Friday, April 12, 2013

Jervaulx Abbey Circular Walk

OS Map: OS Explorer Map (1:25 000) Northallerton & Thirsk -  Sheet 302

Start Grid Reference: SE 169 856

Walk distance: 7 miles 

Date walked: 5th April 2012

Time: 3 hours

After a winter of illness and little walking, I am now in better health and able to tackle some routes again.  This is a 7 mile circular walk taken from the Where2Walk website, which starts and finishes at Jervaulx Abbey, takes in Thornton Steward and ends with a lovely walk along the River Ure.

The walk starts in the car park opposite the abbey, where there are tearooms for refreshments if needed.  There is a charge of £1 for parking payable in the honesty box at the car park entrance.

Jervaulx Abbey
As the walk starts and ends at the Abbey, you can explore the ruins before or after your walk.  It is £3 to enter the ruins, once again paid into an honesty box.

Grounds of Jervaulx Abbey
At the start of the walk, sheep were grazing on the wide expanse of grass in the grounds of the abbey.  The bridleway is clearly marked and the path takes you through the grassland.  As you walk through the grounds you pass by a small lake.

Lake in the ground of Jervaulx Abbey

After the grounds of the abbey, there is a short stretch of road to take you across the River Ure.

The River Ure

Shortly after the bridge the path goes through farmland to reach Thornton Steward.  Thornton Steward in a quiet very old village, friendly to ramblers.  The Community Hall provides tea and coffee on a self serve basis and there is also a ramblers' toilet.  Donations are requested to maintain this very welcome service.  From the village, the track goes down to St. Oswald's Church; there are alternative paths to the church if you wish.

St Oswald's Church
From the church the route now takes you by Danby Hall, the home of the historical Scrope Family, then to Danby Low Mill with views of Great Whernside beyond.

Danby Hall

Danby Low Mill
 After another short road walk, the Ure is crossed once more before following the river embankment back to the abbey.  When we walked it, the river was good for birds with the usual mallard and moorhen, but also a pair of goosanders.  A mute swan was also nesting on the fishpond. 

Fishpond by the River Ure
The path continues along the river before turning up to the road at the abbey.

This is a gentle walk, which can be undertaken by the whole of the family and short enough to still allow time in the day to explore some of the lovely Dales' towns and villages.

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