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Looking from Beacon Banks across the mist filled valley to White Horse Bank

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Route No. 498 - Thursday 14 February 2013
Coxwold, Husthwaite, Beacon Banks circuit - 7km
Howardian Hills . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 299 Ripon & Boroughbridge


Setting off in the mist into Coxwold
Setting off in the mist into Coxwold

Welcoming committee at Newburgh Priory lake
Welcoming committee at Newburgh Priory lake

National Park boundary on the edge of Coxwold
National Park boundary on the edge of Coxwold

The snow had turned to rain overnight and most of the snow had melted by this morning. There was thick mist this morning although it was forecast to lift during the morning to give a fine sunny day. From the lay-by at the lake we set off along the road to walk through the mist into Coxwold village.

For several weeks now other family commitments have limited my neighbour, Jim, and I to short morning walks and today was another such occasion. We drove the short distance from home to the attractive lake on the roadside at Newburgh Priory near Coxwold at map ref. SE540767. There had been a covering of about 2cm. of snow yesterday.

The road into Coxwold from the lake
The road into Coxwold from the lake

Coxwold main street in the mist
Coxwold main street in the mist

The lych gate at Coxwold Church
The lych gate at Coxwold Church

The octagonal tower at St. Michael's church
The octagonal tower at St. Michael's church

The present turning near Shandy Hall
The present turning near Shandy Hall

Just beyond the church there used to be a path off the road to the left through a farm but this has now been diverted. The path now leaves the road just beyond Shandy Hall at map ref. SE530730.

From the cross roads in the village we followed the road up the hill to the church. We walked through the churchyard, but there were some workmen digging up the floor in the entrance to the church so we couldn't have a look inside.

St. Michael's church in Coxwold
St. Michael's church in Coxwold

Sign at Manor Farm where the path used to go
Sign at Manor Farm where the path used to go

Path in the mist across the wet fields
Path in the mist across the wet fields

Path in the mist across the wet fields
Path in the mist across the wet fields

Wet path bypassing Coxwold Park House
Wet path bypassing Coxwold Park House

The path through Angram Hall farm
The path through Angram Hall farm

It just sat around everywhere in sullen pools in the damp misty air. We followed the path across the fields slipping and sliding through the wet mud for almost 2km. to the road near Angram Hall at map ref. SE514761.

We could only see about 50m. through the mist and we had to take care to follow the path across the fields. Everywhere was sodden wet. The ground had been soaked before yesterday's snow and the overnight melt water had nowhere to go.

Path in the mist across the wet fields
Path in the mist across the wet fields

Rabbit tracks crossed by much larger hare tracks
Rabbit tracks crossed by much larger hare tracks

The access road from Angram Hall farm
The access road from Angram Hall farm

Aconites by the road side
Aconites by the road side

Elphin Beck swollen to a muddy torrent
Elphin Beck swollen to a muddy torrent

When we reached the turning it was an arable field with water standing in every hollow. We had had enough of mud skating for today and so we continued along the road to Husthwaite.

At the road we turned left to walk along the road to the bridge over Elphin Beck. Today the beck was a fast torrent of muddy water. About 100m. beyond the beck we had intended to turn off the road and follow a path across the fields into Husthwaite.

The bridge over Elphin Beck
The bridge over Elphin Beck

The road to Husthwaite as the mist started to lift
The road to Husthwaite as the mist started to lift

The road to Husthwaite as the mist started to lift
The road to Husthwaite as the mist started to lift

Husthwaite High Street
Husthwaite High Street

Plaque on the wall of the churchyard
Plaque on the wall of the churchyard

At the village we turned down 'Main Street' to the Norman parish church and from there we crossed the road at the little green to walk along a street called 'The Nookin'.

As we climbed the slope from Elphin Beck the mist was starting to lift and there were occasional glimpses of the ridge of Beacon Banks and snatches of blue sky.

Approaching the church on the High Street
Approaching the church on the High Street

The road opposite the church
The road opposite the church

St.Nicholas' Parish Church, Husthwaite, built in the 12th Century
St.Nicholas' Parish Church, Husthwaite, built in the 12th Century

Trying a footpath off The Nookin
Trying a footpath off The Nookin

Heading for the path to Beacon Banks
Heading for the path to Beacon Banks

At the top of the bank we followed the road for about 250m. to a road off to the left. We took this road for about 70m and then turned right off the road to follow a public right of way up an access road to 'Lists House'. This is the start of the path along Beacon Banks.

About 200m along this street there is a footpath off to the left that we had a look at but after about 50m the path became a sea of soft mud and we decided to stay on the road. At the next junction, after about another 200m, we turned left up a grassy bank.

Going up the grassy bank at the road junction
Going up the grassy bank at the road junction

Start of the path along Beacon Banks
Start of the path along Beacon Banks

Passing the houses at the start of Beacon Banks
Passing the houses at the start of Beacon Banks

Mist in the valley below Beacon Banks
Mist in the valley below Beacon Banks

(I would have said llamas but Jim kept me right, they were alpacas). The mist was clearing quickly now and our low ridge there was above the mist. We could see over the thick mist still lying on the valley floor, to White Horse Bank on the other side of the little valley. It was very pretty in the sunshine.

There are several houses on the right of the access road and beyond the last house is a gate onto a grassy track that continues along the edge of Beacon Banks. Yesterday's snow had blown into small drifts here and a good deal of snow remained despite the overnight thaw. To the right of the path there were a series of paddocks containing alpacas.

Path along Beacon Banks
Path along Beacon Banks

Alpaccas by the path
Alpacas. by the path

Admiring the view across the misty valley to White Horse Bank
Admiring the view across the misty valley to White Horse Bank

view across the misty valley
View across the misty valley

The path along Beacon Banks
The path along Beacon Banks

Free range poultry at High Leys farm
Free range poultry at High Leys farm

Beyond the woodland the path joined a narrow lane at map ref. SE534754. At the lane we turned left and followed the lane past High Leys farm.

We passed the trig point on Beacon Banks at map ref. SE527751 and continued along the path around the edge of some woodland.

The path along Beacon Banks
The path along Beacon Banks

The lane heading for High Leys farm
The lane heading for High Leys farm

Muscovy Ducks at High Leys farm
Muscovy Ducks at High Leys farm

View across the misty valley from Beacon Banks to White Horse Bank
View across the misty valley from Beacon Banks to White Horse Bank

The lane from High Leys farm down to Newburgh Priory
The lane from High Leys farm down to Newburgh Priory

The lane from High Leys farm down to Newburgh Priory
The lane from High Leys farm down to Newburgh Priory

The lake at Newburgh Priory
The lake at Newburgh Priory

The whole route had been about 7km and it had taken us two and a half hours to walk including my many photo stops. It was only a short drive home and we were both back in good time for our afternoon appointments.

We continued down the hill along the lane for about 1km. from the farm to the road at Newburgh Priory. Here we turned left to follow the road back past the Priory to the lake and the lay-by where we started the walk.

The lane from High Leys farm down to Newburgh Priory
The lane from High Leys farm down to Newburgh Priory

The road past Newburgh Priory
The road past Newburgh Priory

Ducks on the lake at Newburgh Priory
Ducks on the lake at Newburgh Priory

Newburgh Priory
Newburgh Priory
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