UKH

Cold Moor and Urra Moor Walking

Cold Moor is a long, broad ridge running from north to south in the Cleveland Hills, at the northwestern edge of the North York Moors. The approach from Chop Gate - ensuring that at least half your day can be spent debating whether it's pronounced Chop Gate or Chop Yat - gives a long, gentle ascent, at first along a green lane, then on to open moorland. Industrial Teesside and its more green and pleasant surroundings can be seen from the summit. The path shared by the Cleveland Way, Coast to Coast and Lyke Wake Walk is then followed, via the sandstone pinnacles of the Wainstones, to Urra Moor and the highest point in the Moors - Round Hill. Heather-covered ancient burial mounds, or tumuli, can be seen beside the path in several places, and you can expect to see one or two red grouse.

The Wainstones  © Chris Scaife
The Wainstones
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Detailed description

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SE5588999335 From the car park, head north through the village, as far as the war memorial. Now turn left onto the Raisdale Road, then immediately right on Cold Moor Lane, passing the Wesleyan chapel. This can be quite an atmospheric green lane, with the trees leaning in and meeting overhead, and crumbly sandstone exposed at various points on both sides. Where the green lane comes to an end, continue uphill on the obvious path, with a drystone wall on the right and open, heathery, bracken-strewn grouse moor on the left. The path forks after a short distance, but both branches stay close together and eventually unite. Keep heading north on the obvious track to rise steadily on this broad ridge, to reach Three Howes.

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NZ5522201830 Surrounded by the unassuming mounds of tumuli, this spot makes quite a viewpoint. The distinctive half-dome of Roseberry Topping and the jagged, gnarly Wainstones can be seen to the north, the quiet valley of Raisdale to the west, the expansive grouse moorland of Snilesworth Moor in the south; and more or less due east, the highest point in the North York Moors - Round Hill on Urra Moor. Continue northwards on Cold Moor, ignoring the bridleway that branches off to the right before the top. The 402m summit is one of a line of hills that marks the northwestern edge of the North York Moors National Park, and from which it is possible to see a great distance across the lowlands to the north.

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NZ5506103462 The path from east to west across these hills is shared by the Cleveland Way, Coast to Coast and Lyke Wake Walk, and there are several small hollows just north of the path that can be used to shelter from the wind if needed. Turn right and follow the well-maintained path down into Garfit Gap, and then up to the Wainstones. This is one of the most popular crags in the Moors, with prominent features including the Needle, the Steeple and Sphinx Rock. A very easy scramble past the crag leads onto a flat hilltop. Down to the left, not visible from the path, is another fine sandstone crag, known as Raven's Scar. Stay on the obvious path to descend to the east, and cross the road at Clay Bank.

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NZ5727803322 Across the road, head uphill on the Cleveland Way, signposted towards Bloworth Crossing. The gradient eases after passing through a gate, with gnarled, wind-battered larch trees to the left. A bridleway forks off to the right here. Stay on the Cleveland Way, heading up to Round Hill. The name of the highest point in the North York Moors is not exactly flattering, but it's hard to deny that it is an accurate description. A large Bronze Age round barrow, with a more modern trig point, marks the summit. The best way to reach the top is by staying on the Cleveland Way as far as the Hand Stone - an 18th century guidepost with a faint carving of a hand pointing towards Stokesley - and then take the small grassy path to the left.

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NZ5942001585 Now return westwards a short distance, then take the broad bridleway to the left, downhill into Bilsdale. After passing a line of grouse butts, the main track curves off to the left, but continue straight ahead, downhill, on a grassy path. Earthworks are soon reached and there are several paths leading off to the sides, but keep going straight ahead, downhill on the bridleway. At Bilsdale Hall, follow the minor road down to the B1257. There is now a pavement to follow back to the car park.

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