A 3 mile circular walk around the wooded Pennine valley of Hardcastle Crags, near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. Owned by the National Trust the valley comprises a beautiful shallow river, Hebden Water with steep wooded valley sides and you will have chance to discover lots of wildlife plus some industrial archaeology along the way. If you have children with you, you may wish to bring along crayons and paper as there are several engraved markers around the site, showing the various leaves and seeds in the woodland.
Bishop Burton and Kilham
Distance: 7 miles
Duration: 3½ hours
Level of walk: Easy View Walks KeyCheck latest weather
Why you should do this walk…
This is a great walk if you have a well-behaved dog, as most of it can be done off-lead through fields and along quiet paths. There’s also a great oppportunity for a paddle half way round in a beck with a path next to it. It’s pretty flat, but does have lovely views of the Yorkshire Wolds and the pretty villages along the route.
How to get there – Burton Agnes is on the A614 approximately half-way between Driffield and Bridlington. From York take the A166 to Driffield then join the A614 following the signs to Bridlington. The No.121 bus from Scarborough via Bridlington, Driffield and Beverley to Hull stops at Burton Agnes, as does the No.744 from York and Pocklington. Both are operated by East Yorkshire Motor Services.
Suggested map – Ordnance Survey Map 295; Bridlington, Driffield & Hornsea
Car park – roadside parking by the pond next to Station Road, in the centre of the village, just off the A614
Start – by the village pond
Length/time – 7 miles and 3½ hours
Terrain/difficulty – EASY, the vast majority is on relatively flat well marked paths
Dog friendliness – lots of off-lead time for well-behaved dogs, dog bins at Bracey Bridge. There are five stiles, but most most dogs will be able to go under or over all but one, without help.
Food and drink – the St Quintin Arms in Harpham is dog friendly, and there is usually a catering outlet parked in the lay-by at Bracey Bridge, where there are picnic tables.
Public toilets – non on walk, but toilets available to patrons at pubs en-route.
Other interesting info:
The Yorkshire Wolds have now become more well known due to the latest exhibition of paintings by David Hockney. You can normally find a display of some of his other paintings at the wonderful Salts Mill in Saltaire.
- From the village pond in Burton Agnes, not far away from Burton Agnes Hall head back towards the main road then turn left along the grass verge towards the Blue Bell Hotel. At the hotel cross the road and head along the road opposite, signposted to Rudston along the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle route No.1. Follow the footpath next to the quiet road passing the Burton Agnes C of E Primary School and Nursery. Shortly after passing a sports club, look for a wooden way-marked footpath sign pointing left. Follow the path along the edge a football field next to a wire and post fence.
- The path is wide, obvious and grassy; continue on ahead past the end of the fence heading towards a gap in the hedge in front. As the path starts to rise a little, the main road is visible to the left along with some wind-turbines in the distance beyond. Pass through the gap in the hedge into the next field, and follow the still obvious path diagonally, slightly uphill.
- At a yellow way-marker post next to a hedge, continue diagonally across the next field. All around are wide open spaces with great views of the Yorkshire Wolds. Head towards a metal gate in the hedge and pass through the gap between two posts onto a wide track. Cross it and continue through a gap in the hedge on the other side on to an undulating path leading diagonally across the field towards the hedge line. Climb the stile in the hedgerow, little dogs should be able to go under but bigger breeds may need a helping hand! Once over the stile look in front and to the right across the field for a gate and head towards it. The path runs diagonally across the field but it may be hard to spot, in which case head right and then left around the field’s edges.
- Pass through a way-marked kissing gate and continue diagonally across the next field towards the houses and church of the village of Kilham. At the end of this field pass through a gap in the Hawthorne hedge and again head diagonally across the next one towards a public footpath sign at a gap in the hedge. Turn left onto a track leading to a tarmac road, and follow it downhill to the right. After a short distance, look out for a wooden footpath sign pointing left and follow the path along the edge of a field, keeping the wire and post fence to the left. Keep ahead on the path ignoring the one to the right, and pass by the sewage works with its green palisade fencing. The path becomes a wide green track with a beck to the right and Kilham Church visible in front.
- Pass between two posts then soon after turn sharp left and head up a gentle bank to a marked track across a field. Following the way-marker on a stump by a gap in the hedge, continue along the clear path across several fields. Keep following the way-markers through the gaps in the hedges along the easy to follow path.
- After leaving the last field, follow the path towards a distinctive line of tall trees. Keep the trees to the left and follow the path around them towards a road. Carefully cross the road then head down the steps at the other side to the Bracey Bridge picnic area, which makes a good spot for tea and buns! There are also dog waste bins here.
- Head past the picnic tables and cross the lay-by road looking for a way-marked kissing gate next to a double metal gate. Pass through onto the tarmac track and follow it from under the tree line. After a short while follow the public footpath sign pointing right onto a track towards a large metal gate, next to a way-marked kissing gate. Pass through the kissing gate and continue straight ahead along the wide grassy path keeping the hedgerow to the right.
- Go through another way-marked kissing gate and follow the footpath sign towards Low Thorpe. Head across the field and at a kissing gate in the hedge at the other side, follow a way-marker to the left through another kissing gate out on to a track. Continue over the bridge at Low Thorpe Beck – there are good paddling opportunities here, and access is easy from the beck side footpath.
- Keep ahead past the farm buildings and follow the blue way-marker posts through a number of gates. At the end of the lane turn right on to a quiet road leading to the village of Harpham with its church. After passing in front of (or popping into!) the dog-friendly St Quintin Arms, turn left at a crossroads following the sign for Bridlington.
- After a short while turn right initially onto an enclosed path, then follow a way-marked public footpath sign over a stile. Follow the yellow arrow along a clear path across a field towards a gap in a hedge. After passing another way-marker arrow, continue in the same direction towards another marker post by a gap in a hedge with a broken stile.
- Follow the clear path across the next field towards the hedge line with Burton Agnes in the distance. Follow the way-markers and bear right along the left hand edge of a field – keeping a look out for the next way-marker post in a gap in the fence pointing to the left. Head diagonally along the clear path through the field towards the red roofs of Burton Agnes. Cross over a bridge made of two planks of wood over a beck and a stile, some dogs will get through the gap but others may need a hand. Cross another stile over a wire and post fence – all dogs will easily get under this one (!) then head diagonally across the next field on the clear path towards the village. Cross another stile and turn right onto the road and head back to the village pond.