Kilburn White Horse

Kilburn Sutton Bank YO7 2EY

The white horses of Wiltshire and southern England might be more famous, and more ancient, but the North York Moors' white horse at Kilburn has size on its side – at over 300 feet long and 220 feet high, it's the biggest chalk-horse in the country and can be seen from miles away (it's claimed from Leeds and the Vale of York on a good day). It was cut into the limestone rock of Sutton Bank in the 1850s by a local schoolmaster, and thus the whiteness doesn't come from natural chalk underneath but from chalk chippings that are replenished at intervals – so if it looks a bit grey at times, that's the reason. There's a signposted Forestry Commission car park a mile north of Kilburn village, from where steep steps climb up the side and around the top of the horse figure – out on to the Sutton Bank escarpment for magnificent views over the Vale of York and even the Yorkshire Dales. You can gain the same vantage point by driving instead the 4 miles from Kilburn up to Sutton Bank National Park Centre, from where there's a great walk to the viewing point above the horse (around 3 miles there and back) on a well-made path that runs right past the spectacularly sited runway of the Yorkshire Gliding Club – so don't also be surprised to see gliders swooshing overhead.

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