On a clear day, Sutton Bank offers spectacular views over North Yorkshire. This truly is James Herriot Country or, if you prefer, Yorkshire Vet stomping ground. We will meet in the car park directly below the White Horse, starting our walk through woodland. After crossing the infamous A170 Sutton Bank road, we will head towards Gormire Lake.
We are told that Gormire was formed over 20,000 years ago by glacial erosion. It is claimed to be the fourth largest natural lake in Yorkshire and was designated as an SSSI in 1954. This area was further enlarged in 1985 to incorporate Garbutt Wood, which we will pass through. Gormire is popular with wild swimmers (despite the myth that it is bottomless), ranking as one of the top 20 wild swimming lakes in Britain.
From the shores of Gormire we will continue to head towards Thirlby, the village where Alf Wright, the real James Herriot, lived and brought up his family. From there, we will turn right and head up through South Woods to join the Cleveland Way.
Sutton Bank National Park Centre
Following the Cleveland Way along the edge of the escarpment, we will head towards the visitor centre. Much is on offer, from the cafe to the shop, bike hire, cycle trails and everything in between.
Crossing back over the A170 at the top of Sutton Bank, we will head alongside the Gliding Club towards Roulston Scar and stand on top of the famous White Horse of Kilburn. We will then descend to the car park, as we return to the starting point.
Thomas Taylor, who originated in Kilburn, designed and financed The White Horse in 1957. He saw the chalk figures in the South of England, while working in London. He persuaded the local schoolmaster, John Hodgson and 31 volunteers to cut the figure on the hillside. They then deposited 6 tons of lime on the grey rocks beneath, to whiten it. During World War ll the horse had to be covered to stop it becoming a German bomber target.
Maggie, Julie and Martin
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