North York Moors Walks
Spaunton Moor & Ana Cross
Date: 21st Jan 2012
Distance: 8.4 miles
Ascent: 720 feet
Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SE704901
A grand stride across Spaunton Moor visiting the 10ft high Ana Cross as well as the two attractive villages of Hutton-le-Hole and Lastingham.
Route Summary: Hutton-le-Hole - Hutton Ridge - Bank Top - Ana Cross - Lastingham Ridge - Lastingham - Hutton-le-Hole
1. The grassy path leading on to Hutton Ridge
2. For a while we followed the access road to Spaunton Lodge
3. Looking across Spaunton Moor to Ana Cross on the skyline
4. Dave looking down into Rosedale from Bank Top
5. The kilns on Rosedale Bank Top
6. Ana Cross
7. By Ana Cross
8. After the blue sky another rain cloud moves in
9. The Norman crypt below St. Mary's Church, Lastingham
10. A pleasant woodland path
11. Riccal Heads, one of the Tabular Hills
12. The attractive village of Hutton-le-Hole
Walk Detail: Conscious that I'd barely been to the North York Moors over the last few years I'd been flicking through some walking guides seeking inspiration for a some walks I could do there this year. When I came across this route I fancied it so much that I made it the very next walk I did.
Starting from the attractive village of Hutton-le-Hole the first half of the walk, all the way to Bank Top above Rosedale, was a supremely easy stride on a good mixture of moorland paths, tracks and minor roads. Shortly after setting off from the village the strong winds began to blow the early morning cloud away and it began to brighten up nicely.
Unfortunately by the time we reached Bank Top more cloudy conditions had returned. This was a shame because Bank Top had some quite excellent views down into Rosedale, my first sighting of what looks like a supremely beautiful valley. Although the wind hadn't been as fierce as I expected it was blowing bitterly cold on Bank Top so we took shelter in the nearby kilns and ate an early lunch.
In the short distance from Bank Top to Ana Cross we endured a short, fierce shower. We could see brighter weather approaching from the west so we huddled down in the heather and waited a few minutes so we could get some pictures of Ana Cross in the sunshine. It was an impressive object though not the original but a more modern replacement.
From Ana Cross it was an extremely easy descent off the moor to Lastingham where we inspected the Norman era crypt, dedicated to St.Cedd, below St. Mary's Church. Rather than following the road all the way back to Hutton-le Hole hal way along we took a slightly longer but more attractive route via a nice woodland path and across a few fields.
Somewhat unusually for me there was no hill or moorland summit to bag during the course of this walk. The aim was mainly to visit Ana Cross. While the latter was undoubtedly a highlight the views of Rosedale and the lovely villages of Hutton-le-Hole and Lastingham also made this a worthwhile excursion. Certainly, on the basis of this walk, I will definitely try and do some more walking in the North York Moors this year, and I must remember to go there when the heather is in bloom.