Autumn colours at the start of the walk
The area around Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire provides several opportunities for walking without the need, lovely as it is, to actually enter the grounds. This is especially important when leading a walk for Weekday Wanderers as not all group members are National Trust members. The Trust encourages walks in the area by publishing descriptive leaflets. For me the beauty is also free, reasonably safe parking and the use of facilities at the Visitor Centre. There is also interest in the buildings and landscape and walking is generally pretty level.
East Gate Studley Roger and more autumn colour
I’m leading this walk in November and took the opportunity to have a day out with a friend (and fellow Wanderer) to practice the walk and re-acquaint myself with the route which I haven’t done for a few years. Here is my Flickr Album ‘Fountains Abbey Walk‘. In those days we walked much further so yesterday I reduced the mileage somewhat by making a few diversions and short-cuts based on this walk.
East Gate with Ripon Cathedral in the distance
It was a spectacularly beautiful autumn day yesterday. The November walk will probably be dull and may be wet. It measured 7.5 miles on my Fitbit and should fit nicely into the shorter winter day.
The East Gate and Lodges, Studley Roger
From the Visitor Centre we walked right through Studley Royal Deer Park; always with a view of Ripon Cathedral ahead of us. As we left the park we turned right, passed Plumpton Hall and briefly re-entered the estate and woods. Here we joined point 5 on the full walk description.
We then followed the walk descibed on the linked leaflet. Along Whitcliff Lane and the Park Wall track where Markenfield Hall came into view. The moated Hall is well worth a closer view and it’s possible to visit on certain days for tours and events.
Autumn field from the Park Wall track
Across the field is Markenfield Hall
The Gatehouse, Markenfield Hall
From the Hall the route crosses a few fields eventually reaching Strait Lane. This is an old, deep lane or holloway. You emerge from it after about a kilometer and take some field edge paths with views of How Hill to rejoin Whitcliff Lane.
Strait Lane Holloway
Christmas Tree Plantations
How Hill from field edge path
It’s possible to divert on to How Hill but we kept to the road, joined How Hill Road and Fountains Lane – fine views of Fountains Hall in the sunshine – and returned to the Visitor Centre for a cup of tea.
Long shadows at the end of the walk