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Following the bridleway from Harewood Avenue past Farfield Farm & down to the Ebor Way beside the River Wharfe
Following the bridleway from Harewood Avenue, past Farfield Farm & down to the Ebor Way beside the River Wharfe

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Route No. 655 - Sunday 29 January 2017
Harewood Avenue, Farfield Farm, Ebor Way,
River Wharfe, Fitts Lane, Harewood circuit - 8km
Wharfedale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 289 Leeds


The lay-by on Harewood Avenue at map ref. SE 334 450, next to the access road to Stockton Grange Farm where we started our walk
The lay-by on Harewood Avenue at map ref. SE 334 450, next to the access road to Stockton Grange Farm where we started our walk

Cast iron mile post on the roadside
Cast iron mile post on the roadside

We made our way along the rough grass verge of Harewood Avenue
We made our way along the rough grass verge of Harewood Avenue

From the lay-by we walked east along Harewood Avenue on the grass verge of this noisy busy road with fast traffic passing all the time and great gusts of wind from passing lorries. It was not a very pleasant experience but we continued past the entrance to the famous Harewood Hill Climb course at Stockton Farm. After only about 10 minutes we reached a farm access road on our left at map ref. SE 346 450, leading to Farfield Farm.

Today was forecast to be a fine sunny day sandwiched between more of the gloomy wet stuff so my wife and I drove to Harewood Avenue a fast busy route between the village of Harewood on the A59 and Collingham near Wetherby. We parked in a lay-by on the north side of the road at map ref. SE 334 450, next to the access road to Stockton Grange Farm.

We passed the entrance to the Harewood Hill Climb site
We passed the entrance to the Harewood Hill Climb site

Nearing the junction where we turn left onto a farm track
Nearing the junction where we turn left onto a farm track

Turning left off Harewood Avenue along the farm access road to Farfield Farm
Turning left off Harewood Avenue along the farm access road to Farfield Farm

The farm access road to Farfield Farm
The farm access road to Farfield Farm

The bridleway down from Farfield Farm to the river
The bridleway down from Farfield Farm to the river

We continued along the bridleway passing through the sheep pastures with fine views across Wharfedale as we descended the valley side along a good track at the edge of the fields.

We turned left here following a public bridleway along the Farfield Farm access road. All the farm buildings here have been converted for residential use. They have a lovely position overlooking Wharfedale but seem to be not quite finished yet.

Farfield Farm buildings, all residential now
Farfield Farm buildings, all residential now


The bridleway down from Farfield Farm to the river

Looking across Wharfedale from the bridleway down to the river
Looking across Wharfedale from the bridleway down to the river

About to cross the sheep pasture to the wooded river bank
About to cross the sheep pasture to the wooded river bank

Heading for the yellow marker post at the edge of the wood
Heading for the yellow marker post at the edge of the wood

Walking through the woodland to the river bank
Walking through the woodland to the river bank

There was no clear path across the grassland but the yellow marker post gave us a clear target to aim for. At the marker post we joined the route of the Ebor Way and we followed the path from the marker post through the woodland to the south bank of the River Wharfe.

At the bottom of the slope we came to a flat field about 250m wide with sheep grazing and a strip of woodland at the far side. Opposite us at the edge of the woodland there was a tall post with the top half metre painted bright yellow.

Wide flat sheep pasture along the valley bottom
Wide flat sheep pasture along the valley bottom

Joining the Ebor Way at the edge of the wood
Joining the Ebor Way at the edge of the wood

Reaching the River Wharfe
Reaching the River Wharfe

Following the Ebor Way route along the river bank
Following the Ebor Way route along the river bank

River bank path through Carthick Wood
River bank path through Carthick Wood

Path along the low flood bank beside the river
Path along the low flood bank beside the river


Almscliff Crag on the skyline ahead of us about 8km away

On the skyline ahead of us was the distinctive shape of Almscliff Crag. After following the river bank for about 2.5km we came to the start of Fitts Lane on our left.

At the river bank we turned left and walked along the riverside path through Carthick Wood and along the low flood bank at the edge of the fields with the fast flowing river on our right.

Stile from Carthick Wood to the fields along the river bank
Stile from Carthick Wood to the fields along the river bank

Path along the low flood bank beside the river
Path along the low flood bank beside the river

Continuing along the edge of the fields by the wooded river bank
Continuing along the edge of the fields by the wooded river bank

Turning away from the river to climb up the valley side along Fitts Lane
Turning away from the river to climb up the valley side along Fitts Lane

Fitts Lane climbing up the valley side
Fitts Lane climbing up the valley side

Nearing Harewood village along Fitts Lane
Nearing Harewood village along Fitts Lane

After our break we climbed the last few metres to join the A61 on the northern edge of Harewood village. We followed the pavement and then the grass verge along the side of the main road for about 250 to a public footpath on our left next to an electricity sub-station at map ref. SE 321 453.

Here we turned away from the river and followed Fitts Lane up the hill. Near the top of the hill was a gate across the track and a stile beside the gate The stile step was a bit high for my wonky knees but it was at just the right height to sit on, so we stopped there for a short lunch break.

Fitts Lane climbing up the valley side
Fitts Lane climbing up the valley side

Taking a break on the stile at the edge of Harewood village
Taking a break on the stile at the edge of Harewood village

Turning left off the A61 in Harewood village through a kissing gate next to a small electricity sub-station
Turning left off the A61 in Harewood village through a kissing gate next to a small electricity sub-station

We turned left through the kissing gate and followed the route of the path across the field and along the edge of the escarpment with a fine view of Wharfedale on our left. There was no clear path on the ground to follow. I was delighted to see a Red Kite fly by and settle on a hawthorn tree in the field below us. It showed no sign of moving from its perch and I was able to get out my camera and take some photos. It was the best opportunity I've had to photograph a Red Kite.

A very obliging Red Kite that perched here long enough for me to take a photo
A very obliging Red Kite that perched here long enough for me to take a photo

Looking across Wharfedale from the field path
Looking across Wharfedale from the field path

Following the path eastwards along the access road
Following the path eastwards along the access road

Where the grass track began there was a 600mm diameter high pressure gas installation in a small compound to the right of the track. I believe this pipeline is part of the National Grid High Pressure Gas Pipeline system.

We continued across the field to a gate in the western corner. We passed through the gate and joined a public footpath along an access road heading eastwards. After a few hundred metres the tarmac lane became a grass track through the fields.

Gate from the field to a path along an access road
Gate from the field to a path along an access road

Following the path eastwards along the access road
Following the path eastwards along the access road

Part of the National Grid High Pressure Gas Pipeline system
Part of the National Grid High Pressure Gas Pipeline system

Our route continued along a grassy track across the fields
Our route continued along a grassy track across the fields


. . . we continued straight ahead on a permissive path

Finger post at the junction indicating the permissive path
Finger post at the junction indicating the permissive path

However there is a permissive path along the farm track straight ahead and we continued along the farm track with a view over Stockton Grange Farm in the valley below us.

We continued along the grassy track along the field edge and just beyond the gate at the end of the field there was a stile on our right. This is where the public footpath turns right and goes out to Harewood Avenue.

Stile where the public footpath turns right
Stile where the public footpath turns right . . .

The battered sign says
The battered sign says "DEFRA Conservation Walks"

Turning right towards Harewood Avenue
Turning right towards Harewood Avenue

Looking into Wharfedale over Stockton Grange Farm from the permissive path
Looking into Wharfedale over Stockton Grange Farm from the permissive path

Heading out to Harewood Avenue along the farm access track
Heading out to Harewood Avenue along the farm access track

At the road we turned left and walked the last few metres to the lay-by where we had parked, and the end of our walk. The whole route had been about 8km and it had taken us just over two and a half hours to walk including a short lunch break.

After about 300m along the farm track we came to a junction where we turned right following the finger post at the corner indicating the route of the permissive path. From the junction we followed the farm access track for about 200m out to join Harewood Avenue.

Turning left along Harewood Avenue back to our car
Turning left along Harewood Avenue back to our car

Returning to our car in the lay-by at the end of our walk
Returning to our car in the lay-by at the end of our walk

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