Heading back towards Ampleforth on a path through Yearsley Woods
Heading back towards Ampleforth on a path through Yearsley Woods

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Route No. 272 - Wednesday 22 October 2008
Ampleforth to Yearsley Woods circuit - 10 km
Howardian Hills AONB
North Yorkshire . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base.
View the route in Google Earth

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 300 Howardian Hills & Malton


Looking back to Ampleforth as we left the village
Looking back to Ampleforth as we left the village

We drove to the village of Ampleforth about 9 miles from home. I have an ulterior motive for going there, my stepson and his wife run the White Horse Inn there, so we were assured of easy parking in the village and a good lunch at the end of our walk.

Today my neighbour, Jim, and I are on grandad duties. Jim has to collect his grand daughter from school and I have to collect my grand daughter from her nursery (play school). So we made an early start for a short local walk.

Setting out across the fields from Ampleforth
Setting out across the fields from Ampleforth

Path across the fields from Ampleforth
Path across the fields from Ampleforth

We followed the public footpath along this track and across the fields to a minor road on the south side of Ampleforth at map ref. SE581780. (the path has been diverted from the route shown on my old map so follow the signs).

We started walking at about 9.00am and from the pub car park we turned right to walk along the village street for a few hundred metres to map ref. SE579786. A stream crosses the road here and beyond the stream on the left hand side of the road is a bungalow with a track down the side.

Looking back from the road at the southern edge of Ampleforth
Looking back from the road at the southern edge of Ampleforth

Looking north across the valley back to Ampleforth
Looking north across the valley back to Ampleforth
A red admiral butterfly in the October sunshine
A red admiral butterfly in the October sunshine
Rose hips in the hedgerow
Rose hips in the hedgerow

What was this old implement used for?
What was this old implement used for?

We crossed the road where there used to be a level crossing but the old railway is long gone. The start of the path opposite is just inside the gate on the drive to a private house and is overgrown with nettles and brambles.

At the road we turned right to walk along the road for about 500m to a bend in the road at map ref. SE579778 and on the crown of the bend a path to the left. We followed this path across the fields to the road at map ref. SE574767.

A plough and an old hay cutter
A plough and an old hay cutter

A sturdy donkey that came over for a pat
A sturdy donkey that came over for a pat

This used to be an open farm with an impressive exhibition of old farm implements. The brown tourist signs are still in place but it does not seem to be open any more.

It doesn't look much used, but we though it was worth keeping open so pressed on across a field full of old farm machinery until we reached the farm road at Thorpe Hall.

The top of a mole trap and a long garden cane marking its position
The top of a mole trap and a cane marking its position

Crossing a stubble field towards Low Lions Lodge
Crossing a stubble field towards Low Lions Lodge

From there we took the path up the farm road to pass Low Lions Lodge.

Again we followed the path across the fields to a road at map ref. SE571764.

Heading across the fields towards Low Lions Lodge
Heading across the fields towards Low Lions Lodge

Looking across the valley to the White Horse and Byland Abbey
Looking across the valley to the White Horse and Byland Abbey

At the road we turned left and walked along the road to the 'T'-junction at map ref. SE584749.

The path then climbed up the hill through a pleasant little valley to High Lion Lodge. Beyond High Lions Lodge the path brought us to a road at map ref. SE578750.

The road heading for Yearsley woods
The road heading for Yearsley woods

Sign post at the T-junction
Sign post at the T-junction

We crossed between the two ponds and followed the track on the other side down to a third larger pond at map ref SE590765.

We crossed the road at the junction to follow a path through the woods for almost 1.5 km, down to two ponds at map ref. SE595759.

Path towards Ampleforth through Yearsley Woods
Path towards Ampleforth through Yearsley Woods

Path along the dam between the first two ponds in Yearsley Woods
Path along the dam between the first two ponds in Yearsley Woods
Track down to the largest pond in Yeasrley Woods
Track down to the largest pond in Yearsley Woods
The largest of the three ponds in Yearsley woods
The largest of the three ponds in Yearsley woods

Distant view of Ampleforth Abbey across a ploughed field
Distant view of Ampleforth Abbey across a ploughed field

Part way along this path some new fencing has been erected to guide cattle through a short track between two fields.

We followed the path out of the wood and across a track to continue along the path across some fields for about 2km back to Ampleforth.

A little stream in a little patch of woodland on the way back to Ampleforth
A little stream in a little patch of woodland on the way back to Ampleforth

Path across the stubble fields heading back to Amplrforth
Path across the stubble fields heading back to Ampleforth

A dead tree seen against a showery sky
A dead tree seen against a showery sky

We sank into the mud which came well up my calves and there is no way to avoid it.

The footpath is also channelled between the fences. The cattle have churned the wet ground into soft mud.

Ampleforth Abbey & College
Ampleforth Abbey & College

Path across the fields back to Ampleforth
Path across the fields back to Ampleforth

We had a hot filled baguette with chicken and bacon, chips and salad - just a snack and very tasty. Our Little walk of about 10 km had taken us almost three and a half hours, but we were back home in good time to collect our respective grand daughters.

We came into Ampleforth by the children's play ground and made our way along the street past the church and back to the White Horse Inn (note there is also a White Swan Inn in Ampleforth - confusing isn't it!)

The children's play ground as we reached Ampleforth
The children's play ground as we reached Ampleforth