Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk

Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk

Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk

3 Comments on Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk
Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk
Distance: 2 miles
Duration: 40 minutes or as long as you like
Level of walk: EasyView Walks Key
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Why you should do this walk… Because you want the freedom for your pooch to run around and socialise with other dogs.  The first part of this walk takes you to York’s Knavesmire, where your dog can romp freely around this vast flat space.   It’s very sociable for you both as other dogs and their humans are happy to have a chat.  If you want to do a circuit of the course there’s also a tarmac path for you to follow.   The second part of the walk takes place is the spookily good bits of historic York, where the highwayman Dick Turpin was rumoured to walk with his dog Little Nell. New.

What else you need to know

How to get there – The Knavesmire is on the south side of York, on Knavesmire Road, just off Tadcaster Road (A64 Leeds). Alternatively, take Bishopthorpe Road from the city and turn right onto Campleshon Road, which leads to the Knavesmire.

Suggested map – Any street map of York will be just fine, you don’t need a map for the Knavesmire!

Car park – Plenty of free roadside parking on Knavesmire Road, or behind the main grandstands on Racecourse road.  Various options in York, including St George’s Field.

Start–at Knavesmire (York racecourse), and from Clifford’s Tower in the city centre.

Length/time–Knavesmire – as long as you and your dog like! Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk –2 miles and 40 minutes

Terrain/difficulty– EASY –flat and grassy and on paths through York

Dog friendliness – Extremely on the Knavesmire and very good in the suggested pubs on this walk.

Food and drink – Dog friendly places to go in York: Three Legged Mare on High Petergate, which has a ‘Dogs Welcome’ sign outside and the Last Drop Inn on Colliergate

Public toilets–Sometimes open at the Knavesmire and plenty in York


Other interesting info:

The Knavesmire was York’s public hanging place for many years, with gallows being erected in 1379.  Dick Turpin, probably the most infamous person to be executed there, was hanged in 1739. It is rumoured that the highway man and his little dog had many adventures in and around York. The following walk attempts to give you a glimpse of the old York that Dick and Little Nell might have inhabited.  A small paved area and plaque near Tadcaster Road mark the area where the hangings took place.


Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk

  1. Dick and Little Nell used to start their walks in the early evening at Clifford’s Tower – otherwise known as the eye of York.  Nearby is the Castle Museum, where Dick Turpin was held prisoner before he was hanged at the Tyburn gallows on the Knavesmire.
  2. From the foot of the steps to Clifford’s Tower, head towards the line of trees at the far side of the car park, to a riverside footpath. Take the path, which passes the edge of the Coppergate shopping centre and after a short while emerge on to Piccadilly where it crosses the River Foss. Just over the road here, is the Merchant Adventurers Hall.  Many of the wives of these unsuspecting merchants were robbed by Dick and Little Nell, which is why dogs are not allowed in the gardens here!
  3. Turn right away from the city centre, then left at the roundabout and continue past the cycle racks and bus stops of Merchantgate before turning left up the cobbles of Fossgate. Follow Dick and Nell’s route as it crosses the river again, before continuing up the narrow street. At the end of the road, continue ahead to York’s shortest street with the longest name – Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate. At the end of the street (blink and you’ll miss it!) keep ahead onto Colliergate.
  4. Where Colliergate bears left, The Last Drop Inn is on your right. The original pub on this site would have welcomed shady characters like Dick and Little Nell.  Today you and your dog are most welcome in this lovely traditional pub.  Ironically, for Dick Turpin, its name is a reference to hanging!
  5. After leaving the Last Drop Inn, turn right out of the door then right into the charming and quiet area of Aldwark.  Turn left at a sign for Bartle Garth and follow the road with the Minster ahead of you, as it bears right then left to a snickleway on the left near a sign for Bedern. Follow the narrow passageway, leading to the ancient street of Goodramgate.  Turn left towards York Minster, then immediately right to the black and white faced buildings of St William’s College. Head past the college with the Minster in front then turn left at Minster Yard, keeping the Gothic Cathedral to the right.
  6. Straight ahead across the road is a Roman Column, where it is said the ghost of the Centurion walked! With the statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great to the right, continue to the west face of York Minster by the Dean Court Hotel. Turn right along High Petergate to another of Dick and Little Nell’s favourite watering holes, The Three Legged Mare – known to locals as the Wonky Donkey!  This friendly pub not only allows dogs, but also offers treats and water too!
  7. Suitably refreshed, Dick would have turned left out of The Three Legged Mare, but if you didn’t go in, keep ahead on High Petergate towards Bootham Bar – the north western gate of Eboracum, the Roman name for York. To the left across Exhibition Square is York Art Gallery, where there is a dog-friendly summertime pavement café by the attractive water fountains.  Cross the road and turn left onto St Leonard’s Place.
  8. At the traffic lights, turn right onto Museum Street and after passing York Explore library to the right head across Lendal Bridge. Just as Dick and Nell would have done, turn right at the end of the bridge along a short section of the city walls to a flight of steps on the right, down to the river. At the bottom, pass under Lendal Bridge onto Wellington Row. After a short while, pass through a gate in the wall to the riverside path and continue up the steps towards Ouse Bridge.
  9. At the top of the steps, cross the road, then head across the bridge. At the end of the bridge, drop down a flight of stone steps to the Kings Staith alongside the River Ouse. This ancient area has long been a popular place for refreshments and Dick and Nell would probably have finished their evenings off with a night-cap here, before heading home.  Home was said to be one of the houses on South Esplanade, which is ahead on the left. Continue ahead alongside the river, with the blue painted Skeldergate Bridge in front.
  10. At the end of South Esplanade turn left, and walk up the path with the parkland on your right and head back towards Clifford’s Tower. Should you or your dog need a longer walk, continue on the riverside path towards Fulford as far as you both need!

Please note that story behind Dick and Little Nell is fictitious.

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  1. daisydog2011  - 21/05/2012 - 10:58 am

    York race course is our regular haunt and its fantastic for doggy socialising with miles of grass for chasing balls, also the Slip Inn just off Bishopthorpe road is dog friendly and serves very good ale 🙂

    • corina  - 21/05/2012 - 7:55 pm

      Thanks for the info – will add the Slip to our list. 🙂

  2. Karen  - 02/03/2014 - 2:37 pm

    Walked Dick Turpin dog walk this morning with the family. Clear directions helped us walk round with ease. Parts of the walk were quieter whereas some parts were fairly busy with pedestrians. Shame we couldn’t call at either of the dog friendly pubs as they didn’t cater for children as well 🙁

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Walking on mostly flat terrain, little walking up hill and few styles or dry stone walls to negotiate. Distance from 1 to 5 miles.

Some walking up steep hills over rugged terrain, negotiating dry stone walls. Distance from 3 to 6 miles.

A lot of walking up steep hills over rugged terrain, and some scrambling up rocks. Distance from 6 miles upwards.

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