Blakey Topping, North Yorkshire UK


• 4-star hikes
• 3 to 10 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 520 to 1,750 feet
• North York Moors, UK | North Yorkshire
. A single sheep with white fleece and black patches grazes on grass in the foreground, with a symmetrical green hill and scattered trees under a clear sky in the background Expand Map

RED 3★ Blakey Topping
3.1 mi out-and-back, medium, gain 520 ft (160 m)
AllTrails · GPX File · Directions
PURPLE 4★ Blakey Topping & Malo Cross
4.4 mi loop, medium, gain 800 ft (240 m)
AllTrails · GPX File · Directions
green icon 4★ Blakey Topping & Bridestones
9.8 mi loop, medium, gain 1,750 ft (530 m)
AllTrails · GPX File · Directions

Not visible from any roads, the remarkable form of Blakey Topping gradually reveals itself to walkers that head east of the Saltergate trailhead along a wide farm track. As a perfectly shaped geometric prominence on the rugged landscape of the North York Moors, the peak catches the eye and begs to be climbed.

We're certainly not the first to appreciate its striking shape, as evidence can be found around the site of prehistoric human artifacts suggesting a ritual significance that has been lost to time. The most significant of these are the four standing stones that we've marked on our map, located at the end of a short spur trail. Possibly once part of a larger ritual structure only four dilapidated stones now remain, including one that's been converted into a gatepost.

Both the out-and-back and loop trails are great options for most walkers. Wayfinding is easy despite the varied terrain and any uphill sections are short and fairly easy. Expect to find some livestock on the loop trail, but as they're mostly sheep they shouldn't cause you any concern. Please remember to close all gates that you pass through, and avoid touching farmland fences as they may be electrified.

The large parking area at the trailhead can accommodate many vehicles, though it does fill up quickly on weekends as it serves both this hike and the even more popular western trails into the Hole of Horcum and Newton Dale. Payment is required to park here, and new machines have been installed that are compatible with contactless payment systems. A the trailhead is also served by the Coastliner 840 double-decker public bus, known as Britain's most scenic bus route and serves Leeds, York, Pickering and Whitby among other destinations.

A single sheep with white fleece and black patches grazes on grass in the foreground, with a symmetrical green hill and scattered trees under a clear sky in the background
Blakey Topping's profile contrasts with the rugged moorland.

3★ Blakey Topping Out & Back: On the out-and-back route, the farm track leads hikers down the hill and, unsurprisingly, through a working farm. From here the route to the summit of the 135 foot tall Blakey Topping is a straight shot. Remain on the right of the fence line and continue up the narrow trail. Visiting in summer, Blakey Topping is covered with a carpet of waist-high bracken, but the trail was still easy to follow.

4★ Blakey Topping & Malo Cross: Those wanting to stretch their legs further on the loop trail are rewarded with some excellent hilltop moorland views and a further piece of history. However, and assuming you're approaching this circuit as a counter-clockwise loop, you'll first need to tramp through a mile of grassy fields full of timid sheep with barely a visible trail in sight. After the field you'll find Malo Cross, a 400 year old boundary marker that was once used to denote property lines on the moors. Returning to the trailhead from here is along what appears to be an old farm track, which ascends the hill only gradually to uncover expansive views. To the north the curious pyramid shape is RAF Fylingdales early warning missile and space surveillance site, and to the west is the Hole of Horcum and Newton Dale, both of which we've explored on different hikes.

4★ Blakey Topping & Bridestones: We visited Blakey Topping and connected it to the Bridestones loop trail, which we've reviewed separately and linked at the bottom of this article. Though we recommend both of these as great short hikes, stringing them together added substantial additional mileage that didn't involve much in the way of extra features. We've linked the route here in case you wish to follow it, but we've excluded it from the above embedded Google Map.

A weathered stone cross amidst a green landscape with a hill in the background, under a partly cloudy sky.
The four century old Malo Cross, found on the loop trail.

A lush green, symmetrical hill with dense fern foliage stands out in a landscape of varied vegetation under a partly cloudy sky.
Views from the top of Blakey Topping.

A landscape with several standing stones in a grassy field, featuring a prominent stone in the foreground, under an overcast sky
The largest of several ancient Standing Stones.

Tangents:
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article
• Public Map at AllTrails: Blakey Topping Circular

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