A Truly Monolithic Walk taking place this summer on the North Yorkshire Moors

Anna Cross

In Summer the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team are running a new challenge event. Although in truth the Crosses is not a new idea. Back in 1971 the Scarborough and District Search and Rescue Team was short of cash and striving to think of ways to make money much as we do now. From their machinations was born this incredible walk, taking in 53 miles of fantastic moorland scenery to be walked in 24 hours. Any regular visitor to the moors will know it is littered with these rather strange antiquities we call Crosses which are large erect stones that have been used for hundreds of years as way markers, religious sites, meeting places, etc. The lads in the team back in ’71 probably had no more idea than me what they were originally used for, but if no one else was using them then a route around them would make a damn good walk… and so The Crosses Walk was born.

We are a team responsible for Search and Rescue on a significant proportion of the North Yorkshire Moors. We are deployed by the Police and the Ambulance Service and are considered to be a real asset to both, but we are dependant entirely on voluntary contributions to finance our service. Consequently, we have all the same financial problems as the team back in 71 and for exactly the same reasons, we intend to reintroduce this truly monolithic walk around these moorland monoliths on this our Fiftieth Anniversary Year.

John Waind, Life Member, ex team leader and one of the original organisers is over the moon at the prospect of the event being re-born. He was asked if he could assist this year. “I hope I can” he said, “It was a really good walk when it was running and I’m so pleased it is to be revived.” He then went on to describe all the horrors on one hand and the vast sense of achievement on the other, that he associates with the event, the like of which one must simply experience to appreciate.

Hopefully, long distance walkers and runners who enjoy a tough challenge will take this opportunity to tackle this 53 mile route around some of the most beautiful scenery Yorkshire has to offer. The route winds its way through a variety of environments, through woodlands, down dales and over the high moor. Indeed it is the variety that produces both the challenge and the attraction.

More information including route and entry forms can be got by contacting the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team from our web site at here


John Sheader

Team Member


Malcolm Boyes wrote a paperbook on the route called ‘The Crosses Walk – 53 miles over the North York Moors’ which was published by  Dalesman Publishing Co Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (July 1979).  Unfortunately this is now out of print but may still be available through Amazon or ebay.