton in Cleveland after 20 minutes.
Head south east along the road towards the higher land and after a gradual start climb steeply to Carlton Bank. At a sharp road bend to the left, as it reaches its highest point, join a signposted track directly ahead on to the open hillside. The path meets a second track after 200m, turn right and climb steeply. You are now on the Cleveland Way/Coast to Coast long distance routes but reversing their normal route.
From here there is a 90m climb to the summit of Carlton Bank, marked by a trig point. At over 400 metres the summit area offers views across Teesside that are far reaching. Clearly looking over an urban sprawl is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is interesting none the less. To the south lies a small gliding station. The path makes its way through bracken for the next three quarters of a mile before turning towards the west and starting to drop. The views are now across countryside and are excellent. The path continues for a further mile dropping steadily apart from one small hillock before arriving at some trees.
Follow a forestry track west and downhill for a further 200m before exiting the woods and meeting another path.
Turn left and follow the line of the trees till it meets a minor road. Take to the road south for 200m past some houses on your right before leaving the road at a Cleveland Way signpost and continuing along a track heading south west. This enters some woodland and bends right and heads north west. Follow the forest track for half a mile before turning south west for a further half mile to meet a second road at Scarth Nick. This is one of the drover’s roads which head through the moors, the name itself derived from Old Norse meaning ‘cleft’ or ‘notch’.
Cross the road and climb steadily west on a good track through open countryside for three quarters a mile until it reaches the western escarpment of the North York Moors with views over the Vale of York.
The track divides, the quickest route to Osmotherley is by taking the left fork but I advise the right one which passes a trig point and remains for half a mile above the tree line. The path does re-enter the trees for a short while but soon emerges on open pasture before turning left and finishing with a short climb and entering Osmotherley at it northern end.
It is possible to reverse this walk getting the bus to Osmotherley and returning on foot to Carlton.
* Fact Box:
Distance: Roughly nine miles
Height to Climb: 580m (1,900 feet)
Start: SE 456972. The 89 bus leaves from the centre of Osmotherley
Difficulty: Medium/Hard. This is an undulating walk but always sticks to good tracks.
Refreshments: Osmotherley has a choice of 3 good pubs.
Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer 26) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk). You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk.
* Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales:
He has published three books on walks in the Dales; ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’, ‘The Dales 30’ mountains and the New ‘Walks without Stiles’ book.
All are available direct from the Where2walk website.
Book a Navigation Training day in Long Preston, near Settle (Beginners or ‘Compass & Contours’) Dates and further information are available on the website.
Where2walk.co.uk also features hundreds of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.