A delightful North Yorkshire country pub ramble in Captain Cook country
This pleasant 3 mile Yorkshire pub walk is through landscaped gardens, mature woodland and open park. Mostly along surfaced paths, except the section linking Stewart Park to the grounds of Ormesby Hall, which can become muddy after rain.Download PDF Guide
Share your snaps
Before setting off, have your camera ready. We’d love to see your photos from this walk and we might even feature them on our website. You’ll find our photo uploader at the bottom of this page.
The walk is less than a ten-minute drive from the pub. As you leave the carpark, turn right and drive along Middlesborough Road (A171) to the first roundabout. Take the third exit and continue along Ormesby Bank (A171) for just over a mile. Shortly after crossing the bridge over the A174, you’ll see Welborne Grove on your left. Turn down it and then turn left at its end onto Church Lane. The turn into Ormesby Hall is after a hundred or so yards on your right.
“The manor of Ormesby was bought in 1600 by James Pennyman…”
…but it was his son, also called James, who built the hall in the 1740s. Over 200 years later, the estate was bequeathed to the National Trust.
With the main building directly behind you, head right, hugging the tree line at the perimeter of the estate as it runs parallel to the stretch of Church Lane you just drove down. This screen of trees is called the Pleasure Grounds and is made up of horse chestnut, holly, oak, sycamore and silver birch. Winding its way between them, the path curves gently to the left. Continue round until you reach Ladgate Lane, where you’ll leave the grounds of the hall. Head left along the lane, before passing under a railway bridge. A short way further along Ladgate Lane you’ll see the main entrance to Stewart Park on your left.
“On a clear day, Stewart Park boasts magnificent views across towards Middlesborough”
As you pass through the gates, keep an eye out for Highland Cattle – with their straggly russet coats and oversize horns, they make quite a sight. Follow the drive past Pets Corner with its menagerie of llamas, pygmy goats, deer, peacocks, guinea pigs and rabbits. After passing the information point, the left-hand fork will take you past Top Lakes before rejoining the main path. Turn left, and after passing Family Wood on the left, you’ll reach the junction with The Grove. Turn left and follow this pleasant leafy lane until the turn off for Roseland Drive.
At the end of the drive, paths branch out into the fields beyond – take the middle one on a diagonal. It leads under a railway bridge at which point a main road (the A174) is immediately to your right. Keeping to the edge of the field, pass by a large pen where you will often see pigs. Cross the farm track, continuing along the edge of the field until you reach the fields in the far corner. Bear left through them and you’ll soon join the track leading back to Ormesby Hall and the car park. From there, you’re just a short drive from a well-deserved drink at The Cross Keys!
Point of Interest
Captain James Cook – the intrepid voyager – was born in a cottage that once stood in the grounds of Stewart Park. The park’s Captain Cook Birthplace Museum celebrates the great man’s feats in charting previously unknown areas of the globe.
The Cross Keys was once owned by a farmer – and his daughters reputedly served fresh lemonade to folk travelling to the coast. Thirsts are still being quenched in the building today!
With its walls of Yorkshire stone, distinctive red-tiled roof, window boxes and hanging baskets, The Cross Keys is a charming pub restaurant. Dating back to the early 1800s, the interior is snug and cosy, thanks to its heritage as a set of farm cottages.
The pub is also within sight of Roseberry Topping. This iconic hill has a distinctive shape caused by a combination of a geological fault and a mining collapse in 1912. With its half-cone summit and jagged cliff it resembles the Matterhorn but, carpeted in bluebells in early Spring, it’s easy to understand why the World Travel Awards put it in the Top 10 most romantic spots on earth to propose.
The Cross Keys is located on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, a treasure trove of ancient woodlands, nature reserves and vast stretches of purple heather moor land. As a base from which to explore the bustling market towns and pictureque villages of North Yorkshire, the pub couldn’t be more perfect. Once you’ve built up an appetite, why not enjoy a sumptuous Sunday roast, seasonal special or contemporary classic in the restaurant of this 19th century country inn?
Why not reserve a table for the day of your walk?Reserve your table
Share your snaps
We hope you enjoy this walk and would love to see your photos. Upload a photo below and we might even feature it on our website.