Roseberry Topping from Great Ayton station walk

Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Captain Cook gained his spirit of adventure by exploring Roseberry Topping © National Archives of Canada

Captain Cook gained his spirit of adventure by exploring Roseberry Topping

Enjoy panoramic views from the summit of Roseberry Topping © Gareth Wilson

Enjoy panoramic views from the summit of Roseberry Topping

Little is known about Roseberry's distinctive folly © Gareth Wilson

Little is known about Roseberry's distinctive folly

Bluebells produce a stunning carpet of colour in May © Gareth Wilson

Bluebells produce a stunning carpet of colour in May

Listen for the drumming of the great spotted woodpecker © northeastwilldlifephotography.co.uk

Listen for the drumming of the great spotted woodpecker

Route overview

Leave the car behind on this walk starting at Great Ayton station, taking in many of the features that make Roseberry Topping so special. Discover fascinating history, fabulous wildlife and the 360 degree panoramic views that can be enjoyed from the summit.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Great Ayton Station walk map, Roseberry Topping
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Great Ayton station, grid ref: NZ574107

  1. Turn right on leaving the station and follow the road, taking care for traffic.

  2. Turn left at White House Farm and follow the road uphill to Airy Holme Farm.

  3. Go through the farmyard. Turn right at the end of the yard to continue on the track.

    Show/HideThe Captain Cook connection

    As a boy James Cook worked as a farm hand at Airy Holme Farm and regularly climbed Roseberry Topping to enjoy the spectacular views across the Cleveland plain and beyond. These early exploits are said to have given him the appetite for adventure that was to lead him to become an explorer.

    Captain Cook gained his spirit of adventure by exploring Roseberry Topping © National Archives of Canada
  4. After 765yds (700m) turn left onto a footpath. Cross a stile and continue towards Roseberry Topping.

  5. At the top of the field cross another stile. Continue forward onto a stone pitched path that leads to the summit.

    Show/HideEnjoy the view

    The panoramic views from Roseberry's summit take in the contrasting landscapes of the area. From the flat arable land of the Cleveland plane to the rugged wilderness of the North York Moors to the industrial heartland at Teesmouth.

    Enjoy panoramic views from the summit of Roseberry Topping © Gareth Wilson
  6. Retrace your steps back down to the stile. Do not cross the stile, but turn right and follow the fence line down. Go through the gate and follow the path through the field to the right of the folly.

    Show/HideThe mystery of the folly

    The origins of the folly to the south-west of Roseberry are something of a mystery. Most historians believe it was built as a summer house where Victorian walkers could rest rather than as a shooting box, as the plaque suggests.

    Little is known about Roseberry's distinctive folly © Gareth Wilson
  7. Go through the gate into Newton Wood. Turn left and follow the path along the top edge of the wood.

    Show/HideBluebells

    Newton Wood is probably the best example of a bluebell wood in the area. These beautiful woodland flowers are a real British speciality and are at their best in May.

    Bluebells produce a stunning carpet of colour in May © Gareth Wilson
  8. After passing through a clearing bear left where the path forks.

  9. Go right at the T junction and follow the path down through the woods.

  10. Where the path leaves the wood, turn left onto a wide track and continue for 55yds (50m).

  11. Take the left hand fork at the National Trust sign. Continue straight on into Cliff Ridge Wood, sticking to the right when the path forks again.

    Show/HideWoodland birds

    Why not bring along some binoculars to spot some of the wildlife that lives in the woods. Both green and great spotted woodpeckers can be seen as well as many other woodland species.

    Listen for the drumming of the great spotted woodpecker © northeastwilldlifephotography.co.uk
  12. At the end of the path leave the wood through a kissing gate. Follow the path on the right hand side of the fence across the field. Cross the stile and turn right on the road. Retrace your steps back to the car park.

End: Great Ayton station, grid ref: NZ574107

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)
  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Explorer 26
  • Terrain:

    This walk follows paths and tracks that can get muddy, especially in winter. The walk is quite hilly and the ascent of Roseberry Topping is particularly steep. Dogs welcome.

  • How to get here:

    By foot and train: This walk starts from Great Ayton station, 1 mile (1.6km) from village centre

    By bus: Arriva 29 and 81/781 to Great Ayton

    By car: Parking in Great Ayton High Street. Postcode for Sat Nav: TS9 6BW

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