Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales. Jonathan has written his own book, the Dales 30 which details the highest mountains in the Dales. He also runs one-day navigation courses for beginners and intermediates. Join his Learn a Skill, Climb a Hill weekends in the Dales. To find out more details on any of the above visit his website,

THE walk starts at Hutton-le-Hole, one of the most attractive villages in the North York Moors. From here it takes to a scarp before dropping to another pleasant village Lastingham, the return is via the moors past the finely named Fairy Call Beck.

Hutton-le-Hole is three miles north of Kirkbymoorside and there is a large car park at its other end. Conde Naste voted the village as one of the 20 most attractive villages in the UK recently and, although I take these surveys with a pinch of salt, I would not disagree with this one. What I like most is its spaciousness, there are places to walk, dawdle and sit without buildings seemingly on top of you. In addition, the Ryedale Folk Museum is excellent and worth spending time before or after the walk.

Walk to the south of the village and turn left in to some pleasant woodland. Avoid the more obvious path heading south parallel to the road and head on the footpath leading away from the road, through some woods and then

on a short climb through some fields.

After the climb the path meets a small area of forestry, do not go in but take the lane to your right, heading east and gradually up hill. Follow the lane for one mile to Grange Farm, meet a road and with a quick right then left enter the hamlet of Spaunton. The lane has good views to your right but the moors to the north are blocked off by the heights of Riccal Head.

As the road leaves Spaunton in drops gently to a T-junction, there is a path signed opposite and a little to the right. This is the best way of entering Lastingham, it initially enters an area of woodland before opens out with good views across the village to the moors beyond. Lastingham is an attractive village with places to stop for a cuppa but is probably best well known for the fine Church of St Marys complete with war memorial, clock tower, Norman architecture and crypt. The village was less scenic in times past as a centre for corn mill production. From the church continue east through the village before turning left up a dead end road heading directly for the moors, past the Lastingham Grange Country House.

At a junction of paths, just beyond the road end turn sharply left/west. Drop down to a small stream and then climb alongside a wall which soon bends back towards the quiet road linking Lastingham with Hutton-le-Hole. Turn right and walk along the road for 300 metres to a footpath on your right heading in to the moors.

The path climbs a little above Fairy Call Beck, but you have to arrive at the moor road and turn left to enjoy the stream to its full. Leave the road (it is access land) and walk for a little alongside the stream before returning to the road and back to Hutton-le-Hole.

If you would like to extend the walk turn right at the road at Fairy Call Beck and climb for a quarter of a mile before leaving the road

to your right and soon arriving at the fine viewpoint of Spaunton Knowl.

Fact box:

Distance: Roughly 5.5 miles.

Height to Climb: 150m (490 feet)

Start: SE 704902. There is a large pay and display car park

Difficulty: Easy/Medium. This is a generally easy walk with a little climbing between the villages.

Refreshments: The Crown at Hutton-le-Hole is lovely and there are cafes in the village.

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 OL26) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. 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.