Walking across Orton Scar and Great Asby Scar

Orton Scar is part of the famous Coast to Coast route

Orton is a pretty village in the Eden Valley, about a 15-minute drive from the Malabar. Keen walkers from all over the world know Orton and in particular, Orton Scar, as one of the key stages in the famous Coast to Coast walk that runs from Robin Hood Bay on the North York Moors, to St Bees Head on Cumbria’s West Coast.

Orton Scar and Great Asby Scar are along the route. The good news is, you don’t have to walk the entire 182 miles to be able to enjoy either of them. To give you a flavour of being a Coast to Coast walker, we’ve found these two lovely circular walks that take in some fantastic scenery. They are beautiful any time of year, but they are very special on a crisp autumn or winter day.

Both walks are ‘scars’, which means exposed cliffs of limestone that were created during the last ice age. Huge sheets of ice scraped away the soil-covered spurs in many valleys in the Yorkshire Dales. The exposed surface is affected by freeze-thaw action on the well-jointed limestone. Water enters the cracks and if it freezes, it expands to create the stripes and mottled limestone appearance you can see in many places in this part of the world.

You can download a leaflet for the two ‘scar walks from the link below.

1. Orton Scar

The limestone pavement of Orton Scar provides a stunning, heritage-rich backdrop to the village of Orton. This circular walk visits the ancient site of ‘Robin Hood’s Grave’, the grouse moor of Howe Robin, the monument built to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and Beacon Hill, where fires were once lit to warn of Scottish raiding parties.

Detours can be easily made to Castle Folds prehistoric settlement and Gamelands stone circle and the picturesque views look down onto the medieval patchwork of fields around Raisbeck and a diverse range of views towards the Pennines, Cumbria’s High Fells and the Howgill Fells.

Start/finish: Market Square, Orton
Distance: 7km (5 miles)
Time: 4-5 hours
Terrain: Fell paths, fell roads, limestone pavements, moorland, farm tracks, pasture and village lanes
Maps: OS Landranger 91, OS Explorer OL19

2. Great Asby Scar

Great Asby Scar is an extensive area of limestone on common moorland to the northeast of Orton. This upland plateau holds one of Britain’s best examples of limestone pavement. The stones forming the pavements are legally protected and apart from being fascinating to look at, the cracks between the blocks form an important Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This walk is a day’s outing that crosses and re-crosses the Scar with a visit to the village of Great Asby with fantastic views across the Eden Valley thrown in for good measure.

Start/finish: Market Square, Orton
Distance: 19.6km (12.2 miles)
Time: 6 hours
Terrain: Fell paths, fell roads, limestone escarpment, limestone moorland, access tracks, farm tracks, pasture and village lanes.
Maps: OS Landranger 91, OS Explorer OL19

Visit The Malabar

We hope this selection gives you some inspiration when planning your trip to the Yorkshire Dales. Naturally we’d be delighted to welcome you to the Malabar which is the perfect location for your walking holiday.

You can check out our availability here.
You can read more articles from The Malabar here.

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