Saturday, 17 July 2010

Where's the path?

The weather has been a bit wild just lately, yesterday it was very windy with threats of rain, but nevertheless I thought I would take a chance and go for a walk. If it does rain it won't be for long, with the clouds scooting across the sky at breakneck speed. I went over the Humber Bridge, and parked up in a little village called Kirby Misperton, midway between Malton and Pickering, North Yorkshire. This walk came in at 14.44 miles.

The picture below shows the entrance to my first footpath at Kirby Misperton Bridge, as you can see there is no stile, the hedge and weeds are overgrown, the gate is locked, and there is wire on the other side of it.

But, there is a signpost, well what's left of one, engulfed by the neglected hedges. The land owner is obviously not a fan of walkers over his land. This is a public footpath, a legal right of way.

Oh well, I'll take the next left down a farm track, a designated bridleway, that should be passable. I can hear the screams of the kids on the roller coaster at nearby Flamingo Land, I'm surprised this is still running in the high winds.

After one false start I came across another obstacle, and was beginning to wonder if all landowners were the same round here. I turned down a track towards Wintofts Farm and came to the entrance of a big garden, there should be a path to the right of the building. Could I find it? Could I heck!
I was about to knock on the door of the farmhouse when an elderly woman came out. I say elderly but she was probably about the same age as me, but looked a bit frail. I asked her where the path was. She said, 'just a minute. I will have to move the geese to another field.' I waited while she shoo'ed them through a gate. I showed her a map of the path I was looking for, she said, 'I don't understand maps.' She pointed to a gate and said, 'it's over there, but it's a bit rough.' I thought she meant it was the weather that was a bit rough.
This is the gate. It has a sign which says, 'Please shut the gate.' In my estimation this gate has not been opened in ten years. I say this because on the other side is a bridge over a stream, and the bridge itself has ten years of weeds growing on it.

I climbed over it, it has some chicken wire over the bottom half and someone has cut a hole in it so you can get your boot onto the third bar, without doing yourself an injury in your nether regions.
Next was to find the path on the other side, it should go left and run alongside the stream. After trying several alternatives, wading along the edge of a field of oil seed rape, trying to find a way into a field through electric fencing, I had to give up and go back. A bit rough, that's an understatement!

Here I am about to go back over the bridge and climb the gate back to the house. I was sorely tempted to knock on the door and tell the woman I was going to report the situation, but decided not to. I think she had an inkling that the path was not acceptable, but it's probably not her fault. I will find out who I have to report it to.

I love pictures of trees like this. A bit sad that it is dead, but an interesting contrast to it's surroundings. I'm glad they haven't cut it down.

Always a pleasure to see swans. These were on a stream next to Low Mill Cottage, fancy having this view outside your door, bliss.

Oh dear, another blatant disregard for walkers. A stile that has been completely destroyed, this time by driving a heavy machine over it. I wonder when they will get it repaired, probably never.

This made me chuckle, a sign eating tree ;o)

I stopped in Pickering to eat my lunch and carried on in an easterley direction along Ruffa Lane.
At last a lovely place to walk, Howl Dale Wood. Not many feet have passed this way before, it was very pleasant listening to the roar of the wind through the trees, yet warm in the sunlight because of their shelter. I stopped several times to pick the wild raspberries.

There is a big pond in Thornton le Dale, with lots of ducks and fish. It's a lovely little touristy town. I had to partake of an ice cream, my favourite Magnum of course.

The Beck runs all the way through Thornton, these cottages have it flowing right past their front doors.

I was a bit late back to my car, but no matter, I was late starting out. A couple of places to call in on the way back. I made a short diversion to a village called Rillington on the A64 near Malton. There is a pub called The Coach and Horses which has lots and lots of pot cats in their lounge. I remembered this place from about seven years ago when I called in for a drink once. They are still there, so I took lots of photo's. That's another post so look out for it next week.
It will be too late to cook a meal when I get back, so I stopped at Wetwang for a tray of chips. This place is always busy, but I have never had time to join the queue. The queue's have gone now so I got my chips. Ate half of them, the other half I will microwave for lunch today.
Almost home and a beautiful sunset again. I will not be following this footpath, it's going in the wrong direction :o)


  1. What a lovely walk, with so many interesting things to see, thankyou for taking us with you!

  2. I remember the days of the 'Right to Roam' walkers who were faced with farmers and landowners with shotguns because they didnt want walkers on their land. I guess they won us the right to roam but if no one is roaming they will just forget about the footpaths and let the wild reclaim them. Shame more people don't walk like you do Ilona (says I who had great intentions of walking but never quite got around to it! lol!)

  3. Please, please report it to the County Council responsible for the area you were walking in. A quick email should suffice with some details as to exactly where the law is being broken. We always report rights of way which are obstructed, paths illegally diverted or overgrown paths. If no-one reports these things the Council don't always find out about them and people 'get away with' breaking the law.

  4. Hi Janet, Yes I will do, I have got the web site links from

  5. Just reported this to North Yorks County Council. We'll see if they are interested.