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The path across the valley of Bulmer Beck
The path across the valley of Bulmer Beck

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Route No. 443 - Thursday 10 November 2011
Sheriff Hutton, High Stittenham, Mowthorpe,
Centenary Way, Ebor Way circuit - 11km
Howardian Hills . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills & Malton


The road through Sheriff Hutton
The main road through Sheriff Hutton

A glimps of Sheriff Hutton castle between the houses
A glimpse of Sheriff Hutton castle between the houses

The village street in Sheriff Hutton
The village street in Sheriff Hutton

We set off south to walk down the main road for about 200m and then turned left to walk along the village street to the church. The path through the churchyard is a few metres off our route but we wanted to see the remains of a Motte & Bailey castle on the south side of the churchyard. There wasn't too much to see but there is a large mound and surrounding ditch which is not too bad for a near 1000 year old earthwork.

This morning my mate, Jim, and I drove to Sheriff Hutton on the edge of the Howardian Hills. We parked at the crossing of the Stillington to Bulmer road and the Sheriff Hutton to Terrington road where there is a mini roundabout. There's a little gravel parking area next to the mobile phone mast at map ref. SE650666.

Beech tree planted in 1937 for George VI's coronation
Beech tree planted in 1937 for George VI's coronation

Sheriff Hutton church
Sheriff Hutton church

Remains of a motte & bailey castle by Sheriff Hutton church
Remains of a Motte & Bailey castle by Sheriff Hutton church

Path from the church across the fields
Path from the church across the fields

Heading NE across the fields
Heading NE across the fields

Here we forked right along a field edge and after about 350m we crossed a footbridge over a deep drainage dyke. Just beyond the footbridge we crossed the track of a race horse training gallop and continued along the field edge. After a few hundred metres looking back there was a small group of race horses heading north along the gallop track.

We returned through the churchyard to rejoin our route following the combined routes of the Ebor Way and the Centenary way out of Sheriff Hutton to the east. Once past the houses the route turned left to head across the field to the road at map ref. SE659667. We made a staggered crossing of the road and continued north for about 100m.

Ebor & Centenery Way routes from Sheriff Hutton
Ebor & Centenary Way routes from Sheriff Hutton

Footbridge over a deep drainage dyke
Footbridge over a deep drainage dyke

Race horses on the training gallops
Race horses on the training gallops

Then, after some deliberation with our map, we took a narrow muddy path across a field planted with cereals to continue along the Centenary Way. At the end of the field the path led us up a short steep bank onto a low ridge climbing towards High Stittenham.

At map ref. SE666672 we came to a stone farm access road where the Ebor way went straight on whilst the Centenary Way forked right to cross another drainage dyke.

Heading for the ridge up to High Stittenham
Heading for the ridge up to High Stittenham


Start of the path along the ridge to High Stittenham

One of a cluster of Shaggy Ink Cap fungi
One of a cluster of Shaggy Ink Cap fungi

More autumn fungus
More autumn fungus

Almost out of the woods at High Stittenham
Almost out of the woods at High Stittenham

This has changed the boundaries from those shown on my map causing some initial confusion in our navigation but we eventually realised what had happened and found our way through the newer part of the wood to the hamlet of High Stittenham. The path enters the hamlet through the grounds of a house to the road.

My map shows patches of woodland along this ridge but if fact the whole bank is planted with young trees about 15 years old. We walked along the path between the tree covered bank on our left and the fields on our right to the edge of a larger plantation called Stittenham Wood. This wood too has been extended by new planting, about 20 years old.

It's autumn fungus time again
It's autumn fungus time again

Woodland path to High Stittenham
Woodland path to High Stittenham

Entering High Stittenham
Entering High Stittenham

All routes lead from High Stittenham
All routes lead from High Stittenham

We walked along a farm track down the hillside into the valley of Bulmer Beck.

We followed the route of the Centenary Way through High Stittenham.

Our route out of High Stittenham
Our route out of High Stittenham

Following the Centenery Way route out of High Stittenham towards the valley of Bulmer Beck
Following the Centenary Way route out of High Stittenham towards the valley of Bulmer Beck

The path into the valley of Bulmer Beck
The path into the valley of Bulmer Beck

More autumn fungus
More autumn fungus

We were still following the Centenary Way all the way across the valley.

We crossed the beck on Mowthorpe Bridge and climbed up the other side of the valley to Low Mowthorpe Farm.

Mowthorpe Bridge over Bulmer Beck
Mowthorpe Bridge over Bulmer Beck

Climbing up from Bulmer Beck
Climbing up from Bulmer Beck

Looking back across the valley of Bulmer Beck
Looking back across the valley of Bulmer Beck

Field barn by the path
Field barn by the path

The path through Low Mowthorpe farm
The path through Low Mowthorpe farm

Then the sun came out and it was quite warm and pleasant. There has been a very mild spell for the last few weeks and it only took a few minutes after the sun came out before there were all kinds of flying insects in the air including bees and a red admiral butterfly. In the tree above us was a large owl nesting box that had clearly been well used.

We followed the farm access road up Mowthorpe Hill and at the top there was a large ash tree on the right hand side with a wide grass verge and a good view over the valley. We sat on the grass under the tree, at map ref. SE682690, for our lunch. So far the weather had been fine but very grey and overcast. Now at last the cloud was breaking and there were patches of blue sky.

Approaching Low Mowthorpe Farm
Approaching Low Mowthorpe Farm

A well used owl nest box in an ash tree by the road
A well used owl nest box in an ash tree by the road

Looking back along the road to Low Mowthorpe Farm
Looking back along the road towards Low Mowthorpe Farm

Ebor Way along the access road to Primrose Farm
Ebor Way along the access road to Primrose Farm

One of several ponies at Primrose farm
One of several ponies at Primrose Farm

After a few hundred metres the Ebor Way joined the access road which we followed down quite a steep descent to the farm. There were several ponies in the field beyond the farm who wandered up looking for our attention.

After our lunch we continued along the road for another 800m to map ref. SE677694. Here we turned left off the road onto the access track to Primrose Farm, leaving the Centenary Way behind.

Path through Primrose Farm
Path through Primrose Farm

Looking back to Primrose Farm
Looking back to Primrose Farm

Track across the fields from Primrose Farm
Track across the fields from Primrose Farm

Looking up the valley from the Ebor Way
Looking up the valley from the Ebor Way

Looking back along the Ebor Way route
Looking back along the Ebor Way route

Track across Sheriff Hutton Carr
Track across Sheriff Hutton Carr

Here we had left the Ebor Way on the outward leg of our walk this morning. From there we retraced our steps to the road at map ref. SE660667.

We continued along the Ebor Way route to cross a bridge over Ings Beck and then continue along a long straight track between the fields back to map ref. SE666672.

Sheep grazing by the Ebor Way
Sheep grazing by the Ebor Way

Bridge over Commission Beck
Bridge over Commission Beck

Following the Ebor Way route back to Sheriff Hutton
Following the Ebor Way route back to Sheriff Hutton

The road back into Sheriff Hutton
The road back into Sheriff Hutton

It had taken us four hours to walk including our visit to the church and the Motte & Bailey castle and our lunch stop. One great virtue of this walk is that it's very close to home and we headed back for a coffee in our own armchairs.

At the road we turned right to walk along the road leaving both the Ebor Way and the Centenary Way routes. We followed the road for about 1km back to the cross roads where we had started. The whole walk had been about 11km.

Back at the parking area by the Sheriff Hutton phone mast
Back at the parking area by the Sheriff Hutton phone mast