Yorkshire Photo Explorer

Roseberry Topping from Cocksure Hill

Roseberry Topping from Cocksure Hill

Sunset over Roseberry Topping from Cocksure Hill is one of the classic Yorkshire photographs in heather season. This was my first trip here after seeing some outstanding photos online. I therefore had to try it. The weather had been abysmal all day, but around 4pm started to clear. I decided to risk it and drove up to the site near Great Ayton on the edge of the North York Moors.

When I arrived at about 6.30pm, there was one other person up on the hill. Within about 20 minutes, there were 16 other photographers all waiting for what looked to be a good sunset! This is definitely a popular location. Whilst everyone else was grabbing their spot for the evening, I was excitedly running around taking a few photos from different positions. If you have a particular shot in mind, I suggest arriving early.

Despite the number of people, I found plenty of places to set up. It was very windy on the hill the evening I visited, which meant that the heather foregrounds and trees are blurry due to motion. However as the sun began to set lower, it cast a beautiful golden glow across the landscape and onto the side of the quarry. At this time of year, the sun sets in just the right place to get everything in shot with a wide angle lens. There are numerous positions where you can get the heather framing the edge of your shot. I also tried a few panoramas:

Roseberry Topping from Cocksure Hill

I was not disappointed with my visit and would like to come back here again, hopefully on a less windy day. It was great to try out some photos in such a beautiful location and on a beautiful evening.

Here are some photos I took of Roseberry Topping from Cocksure Hill on my visit (click on an image to enlarge):

Approximate post code (for sat nav) YO21 2RU
Parking There is free parking at Gribdale Gate on Dikes Lane, at the bottom of Cocksure Hill
Directions From the car park, go through the gate with the Forestry Commission ‘Gribdale Gate’ sign into the woods. The path will start to climb up the hill. After about 5 minutes, you will see a small path on your right that looks like this:

Path up Cocksure Hill

Go up this path and you will find a bench with two trails – one leading left and one leading right. Take the left trail. This will start to go through the heather and then round to the edge of the hill. You will then see Roseberry Topping on the horizon. Keep following the path along the edge of the hill and you will eventually come to the location seen in these photos. It takes about 10 minutes in total to walk here from the car park.

Location where these photos were taken:

Location of the car park:

This is the car park and the gate you go through to walk up the hill:

Notes for next time
  • Try to arrive early
  • A still day will produce sharper images for the foreground heather
  • Bring filters

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