Just north of Hawnby rise a couple of small but perfectly formed twin peaks, Hawnby and Easterside Hills. Paddy Dillon’s Cicerone North York Moors describes a short walk that goes over the former and round the latter. Being a peak fetishist I had to go over both. Unless you are a customer at the Inn, parking in Hawnby is not very abundant but I found a place to squeeze in. The path signposteded northwards from the junction at the centre of Hawnby leads quite quickly to a gate leading into a field. Signposts here point you diagonally northwest towards a step stile but this is not the way up the hill. This is by a gate a little further up the field. From here a lovely path leads easily straight to the summit. From here I headed down the north ridge, which is briefly very steep, to Moor Gate. Here parking is very abundant so anyone wanting to do this walk and unable to find a space in the village could easily enough start here.
It was a lovely day but not very transquil. Somewhere hereabouts - Nova Scotia Farm perhaps – there was a dog that was pretty determined never to stop barking and it’s noise accompanied me a long way around this part of the walk. From Moor Gate I to0ok the track towards Sprtsman’s Hall. A well signposted pathbypasses the grounds here and leads down to a bridge over Ladhill Beck. From here a path, not always very clear, leads up towards Easterside Hill. I think I was a bit off to the right of the public right of way on the map and may even have unwittingly strayed off access land over Pepper Hill though there was a path that left invitingly through this way, albeit past a couple of cows that were manifestly and worryingly unhappy about how close I passed to their small calves. After I left their field, a bit relieved, the ground of Easterside Hill rises up very steeply and pathlessly and for about ten minutes it was an un pleasant struggle up through a near vertical seeming forest of ferns. Unlike heather ferns do not make good handholds. From here a clear path took me easily down to the road at Easterside Farm and then along the occasionally very steep (33%!) road back to the village. The shortness of the walk meant there was time enough left to drive up the beautiful road to Ostmotherly and take a look round the beautiful ruins of Mount Grace Priory.
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