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View northwest across the fields from the permissive path below Crayke
View northwest across the fields from the permissive path below Crayke

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Route No. 417 - Wednesday 25 May 2011
Crayke Estate Walk circuit - 5km
Howardian Hills
North Yorkshire . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 299 Ripon & Boroughbridge
and OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills & Malton


Road up to the church at Crayke
Road up to the church at Crayke

It was inaugurated with the agreement and cooperation of local land owners and with the support of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme to provide an amenity for local people and visitors. The route was first opened in 1998 and is mainly on permissive footpaths (i.e. no vehicles, horses, bikes) and dogs should be on a lead.

My friend, Jim, and I drove to the village of Crayke about 3km east of Easingwold this morning. We parked on the hill in the village that leads up to the church, at map ref. SE560705. Our plan today is to walk the Crayke Estate walk.

The village street at Crayke
The village street at Crayke

Public footpath, Foss Way, leaving Crayke
Public footpath, Foss Way, leaving Crayke

A permissive path off the Foss Way
A permissive path off the Foss Way

This path is part of the Foss Way route. After about 300m, crossing two small fields, we came to a sign post marking the Foss Way and a permissive path off to our left.

We walked down the hill to the village street opposite the Durham Ox pub and turned left to walk about 100m northwest along the street. Here we turned right off the road to join a public footpath.

Public footpath, the Foss Way from Crayke
Public footpath, the Foss Way from Crayke

The permissive route is well signed
The permissive route is well signed

Approaching Crayke sewage works
Approaching Crayke sewage works

Permissive path across the fields
Permissive path across the fields

Hare mosaic by the path
Hare mosaic by the path

We headed northwards to follow the hedge at the edge of the fields to the Launds Farm access road. We crossed the farm access road at a bend and just on the bend we took the continuing permissive path off to the left of the road heading for Hall's Plantation.

We turned left to follow the permissive path around the corner of a field to the Crayke village sewage works. It was quite interesting to see and not really smelly.

Curlew mosaic by the path
Curlew mosaic by the path

Permissive path across the fields
Permissive path across the fields

Looking back to Crayke village on its hill
Looking back to Crayke village on its hill

Sheep at Launds Farm
Sheep at Launds Farm

Farmer riding his tame bull
Farmer riding his tame bull

Companions at Launds Farm
Companions at Launds Farm

Look out for these signs along the route
Look out for these signs along the route
Sheep grazing as we approached Mill Green
Sheep grazing as we approached Mill Green

Hall's Plantation - planted in 1954
Hall's Plantation - planted in 1954

Path by a newer plantation, planted in 1997
Path by a newer plantation, planted in 1997

Footbridge over the River Foss
Footbridge over the River Foss

From the edge of the woodland we came to a footbridge over the River Foss at map ref. SE570712. From there the path followed the River Foss across the fields to the Dutch House arts centre and cafe at Mill Green.

We followed the permissive path through Hall's Plantation, an oak wood and round an adjoining much more recent plantation of native trees.

Hall's Plantation - planted in 1954
Hall's Plantation - planted in 1954

Arriving at Mill Green and the Dutch House cafe/arts centre
Arriving at Mill Green and the Dutch House cafe/arts centre

River Foss about 3km from its source at Oulston reservoir
River Foss about 3km from its source at Oulston reservoir

The permissive paths are well signed
The permissive paths are well signed

Turning off Mucky Lane onto a public footpath
Turning off Mucky Lane onto a public footpath

Footbridge over Ellers Beck
Footbridge over Ellers Beck

Here our route turned left off the lane to walk along the public footpath for about 250m to a footbridge over Ellers Beck at map ref. SE562712. Once across the bridge we turned right leaving the public footpath and following a permissive path again.

We crossed the Crayke/Brandsby road and continued along a grassy track opposite called Mucky Lane. This is all part of the permissive route around the village of Crayke. After almost 500m a public footpath crosses Mucky Lane.

Leaving the Crayke/Brandsby road to walk along Mucky Lane
Leaving the Crayke/Brandsby road to walk along Mucky Lane

Patch of purple vetch by the path
Patch of purple vetch by the path

Permissive path around the field edge
Permissive path around the field edge

Permissive path along the farm track known as Ron's Motorway
Permissive path along the farm track known as Ron's Motorway

Approaching the access road to Stocking Hall
Approaching the access road to Stocking Hall

Here we turned left and walked away from Stocking Hall along the access road to the strip of woodland at the top of the hill called Donkey Paddock. At the edge of the woodland is a seat called Tony Cliff's Seat which looks out across the valley giving a really lovely view. We stopped here for a few minutes for a drink.

This took us around the edge of the field and climbed up to a farm access track called Ron's Motorway locally. We joined this access track at map ref. SE561712 and turned right to walk along it for about 450m alongside a hedge to the access road to Stocking Hall.

Tony Cliff's seat at the edge of Donkey Paddock wood
Tony Cliff's seat at the edge of Donkey Paddock wood

The view from Tony Cliff's seat
The view from Tony Cliff's seat

Turning onto Chester Pit Lane
Turning onto Chester Pit Lane

Marker by the track to Mount Pleasant Farm
Marker by the track to Mount Pleasant Farm

After about 300m we came to the farm track on our left leading to Mount Pleasant Farm. We followed this track past the farm and out onto the Easingwold/Crayke road at map ref. SE554704.

 

After a few minutes we continued a few metres to the road at map ref. SE555711. At the road we turned right and then almost at once turned left to walk along Chester-Pit Lane.

Walking along Chester Pit Lane
Walking along Chester Pit Lane

Machinery parked by the track to the farm
Machinery parked by the track to the farm

View from Mount Pleasant Farm
View from Mount Pleasant Farm

The drive from Mount Pleasant Farm
The drive from Mount Pleasant Farm

The walk is in the Howardian Hills AONB
The walk is in the Howardian Hills AONB

We drove down the road to the cafe at the Dutch House for a light lunch to round off our walk. The paths are clearly well used and well maintained and I think that the Crayke Estate Walk is one millennium project that has turned out to be a great success. There is a leaflet available locally from the Dutch House cafe which describes this walk and the background information and place names used in my description are taken from this leaflet.

 

At the road we turned left to walk back into Crayke past the entrance to the sports club where there is a series of mosaics of the houses in Crayke. These are similar in style to several mosaics placed at intervals around the walk and I believe that they were all done by the Crayke Rural Arts Group. A military jet flew low over the road on its way to land at the Linton-on-Ouse base. We returned to the car parked on the hill after our walk of about 6km. It had taken us a little over 2 hours to walk including a few stops along the way for a drink and to admire the scenery.

Jet aircraft going to land at Linton-on-Ouse
Jet aircraft going to land at Linton-on-Ouse

Returning to Crayke
Returning to Crayke

Mosaics of the houses in Crayke at the entrance to the sports club

Mosaics of the houses in Crayke at the entrance to the sports club
Mosaics of the houses in Crayke at the entrance to the sports club