Five Crosses Midwinter Hike North York Moors Challenge Walk
With Mark Reid FRGS – author of ‘The Inn Way’ & Mountain Leader
Winter Solstice ‘sunrise to sunset’ challenge walk
33.5 km (21 miles) – 700 metres of ascent – 10 hours
The Five Crosses Midwinter Hike is a new challenge walk that links five ancient moorland crosses on the North York Moors, walking from sunrise to sunset on the shortest day of the year. This long distance challenge walk starts and finishes at Goathland, in the heart of the North York Moors.
See photos from our previous walks: Dec 2020
THE FIVE CROSSES MIDWINTER HIKE
The Five Crosses Midwinter Hike is a 21 mile route with 700m of climbing that will take around 10 hours to complete. The route starts and finishes at Goathland, famed for its Heartbeat and Harry Potter connections, and takes in the rolling moorlands to the south and east, including Wheeldale Moor, Saltergate Moor, Fylingdales Moor and Goathland Moor, visiting the following historic crosses along the way:
1. Mauley Cross
2. Malo Cross
3. Lilla Cross
4. Ann’s Cross
5. York Cross
From Goathland, we head south-west to the Roman Road across Wheeldale, the best preserved in Britain, from where we follow the line of the Roman Road to reach the medieval Mauley Cross in the vast Cropton Forest. We then turn eastwards to reach the dramatic glacial meltwater channel of Newton Dale Gorge and then the famous Hole of Horcum, before we reach Malo Cross, an early 17th Century wayside cross. We then head northwards to reach one of England’s oldest crosses, the 7th Century Lilla Cross high on Fylingdales Moor. We then follow an ancient traders’ route across the moors passing two more crosses – Ann’s Cross and York Cross – before heading back into Goathland.
It is a demanding walk that requires a good level of fitness and so must be approached with preparation and training, but it is also a rewarding walk that will be remembered for many years as we walk from dawn to dusk on the shortest day of the year, visiting prehistoric burial mounds, standing stones and defensive ditches, Roman Roads and medieval moorland crosses.
Much of this walk follows clear paths and tracks across open moorland, with some sections through forest and valleys. The paths will be rough and muddy in places, and the only significant climb of the day is the descent into and ascent out of Newton Dale Gorge. This walk will start and finish in the dark – headtorches essential!
Mark Reid knows the North York Moors like the back of his hand and will guide you around this route (whilst also sharing his knowledge of the area), so that you can forget about navigating and concentrate on enjoying the walk!
This guided walk is designed for solo or small groups of walkers who want to take on the Five Crosses Midwinter Hike, but don’t want to worry about route finding.
- Fully guided walk with Mark Reid (Mountain Leader)
- Experience the comaraderie of walking a challenge route with other like-minded walkers
- Discover the history, heritage & geography of the North York Moors
- Share your sense of achievement with your fellow walkers
- Small group sizes – 8 people per Mountain Leader
- You are GUARANTEED not to get lost on our guided walk!
OUTLINE OF THE DAY
7am: Meet at Goathland. Weather forecast, gear check & briefing.
7am – 5pm: Fully guided walk around the Five Crosses Midwinter Hike challenge walk
5pm: Debrief back at Goathland, then head home
NB: Sunrise is 08:22 and sunset is 15:40. We will be walking in the dark for approximately 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. Finish time is approximate
YOUR GUIDE - MARK REID
MARK REID is the author of 17 walking guidebooks including ‘The Inn Way’ series. He is a qualified Walking Group Leader, Hill & Moorland Leader and Mountain Leader, and has an unrivalled knowledge of the history and geography of the North of England. Mark has a BA (Hons) Geography degree from the University of Lancaster and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). Mark has walked over 25,000 miles of footpaths since 1997, and has taken over 14,000 people out walking in the countryside – he’s been an Outdoor Professional for 25 years! Mark has appeared on ITV YORKSHIRE on the TV walks series ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ along with ITV weatherman Jon Mitchell, as well as ITV1’s The Dales.
For information about our other guides, please click here
EXPERIENCE, FITNESS & INFORMATION
- No previous hill-walking experience is required as full guidance will be given.
- This is a long distance challenge walk that covers 33.5 km (21 miles) in a single day, with 700m of ascent that will take around 9 hours to complete. It is a long and demanding walk, with rough terrain in places as well as some steep ascents/descents and exposed moorland. We will start and finish this walk in the dark.
- A good level of fitness and stamina will be required to complete this walk; preparation and training will be necessary.
- Successful completion of this walk will depend upon your own level of fitness, stamina and preparation, as well as good fitting boots and no minor injuries along the walk, such as blisters, pulled muscles or sore knees etc. By taking part in this guided walk, you understand and accept the risks involved in undertaking a long distance challenge walk. Participation of this guided walk is no guarantee of successful completion.
- We are fully insured (public, civil & professional indemnity insurance)
- All of our instructors are fully qualified and experienced Mountain Leaders
- So far, we have taken over 13,000 people out walking, and have a wealth of experience dealing with all ages and abilities.
- Part of the attraction of valley, hill and mountain walking is the challenge of tackling different terrains, landscapes and weather conditions. Every effort is made to minimize potential hazards; however, the very nature of hill and mountain walking involves a certain level of unavoidable risk of accident and/or injury. By taking part in this activity, you are aware of and accept these risks.
- Our walks are suitable for all ages. Under 18s (minimum age 14) may attend if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The child must be accompanied at all times during the walk by their parent/legal guardian.
- Terms and Conditions