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Bridleway between the fields on the way to Studley Roger
Bridleway between the fields on the way to Studley Roger

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Route No. 586 - Thursday 9 July 2015
Studley Deer Park, Whitcliffe Hall,
Hell Wath Nature Reserve, River Skell,
Studley Roger circuit - 10km
Ripon . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 299 Ripon & Boroughbridge


Leaving the car park to walk around the lake shore to the outlet stream, the River Skell
Leaving the car park to walk around the lake shore to the outlet stream, the River Skell

Greylag geese on the lake shore
Greylag geese on the lake shore

Waterfall at the lake outlet
Waterfall at the lake outlet

Gate from the woodland track to the fields
Gate from the woodland track to the fields

We crossed the outlet stream, the River Skell, on the footbridge and followed the track by the river for about 25m. Here the track forks and we kept to the right hand fork which led us up the hillside through the trees for about 70m to a gate (with deer fencing) at the top that led us into a large field.

This morning Jim & I met two friends, Ray & Sylvia, at Studley Deer Park near Ripon. Today's walk is one of Ray's routes. There's a large National Trust car park next to the lake in the deer park at map ref. SE 278 691 (it's "pay & display" unless you're a National Trust member). From the car park we walked around the edge of the lake to its outlet weir.

Footbridge over the lake outlet
Footbridge over the lake outlet

We took the right hand fork in the track
We took the right hand fork in the track

Track across the field
Track across the field

Path off the track to cross the field to the stone gateway arch
Path off the track to cross the field to the stone gateway arch

Path took us through aherd of young beef cattle
Path took us through a herd of young beef cattle

After about 650m we reached an ornamental stone gate arch. Through the gateway arch we turned left to follow a bridleway along a track through woodland.

We continued along the track for about 100m then just before the field boundary, we turned right off track past a wooden marker post. We walked across this large field, through a herd of young beef cattle.

Path took us through aherd of young beef cattle
Path took us through a herd of young beef cattle

Elaborate stone gateway arch
Elaborate stone gateway arch

Woodland bridleway from the stone gateway arch
Woodland bridleway from the stone gateway arch

Path across the fields towards Whitcliffe Hall
Path across the fields towards Whitcliffe Hall

There was a herd of dairy cows laying in the field chewing the cud in the warm sunshine, a very restful scene. We continued along the bridleway across the field for about 400m to a narrow tarmac access road bounded by tall hedges just south of Whitcliffe Hall.

After about 700 we reached a junction in the tracks. The track to our left headed down to cross the River Skell, but we kept straight on and then bearing left to climb up through the woodland to a gate into the fields at map ref. SE 292 687.

Keeping straight on at the junction in the track
Keeping straight on at the junction in the track

Gate to the access road near Whitfield Hall
Gate to the access road near Whitfield Hall

Heading towards Ripon along the access road from Whitfield Hall
Heading towards Ripon along the access road from Whitfield Hall

Heading towards Ripon along the access road
Heading towards Ripon along the access road

About to turn left at the end of the access road
About to turn left at the end of the access road

Passing Hell Wath Cottage
Passing Hell Wath Cottage

Where the access road reached the housing development roads we turned left skirting the edge of the development and followed the lane to Hell Wath Cottage (map ref. SE 299 699).

At this access road we turned left and walked along the road past Whitcliffe Hall towards Ripon. We followed the access road for about 1km from Whitcliffe Hall to the edge of the Ripon housing development at map ref. SE 302 698.

Ripon Cathedral in the distance
Ripon Cathedral in the distance

Skirting the edge of the housing heading for Hell Wath
Skirting the edge of the housing heading for Hell Wath

Footpath into Hell Wath Nature Reserve (no signs)
Footpath into Hell Wath Nature Reserve (no signs)


Woodland path at Hell Wath Nature Reserve

Rabbit deciding when to run for cover
Rabbit deciding when to run for cover

River Skell along the edge of Hell Wath Nature Reserve
River Skell along the edge of Hell Wath Nature Reserve

There were many ringlet and meadow brown butterflies as we made our way along the paths into the reserve and back beside the River Skell to Hell Wath Cottage.

Just beyond Hell Wath Cottage is an information board at a wooden fence and here we turned right to follow a footpath into Hell Wath Nature Reserve.

Path through Hell Wath Nature Reserve
Path through Hell Wath Nature Reserve

One of many Meadow Brown butterflies
One of many Meadow Brown butterflies

Leaving the reserve back to Hell wath Cottage
Leaving the reserve back to Hell Wath Cottage

Turning onto the bridleway just beyond Hell Wath Cottage
Turning onto the bridleway just beyond Hell Wath Cottage

Bridge over the River Skell
Bridge over the River Skell

Bridleway between the fields
Bridleway between the fields

Turning left at map ref. SE 295 705 to head for Studley Roger
Turning left at map ref. SE 295 705 to head for Studley Roger

After about 550m from the River Skell where the bridleway crossed a public footpath (map ref. SE 295 705) we turned left and followed the footpath between the field for about 500m into the village of Studley Roger.

At the information board near Hell Wath Cottage we turned right and followed a bridleway across a bridge over the River Skell and out between the fields heading towards the B6265.

The River Skell from the bridge
The River Skell from the bridge

Viewing a lovely big garden from a bridge over a stream
Viewing a lovely big garden from a bridge over a stream

Approaching Studley Roger along the footpath
Approaching Studley Roger along the footpath

White foxgloves by the footpath near Studley Roger
White foxgloves by the footpath near Studley Roger

Approaching the road in Studley Roger
Approaching the road in Studley Roger

Footpath from Studley Roger to the Deer Park
Footpath from Studley Roger to the Deer Park

The mown grassy track through the deer park
The mown grassy track through the deer park

There were herds of fallow deer and red deer grazing near the path as we made our way through the park.

The path crossed the road through Studley Roger and we followed the path out of the village to a gate into Studley Deer Park. Once through the gate we turned right and followed the mown grassy path around the edge of the park.

Continuing along the footpath across the road in Studley Roger
Continuing along the footpath across the road in Studley Roger

Gate into Studley Deer Park
Gate into Studley Deer Park

Group of Fallow deer in the long grass
Group of Fallow deer in the long grass

Group of red deer in the shade of a big oak tree
Group of red deer in the shade of a big oak tree

Following the grassy track through the deer park
Following the grassy track through the deer park

Group of fallow deer in the long grass
More fallow deer in the long grass

We continued along the valley bottom beyond the bridge for about 100m. We then turned left and made our way up to join the tarmac access road through the park at map ref. SE 278 702.

We followed the mown grassy path to a steep sided little valley and continued down to the valley bottom where there is an ornamental stone bridge. This bridge is under repair at present and we bypassed the fenced off working area.

Wheatbrigs House on the edge of the deer park
Wheatbrigs House on the edge of the deer park

Grassy path down to the ornamental stone bridge
Grassy path down to the ornamental stone bridge

Repairs underway at the ornamental stone bridge
Repairs underway at the ornamental stone bridge

Climbing out of the little valley to the access road
Climbing out of the little valley to the access road

Ancient oak tree by the access road
Ancient oak tree by the access road

Close by there is a wild cherry tree, now in the final phase of its life but still bearing fruit this summer. Both of these trees are on the ancient tree hunt data base. We continued along the access road for about 700m to a junction where we turned right along the access road to the church and the obelisk.

At the access road we turned left and walked along it past the old stable block (now desirable apartments). As we walked along the access road there are some lovely old trees. In particular there is a huge oak tree.

The old stable block now desirable appartments
The old stable block now desirable apartments

 Ancient cherry tree by the access road
Ancient cherry tree by the access road

Following the access road from the mews apartments
Following the access road from the mews apartments

Access road leading to the church
Access road leading to the church

Heading back to the car park along a grassy track
Heading back to the car park along a grassy track


Grassy track down to the car park

The whole walk had been 10km and it had taken us about 3 hours 30 minutes. to walk it.

After about 550m we reached the church. Here we turned left off the access road to head down the slope along another mown grassy track. On the left of the track is another fine old tree, this time a sweet chestnut, that is on the ancient tree hunt data base. We continued along the grassy track through a grove of huge sweet chestnut trees to reach the National Trust car park above the lake.


St. Mary's Church in Studley Deer Park

Ancient chestnut tree by the path
Ancient chestnut tree by the path

The lake at Studley Deer Park below the National Trust car park
The lake at Studley Deer Park below the National Trust car park

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