Lastingham to Hutton-le-Hole

Follow this route from the ancient site of St Cedd’s monastery to the attractive village of Hutton-le-Hole.




4.5 miles (7.2kms)

462ft (141m)

About the walk

'In high and isolated hills, more fitted as a place of robbers and the haunt of wild animals than somewhere fit for men to live.'

So wrote the 8th-century historian Bede about Lastingham, which he had visited. This was where St Cedd, Bishop of the East Saxons and once a monk from Lindisfarne, founded his monastery in ad 654, and where he died in ad 664. Although nothing survives of his church, Lastingham remains a holy place, not least in the ancient and impressive crypt beneath the Norman church. This was built in 1078, when the monastery was refounded after destruction in Danish raids in the 9th century.

Leaving Lastingham, the walk quickly reaches the single village street of Spaunton. Lined with cottages and farmhouses from the 17th century onwards, it seems typical of many villages on the North York Moors. But Spaunton has hidden secrets: the fields surrounding it are set out on a Roman pattern, and at the beginning of the 19th century a Roman burial was found near the village. Excavations some 60 years later also unearthed the foundations of a very large medieval hall, which indicated that Spaunton was once a large and important village, owned by St Mary’s Abbey in York. When the estate was sold in the 16th century, the new landowners constituted a special court for the manor, grandly called the Court Leet and Court Baron with View of Frankpledge, which still meets to deal with the rights of those who can graze animals on the commons.

Reckoned by many people to be one of the prettiest of North Yorkshire’s villages, Hutton-le-Hole clusters around an irregular green and along the banks of the Hutton Beck. The village has an old Meeting House and a long association with the Society of Friends. One Quaker inhabitant, John Richard, was a friend of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. He spent much time preaching in America; it is said he rode more than 3,726 miles (5,995km) and acted as a mediator between the white settlers and the Native Americans. He finally retired to the village, where he died in 1753.

Near the end of the walk you’ll come across a significant landmark. Marking the year 2000, the people of Lastingham have placed a boulder carved with a cross on the hillside above the village. On it are two dates – ad 2000 and ad 654, the year in which St Cedd founded the original Lastingham monastery.

Walk directions

Begin by The Green and follow signs to Cropton, Pickering and Rosedale, past the red telephone box. Where the road swings left, go right to wind over a small bridge and beside a stream. Ascend to a footpath sign, and go right, uphill, through a gate and through woodland to a handgate onto a road. Turn right, signed ‘Spaunton’.

Follow the road through Spaunton and bend right at the end of the village, then turn left by the public footpath sign over the cattle grid into the farmyard. The waymarked track curves through Grange Farm to reach another footpath signpost, where the track bends left. After 100yds (91m), at a barn, the track bends left again.

After about 200yds (183m) follow a public footpath sign right and walk on to follow a signpost as the track bends left. After 100yds (91m), take a footpath to the right, down the hill into woodland. Follow the track as it winds downhill, partly in a sunken lane. Descend to a gate and onto a track. Turn right onto the road through Hutton-le-Hole.

Turn right and follow the road for 0.5 miles (800m). Turn left at a footpath sign just before the road descends to a stone bridge. Continue on the grassy path, going through a gate, and follow the track towards a farm.

Turn right and follow the road for 0.5 miles (800m). Turn left at a footpath sign just before the road descends to a stone bridge. Continue on the grassy path, going through a gate, and follow the track towards a farm.

Follow the signpost and waymarked posts, bending left alongside the wall beside a clump of trees and descending into a valley. Cross over the stream and follow the wall on your right-hand side uphill. You will reach a bench and the Millennium Stone, with a cross and a signpost nearby.

Turn right, signed ‘Lastingham’, downhill through a gate and onto the metalled road. Follow the road downhill back into the village of Lastingham.

Additional information

Farm tracks and field paths, no stiles

Moorland and woodland, with views

Dogs should be on lead

OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors, Western Area

Village street in Lastingham. Alternative parking in car park at north end of Hutton-le-Hole


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About the area

Discover North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.

The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.

York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.


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