“The monks of the Abbey of St Laurence live a life inspired by the Rule of St Benedict based in a beautiful valley in North Yorkshire. St Benedict emphasised the importance of community living as a context for the growth of the individual.” [website]
St Benedict Sculpture by Judy Brown
Ampleforth Abbey has been home to a community of Benedictine monks since 1802. It provides: a co-educational day and boarding school for ages 13 to 18; hosts retreats, pilgrimages and time for reflection; is home to St Martin’s a co-educational day and boarding school for ages 3 to 13; welcomes visitors wishing to spend the day there and provides refreshments in its Tea Room. St Alban’s Sports Centre provides excellent sport and recreation facilities and is open to the public and the Abbey produces and sells its own cider, beer, and other monastic produce and provides unique holiday lettings.
“The walk is approx 7 miles in N Yorks Moors Western Area with afternoon tea option at Ampleforth Abbey.”
That was the brief message about the Weekday Wanderers‘ Walk today.
The Good Samaritan by John Bunting
It’s nearly a year since I had my day out with friends visiting The Plot and I was reminded of this as we walked down from the car park through the Abbey grounds to begin our walk.
Walk this way
The Abbey from the Field Track
From here we headed along the lane and into Ampleforth village itself before heading south on field tracks to the wooded area surrounding the Lower Fish Pond.
The Lower Fish Pond
From here, through the woodland, we had a steepish climb up, up, up to a track along the ridge which eventually opened out into ‘The Avenue’ a broad avenue with woods on either side which was the approach at one time to Gilling Castle. Lunchtime!
Ampleforth College Golf Club occupies the grounds of the Castle and our route took us around these immaculately kept greens eventually dropping down into the village of Gilling East.
Holy Cross Church, Gilling East
Boys and their Toys
Passing over rough meadow land we arrived at a wheat field which we waded through following a very narrow public footpath. A sculpture of a man by Anthony Gormley (old boy of Ampleforth College) overlooks the local countryside here.
We were soon back in the College grounds and a tarmac track lead back up to the main buildings and the very welcome Tea Room.
Tea Room with local Mouseman furniture
Pear and Almond Cake nearly finished after a lovely day’s walk and visit