Harrogate Group Reports of Recent Walks


All suitably equipped walkers are welcome on our walks whether members of The Ramblers Association or not.

We look forward to meeting you!


An explanation. The many reports below were first written for the local newspaper and have provided interesting reading for many years. They have been included here as it was easy to cut and paste them to this website. Unfortunatley the newspaper are now restricting the content we give them, resulting in just an odd sentance for each week's walk. As a result it looks likely that few proper reports will be written in future.

30th July

Eight walkers met in Markington on Thursday morning for our monthly 'shorter' walk. The sun shone as we headed on the road towards Wormald Green, then turned north, then east, and onto Horse Mill Lane. We were glad to reach this clear lane after having to climb over a gate tied shut and struggling through thick weeds and crops. Crossing Thwaites Lane we went north across open fields to reach Markenfield Hall. This ancient building with it's well-tended gardens is always a pleasure to see. After stopping for a drink we went around the outside of the buildings on a permissive path before retracing our steps to Thwaites Lane. A few drops of rain warned us of what was to come! We headed west through field of young Christmas trees and fields of willow destined to be fuel in power stations. As we struggled through more crops the rain became persistant and crossing the village cricket ground we were definatley getting wet and glad to reach the comfort of our cars in Markington. Within half an hour there was hard torrential rain, luckily we had enjoyed our walk before it rained hard.

12th July 2008


Those who joined the Group’s coach ramble to Dovedale in the Peak District last Saturday (12th July) enjoyed a bright and breezy day in what many regard as the most beautiful limestone valley in England. Although the Dove Valley is very popular with walkers, there is a real feeling of seclusion to be experienced as the narrow nine-mile valley between Thorpe Cloud and Hartington is crossed by only one metalled road. Steep limestone hillsides, often thickly wooded, sweep down to the river, and there are many precipitous crags. Particular attractions include Tissington Spires, Lovers’ Leap, the immense limestone Arch of Reynard’s Cave, the Dove Holes and Viator’s Bridge. The River Dove, immortalised as an angler’s paradise by Isaac Walton and Charles Cotton, was swollen by heavy overnight rain, and not as clear as its normal self.

There were two walks. The shorter one went straight up the valley, and the walkers enjoyed the successive delights of Dovedale, Milldale, Wolfescote Dale and Beresford Dale. Those who chose the longer walk forked off at Milldale and walked over the limestone tops into the adjacent Manifold Valley. The route passed the entrance to the magnificent Thor’s Cave and several of the party scrambled inside to investigate further. Shortly afterwards, the walkers descended to the bottom of the valley where the River Manifold whose waters had completely disappeared into the limestone ten days previously was now a raging torrent. The party left the Manifold Valley via Narrowdale, still a dry dale, and went on paths and green lanes back to the valley of the Dove at Beresford Dale, famed for its Pike Pool.

Both parties of walkers enjoyed the summer flowers on “unimproved” hillsides and meadows, and bird watchers saw grey wagtails, dippers, herons and a peregrine. There was time for refreshment at Hartington before the coach travelled across the Peak District via Monyash and Bakewell, and back to Harrogate. .

21st June

The Saturday mid-summer walk began from the market town of Richmond. Weather conditions were cloudy and dry as a group of 20 ramblers led by Clare Sandercock set out from the old railway station and crossed the bridge over the River Swale. We headed steeply uphill passing the 12th century Richmond Castle and on through the busy market place. We walked in a NW direction leaving the town behind and onto a track giving good views back towards Richmond and the surrounding countryside. Alfred Wainwright passed by this way on his famous coast to coast walk. A plaque on a bench at a viewpoint gives his pleasing comments on the wonderful views to be seen here. Weather conditions were deteriorating and the rain began as we continued on through Beacon Plantation. The views now shrouded in mist. Lunch was taken in the shelter of Gilling Wood. From here we continued on field tracks before turning in a SE direction onto a track past Crabtree House Farm leading onto the village of Gilling West then south past Aske Hall, the Grade 1 listed building with beautiful parkland. The final leg of the walk took us on a public footpath across Richmond Golf Course almost deserted of golfers on this very soggy mid-summer's day then back into Richmond to the starting point of the walk. A few hardy ramblers finished off the day with a swim in the swimming pool adjacent to the car park. Afterwards they joined the rest of the group for refreshments in the old railway station building now converted into a superb cafe, shopping and cinema complex.

14th June

The second of our summer coach rambles was to Coniston in the southern lake District on Saturday 14th June. A group of 29 ramblers departed from Harrogate at 8am on a bright sunny morning. On arrival at Coniston the first group of 13 walkers left the coach at Water Yeat, at the southern tip of Coniston Water. The group was led by Len and Heather Jemison as they set out on the shorter walk of 7 miles. Conditions were showery as they ascended across Blawith Common to the tranquil Beacon Tarn and then over Beacon Fell. Despite some intermittent low cloud over Coniston Old man, excellent views of Coniston Water, the Coniston range of mountains and over to Morecambe Bay were enjoyed. The rain and breeze stopped, lunch was taken but unfortunately curtailed by ferocious midges. The walk was completed in warm sunshine by a gentle stroll along the lake via the Cumbrian Way into Coniston.

May 10th

The Hartwith Heritage Walk is a well-designed means of exploring some of the interesting archeology and family history of that part of Nidderdale but last Saturday it may well have been described as 'The Hartwith Bluebell Walk' such was the profusion of that flower. Our version of The Heritage Walk started from Brimham Rocks, strangely quiet on a beautiful morning, and headed north via Knoxstone Crags to Fellbeck. The Fellbeck valley is one of the glories of Nidderdale and the bright sun reflecting on the busy beck gave some great vistas. From Low Laithe we turned north to lunch by Braisty Woods Farm in hazy sunshine. The woods were at their very best with good conditions underfoot and wonderful, natural perfumes around every corner. The final loop of our walk was via Brimham Hall and The Nidderdale Way over Brimham Moor. Our group of nineteen was led by Maureen Smith.

4th May 2008

It was certainly a beautiful May day as 24 of us set off from Boston Spa following the Ebor Way alonside the river Wharfe. After a coffee stop on convenient logs and some historical information from the leader we progressed to the village of Newton Kyme. The small church alongside the Ebor Way was visited and we admired the many memorial plaques to the famous Fairfax family. We heard the story of another illustrious family living in the area - the Oglethorpes. Owen Oglethorpe was the Bishop who crowned Elizabeth 1 and founded Tadcaster Grammar School. Another Oglethorpe, James ,in the eighteenth Century, with associates, became trustees for the State of Georgia in America. What history from such a hidden corner of Yorkshire.
Our lunch was enjoyed on the banks of the Wharfe before continueing past Smaws Farm onto the Roman road and across farmland towards Clifford. We cut off right to Firgreen Bridge and followed the stream, pausing to admire ducklings on a pond and have afternoon tea by Low Mill Farm.
We joined the Tadcaster to Otley road and enjoyed passing the beautiful buildings of Boston Spa on our way back to the car park.


26th April 2008

Last Saturday's walk was a change from the usual countryside location and was a 10 mile urban ramble around the historic City of York. Led by Joyce Costello the group of 18 set out from the railway station. The daffodils on the grassy banks of the bar walls which face the station were a lovely sight. We set out walking in a westerly direction towards the railway museum and the York wheel and turned right before reaching them onto a lane which led to the path beside the River Ouse. It was a mild spring morning and there were several boats on the river including a couple of rowing teams practicing their skills. We continued along the riverside path walking away from the city until we reached the road bridge where we crossed over the river and soon reached the Homestead Park. This public park was formerly owned by the Rowntree family and was the grounds of the family home. On leaving the park we had a short stretch of road walking before turning left across Rawcliffe Meadow Nature Reserve and onto the other side of the river. We enjoyed a short break for coffee here and then continued to walk along the riverside path back to the city until we reached Bootham Bar, one of the ancient gateways to the city, where we climbed the steps onto the City Walls. We walked in a north-easterly direction passing behind the Minster and gardens until we reached MonkBar and continued along the walls finally descending at Fishergate Bar. We walked towards the river once again, passing Cliffords Tower and turned in a southerly direction along the riverside path until we reached the new footbridge across the river built to commemorate the millennium. After crossing the footbridge we stopped to have a welcome lunch break and a short rain shower soon passed over before continuing along beside the river and turning right towards the road passing the redundant Terry's Chocolate Factory and onto the path behind the Racecourse. From here we crossed the open land known as the Knavesmire in a westerly direction and stopped to look at the Tyburn stone where the highwayman Dick Turpin was hanged. We continued to walk in a westerly direction crossing Hob Moor then on through West Bank Park and on past Holgate windmill which is being renovated and is minus its sails before finally a short stretch of road walking and another footbridge over railtrack brought us back to the station where the group enjoyed refreshments before catching the train back to Harrogate.

5th April 2008

All walkers enjoyed great outdoor conditions last weekend with an ever-changing sky giving dramatic contrasts in the views. The Harrogate RA Group started their 10 mile, Saturday walk from Grantley in a chilly breeze beneath an overcast sky. A rapid improvement in conditions was soon to follow as the group of 18 headed west to pick up the Ripon Rowel Walk across Lumley Moor. The call of the Curlew accompanied us across this wild landscape with good views to the hills in the east and to the west. Our first pause was in the hamlet of Belford before we descended into the softer landscape of The Laver Valley. Footpaths and other tracks along the valley brought us first to Laverton and then Galphay where lunch was enjoyed on the well kept Village Green in glorious sunshine. All the villages we visited had superb displays of daffodils at their very best. Winksley was our next stop where we enjoyed the glass windows of the church. On the final stage, via Low Grantley, we passed over Holborn Beck where a strange collection of plastic flags surrounded the watercourse. We had observed a similar arrangement around the rocks on Lumley Moor. The Groups' curiosity was much aroused and if you know why they were/are there please ring me on 01423 886186.

22nd March

Pat and John Wilson lead an enjoyable 10 mile circular walk on the Saturday of Easter weekend.
Starting from Hetton and walking to Gargrave there was no snow under foot but it was very cold, with
views of snow on the hills.



15th March 2008

On Saturday 15th March, Andrew Willoughby lead a ten-mile walk around villages to the north of Knaresborough. Fourteen walkers started out from Ferrensby on a fine but dull day with rain forecast. Heading north on the bridleway off Farnham Lane, then crossing the dismantled Boroughbridge railway line we headed for Staveley. Taking the path next to the Royal Oak pub we found the water level in the lakes rather high and lapping onto the footpath. Undeterred we used the newly diverted routes near Model Farm in the parish of Copgrove. Walking north towards Roecliffe Moor we were pleased to see three young deer run out from the woods, followed by two adult deer and yet another young one! Walking south on the surfaced bridleway to Copgrove and with glimpses of Copgrove Hall we followed the footpath past Well House and across Robert Beck using the footbridge built by our Group's volunteers in 2002. While lunching on the banks of another small lake we enjoyed sunshine before returning through Staveley Nature Reserve and on to Ferrensby.

23rd February 2008

The popular Saturday walks programme continued this week with a 6 mile walk starting from the car park beside the ancient bridge in Wetherby. A group of 21 ramblers began by crossing the bridge which spans the River Wharf, pausing briefly to look at the salmon ladder beside the weir. This was followed by a short section along the road beside the busy roadworks which are up-grading the A1 to motorway. Wetherby is situated mid-way between London and Edinburgh and has for centuries been an important staging post on the Great North Road. From here we left the noise of the roadworks and traffic behind and continued on to peaceful field tracks, passing Sweep Farm and Howcroft Wood towards Compton Lane and a lunch break at Waver Spring Pond. There were several pairs of mallards and coots swimming on the pond and a pair of friendly labradors who were very interested in our lunch boxes. After lunch the route continued to Collingham village where we passed through the churchyard and public gardens, stopping to admire the snowdrops and early daffodils. From here the path took us onto the banks of the River Wharfe with views across the river to Wetherby Golf Course and its grand looking clubhouse. A missing footbridge across a beck running into the Wharfe meant a scramble over the beck, fortunately with no mishaps. After a short distance the path turned up towards the road. The final section of the walk was along the footpath beside the road which brought us back to the starting point in Wetherby.


16th February 2008

Once again we were fortunate to have good weather for our Saturday walk. After a very cold and frosty start a group of 18 ramblers began a 10 mile walk from the former lead mining village of Kettlewell in Upper Wharfedale. We set out in a north-westerly direction and followed field tracks, above the River Wharfe, towards the village of Starbotton. Starbotton is thought to mean "stony valley" and was an important crossing point of the dale for packhorse trails during the times when the great monasteries traded wool and other goods across the Pennines. From here we began a steep uphill ascent of Moor End Fell and at the highest point we took a break to take in the wonderful views of Wharfedale before crossing over and descending Old Cote Moor and into Littondale towards the attractive village of Arncliffe. Situated beside the River Skirfare, Arncliffe is a medieval settlement and the church has a 15th century tower. Our path passed by the church and onto the riverbank where we took a break for a picnic lunch stop and made the most of the exceptional February sunshine. After lunch the route continued on the path beside the River Skirfare towards the hamlet of Hawkswick. From here we began the more gradual ascent towards Knipe Scar giving more magnificent views of dales scenery. We crossed over the high point leaving Littondale behind and descending into Wharfedale along a track which brought us down to the road. A short stretch along the road and we were back to the starting point in Kettlewell.

9th February 2008

On the second Saturday in February a group of 19 ramblers began a 10 mile walk at Markington village. It was a beautiful spring morning. We started by following the road in a westerly direction before turning right onto field tracks. We continued through farmland passing Haddockstones Grange and Foal Coat Farm, to reach the fish ponds of the Fountains Abbey Estate. Here the narrow track between the two ponds was very muddy and had to be negotiated with care. The monks obtained their fish supply from these ponds. Fountains Abbey was founded in 1132 by Benedictine Monks and is now a World Heritage Site. We continued through woodland until the track emerged onto the road. From here we turned in a NE direction along the road which followed the line of the ancient monks wall to Fountains Lane. We then entered National Trust property and continued along an uphill track emerging with stunning views of Fountains Hall and the ruins of Fountains Abbey, giving us the perfect place for a picnic lunch break. After our refreshments we continued to Hill House Farm where the track again was very muddy and then on to Robin Hood Wood. We paused here to look at the wonderful patches of snowdrops and at the Mackershaw gateway built in 1740. Our route continued and shortly joined the Ripon Rowel track (a 50 mile circular walk which starts and finishes in Ripon, devised in 1996) towards Markenfield Hall, an early 14C fortified moated manor house with its pair of magnificent black swans. From here we followed the Ripon Rowel track back to our starting point at Markington Village. Throughout the walk we passed many beautiful displays of snowdrops. Afterwards the group enjoyed a cup of tea and toasted tea cakes at the George Hotel, Wormald Green.

2nd February 2008

Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve was the starting point for our walk on Saturday 2 February. The lakes and marshes are a legacy of the mining industry and nature has reclaimed the landscape, encouraged by RSPB management. Walking along the pathways of the reserve we were able to observe several species of waterfowl who are resident during the winter months. A short uphill track was taken to Fairburn village which dates back to Saxon times. During the 19th century the village was noted for its extensive quarries of both limestone and alabaster and records claim that limestone quarried at Fairburn was used in the re-building of the Houses of Parliament.

We continued on field tracks to Ledsham where we looked in the church, reputedly the oldest in West Yorkshire, dating back to 670AD. Lunch was taken in the shelter of a hedgerow, where the winter sunshine was appreciated. The track continued downhill to the nature reserve, completing the first 5 miles of the walk and giving us the opportunity to break off to spend time birdwatching if desired. The walking route continued past the villages of Ledston and Allerton Bywater to reach the tow path alongside the river Aire leading to the confluence with the river Calder and the Navigation canal. These were used extensively to transport coal to the power stations during the coal mining era. Leaving the tow path to re-enter the nature reserve our path was flooded with the recent heavy rains and we had to re-trace our steps and continue along the road for the final stretch back to the starting point to complete the 10.5 mile circuit. A very interesting and enjoyable day.

19th January 2008

This weeks walk in Wharfedale attracted a large group of 19 ramblers. We began the walk from Barden Bridge along the pleasant riverside path towards Howgill Bridge. The river Wharfe was flowing swiftly, swollen with the recent heavy rains. After a short climb to Howgill Lane the route continued through meadows to the hamlet of Skyreholme. A couple of Llama's were seen in an adjacent field and the rocky outcrop known as Simons Seat was towering on the hillside above. We continued along the road to Parceval Hall, a restored 17century house which is now a retreat for the diocese of Bradford. We turned through a fieldgate and followed the track alongside Skyreholme beck which led to a peaceful limestone valley. A Kestral was seen circling in the sky above and a deer was seen high up between the trees. We continued on the old miners track past the remains of the lead mines and upwards through a limestone gully and onto moorland which brought us to the Skyreholme/Pateley road. The road was followed for a short distance before turning off onto a broad track across Appletreewick Pasture, giving marvellous views of the surrounding fells. The keen bird watchers in the group noted a buzzard above, everyone appreciating the blue sky and sunshine that has been so rarely seen this month.
Lunch was taken alongside a walled track before descending towards Hartlington Hall and onto the riverside path which we followed back to Barden Bridge, enjoying the river Wharfe's scenery and wildlife.

12th January 2008

On the second Saturday of the new year a group of 15 walkers began a 10 mile ramble from the ancient cross in the village of Ripley. Walking in a westerly direction we followed the Nidderdale Way past the castle, the 600 years old stately home of the Ingleby family and along Hollybank lane towards Clint and following field tracks to Hampsthwaite village. Passing through the graveyard of Hampsthwaite church the first snowdrops of winter were seen. Continuing along the Nidderdale Way on the banks of the River Nidd the path was very muddy in places, then leading to Birstwith village the path diverted around the mill complex and onto the road. We turned in an easterly direction crossing the road-bridge over the River Nidd and following uphill field tracks to Burnt Yates, giving good views of wonderful rural scenery in the January sunshine. An early lunch was taken in the churchyard before continuing downhill along more field tracks. We passed through Shaw Mills where we picked up the Nidderdale Way following another very muddy track to High Kettle Spring then onto the road at Scarah Bank before rejoining the track to High Cayton and Cayton Gill where we enjoyed a short respite and the views towards the White Horse at Kilburn which could be seen in the far distance. On the final part of our walk we passed the pheasant breeding pens of the Ripley Estate and the downhill track brought us back into Ripley village.

22nd December 2007

On the Saturday before Christmas just four people set out on this cold and foggy morning. Starting at Forest School in Knaresborough we walked along Halfpenny Lane, through the new housing and into open fields. The Hay-a-Park lakes were shrouded in mist as we passed the millenium house and followed the bridleway towards Hopewell House. More bridleway took us past The Hollies and accross Clareton Moor to Coneythorpe where a weak sun shone through briefly. We then walked up Mill Lane and took the higher path behind Spring Bank Farm where we met a friendly shooting party. Sheltering from the cool wind we stopped briefly for lunch at the footbridge over The Rampart before passing Oakwood Farm and Hall Farm on our way to Hay-a-Park Lane and home. As we completed this eight mile walk the shower of rain which had been forcast began to come down.

8th December 2007

A walk which gives members the opportunity to visit the Grassington Christmas Festival is always a very welcome addition to the programme in early December. Saturday's walk started dry but with a forcast for heavy rain. John and Pat Wilson led the group of 14 optimistic walkers. Starting from Linton village we set off in an easterly direction following field tracks to the farming hamlet of Thorpe, hidden between the hills and according to legend was never found by the marauding Scots. The weather conditions had started to deteriorate and the rain had begun as we continued across more field tracks to Burnsall, marked by several stiles and it was very muddy and slippery in places. At Burnsall we enjoyed a welcome coffee stop by the river Wharfe sheltering beneath the road bridge. Following the riverside track the group proceeded towards Grassington, crossing the river on the suspension bridge at Hebdon and continuing along the riverside track. The rain had turned to sleet and snow and the fell tops were turning white with the falling snow. On reaching Linton waterfalls 3 walkers decided to curtail their walk because of the deteriorating weather conditions and return to their car. The remaining 11 walkers took the uphill walled track to the visitor car park in Grassington and took advantage of the shelter offerered by the Upper Wharfedale fell and rescue centre nearby who were serving refreshments. After a warming cup of tea and mince pies the group walked up to the main street in Grassington to view the many stalls that made up the Christmas Fayre. The stall holders were dressed in traditional costumes and working hard to entertain the many visitors and to sell their wares despite the disappointing weather conditions. Leaving Grassington we made our way out of the village passing the primary school where we turned off to follow more field tracks which brought us back to the starting point of our walk in Linton village.

1st December

After a showery start Saturday's 10 mile ramble from Ilkley's Old Bridge turned out to be a fine bracing day. The group of 12 walkers set off in an upward and westerly direction towards the village of Nesfield. The early showers gave way to a rainbow and a red-kite was seen circling in the sky above. Our upward track took us through Ling Park Plantation and past March Ghyll Reservoir and a view of Beamsley Beacon. We descended into Fairy Dell, a favourite picnic area in Victorian times and crossed the beck on the narrow foot bridge. The path wound upwards again onto Denton Moor. A Kestrel was seen by some of the group. Lunch was taken by the side of a shooting hut which gave us some shelter from the strong wind. We began our downhill trail towards the village of Denton where an urn shaped block of sandstone stands on a small grassy area. The village was once the home of the Fairfax family at Denton Hall. The final leg of our walk took us in a westerly direction along a track by West Park Wood and onto Denton Road. We crossed the footbridge over the River Wharfe onto the riverside path which brought us back to the starting point of our walk.

24th November

One of the necessities of Group Rambles is to organise walks on a regular basis which proceed, almost regardless of the weather conditions. If one is unlucky enough to lead on a day like last Saturday-Tough! There is always the consolation that the exercise is good for you. A small group met in Ripon Bus Station for an easy ten-mile walk to the south of The City. Initially heading east, the group followed the Ripon Canal, passing lagoons with large numbers of waterfowl, as far as Ox Close Lock. Gentle field tracks brought us to Bishop Monkton and a break from the steady rain under a convenient awning. The broad track known as Mains Lane brought us to Wormwald Green and lunch. In brighter weather, the group followed Mill Lane towards Ingerthorpe and Strait Lane, a lovely sunken 'green lane' recently cleared of excessive growth by the local authority-they must have known we were coming! The final stretch of our walk was through Whitcliffe and the lovely track beside The River Skell past Hell Wath, back to our starting point.

17th November

A group of 8 walkers, including 3 visitors started a 5 mile walk from the main car park in Ripley Village. Initially taking the Nidderdale Way we passed pheasants and guinea fowl from the nearby breeding pens of the Ripley Estate. It was another glorious morning with blue skies and sunshine. The group had an early coffee stop enjoying views towards Cayton Gill. Leaving the Nidderdale Way we continued on a path which took us to High Cayton where in a derelict farm building we viewed the remains of an old 'Horse Gin' - used for separating grain. Continuing on we crossed the busy A61 to the hamlet of South Stainley through fields before re-crossing the A61. Lunch was taken near to Cayton Grange after which we returned to Ripley using permissive footpaths on the Ripley Estate.

The Annual General Meeting was held at 2.30pm at West Park Church Harrogate. After the business was concluded Peter Goldsmith our Chairman for 30 years announced that he would be retiring and Mrs Delia Wells would be taking over the reins as Chairperson of the group. Thanks were given to Peter for all his work with the group and he was presented with a painting of 'The Strid and Woods at Bolton Abbey' by artist John Powell a member of the Harrogate group. Flowers were given for Mrs Goldsmith. Afterwards Tony Birkett gave an illustrated talk on Wind Farms - 'The Rush for Wind'.

10th November

Last Saturday, twenty -one walkers met at Staveley to be led by Andrew Willoughby on a nine-mile walk to the north of The Village. It was particularly appropriate that Andrew should lead this walk as he has been very involved, in his capacity as a Footpaths Officer of The Ramblers Association, in upgrading the footpath network in the area. The Group walked north past the eastern lakes of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts' reserve to Roecliffe via Waingates Farm. The weather was fine although overcast but brightened on our arrival at Westwick Lock on the canalized section of the River Ure which makes up part of The Ripon Canal. After a break The Group headed south along Boroughbridge Road and the access drive to Roecliffe Lodge. The 'new' track past Newfields brought us to Carr Top Farm where we headed east to pass the western lakes of the wildlife sanctuary where large numbers of geese were having a choir practice. Clearly, not only the walkers were having a good day!

3rd November

This autumn continues to give lovely walking conditions with dry weather giving ideal conditions underfoot. Last Saturdays ramble, led by Liz Snow took us through some of our local woodlands resplendent in fine, autumn colour. Leaving Harlow Moor Road the group of twenty-one walkers crossed Otley Road to follow footpaths to Pannal Ash. Continuing south-west the group followed paths by Stone Rings Beck to join part of The HARROGATE Ringway to Pannal Village. The lovely ridge walk past Horn Bank Farm gave great views in all directions as we headed to lunch at North Rigton. Our return route was via Spring House farm and the recently diverted track around Alder Carr to the valley of The River Crimple, looking really magnificent in glorious afternoon sun. The final leg of our route was via another section of The Ringway passing a very busy Harlow Carr Gardens.

October 13th, 2007

A group of twenty-one walkers assembled at Spofforth Castle for Saturday's nine-mile ramble led by Clare Sandercock. It was a misty but warm day and the group started briskly along the bridleway known as High Lane towards Kirkby Overblow. After a brief pause by Ingham Whinn we turned west along Keepers Walk to Lund Head and Borrowby. It was pleasing to see Barrowby Grange being so skillfully renovated on our route to lunch by the Methodist chapel at Kearby. After a good break we pushed on to Kearby Town End and Paddock house enjoying a wonderful aerobatics display by two red kites en route. Woodland tracks, with hedgerows laden with sloes, led to Sicklinghall where our leader gave an interesting rundown on the history of The Village and its prominent families. A lovely walk through Stockeld Park followed with the last part of the route following the old railway line, now called The Harland Way, back to Spofforth. It was pleasing to meet so many young people on bicycles on this last section.

6th October 2007

The Cleveland Way, the long distance path which follows the edge of The North York Moors for part of its length, provided an ideal location for Saturdays walk led by Pat and John Wilson. Twelve walkers traveled from Harrogate to be joined by two local people and one dog for a ten mile walk by England's finest moorland edge. We began at Cod Beck Reservoir and walked south east along the track known as High Lane to Square Corner and The Cleveland Way. After about one kilometer of descent the group made a stop by Oak Dale Reservoir before ascending the path through Thimbleby Bank Plantation. Lunch was taken at the high point of The Bank, in glorious sunshine the beauty of the situation contrasting sharply with the incessant noise emanating from clay-pigeon shooting centre in the valley below. With some reluctance we left this beautiful place to descend to the village of Thimbleby and head north. Osmotherly was at its best in the bright sunshine with lucky visitors enjoying its many attractions. Our return route followed The Cleveland Way to Arncliffe Wood Transmitter Station and a lovely descent over Scarth Wood Moor to the starting point . A suitable end to a grand day out.


22nd September 2007

For the last coach ramble of 2007 we ventured north, on Saturday last, to upper Teesdale. We were doubly fortunate in that the heavy rain of Friday gave rise to spectacular waterfalls on a gloriously sunny day. A full coach of ramblers divided almost equally into two parties walking either eight or thirteen miles. Those choosing the shorter walk alighted close to Langdon Beck Youth Hostel and followed field tracks to The River Tees and The Pennine Way. Those wanting 'a little extra', journeyed on to Cow Green Reservoir where the outfall is the spectacular cascade known as Cauldron Spout. The walkers had a difficult descent on the rough stones alongside the falls to join The Pennine Way at the base of the cascade.
Both parties were able to enjoy the beauty of High Force and Low Force waterfalls with the numerous enjoyment stops endangering the tight schedule of the longer walk, led by Kevin Murphy. It was pleasing to find so many other walkers out on The Way and two parties training for the rescue services in the pools at the bottom of the falls. Catherine Siklos led the walkers on the shorter walk into Middleton-in-Teesdale well ahead of the rest of the ramblers who, therefore, had more time to relax before our departure for Harrogate.
Rainbow Travel were thanked for the first-class service we had enjoyed throughout 2007 which contributed to a really successful series of linear walks, all in good weather.

25th August 2007

We had an early start, catching the 08.30am X59 Service Bus to Blubberhouses, for Saturday's eleven-mile walk led by Robert Bickford. On a glorious, sunny morning the eleven walkers took the footpath to the south-east of Fewston Reservoir to the excellent rest area created by Yorkshire Water at Swinsty Moor Plantation. After a brief pause, the group walked on past Swinsty Hall to cross the reservoir embankment and on to Smithson's Lane. A short, sharp climb brought us to The Sun Inn and the crossing of the Otley to Pateley Bridge road. Delighful field tracks brought us to John of Gaunt's Castle and lunch with a great view over Beaver Dyke Reservoir and Haverah Park. The remainder of our route followed the Dales Way Link path from Bolton Abbey to The Valley Gardens and it was on this stretch that we were favoured with good sightings of swallow,house martins, a great spotted woodpecker and a wheatear.


18th August
Occasionally, the weather forecast can be completely wrong. This was the case last Saturday when thirteen members and guests met at Ayton Bank for a nine-mile walk on the edge of The North York Moors in dry, bright conditions. The Group initially headed south on The Cleveland Way and paused to enjoy the view from Easby Moor where a grateful landowner erected the monument to the memory of Captain James Cook, who spent part of his early life in the locality.The Way was followed into Kildale, with its fine hall and church, before we headed north to Little Ayton and lunch in one of the patches of 'open access' land close to Brookside Farm. Everyone enjoyed the climb up Roseberry Topping although the strong breeze at the summit minimised our stay to little more than a photo-shoot. The descent followed a different route to the ascent following the spur of The Cleveland Way onto Newton Moor. During the final leg of the walk, along the side of Great Ayton Moor, we were again able to enjoy the sight and aroma of heather in full bloom stretching as far as the eye could see.


14th July

For our third coach ramble of 2007, we ventured to the North York Moors. We were fortunate to have a good weather forecast and a full coach of enthusiastic walkers. As usual, two walks were available, the longer one started from Goathland. Keith Wadd led this group through The Village to the Railway Station, where a rally of vintage vehicles was being held, to ascend to the edge of Goathland Moor. The man-made cut along Whinstone Ridge brought us close to Newton House Plantation to pick up woodland tracks by Little Beck. We had a great view of Falling Foss Waterfall before we crossed Low Moor to reach Fylingthorpe Village and Robin Hood's Bay. A glorious walk with a wonderful variety of landscape.
Meanwhile, Catherine Siklos was leading another group of walkers from Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay. They followed The Cleveland Way and started by ascending the newly refurbished steps to The Abbey. This group were in full sun throughout their walk and had the joy of walking next to a calm sea with good long range visibility. Both groups enjoyed exceptionally fine walks in ideal weather conditions.


9th June 2007

While many people were enjoying the Knaresborough Bed Race, and others were working hard to support that event.......

For the second coach ramble of the season members of the Harrogate Group of the Ramblers Association ventured to Morecambe Bay, in glorious weather, for a choice of two walks showing some of the attractions of the area. The party split almost equally into two parts, one choosing to be led by The Royal guide, Cedric Robinson, across the sands Kents Bank. We were fortunate that with recent, dry conditions the river flows were low and very clean which made the crossing enjoyed by at least 500 other walkers all the more enjoyable. The walk across The Bay is not in a straight line, to avoid the soft patches and takes longer than might be expected. The last part of the walk, on dry land, was the coastal trail to Grange-over-Sands to meet up with the rest of the party.
Those walkers selecting the 'dry feet' option walked overland from Holker Hall, near Cark to Grange -over -Sands. Using parts of the Cistercian and Cumbria Coastal Ways,the group arrived for lunch in Cartmel after walking through a large dog show on the race course. The group had time to visit the beautiful Cartmel Priory before pressing on over Hampsfield Fell to Eggerslack Woods and Grange.

31st May 2007

Just five of us enjoyed this Thursday morning walk from Markington. Despite a forecast of rain the sun shone all day and there wasn't a drop of rain. Heading north from the village we encountered various broken stiles and gates tied shut with twine, so climbing over was the only way. At this time of year many paths were very high with nettles and cow parsley so it was a bit of a struggle at times. Coming into open fields of cattle we approached Markenfield Hall. What a delight! This seven hundred year old house is surrounded by it's own moat, and we enjoyed superb views across the water to see not only the ancient stone hall but also tended lawns and many flowers at their best. We returned through fields of unusual crops - christmas trees, and coppiced willow - before walking next to the village soccer and cricket grounds to reach the main street.


19th May 2007

A total of twenty-three walkers from the Harrogate and Ripon areas enjoyed the first coach ramble of 2007 to the Newlands Area of the Lake District. On a day when sunshine and showers were forecast it was gratifying to see the summit of Blencathra, assuring us that, at least in this locality, the cloud level was over 3000 feet. It was, however, a very windy day. From our starting point in the village of Braithwaite, the whole party took the bridleway by Braithwaite Lodge past Uzzicar Mine to the hamlet of Stair. Here, the party divided in two. A group of seven climbed Causey Pike via Sleet Hause with lunch in the rocks before the summit and glorious views all around. The wonderful ridge was then followed west over Scar Crags in bright sunshine interspersed with outbreaks of exfoliating rain and hail. An easy descent via outerside and Stile End brought us to High Coledale Farm and Braithwaite, now bathed in glorious sunshine. The party completed the walk following easy meadow tracks via Ullock and Portiscale to the rendezvous in Keswick.
The main body of walkers continued south from Stair via Gilbrow to Newlands Church which was open and provided shelter for lunch. The church has connections with the mining of copper in the Newlands Valley which was greatly boosted by Elizabeth the first who encouraged Bavarian miners to settle in the neighbourhood. From Little Town the group ascended to Hause Gate on Catbells and paused to enjoy the breathtaking view over Derwentwater. After a steady descent towards the lake, The Cumbria Way was followed, via Derwent Bay, to Keswick and afternoon tea.

12th May 2007

Peter Heaton was our leader on Saturday's half-day walk from Birstwith. On a beautiful day, the quality of which exceeded the most optimistic forecasts, the group of nine walkers started off in a westerly direction following the course of The River Nidd. The Group appreciated a pause to enjoy the 'new' pack horse bridge in a setting of sparkling water and bluebell woods before pressing on through Westfield Farm to reach the beautifully restored buildings in the White Oak, Birchfield Farm area. Crossing the river by the footbridge, The Nidderdale Way was then followed to the high point of Reynard Crag and glorious views along the valley. The riverside walk, along one of the most beautiful stretches of the river, brought us back to our starting point.


28th April 2007

Last Saturday's walk, led by Anne Richards, could have been called 'The Three R's Walk' featuring as it did parts of The Ripon Rowel, The Knaresborough Round and The Harrogate Ringway long distance walks. The group assembled at South Stainley and included three walkers new to group rambles. In wonderful weather the group followed field tracks to the outskirts of Burton Leonard to take the bridleway past The Lime Kilns Nature Reserve. All the lanes were beautifully bedecked with bluebells contrasting with the brilliant yellow of the ripening oil-seed rape in the adjacent fields. Rakes Lane and the bridleway over Limekiln Hill brought us to Brearton and a relaxing break on the village green. Scotton was our next port of call and The Knaresborough Round track which was followed into The Nidd Gorge. The Gorge was at its floral best with ideal conditions underfoot. The riverside track was followed as far as the water treatment works after which the walkers began to disperse to their various homes. Our leader took the remainder of the party via the old railway tracks to the centre of Harrogate. Our walk through The Nidd Gorge was a timely reminder for all concerned persons to register their interest, before the 18th of May, in the proposed Bilton to Ripley pedestrian/cycle route by phoning Melisa Burnham on 01423 556967 or via the Sustrans website. Consultation forms can also be found in libraries.


14th April

With a warm dry day forecast, the group of walkers lead by Andrew Willoughby left Middlesmoor along the Nidderdale Way to cross the reservoir dam at Scar House. Using a short length of "Access Land" to cut off the corner, we rejoined the Nidderdale Way heading east on the north side of the Nidd valley. Then using more access land we walked across to the bridleway and continued east towards Dale Edge. Again benefitting from the "Right to Roam" in this area, we left the track and headed to the boundary stone at Throstle Hill. From here, on a clear day, the industry at Teesside 30 miles away can be seen on the horizon beyond Masham Moor.

Next heading south, in warm sunshine, we rejoined the Dale Edge bridleway before turning to drop steeply down the side of the valley to Thwaite House. Rejoining the Nidderdale Way, down to the dry riverbed of the Nidd, we continued towards Thrope Farm. Along this section we were very close to several lambs which clung to their mothers. We also came across one very contented ewe which had clearly given birth only minutes earlier.

At Thrope Farm, we crossed the Nidd and headed up the other side of the valley to end our walk in very hot sunshine at Middlesmoor.



31st March

One of the great joys of walking a familiar route is the opportunity to observe the changes in the landscape through the seasons. Such was our good luck last Saturday, on a wonderful, sunny spring day, to walk the nine-mile route from Barden Bridge to Simon's Seat. The River Wharfe, surely in the most attractive setting of its entire length, was sparkling like a diamond especially when viewed from the heights of Park Plantation above The Strid. Few walkers were encountered along Posforth Gill and the Valley of Desolation, which was somewhat surprising on such a glorious day. The rocks of Simon's Seat provided a good picnic spot with superb views over Appletreewick and Grimwith after which our descent was by the gentle route to Howgill. The final stretch followed the familiar Dales Way route along the river back to Barden. Our leader for the day was Catherine Siklos.

3rd March 2007

Kevin Murphy was our leader for last Saturdays glorious walking day in Lower Wharfedale. Starting from the centre of Otley, the fourteen walkers climbed the hill to Farnley Church. From the outset we were seranaded by birdsong and the day offered good sightings particularly of the larger birds, heron, snipe and one red kite. From the church we turned west to Haddockstones Farm and Weston Moor where the hectic activity of a clay pigeon shoot kept everyone on their toes. A small section of the open access land making up Askwith Moor brought us to lunch near Top Moorside Farm still in glorious sunshine. Our return route led us through beautiful park-like scenery overlooking the valley with lush grass and busy streams along the way. We skirted Askwith Village and continued on to the hamlet of Clifton before returning to our starting point via the delightful, descending track through Newall.

17th February 2007

Last Saturday, we were fortunate to have Keith Wadd, chairman of The West Riding Area, to lead a ten-mile walk in undulating country to the east of Leeds. The party of nineteen assembled in the village of Bardsey on a fine, sunny day and headed east to cross the A58 road. A track beside Bardsey Beck led us to Hetshell Wood and its fine limestone crags before joining the bridleway past Pampocali to join the track along the course of the Roman Road originally constructed to lead to the fort at Newton Kyme. A steep descent through Ragdale Woods enabled us to cross Thorner Beck by The Jubilee Bridge and on to lunch in Thorner Church Yard where the snowdrops were at their best. Other signs of spring had included a glorious serenade from a skylark and emerging bluebells in the many woods we passed through.
Our return route took us along Thorner High Street to cross The Beck to head west past Carr Farm to Carr Lane. A track past Eltofts House brought us to enjoy the splendid lake in Kidhirst Wood, gorgeous in the afternoon sunshine. With some reluctance we moved on to join The Leeds Country Way back to our starting point.


3rd February 2007

Saturday's group ramble started from the newly-opened car park in Burnt Yates. A 'bakers dozen' walkers assembled on a wonderful sunny morning for a walk in Lower Nidderdale. Leaving the village in a northerly direction the group followed field tracks past Flask Farm to join The Nidderdale Way heading east along the valley. The going was light with the remnants of overnight frost adding interest to the landscape. It is a delight to see so many beautifully restored farms along the route of The Way which we followed to Woodfield Mill. Still heading north, the group passed Park House Farm on the bridleway around West Wood to arrive at Low Farm. Turning west now we headed to Volla Wood Farm, where the current footpath layout is open to interpretation, to pick up the track across to Raventofts Hall. Superb views across to the North Yorks Moors and of The Tower on How Hill were enjoyed on this stretch of the route. Turning south now, the group had a lunch break in the church yard south of Highfield House before passing through Bishop Thornton. The last stage of the route, led by Delia and Peter Wells was over Hop Bank to Hill Top and great aerial views over Shaw Mills bathed in glorious sunshine.


27th January 2007

Last Saturday, Kevin Murphy led us on a nine-mile walk taking in parts of The Harewood Estate. Starting from the village centre, the group joined the permissive way through The Wall Side Plantation to turn right on the Leeds Country Way. On a day of glorious sunshine, the red kites were out in force giving a fine aerobatic display. Passing the Emmerdale film set, the group continued south over the dam of Eccup Reservoir to the A 61 road. School lane, along Wike Ridge gave us plenty of chance to view golf in action before arriving for lunch in the attractive hamlet of Wike. A short stretch of bridleway brought us to the Leeds Country Way and a descent by Hollin Hall. Conditions underfoot on this part of he walk were very poor, the soaked ground having been churned up by cattle, horses, cycles and walkers. We were pleased to reach the permissive way above Stockton Farm which gave great views across the Wharfe Valley as we walked west to our starting point.

20th January 2007

Our walk this week was led by Clare Sandercock and started from Spofforth Castle. We went by the old Mill and alongside the full and fast flowing Crimple Beck. We followed the muddy track to Stockeld Park and on to Sicklinghall.Going up Back Lane and past the back of the small St Peters Church we slipped our way across to Paddock Lane and Kearby Town End. We sat and ate lunch at Clap Gate before walking across to Kearby with Netherby and some superb views over the Lower Wharfe Valley. We saw rain all around and two beautiful rainbows before climbing the hill to Barrowby.
Pausing to admire a Ewe with two lambs we took the track back to Sicklinghall and a short stop for refreshment at the Scotts Arms. Wins Lane was a pleasant way back to Spofforth just before everywhere went very dark and the hail came thundering down.


6th January 2007

For the first group ramble of the new year, twenty-six members and guests gathered at Dacre Banks for a nine and a half mile walk led by Peter and Delia Wells. Leaving the Royal Oak Car Park, the party walked up the hill from Summerbridge to pick up the bridleway to Highfield Farm. The going across Hartwith Moor was very heavy after all the recent rain but improved after Brimham Lodge. A delightful track through Summer Wood, with the added excitement of a flooded beck to be negotiated, brought us to the north-east corner of The National Trust's estate at Brimham Rocks. A wander through the millstone grit 'chimneys' brought us to lunch and a welcome break by the information centre. The second half of the walk commenced in a westerly direction by High North Pasture Farm to White Houses. Some mist obscured the views along Nidderdale on what was, nevertheless, a very fine day for early January. After crossing a very full River Nidd by the footbridge to Harewell Hall, the familiar track by the old railway was followed to our starting point. An excellent afternoon tea was then enjoyed at The Darley Mill.


28th December 2006

Eleven walkers enjoyed this 5 mile Thursday morning walk starting in mist on Park Lane, Knaresborough. As we walked past the Hay a Park lagoons and out onto flat farmland the weather brightened and stayed dry despite a forecast of rain. Walking mainly on bridleways we passed near to Hall Farm, then Mill Farm, Castle Farm and towards The Hollies before turning back towards Hopewell House and on to Bar Lane. We were pleased to find that all rights of way through crops were clear, with paths visible on the ground. We then followed the footpath to Sweet Bits Farm with wonderful views of the lagoons and birdlife on the water. Following the water's edge we returned to Park Lane, having all enjoyed an excellent walk despite everywhere being covered in a thin layer of very wet mud!


16th December 2006

Clare Sandercock led the group on last Saturdays walk on unfamiliar paths east of Wetherby. Starting from the village of Bickerton we followed the track past the mediaeval fish pond to cross Ainsty Bridge and on to Ingmanthorpe House Farm. The weather was perfect for walking and the village of Cowthorpe was reached in glorious sunshine. The footbridge over the swollen River Nidd brought us to Hunsingore and its beautifully positioned Parish Church where we broke for lunch. Returning over The Nidd we followed War Fields Lane through War Fields and speculated why they were so named. The nine members of the party then continued to the start. His many friends will be interested to know that the party included George Lyons, who is recovering well from recent ill-health.


9th December

Limestone country is always a good location for a walk after heavy rain, so we were fortunate last Saturday to start our eight-mile walk from Burnsall, in Wharfedale. Peter and Susan McGinnes led our party of fifteen south along a very full river towards Appletreewick and a coffee break near Skyreholme. Field tracks and quiet roads brought us to the Parcevall Hall and its wonderfully peaceful situation. More testing terrain lay ahead. Trollers Gill, a limestone boulder lined ravine is never a place to be trifled with, but after the recent heavy rain, negotiation of the stream bed required care and concentration but was a very rewarding experience. The party continued on over Appletreewick Pasture to lunch overlooking Wharfedale bathed in glorious sunshine. Our return route was by Kail Lane and the riverside track. We were fortunate to have good, dry conditions throughout the day.

2nd December

Joan Clack was an official of The Ramblers Association Harrogate Group for many years. She bequeathed money for the group to put a seat close to the public footpath by Middlesmoor Church, with a wonderful view down Nidderdale. The seat was installed in the summer and on Saturday RA and LDWA members met with members of Joan's family at Ramsgill for a walk taking in the seat's location.
The group of twenty-six initially followed The Nidderdale Way to Studland Farm. In the bright sunshine of a magnificent winter morning the seat could be easily seen over the fields, its newness making it stand out against the background of grass and stone. The ascent from Lofthouse to Middlesmoor is always a good reason for a rest, but on this occasion the pause was used by Joan's family to plant spring bulbs around the seat.

Leaving Middlesmoor we headed north to How Gill before descending to Limley Farm. The ascent to the Dale Edge bridleway was by Thwaite House and various routes over access land. Our lunch break was in the shelter of a barn whilst a short, heavy downpour was in progress. Our return route was by Thrope Farm and Lane to Longside House and Bouthwaite.


30th November

Five walkers met at Spruisty bridge on a bright dry morning for this four mile Thursday walk. From Knox the walk followed the route past Nidd House Farm to Killinghall, then past the church, pausing to admire the newly aquired glebe lands. With little road walking the party went towards Crag Hill and down to the edge of the river Nidd which was rather full and fast flowing. The river edge path was followed and then under the road bridge to join the footpath back to Knox via the three Spruisty farms all farmed by members of the Umpleby family.


18th November 2006

For a few years, the Saturday on which The Group AGM was held was a day of very good weather. Against this background Peter and Delia Wells offered a walk to finish at the AGM. As luck would have it, the weather was rather squally but had some bright intervals. Public transport was used to the start at Riffa Bridge where the group followed the path past Riffa Farm through the wood to Stainburn. Coffee was enjoyed in the lovely setting of the church yard with good views to the south and west. A permitted path, with some very difficult stiles, was followed around Townend Farm to link up with the bridleway over Greenmires Lane to the Gas Station on Briscoe Ridge. Turning west, the group followed the path by Ross Farm to Beckwith Head and Pannal Ash, making the AGM, just in time.
At the AGM all the officers were thanked and re-elected. Rodney Waddilove was presented with a token gift in appreciation of his role in representing Harrogate Group on the Area Committee, a post which he has now relinquished. After the formal business we enjoyed a presentation by Gwyneth Jackson on the work of The Council for National Parks. The presentation, as well as detailing the functions of the various bodies making up The Council and the roles of volunteers, included excellent slides of all our National Parks. The audience scored very highly in the 'name the place' test.


11th November

Last Saturday, Rodney Waddilove led a group of twelve walkers on a ten-mile circuit around Haverah Park. Starting from Harlow Moor Road, the group followed the track by the playing fields to Birk Crag before picking up the bridleway by Oakdale Farm, where we were greeted by some very frisky young cattle. A short stretch of the B6161 brought us to Pot Bridge Farm and thence to The Park itself. In the more open landscape, the intensity of the westerly wind was a problem although we managed to stay on our feet. The familiar Dales Way Link path took us past Prospect House to lunch in the sheltered glade of Low Scargill Plantation. Our return route was via Springhill Farm, part of the B6162 and The Pinewoods track. The timing was excellent as a rapid deterioration in the weather greeted our return.


4th November 2006

Saturdays walk, led by Laurence Myers, might well have been titled 'Railways and Byways of Harrogate' as it included fine walking to the east and north of Harrogate joined by easy tracks with few stiles. We commenced at Trinity Church which is adjacent to the site of Harrogate's first passenger terminal, Brunswick Station. Walking across The Stray was pure delight on a lovely, sunny morning and we were soon enjoying the autumn colours of The Valley Gardens. The newly resurfaced track through The Pinewoods afforded fine views to the west and led us to the junction with The Harrogate Ringway Footpath through Birk Crag and Oakdale. A diversion from The Ringway brought us through the woodland by Oak Beck at New Park. A difficult crossing of Ripon Road enabled us to take the footpath along what is possibly Harrogate oldest rail bed, the incline from Knox Hill Quarry. Knox Lane lay ahead with all the momentos of The Gas Works Railway, a narrow-gauge line that ran from Bilton to New Park transporting coal and tar to and from The Gas Works until 1956. A walk along the bed of this railway through Willow Wood linked us to the track along the old Leeds-Thirsk line going east to Bilton Crossing. In the tranquility of the restored rail beds of the Bilton Triangle it is impossible to imagine great passenger trains such as 'The Queen of Scots' thundering through or the enormous amount of freight that passed through here, avoiding York, during the second world war. Field tracks brought us to cross the Harrogate to York line, constructed in 1862 and still in use, to walk past Harrogate High School and rejoin The Stray.
Our group of twelve enjoyed an informative and rewarding day and we were pleased to welcome three new members among our number.

28th October 2006

A hardy 'bakers dozen' ramblers met leader Chris Barnes on Saturday for a nine-mile ramble from Hampsthwaite. On a rather poor day the group first enjoyed visiting the map, set in stone on the Village Green, as a memorial to George Wainwright, a great walker as well as a village historian and church organist.
Leaving The Village the group walked along Cockhill Beck to Myers Green to pick up the track to Killinghall Old Bridge. After a pause for coffee we entered Ripley Village and took the delightful track beside The castle wall leading to Whipley Hall. Burnt Yates was our lunch spot using the seats of The Millennium Stone. Still in indifferent weather the group left Burnt Yates by the intriguingly named Monks Wall across muddy fields to Dinsmore House and Birstwith. The weir was a great sight after the recent rain giving rise to the suggestion that Birstwith's Mill would be a fine setting for a film of 'The Mill on the Floss.' Field tracks were then followed back to the start.


30th September 2006

In spite of the attraction posed by a regular walkers wedding, twelve members assembled on Saturday for an eleven-mile walk in Lower Wensleydale. Starting from Grewelthorpe, the group headed west to Foulgate Farm to pass the magnificent Low Bramley Grange and pick up The Ripon Rowel route towards the hamlet of Ilton. Our path took us over the edge of Grewelthorpe Moor alive with joyful birdsong on a glorious late-summer morning. From Ilton a gentle descent brought us to the edge of Swinton Park and lunch beside the gently flowing Den Beck. The woods of Nutwith Common were showing their early autumn colours with boggy patches reminiscent of the winter conditions that will be with us all too soon. The walk through Hack Fall Woods was as delightful as ever with the musical sounds of the rushing River Ure in the gorge accompanying the visit to the gazebo erected by William Aislabie in 1750. The final stretch of the walk was over field paths to the village green and the enthusiastic welcome by its well-fed ducks. Our leaders for the day were Peter and Delia Wells.


17th September

On Sunday we offered three led walks as part of The Ramblers Association Welcome to Walking Week. A total of thirty-three members of the public enjoyed a short walk in either Wetherby, Knaresborough or Fewston in fine weather. Walkers of all ages, the youngest just three years old, enjoyed all or part of the planned routes which were no more than four and a half miles long. It was good to have several families enjoying part of their day in new surroundings.


16th September 2006

On Saturday, for our last coach ramble of the season, we ventured north for a choice of two walks ending in the fine town of Sedbergh. One group, led by Clare Sandercock started from the outskirts of Dent and followed the course of The Dalesway long distance track, with some variations to minimise road walking. On a perfect late summer day the walkers were fortunate to have good conditions for bird watching with ample time to explore Sedbergh with its interesting mix of buildings.
Tom Snelling led the other group from Sedbergh via The Rawthey Valley to ascend The Calf via Cautley Spout. Recent rain allowed us to enjoy this fine waterfall at its best in glorious sunshine. The more gradual descent beside Winder Fell afforded fine views over The Town and its famous school. The group expressed their appreciation of the excellent service provided, once again, by Rainbow Travel throughout the season.


9th September 2006

Last weekend was a demanding one for Andrew Willoughby, the tireless RA Footpath Secretary for Harrogate and Knaresborough towns, with very different activities involving groups of RA members. On Friday, Andrew led the Practical Work Party to deliver and install the memorial seat, dedicated to Joan Clack, adjacent to the public footpath by the church at Middlesmoor, in the location specified by Joan herself. The following day Andrew led the Saturday ramble from Goldsborough, Low Field. Initially, our group of ten followed The Knaresborough Round track north through the woods to Flaxby Moor Farm. Easy walking to the east brought us under the A1 motorway to Hopperton. Heading south, the approach to Hunsingore was via little-used field tracks with The Group having to clear access over two stiles in hedgerows heavy with fruit and undergrowth containing ferocious nettles. Lunch was taken in Walshford after which a section of new bridleway, created as a result of new road construction in the area brought us to the established bridleway at Ruddings Farm. The final stretch, through Ribston Park was pure delight with a pauses to enjoy a cricket match and to view the new sculpture on the 1855 road bridge to The Hall. The Group enjoyed fine weather conditions throughout their ten-mile ramble.


2nd September 2006

A party of ten assembled at Hutton-le-hole for Saturday's ramble on The North York Moors. Led by Kevin Murphy the group initially headed north along Hutton Ridge under an overcast sky and light rain. The heather was still in full bloom and a few grouse rose to greet our passage. We turned to cross Loskey Ridge and arrive at Rosedale Chimney, or more correctly, Rosedale Bank Top as the chimney of the ironstone processing plant was demolished in 1972, to turn left along the old railway track along the edge of Rosedale. In freshening wind, lunch was taken at Thorgill Head, overlooking Rosedale after which the group followed the old track as far as Sheriff's Pit, one of the long abandoned ironstone mines. The return leg of our trip commenced with a change of direction to the south along moorland tracks. A lowering of the cloud level, together with an increase in the wind and intensity of rain soon proved to be a severe test of our equipment but not our spirit, although the group would have provided a good backdrop for 'Grumpy old Holidays'.


31st August 2006

Better weather conditions were enjoyed by a group led by Andrew Willoughby on Thursday evening on one of our series of shorter, local walks. The group started their walk from Forest Lane to Knaresborough, following field tracks, then took the riverside road and steps to The Parish Church returning via Conyngham Hall and Forest Head Farm. We were very pleased to welcome potential members of The Association as well as existing members returning to group rambles.

26th August 2006

Lovely, sunny weather was the order of the day for Saturdays' walk in The North York Moors National Park. A bakers dozen of lucky people met at Kildale and began by climbing the escarpment to Warren Farm. Our descent into The Vale of Leven enabled us to examine the remnants of the Warren Moor Ironstone Mine, with its well-preserved chimney. Ahead lay Kildale Moor where the blaze of purple heather was a real treat. An easy descent into Baysdale brought us to one of the most secluded valleys in The Park with its busy beck and delightful woodland. Passing the site of Baysdale Abbey, The Group paused for lunch beside the track up Middle Head which afforded fine views along The Dale. A steady pull followed which brought us to a circuit of Ingleby Moor leading to Battersby Moor and The Cleveland Way, where surprisingly few fellow walkers were evident. After a pause at the top of Coleson Bank The Group descended to the village of Battersby to return, using field tracks, via Park Farm to Kildale and an excellent afternoon tea in the cafe. The leaders for the day were Peter and Delia Wells.


29th July 2006

Grassington, full of summer colour, was our starting point for Saturday's ramble in The Yorkshire Dales. The recent very hot weather had obviously discouraged many walkers with the area unusually quiet for the time of year. Initially, The Group left The Town Hall to climb Kimpergill Hill to Bare House. Still heading west field paths were then followed to Bycliffe Road, the ancient route between Nidderdale and Wharfedale, where we turned left to our lunch spot overlooking Kilnsey Crag. Conistone Village was reached in glorious sunshine after which a stretch of busy road had to be negotiated before entering Grass Wood, a nature reserve largely in the hands of The Yorkshire wildlife Trust. The final lap to our starting point was via the delightful green lanes that contribute to the attractiveness of Grassington. Our leader for the day was Maureen Smith.


Reports on ealier walks.... Kettlewell Spurn Point Scar House Richmond Lakes 2005 & 6 Nidd Gorge Braithwaite Moor
Riffa West Burton Addingham Chop Gate Nidderdale Peak District York Birk Crag
Bramhope Ingleborough Hay-a-Park Spofforth Dacre Banks Burton Leonard Ripon to Ripley Cayton
Knaresborough & the Nidd Gorge Lower Wharfedale Boston Spa Buckden Upper Nidderdale Low Paradise How Stean Stainforth