About Michael Tilley
- Michael Tilley
This is a linear tour from Stockton-on-the-Forest to York (Layerthorpe); it follows at various points The Jorvik Way, the Foss Way and the Millennium Way. I reached Stockton on a Coastliner bus from York.
The tour was not as I imagined when I planned it: there was more road walking than I had anticipated and several stretches were really muddy.
It started off well enough when I found Sowray’s Trod, the public footpath leading out of Stockton across the golf course. This led to the busy A64 which I had to cross to get to North Lane. This is a busy lane as it is used as a short cut by many cars. The other part of North Lane leading to Huntingdon on the other side of the ring road is much quieter.
At the start of Church Lane are the remains of a cross. Just before the church the public footpath begins to follow the course of the River Foss and the tour follows the Foss virtually all the way back into York. There were many stretches along this part where the mud was deep.
I think this tour would be better done by making it an evening stroll starting from Huntingdon and doing it later in the year when mud would not be a problem. There is not a long to see along the route, although I find it quite relaxing walking alongside a river.
4 days ago
- Michael Tilley
This is a circular tour based on the market town of Pocklington. I started and finished the tour at the bus station, so as you would expect there is a bit of walking through streets until you reach the countryside. The outward and inward parts of the tour abut the local golf course; especially on the outward leg, care is needed to see what the golfers are doing. The outward leg partially follows 'The Pilgrim of Grace Heritage Trail' and by the golf course there is plaque with information on this trail and there is a good place to enjoy fine views looking out over open country.
After the golf club a quiet country lane is followed leading to the climb up Warrendale - a steady climb, but a climb nevertheless. This leads to Whinny Hill where there are great views over the countryside and in particular the village of Millington.
The trek goes along the side of the hill before dropping down to Millington. When I started this descent the first fifty or so yards were deep mud before firmer grass could be reached. Fortunately, frost had firmed up the mud, easing the problem somewhat.
At the bottom of the descent there was again deep mud before a boardwalk could be reached. Navigating the slope of this boardwalk with boots caked in soft mud was not easy.
Crossing a little footbridge led to a road around Millington. I took a few minutes to investigate the little church there, but I didn't find anything of interest.
Then there was some road walking along Swineridge Lane before branching off on to a footpath. Again, the fields were muddy. A short stretch of road walking along The Mile followed: this is a fairly busy country road.
Woodhouse Lane led up to the climb into Pocklington Wood bringing me to the opposite side of the golf course and yet more muddy stretches. I was surprised how much the ground had been turned over simply by hikers - no trace of mountain bike treads or hoof prints.
Then it was along and down Chapel Hill and then into the urban streets of Pocklington back to the bus station.
There is a reasonable amount of signposting along the route. However, just before Mill Farm I could not see the way out of the field I was in; I think this was because I had not kept to the field boundary in an effort to avoid the mud there.
There was just one stile on the route.
January 6, 2022
- Michael Tilley
This is a pleasant circular tour from Spofforth to Sicklinghall and back. I reached Spofforth on the#7 bus that runs between Harrogate and Leeds.
I alighted in the middle of the village and turned off the High Street at the pub and walked through their car-park to join the footpath that passes under an old railway bridge. I did not see that this footpath was signposted. The way across the field was clear from the tramp of other hikers.
However, when I reached Park Lane i could not see my way out of the field other than by climbing over a locked gate. I later noticed a few yards further up a stone wall a small wall stile that was meant to be the way out of the field.
Park Lane becomes High Lane and at this time of year is quite dirty and muddy in places. High Lane has Christmas tree nurseries on both sides so that makes it quite pretty.
There is a clearly marked bridleway on the left leading from High Lane. This bridleway is also called Park Lane. When it passes over a small bridge it is really muddy since the ground has been churned up by so many horses’ hooves.
Park Lane eventually meets the High Street in Sicklinghall, a pretty village with stone-built cottages, two churches and a large village pond.
The route goes down Stockeld Lane and I found it all too easy to miss the footpath off on the left; it is up a bank and the signpost is partially hidden by trees.
The route across the field is relatively easy to see and follows the field boundary, before going left to reach a gate into the adjacent field. The way is then straight ahead. A little beck with large stone blocks to ford it was unexpected. After this beck my map suggested I went straight on, but I could see others prior to me had turned right. I carried straight on and then found I had to turn right and the way was to follow the delightfully named Toad Hall beck.
This footpath brought me back to Park Lane, where I could have retraced my footsteps to go under the railway bridge, but instead I decided to follow Park Lane back into Spofforth.
There are five stiles along this route. It is reasonably flat and navigation is quite straightforward, provided you don’t miss the footpath just out of Sicklinghall on the return leg!
December 16, 2021
- Explorer: Future & The Past likes this.
- Michael Tilley
This is a linear tour that runs around the north east of Wetherby, close to the racecourse.
The nearest bus stop to the start point is the one by Watersole Lane, which can be reached by the #7 bus that travels between Harrogate and Leeds.
Initially, the footpath runs quite close to the A1(M) so there is quite a bit of traffic noise. It also goes fairly close to the racecourse at Wetherby giving the opportunity of watching some racing on race days. In fact, it skirts around the racecourse and reaches the Wetherby to York road (B1224) at a roundabout.
I found the footpath had been diverted here and it was a simple matter of crossing the road at the roundabout and following the marked bridleway. However, I only realised that a diversion was in place when I had contended with traffic on the B1224 for about a hundred yards.
Up to Sandbeck Lane the going had been very easy with no muddy stretches – indeed part of the route had been along the tarmaced Wetherby Railway path, but this lane was where the going became slower. It was muddy because the lane is used by tractors and horses. However, nowhere was it particularly deep.
Once I got to the hamlet near Loshpot Lane I was past the muddy stretch. This was a very quiet country lane that led up to the A168. Here I crossed the road and followed the marked path that led to Kirk Deighton across fields.
Unfortunately, the church there was shut. I left the village by Ashdale Lane and then followed the marked footpath, which crossed the northern section of the Wetherby Railway path and led on to the main Harrogate to Wetherby Road where I could pick up a #7 bus.
Navigation on the tour is extremely straightforward, no hills to puff up, and no stiles to clamber over. However, there is really very little to see, unless, of course, you are doing it on a race day.
December 2, 2021
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- Michael Tilley
This is a linear tour from Wetherby to Boston Spa that uses the Wetherby Railway Path for the main part of the route.
I reached the starting point of the tour on the eastern outskirts of Wetherby with #7 bus from Leeds. (I found the nearest bus stop is the one by Watersole Lane.) I returned from Boston Spa using the #7 too.
Initially, the footpath runs quite close to the A1(M) so there is quite a bit of traffic noise. It also goes fairly close to the racecourse at Wetherby giving the opportunity of watching some racing on race days.
Although part of the route is called the railway path there is not much to be seen now of what was the Church Fenton to Harrogate railway line on the part of the path I used, but I did pass under two bridges which looked very incongruous. (The path does go west to Spofforth on the other side of Wetherby.)
After crossing the viaduct over the Wharfe, you need to turn off to the right and double back to reach the path that runs by the Wharfe to go to Boston Spa. This turn off is not marked by is quite obvious by the trampled grass.
The route is then along the footpath by the Wharfe. There is one descent along here but it has wooden steps.
Finally, the bridge (built 1768) spanning the Wharfe between Boston Spa and Thorp Arch is reached, and the route is then up Bridge Road into the centre of the village to the bus stop.
Although there is not much to see on the tour, it has the advantage of being tarmaced for most of the way and also there are no muddy stretches so it is good for striding out on cold, crisp winter days.
November 25, 2021
- Michael Tilley
The best time of year to do this short circular tour is August when the flowering heather is lighting up Hartoft Rigg; the winter months are not so good, since there are several boggy sections on the outward leg.
Parking is limited and is just beside a cattle grid on the minor road between Cropton and Egton Bridge.
The footpath from the parking spot follows the outskirts of Russell’s Wood (and this is where it is boggy) before going across fields to drop down to White House. At White House the route is to the right of the house, and thn when through a gate, take the gate on the left and follow the track. The path here is indistinct, but the aim is for a gap in the stone wall. After that, the direction is diagonal with the aim of the wood on Hartoft Moor. Again, this path is indistinct.
The path is much clearer on the outskirts of the wood and is obviously used by mountain bikers as well as walkers.
The route down to Birch Farm is straightforward. A ford then leads to a lane which rises up and passes Low Wind Hill, where there is a lovely variegated holly in its grounds.
At the top of the lane, the route skirts wood and then rises up to Hartoft Rigg, This stretch requires some concentration. I started by following tracks of a mountain biker, but found I’d gone too far off to the right. I was able to correct this, but only by wading through knee-high heather until I came to the proper footpath. Once I’d found this path there was no problem in keeping to it, since it was quite well trodden and ridden.
There are some pleasant views from both sides of the valley formed by Hartoft Beck, but they are not exceptional.
There is just one stile on the route.
November 20, 2021
- Michael Tilley
This is a circular tour that starts and finishes at 'The Blacksmith Arms' which is on the road from Cropton to Rosedale. The pub is no longer in operation so there is no trouble in using the large car park there.
A lot of the tour is on quiet country roads and forestry tracks. The 'Moor to See' route for cyclists goes along part of the route.
The route is pretty well sign-posted, and where there are no sign-posts, the way is obvious by the trampled grass. However, the stretch between Head House and Rock House Farm is a bit tricky to navigate. The route runs by the side of Head House and then goes diagonally across a field and then should follow the left hand field boundary down the hill. At the bottom, the footbridge to the right should be seen and this is used for crossing Hartoft Beck. From the footbridge, the route is to the right and then up the hill. This part is easier since you will have Rock House Farm to aim at.
While there are a few places for views, the tour does provide an opportunity for exercise by its up and down topography. Indeed, the start from the pub is uphill to Storey House Farm. However, the route back is easy for weary feet since it is downhill from the ridge past Rock House Farm.
There are three stiles to clamber over.
November 15, 2021
- Dave t likes this.
- Michael Tilley
This is a circular tour on the eastern side of Spaunton Moor, starting from The Blacksmith Arms on the Cropton to Rosedale Abbey Road. The pub is no longer in operation so its car park is available for parking.
Crossing the road, the way is down a field, then crossing a stile to join a road leading to a house. The footpath goes through the house’s rear garden, then across a small bridge and then diagonally across a field to climb a ladder stile.
The path after a couple of hundred yards or so joins a wide track in the direction of Rosedale Abbey. There are some nice views here looking towards Rosedale Abbey. Indeed, this tour is best done on a sunny day with good visibility so that you can see up the valley: the old iron furnace workings at Rosedale are visible.
Where a track comes in from the left, the way is a sharp left and climb up this track. This leads to Redman Plain. I used the Ordnance Survey map to mark my intended path, but found that path did not exist! So, it was then a tramp across the heather to find a track.
I also decided to look for the remains of Redman’s Cross, but failed to locate it. What I should have done was to look for a picture of it in advance so that I knew what I was searching for, and maybe also get its co-ordinates.
From Redman Plain I did eventually find the right track, which was again a broad track and could not be missed; nor could the Pile of Stones which is noted on the Ordnance Survey map.
A narrow path that I needed to follow was marked by a signpost. It is such a narrow path through the heather that it is easy to miss it. Its narrowness makes walking difficult. Along this stretch of the route are several patches of waterlogged ground that require skirting around.
This narrow path eventually meets up with a broad track. Along this track is a marker to commemorate glassmaking in the area. There are now no traces of the buildings. Finally, you come to the path where you joined this wider track and then retrace your way past the house, up the hill and back to the car.
There is one ordinary stile and one ladder-stile on the route, though they are both crossed twice.
November 8, 2021
- Michael Tilley
This is a pleasant linear tour that goes from Thornbury to Rodley. There are frequent buses from Leeds to Thornbury (X6 or 72 for example); from Rodley back to Leeds the 60 runs at 30 minute intervals. There are no stiles to clamber over on this tour, or hills to climb: in fact, starting at Thornbury there is a slow descent to Rodley. What's more there are no really muddy stretches to work your way around.
The start of the tour follows the Leeds Country Way and until Ravenscliffe Wood is met there is nothing much to see on the route, though you need to take care crossing part of a golf course.
Where there is a junction of Faghall Road and Woodhall Road, the route is straight across passing 'The Lodge' and then entering Ravenscliffe Wood. There is a split in the path later and the way is to take the top and wider path, which will take you past several large clumps of holly trees.
Having passed Ravenscliffe Mills, the route is to the left and where it emerges at some old houses, turn right over the bridge, go up Beck Bottom, cross the road, and enter West Wood on Eleanor Drive.
When I came out of West Wood, I had difficulty finding how to reach the Aire Valley Towpath and eventually got there by going down Parkin Lane and then turning up Harrogate Road where there were steps down to the towpath.
In West Wood, I made a little diversion to look at Carr Beck, but I didn't think there anything of interest to see there.
It is easy going along the towpath of the Leeds Liverpool canal, though of course you have to contend with joggers and mad cyclists.
I left the canal by way of a little bridge leading to Moss Bridge Road and turned right at the end to find the bus stop.
November 4, 2021
- Michael Tilley
This is a short circular tour based on Nawton, which lis between Kirby Moorside and Helmsley. There is parking b the cricket club or parking in the streets off the A170 that runs through the village.
The tour proper starts near the Primary School and heads off diagonally north-east from the gate, with the exit from the field being in the corner. The way across the next field is again diagonal and this time a gate can be seen to the right of a building of two large semi-detached houses and leads on to Guncross Lane. This is a very quiet lane that leads down to the A170 which is crossed and the footpath, which is well sign-posted, picked up. This is on the inside a hedge boundary and leads to Nawton Road.
Just on the left as you reach Nawton Road there is the base of an old way-marker called Stony Cross. The Thurkilsti, one of the four most important medieval roads from south to north across the North York Moors, crosses the A170 at this point or close to it as it goes from Sunley Hill towards the Skiplam Road.
The route then leads down Cockerhill Road toward the Municipal Tip, but before that is reached a stile is crossed and the field boundary followed crossing another four stiles in the process. I could not see any marking of the footpath at the stile in Cockerhill Road.
Eventually, a stile on the right is crossed and this leads toward South Lund Farm and the path becomes a lane past the farm and leads on to Station Road. On the left are the remains of the old station at Nawton, which has been converted into a house and the whole area into holiday accommodation. The path past the old station goes on to reach Gale Lane and the centre of the village.
There are no spectacular views along this tour, but it is very undemanding being almost flat. Navigation is straightforward. Furthermore, there are no muddy stretches so it is good for a tour in the winter when days are shorter and often wetter. There are six stiles to cross in total.
October 23, 2021