Walking in the footsteps of Oliver Cromwell and James Herriot, and taking in ancient forests, high moors and spectacular timeless views
From the visitor centre at Sutton Bank, wooden fingerposts point with typical Yorkshire modesty to “the finest view in England”. The words are those of James Herriot, and he had a point. The vista from Whitestone Cliff, on the edge of the North York Moors, towards the Dales is enormous. To the right at the foot of the wooded slope is mysterious-looking Gormire, a deep green lake said to be both bottomless and haunted. From the viewpoint it’s a short walk to where a path drops down steeply to the lake through Garbutt Wood – managed as a nature reserve by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. It descends past trees clinging to rocky outcrops with knotted, muscular roots, and an enormous solitary boulder, once part of the cliff above and worth a closer look for the miniature moss and fern gardens growing in its weathered holes.