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Leaving Hovingham for Cawton along the Ebor Way route
Leaving Hovingham for Cawton along the Ebor Way route

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Route No. 524 - Thursday 24 October 2013
Hovingham, Ebor Way, Hovingham Spa, Cawton,
Blackdale Mill, Coulton circuit - 12km
Howardian Hills . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills & Malton


The ford by the bakery in Hovingham
The ford by the bakery in Hovingham

Sharp right turn at the entrance to Hovingham farms
Sharp right turn at the entrance to Hovingham farms

Approaching Hovingham Spa along the Ebor Way
Approaching Hovingham Spa along the Ebor Way

After another 120m the road, now a track turns left and there is a children's play ground on the right of the track. We continued along the track away from Hovingham still following the route of the Ebor Way. We followed the track between the fields for about 1.5km from the children's' playground to Hovingham Spa. There's little to see there now except for Spa House set amongst the trees, but in Roman times this was a health spa based on three springs here each with differing properties. An attempt was made in Victorian times to revive the spa as a tourist venue and Hovingham Station was renamed Hovingham Spa, but the project met with limited success.

Today is the only day this week that my mate, Jim, and I could get together for a walk and after some very mixed weather earlier in the week, today turned out to be by far the best day of the week with clear blue skies and warm sunshine. We drove to Hovingham and parked near the ford by the village bakery and cafe at map ref. SE667757. From the ford we followed the route of the Ebor Way. We crossed the footbridge by the ford and turned left to follow the road beside the stream. Downstream of Hovingham the stream is called Marrs Beck. After about 100m the road turns sharp right at the entrance to Hovingham Farms.

Road by the stream out of Hovingham
Road by the stream out of Hovingham

Childrens' playground on the way out of Hovingham
Children's' playground on the way out of Hovingham

The Ebor Way passing the house at Hovingham Spa
The Ebor Way passing the house at Hovingham Spa

The Ebor Way leaving Hovingham Spa for Cawton
The Ebor Way leaving Hovingham Spa for Cawton

Weeping willow over the track at Cawton
Weeping willow over the track at Cawton

After another kilometer we came to the road at the edge of Cawton at map ref. SE643767.

From the site of Hovingham Spa we continued along the track still following the Ebor Way.

Approaching Cawton along the Ebor Way
Approaching Cawton along the Ebor Way

Entering Cawton
Entering Cawton

The road through Cawton
The road through Cawton

The road through Cawton
The road through Cawton

About 150m further on at map ref. SE638768 we turned left off the road, leaving the route of the Ebor Way, to follow a track known as Green Lane.

We walked along the road through the village for about 500m to the western edge of the village. We had just past a large lime kiln in the field to our left, probably dating from the 1800's.

Renovated farm buildings in Cawton
Renovated farm buildings in Cawton

Turning off the road on to Green Lane
Turning off the road on to Green Lane

Old lime kiln by the road leaving Cawton to the west of Cawton Hall - a grade 2 listed building
Old lime kiln by the road leaving Cawton to the west of Cawton Hall - a grade 2 listed building

Looking north east from Green Lane on top of Cawton Heights
Looking north east from Green Lane on top of Cawton Heights

Green Lane climbing Cawton Heights
Green Lane climbing Cawton Heights

Approaching Blackdale Mill along Green Lane Approaching Blackdale Mill along Green Lane

Then as we descended the far side of the hill we were looking down to Blackdale Mill and Blackdale Plantation. We continued along Green Lane to its junction with the road called Coulton Lane at map ref. SE628754.

The track climbed steadily up over a hill called Cawton Heights. As we climbed the hill there was a fine view behind us over Ryedale towards the North York Moors.

Green Lane climbing Cawton Heights
Green Lane climbing Cawton Heights

Reaching Coulton Lane at Blackdale Mill
Reaching Coulton Lane at Blackdale Mill

Starting to descend from Cawton Heights along Green Lane towards Blackdale Mill
Starting to descend from Cawton Heights along Green Lane towards Blackdale Mill

Crossroads on the edge of Coulton
Crossroads on the edge of Coulton

Coulton Lane on the way from Blackdale Mill
Coulton Lane on the way from Blackdale Mill

Entering Coulton
Entering Coulton

The road through Coulton
The road through Coulton

We continued across the crossroads and walked through the village for about 600m to the south western end of the village.

At the junction we turned left to walk along Coulton Lane . We followed the road for about 1.5km to the crossroads, map ref. SE633744, on the edge of Coulton village.

Approaching Coulton along Coulton Lane
Approaching Coulton along Coulton Lane

Young beef cattle at Coulton
Young beef cattle at Coulton

The road through Coulton
The road through Coulton

Leaving Coulton on the path across the fields
Leaving Coulton on the path across the fields

Sheep feeding on mangels - electric fence a few metres ahead
Sheep feeding on mangels - electric fence a few metres ahead

Looking back into Coulton village
Looking back into Coulton village

Path down into the little valley
Path down into the little valley

However there was no provision for people to cross along the public footpath. However we managed to stride over it very carefully and avoided anything vital coming into contact with the wire.

Here, at the edge of the village, map ref. SE637739, we turned left off the road on to a footpath across the fields heading roughly north east. At one point there was a field of mangels which had been divided up by an electric fence to feed a flock of sheep.

Leaving the road at Coulton for the path across the fields
Leaving the road at Coulton for the path across the fields

Path across the field down into the little valley
Path across the field down into the little valley

Path heading for the marshy land in the little valley
Path heading for the marshy land in the little valley

Dragon fly pond in the valley bottom
Dragon fly pond in the valley bottom

Crossing the marshy land in the valley bottom
Crossing the marshy land in the valley bottom

Footbridge over a small stream
Footbridge over a small stream

Canada geese on one of the small ponds
Canada geese on one of the small ponds

There were several kinds of dragon fly and damsel fly darting about. One landed on Jim's cap and I managed to get a photo just before it flew off. I think it's a species called a four spot chaser. We saw one once before at the Skipwith Common nature reserve. We continued along the path past several small ponds, following the stream downstream.

The path continued down the slope to the valley of a small stream. It's the same stream that flows down to Hovingham Park and is the stream with the ford where our walk started. Where we reached the valley bottom there is a large area of marsh grass and a small pond at the edge of some woodland.

A
A "four spot chaser" on Jim's cap

Jim probing ahead through the marshy undergrowth
Jim probing ahead through the marshy undergrowth

Another small pond by the path
Another small pond by the path

Continuing down the valley with the stream now on our right
Continuing down the valley with the stream now on our right

Crossing the access road to Hovingham Lodge
Crossing the access road to Hovingham Lodge

Continuing down the valley through Mill Wood
Continuing down the valley through Mill Wood

It's a very pretty little valley and we followed the path through some woodland called Mill Wood to the road at map ref. SE656753.

At the access road to Hovingham Lodge we crossed the stream on the bridge and continued to follow it downstream along the other bank.

Continuing down the valley through Mill Wood
Continuing down the valley through Mill Wood

Approaching the road from Mill Wood
Approaching the road from Mill Wood

Autumn colours in the trees at Hovingham Park
Autumn colours in the trees at Hovingham Park

Start of the permissive path across Hovingham park
Start of the permissive path across Hovingham park

Weir by the bridge in Hovingham Park
Weir by the bridge in Hovingham Park

Sharp right turn at the stile
Sharp right turn at the stile

At the bridge we turned left and followed a public footpath roughly northwards for about 250m to a stile where the path turns sharp right. From the stile the path follows a grassy strip and a row of trees between the fields for about 600m to the farm access track into Hovingham Farms.

We crossed the road to a stile opposite at the start of a permissive path across Hovingham Park. The path followed the stream across the field and after about 500m we reached the ornamental bridge and weir across the stream.

Ornamental bridge over the stream in Hovingham Park
Ornamental bridge over the stream in Hovingham Park

Looking back across the bridge in Hovingham Park
Looking back across the bridge in Hovingham Park

Public footpath between the fields
Public footpath between the fields

Looking north from the path through Hovingham Park
Looking north from the path through Hovingham Park

Returning through Hovingham village
Returning through Hovingham village

The whole route had been 12km and it had taken us around three and three quarter hours to walk with no significant stops. We called in the bakery cafe for a coffee and a very nice bacon sandwich to round off a very enjoyable walk on this fine sunny day.

From here the path crosses a stile and a small field to join the Ebor Way route along the track we used at the start of the walk. We retraced our steps back to the ford by the bakery and the end of our walk.

The end of our walk at the ford by the bakery
The end of our walk at the ford by the bakery

Autumn colours in the trees off Coulton Lane near Blackdale Mill
Autumn colours in the trees off Coulton Lane near Blackdale Mill

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