Route: Hutton-le-Hole to Lastingham

Area: North Yorkshire

Date of walk: 19th September 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.1 miles

Ascent: 700 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies

We last followed this route over 2 years ago, and a return visit was long overdue. On the previous occasion we’d started in Lastingham. Today we chose to start in the moorland village of Hutton-le-Hole, described by the Victorians as ‘an ill-planned and untidy village’. Today it’s regarded as one of the most attractive in the county, and is home to the Ryedale Folk Museum. We parked in the car park at the rear of The Crown, where the fee is £3, but it’s free if you dine there, something to be factored in when planning this walk

We turned left out of the car park, and after a few yards turned left again to follow a path around the village bowling green, and then into open countryside. After a short distance we arrived at Spaunton Moor and followed a path around its southern edge. There was a hint of purple in the landscape, but the heather had largely gone over by now

After an enjoyable moorland walk, we arrived above Lastingham and descended into the unspoilt village. We made a slight detour in order to visit St Mary’s Church. Simon Jenkins, author of England’s Thousand Best Churches, calls the Norman crypt of the church ‘one of England’s special places’. It lays claim to be the oldest Norman crypt in the world, and has not been altered since the time of William the Conqueror. This was a very worthwhile detour. The Blacksmiths Arms is opposite the church. It was a hot day, we were thirsty and so another short and very worthwhile detour was made

Suitably refreshed we climbed out of Lastingham and followed the lane through nearby Spaunton, where the sheep appear to outnumber the residents. Beyond the village we followed a path across the fields, with big views over the surrounding countryside. Eventually we arrived at Austin Head, and from here we descended back into Hutton-le-Hole to end a highly enjoyable walk 

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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