The area around Sutton Bank and the White Horse makes for a very enjoyable circular walk. However it takes a bit of planning. This walk includes the White Horse, Gormire Lake and superb views across the Vale Of York.
There are many things that drew me towards this walk but a fascination with seeing the White Horse was probably the major one. The White Horse, carved from the underlying sandstone rock, was built in 1857. There are a number of such landmarks carved in to the rolling countryside of Britain but this is the largest. It is 318 feet long, 220 feet high and was constructed by a schoolteacher and his children. It sits in a field on the slopes above Kilburn and under the escarpment.
In addition the views from the escarpment are superb, across the Vale of York and beyond in to the Yorkshire Dales. No less an expert as James Herriott described it as the best view in England. The small fishing lake at Gormire is also a pleasant surprise. Coupled with a variety of woodland walking it all combines to make this one of the most popular places to walk in the Yorkshire Moors. I had decided that I wanted to see all the main Sutton Bank sites in one go and that is the walk which is described. However it is very easy to chop sections off the walk and either wander along the scar, visit the White Horse or enjoy a peaceful walk round the lake.
Avoid Sutton Bank parking to start the walk. This is mainly to avoid starting a walk at the highest point.
Sutton Bank and the White Horse is a great walk to discover all the detail on an O/S map. In particular finding the White Horse is challenging. Then make sure you follow the correct path through the woods. It meets the right of way at 509815.
Finally look at the closeness of the contours near Gormire Lake as it climbs to the escarpment edge. The closeness suggests a steep climb.
If you have time I would strongly recommend an extension over Hood Hill, fewer people, great views, ancient remains. Magical.
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