Kilburn Sutton Bank Return

Watch the video of this walk
The village of Kilburn is a pretty little village situated just on the edge of the Hambleton Hills and very close to the White Horse. Kilburn has a pub, The Foresters Arms, a shop and the Mousey Thompson centre where they make famous furniture with the trade mark of a mouse. The White Horse near to Kilburn is located on the southern side of Sutton bank facing south-south-west and is clearly visible for many miles. The White Horse is 97m long by 67m high covering 1.6acres and is the largest and most northerly in England. The horse was cut out in 1857 and is said it was done by school master John Hodgson and his pupils with the help of local volunteers, but on the plaque below the horse it says it was cut out on the initiative of Thomas Taylor, a native of Kilburn and that in 1925 the readers of the Yorkshire Evening Post set up a restoration fund to provide for the grooming of the horse. During World War Two the horse was covered over to prevent it being a landmark for enemy bombers. At the top of the White Horse, Sutton Bank there is the Yorkshire Gliding Club. Here gliding and soaring have taken place since 1933 and is one of the leading clubs in the country. Many flights of over 300km and some of 500km have been made from here and the clubs altitude record is over 10,000m. Up-draughts from the escarpment help aircraft stay in the air, so enabling anyone who wishes to experience flying can do so. There are impressive views from Sutton Bank Visitor Centre and are some of the finest in Britain, so don’t forget your camera. Admission is free with plenty to do with walking and cycling trails, wildlife watch areas, tearooms, information and a gift/craft shop. The walk from the Visitors Centre to the top of the White Horse is suitable for wheelchair users and there is also wheelchair loan facility. There also is a Moorsbus Network and a park and ride, both of these are seasonal, so why not park your car and go for a scenic ride on the bus. The car park is open all year round. The centre is open April to October daily 10am to 5pm. November, December and March daily 11am to 4pm. January and February weekends 11am to 4pm and from 13th February to the end of February 11am to 4pm.

We park in the parking area next to the Foresters Arms and walk down the road towards the White Horse, at the y-junction we turn left and follow the road, very steep with bad bends so do be careful, up to the White Horse. Standing at the bottom of the horse we take the path on the left following this round going slightly right, passing the vertical scar on our right and a bench on our left, and then we go up steeply to the top coming out opposite the gliding club. Here we turn left, now flat easy walking, to the visitors centre. Coming back from the visitors centre we stay on the top path going past the gliding club until we come to the top of the White horse. Please refrain from walking on the horse, there are notices. At the far side of the horse we walk down the steps to the bottom where there is a car park with picnic tables. We then turn right back down the road we came up, very steep, back into Kilburn village to our parked car.


Very steep hills up and down at Kilburn and the White Horse. At the very top it is flat towards the Visitors Centre.


Approx 5.75miles. Using map OS OL26. North York Moors Western area.


Kilburn is on the edge of the Hambleton Hills in North Yorkshire.


From York take the A19 to Thirsk. Just before Thirsk take the Bagby turn off on the left and this road takes you into Kilburn, OR at the second roundabout at Thirsk turn right onto the A170 carry on through Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe then up Sutton Bank to the Visitors Centre at the top.

Toilets and Refreshments

No public toilets in Kilburn. There is a pub, The Foresters Arms, and a small shop. There are public toilets at the Visitors Centre at the top of Sutton Bank and also a café, picnic areas, tourist information and gift shop.

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