THIS walk combines two of the most iconic landmarks in the North York Moors - Captain Cook’s (very tall) Monument and the instantly recognisable hill of Roseberry Topping.

Perched on the banks of the River Leven, Great Ayton lies just north of the North York Moors National Park with some excellent walks from the town. There are plenty of parking places to the east of the village, take the road from the post office marked to the station.

At the station cross the lines and almost immediately take the lane to your right. After 200 metres turn left on a path until it soon meets another lane over a stile. Turn right and follow the path uphill, until it arrives at Ayton Bank Woods.

After entering via a gate, follow the wall to your right till it meets a forest track, turn left and follow this all the way to Captain Cook's Monument. You can’t miss it.

Built in 1827, the monument stands an impressive 60ft high and is built as a memorial to the great explorer and navigator Captain Cook. Born nearby he was educated in Great Ayton before going on to work in Staithes on the coast where he learnt his seafaring skills. The monument stands on the clearing of Easby Moor, with some views available above the top of the forest.

From the monument head for the forest track to the north and follow this for half a mile gradually downhill to a road and parking area. You are now on the Cleveland Way and being a National Trail is well signposted.

Continue over the road and follow the Cleveland Way across the moor, still heading north. After three-quarters of a mile, meet a stone wall, pass through and carry on west and downhill with the distinctive shape of Roseberry Topping ahead.

After a meeting of paths start the climb up Roseberry Topping, heading west up one of many good paths. The climb is popular and many of the paths are paved for erosion protection, not something the young Captain Cook would have bothered about when he explored these slopes.

The view from the summit is extensive and varied; from the North Sea to the housing estates of Teesside and from the nearby forestry to the vast sprawling moors further afield. It is a good summit, protected from the erosion nearby by a hard sandstone cover.

From the summit a path drops steeply down the slopes, initially south west and then south as it meets Newton Wood. Follow the path in the woods, bearing right so you continue downhill and turning in a westerly direction after a few hundred metres. Emerge from the woods. cross the railway line, turn immediately left and follow a faint path that leads in to the northern outskirts of Great Ayton.

Fact box:

Distance: Roughly 6.5 miles.

Height to climb: 350m (1,150 feet).

Start: NZ 563108. There is plenty of parking near the centre of Great Ayton and the Royal Oak.

Difficulty: Medium. The paths and lanes are very good but there is some short but steep climbs during the walk.

Refreshments: The Royal Oak in Ayton is good.

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL26) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

Jonathan runs Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales:

• He has published 3 books on walks in the Dales; ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’, ‘The Dales 30’ mountains and the New ‘Walks without Stiles’ book.

• All (and more) are available direct from the Where2walk website.

• Book a Navigation Training day in Long Preston (Two Levels: Beginners or ‘Hill Skills’) First Available Date is 27th May. also features 100’s of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.