Taking in a popular section of the splendid Cleveland Way long distance walk, this taster (nine miles long though!) takes in moors, woodland, fields, and outstanding views.

Being one of the popular one way walks (using the local bus service) enhances the enjoyment.

The 89 bus leaves Osmotherley at 8.55am or 12.30pm on its way to Stokesley (do check the times however) and takes 20 minutes to arrive at the small village of Carlton in Cleveland.

Head south east along the road towards the hills and after a gradual start climb steeply to Carlton Bank. At a bend in the road as it reaches its highest point follow the track directly ahead on to 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.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Moors near Carlton

From here there is a 300m climb to the summit of Carlton Bank, marked by a trig point. At over 400m the summit area offers views across Teesside that are far reaching and interesting, although I do prefer countryside to a vast urban sprawl. To the south lies the old 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.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Carlton to Osmotherley walk map

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 until 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 the woods again and bends north west. Follow this farm track for half a mile before turning south west for a further half mile to meet a second road at Scarth Nick. It is an ancient drovers road through the moors, the name derived from Old Norse meaning ‘cleft’ or ‘notch’.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Gliding Station at Carlton Bank

Cross the road and climb steadily west on a good track for three quarters of 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 before entering Osmotherley at it northern fringes.

Walk facts:

Distance: Roughly nine miles.

Height to climb: 580m (1,900 feet).

Start: SE 456972. Park in Osmotherley and get the 89 bus from the centre.

Difficulty: Medium/hard. This is an undulating walk but always sticks to good tracks.

Refreshments: Osmotherley has a choice of three 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.

Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

  • Jonathan Smith is the owner of Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales. He has written three books on walking in the Dales, The Yorkshire 3 Peaks, The Dales 30 mountains and Walks without Stiles. All these books (and more) are available direct from the Where2walk website. Book a navigation (map and compass skills) training day near Settle or a bespoke day for a private group. The next available date is Sunday, May 4. Join our “Dales 30 Weekenders” in Hawes and Sedbergh. Where2walk.co.uk also features hundreds of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.