Kirkham Priory and along the River Derwent

Kirkham Priory and along the River Derwent

Kirkham Priory and along the River Derwent

21 Comments on Kirkham Priory and along the River Derwent
Kirkham Priory and along the River Derwent
Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 2 ½ hours
Level of walk: MediumView Walks Key
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Why you should do this walk…
If you want a picturesque start to a walk, you can’t get much better than this one!  Starting at the majestic ruins of Kirkham Priory next to the River Derwent, the route follows woodland and open paths through the pretty Howardian Hills before returning along the riverbank. The walk offers you and your pooch a bit of a climb to get the blood pumping, as well as the chance for a paddle and a good romp in the fields and along the path by the river.  Views are plentiful amid the peace and quiet, with clear easy to follow paths throughout.What else you need to knowHow to get there – turn off the A64 York to Scarborough road at Whitwell-on-the-Hill, and follow the road downhill to the railway level crossing. After crossing the tracks and the river, park in the small car park next to Kirkham Priory.

Suggested map – OS Explorer Map 300 Howardian Hills & Malton

Car park – Kirkham Priory (free)

Start – Kirkham Priory car park

Length/time – 5 miles, takes up to 2½ hours

Terrain/difficulty – MEDIUM, some climbing early on but after that the going is mostly on green paths through fields or quiet farm tracks and roads.  Duckboards are provided on some of the riverside sections. Can be quite muddy in parts especially following wet weather!

Dog friendliness – no stiles and a dog waste bin is provided at the edge of the car park at the start of the walk. English Heritage’s Kirkham Priory is dog-friendly.  The walk offers plenty of opportunities for well- behaved dogs to swim and be off-lead safely.

Food and drink – the dog-friendly Stone Trough Inn is just a few hundred yards further down the road – see Directories for details.  As with most English Heritage sites, Kirkham Priory permits dogs if on a lead and offers a variety of refreshments.

Public toilets – toilets for patrons of Kirkham Priory.

Other interesting info:

The Augustinian Kirkham Priory was founded in the 1120s by the same man that built Rievaulx Abbey – Walter l’Espec, Lord of Helmsley.  The Priory is now a Grade-1 listed building and is maintained and promoted by English Heritage.

The area was visited by Winston Churchill when the D-Day landing vehicles were being tested here.

The Walk

  1. From the car park head back along the road towards the bridge over the river and the railway level crossing. After crossing line, continue along the road for a short distance before turning left through a wooden gate at a public footpath sign. Keep to the obvious path uphill through the woods before bearing right following two yellow way-marker arrows. The path continues uphill with a wire and post fence to the left.
  2. On leaving the tree line, head right along a short and level path to a road. Turn left onto the quiet road for a very short distance before turning left again – this time following a public footpath sign by a wide metal gate leading to a clear green track.
  3. Pass through, or around (!) the gate and follow the track along the edge of a field while taking in the great views of the Howardian Hills. Passing a disused old way-marked stile to the left, keep ahead as the path enters a wooded area – where even with trees on either side, it remains wide and clear. At another large metal gate, enter a field and immediately follow the way-markers 90-degrees to the right before following the perimeter of the field to the left – there maybe cattle in this area so be prepared with the lead!
  4. The grassy path heads downhill through the open field, making its way to the lane running to Oakcliffe Farm – visible on the left.  All around are splendid views of the surrounding countryside with the river in the distance. Continue along the lane away from the farm, passing over a cattle grid, which can easily be walked around. At the end of the lane, cross another cattle grid and turn left onto Rider’s Lane – a quiet tarmacked road that heads towards the railway line.
  5. At Howsham Gates, use the two metal kissing gates on the right to cross the railway line and pass by the signal box on the left. Continue ahead past the old station house and a couple of stone cottages, to a public footpath sign on the right pointing left across the field towards some trees. The path – marked by a row of white-topped wooden posts passes through two wooden gates, and then continues ahead using a footbridge to cross a beck before passing to the right of a telegraph pole towards a way-marked wooden gate. The ground in this area can be boggy but it is easily avoided by taking a slight detour left or right after crossing the footbridge.
  6. Pass through the gate and turn left onto the path alongside the River Derwent – where most dogs will be perfectly fine off the lead. The path follows the river all the way back to Kirkham over a mixture of woodland and green paths. There are several footbridges, all of which were easily mastered by Izzy and parts of the path are along wooden duckboards. The river is very close at times and some dogs may fancy a paddle or a swim!
  7. Eventually the ruins of Kirkham Priory come into view again on the opposite bank of the river near a weir. After passing through a small wooded area, the path leads through a gate into a field with the stone bridge over the river in sight ahead. At the far end of the field, pass through a gate back onto the road and head back across the river to the car park.

This walk is also available on the iFootpath web – Kirkham Priory and the River Derwent

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Walk Map

 

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21 Comments

  1. Camping Booker  - 02/07/2012 - 3:53 pm

    Thank you for publishing this walk! What a beautiful location, took the family and the dog yesterday. Couple of very small issues, the start up the steep hill in the woods was very boggy and slippery, also on most of the sections by the river it was very overgrown. Bad points (and they were minor) out of the way, we had a great day, your directions were perfect, the walk was lovely, we spotted several dragonflies and we even spotted and watched for several minutes a wild deer grazing away! Truly amazing walk and perfect for the dog too. Thanks again and can’t wait to try one of your other walks.

    David

    • corina  - 02/07/2012 - 7:46 pm

      Thanks for the feedback and glad you enjoyed the walk. Yes it’s a bit muddy out there and I’ve shared your general comments on Facebook tonight. Look forward to more reviews from you and hope the weather pics up!

  2. Kate & Alfie Beagle  - 23/07/2012 - 9:56 pm

    Hi, this was the first longer walk for Alfie & I and very enjoyable especially as the sun shone all the way- lucky or what! Agree with David, very boggy in parts and riverside very overgrown so not able to get to river to cool down.
    But an achievement – your directions are easy to follow- essential as my one fear was of getting lost.
    Looking forward to more walks. Thank You

    • corina  - 23/07/2012 - 10:37 pm

      Thanks for the comments and well done to you and Alfie on completing the walk, it’s a great feeling isn’t it. Shame about not being able to get to the water though, why not try the Acaster Malbis walk, there are easy opportunities for a swim or paddle fairly early on in the walk. We were there recently and it wasn’t overgrown. Best wishes 🙂

  3. HWA  - 04/03/2013 - 5:35 pm

    Hi
    We did this walk yesterday for the first time with our 2 dogs – the scenery is stunning and it was so peaceful! Great directions which we followed with ease – and the whether was perfect so that was a bonus. We are looking forward to trying some of the other walks over the next few months! Many thanks!

    • HWA  - 04/03/2013 - 5:37 pm

      Hi
      We did this walk yesterday for the first time with our 2 dogs – the scenery is stunning and it was so peaceful! Great directions which we followed with ease – and the weather was perfect so that was a bonus. We are looking forward to trying some of the other walks over the next few months! Many thanks!

      • corina  - 04/03/2013 - 8:13 pm

        Great stuff! This is a lovely romp with a nice dog-friendly pub near-by. Let us know how you get on with the other walks 🙂

  4. Janette  - 12/06/2013 - 3:56 pm

    Hi. Walked it today Wednesday 12 June 2013. Dry underfoot but very overgrown on the path by the Derwent. Both dogs enjoyed it and topped the morning off with lunch at The Stone Trough.

    Thanks

    • corina  - 15/06/2013 - 4:49 pm

      Sounds like a lovely time was had by all. Great walk when it’s not flooded round here. Let’s hope the summer is kind to us all 🙂

  5. Dave Tabron  - 22/07/2013 - 8:59 am

    We wanted to say thank you for a wonderful day that was our first dogwalksyorkshire.com walk. The directions were brilliant – easy to follow – and the walk was a definite 10 out of 10 judged by how happy our Dog and 2 humans were. We had a very good lunch at the #Stone Trough Inn with Stella our dog sat beneath our outside table and really recommend that other Dogwalkyorhire followers call in to try some of there really good quality hand pull drinks and excellent looking food.. We will definitely be ticking off more walks and will let you know how they go. We thought that a nice addition to the directions would be to recommend a nice place to stop around halfway so that half way flasks of tea can be had in a suitable place. We had ours in one of of the first fields that we came too as you start to head back along the river path. It was the perfect place for a cuppa and a sit (plus bowl of water for dog). Thank you Corina we are big fans x

    • corina  - 22/07/2013 - 8:30 pm

      Really great to hear from you Dave and so pleased that you enjoyed this walk and the Stone Trough as much as we did. Good advice about a tea break stop – when we do it again we’ll have a look for one. If you get chance please send us a pic of Stella for our Facebook page – we’d love to see her in action. Look forward to hearing about more of your adventures. If you sign up to the enewsletter you can enter our competitions to win dog-friendly walks book (which we wrote this year) and dog-friendly products :)xxx

  6. Kevin Macdonald  - 12/08/2013 - 5:57 pm

    We did this walk yesterday with our dog toby. It has a great variety of open field, wooded and riverside walking with minimal roads. Just one thing, being mid august the riverside section was massively overgrown such that the weeds were shoulder height and the path became hidden in parts. Those scared of pushing through plants and insects might be put off. Also, being so overgrown the riverside became hidden in parts such that toby fell in! However we loved the walk and would recommend it! The stone trough inn was full of dogs when we had sunday lunch afterwards.

  7. Dianne Mitcham  - 26/08/2013 - 8:33 pm

    This walk is definitely not recommended in the summer months because the river side path on your way back is so overgrown and is quit a long section of the walk. It is quite dangerous in areas. May try it again in the winter months.

  8. Danielle McManus  - 15/12/2013 - 4:19 pm

    Did this walk yesterday 15/12/13 and me and Millie had a fantastic time.. Easy to follow directions, easy walk with plenty of swimming opportunities and plenty of off lead time (just beware it is game season and people on shoots). Excellent views and the weather for December was fab. Rather boggy at times bear the river but Millie loves to run through the mud!! Finished off with a. Early tea and a pint in the lovely and welcoming Stone trough inn.

  9. Charlotte  - 27/05/2014 - 9:44 am

    Did this walk on the May bank holiday weekend. It was quite boggy in places by the river but the weeds aren’t too overgrown yet so still easy enough to get through. It is a great walk and my dogs loved it even in the pouring rain!

    • corina  - 01/06/2014 - 2:53 pm

      Yes this walk can be boggy – not always great for us, but dogs will love it as you said. Let’s hope we get some nice sunny weather to enjoy this summer too!

  10. Victoria  - 21/06/2014 - 6:47 pm

    Did this walk today (21/06/2014) with our lab cross and my parent’s Bedlington terrier. As usual the instructions were spot on and the first section of the walk was really enjoyable. The second half and especially the section by the river were hard going though. The boggy section in point 5 was almost impassible and led to a tense and very muddy 10 minutes turning back and forth trying to find a walkable route. After that the walk by the river was hugely overgrown and not well trod, with nettles up to neck height in some places. We spent a lot of time walking with arms above our heads. The dogs got a bit bored of trotting along in single file for such a long time, and couldn’t get down to the river as often as they would have liked. Wouldn’t recommend this in summer, but I’m sure it’s lovely in late autumn when the weeds have died back.

  11. Lesley  - 17/10/2014 - 7:32 pm

    We (me, hubby, mini wirehaired Dachshund and mini long haired Dachshund) completed this walk today. The weather was as glorious as the walk!
    True, it was very muddy by the river, but after all the rain we have had, we weren’t surprised, and were ready for the mud in our walking wellies.
    Unlike the previous reviewer, we didn’t have a problem with tall weeds and nettles, but as suggested, they’ve probably all died back by now (October).
    The dogs were totally mud covered at the end of the walk, but we were able to let them have a swim before getting back on the road. They really enjoyed themselves, as did we!

    • Darren  - 27/02/2016 - 11:49 pm

      Walked this route Feb 2016 and enjoyed it. Watch out at step 5 though as the footbridge is no longer there! Probably washed away with floods. Best to continue on the road and look for the next path over the beck.

      Also, very boggy and marshy in places. Hopefully it will dry out in spring.

  12. Craig  - 03/04/2016 - 11:09 pm

    Really good walk which we completed in late March 2016. Hadn’t seen Darren’s comment above at the time, and his point still stands. The bridge over the beck in step 5 is still missing. Looks to have been destroyed in the floods and no sign of it being fixed.

    That said, either follow Darren’s suggestion above (walk up further), or, as we did, jump over the beck! It’s a few feet at most and a soft landing. If you go for it though, definitely commit. It’s not a clean ditch and when the dogs decided to jump back in for the swim, the smell was significant!! 😀

    Great day out and would definitely do this walk again. Wear decent footwear as it’s still very boggy and expect it will be for a while yet.

    • Dan  - 19/07/2015 - 7:26 pm

      An enjoyable walk, but a warning: the riverside stretch is currently (mid July) VERY overgrown with thistles, nettles, brambles, triffids, and all manner of scratchy plant life. Over head height in places. Luckily we had long sleeves and trousers, but I’d imagine that with tshirts and shorts you’d get ripped to shreds.

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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.

An updated version of this walk is available on the iFootpath Android and iOS App. Please visit Get iFootpath

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