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.
Coxwold and the White Horse
Level of walk: Easy View Walks Key
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This is a good, energetic off-the-lead romp for your dog through some beautiful countryside, starting and finishing in the historic village of Coxwold. The Vale of York maybe flat, but that doesn’t mean the walk is boring – it’s charming with great views of the majestic White Horse at Kilburn all the along the walk.What else you need to knowHow to get there – From A19 York to Thirsk road, follow signs for Coxwold
Suggested map – OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western
Car park – behind the village hall. From the main crossroads in Coxwold, take the Byland Abbey road and the village hall and car park is on the right. An honesty box will gratefully accept a small donation for its use
Start – car park behind the village hall in Coxwold
Length/time – 6 miles and 2 ½ hours
Terrain/difficulty –EASY, mostly flat grassy paths through fields and on farm tracks, very small section of road walking and there are a few stiles and little footbridges to negotiate.
Dog friendliness – some horses in fields and a short walk through a working farm where you will need to keep your dog on a lead and a few stiles you may need to carry pooch over, otherwise this is a good old romp through fields in pretty countryside.
Food and drink – the lovely Fauconberg Arms in the centre of Coxwold, passed at the start of the walk, has a beer garden to the rear, and permits dogs in the bar too! See Directories for details.
Public toilets – yes, at the village hall car park
Other interesting info:
Shandy Hall in Coxwold, probably built around 1430, was the home of writer Laurence Sterne. To celebrate his success as an author Sterne’s friends named his home ‘Shandy Hall’, a dialect word for ‘crack-brained’ or odd. Sterne lived in the house until his death in 1768 and he wrote the rest of his seven volumes of Tristram Shandy there.
- On leaving the village hall car park, cross the road and head along a lane opposite following a footpath sign for Town Pasture passing a large tree to the left. Continue up the green lane with a Hawthorne hedge on your right, and at the gate follow the Public foot path sign to the left. Head up the lane passing the Faukenburg Arms to the right until reaching the road, where it’s best to put your dog on the lead.
- Turn right and head along the pavement, with the church to the left. Just past the entrance to the famous Shandy Hall and gardens, there is a Public footpath sign on the other side of the road – partly hidden in the hedge. Cross the road and follow this path through a gate, keeping straight ahead with a Hawthorne hedge to your right and a wire and post fence to your left. At a way-marker post follow the yellow arrow pointing to ‘nearly’ three o’clock and head diagonally towards a metal gate next to a way-marker post.
- The path continues ahead between two fields towards some trees. To the left is the village of Husthwaite, while to the right is the first glimpse of the White Horse. Keep ahead with trees and a hedgerow to left and White Horse to the right. At the end of the field, bear diagonally left towards a tree with a farm behind it. The path now skirts the edge of another field bordered by a hedge to the left. Continue ahead alongside a wooden post and wire fence near the farm glimpsed earlier behind the tree.
- At the end of the field, cross a farm track and pass through a way-marked metal gate on to a green path, heading slightly downhill to another metal gate. Pass through the gate and keep to the right hand side of the field to a stile. Cross the stile and continue along a farm track.
- With the White Horse now behind you, continue along the track to a way-marked post near some farm buildings with two yellow way-marker signs. Turn right and continue straight ahead through a ‘wild’ field, which is quite difficult to navigate and smaller dogs may need to be carried here. Keeping the house on the hillside, and the White Horse straight ahead, aim for a clump of trees to the right – with a way-marked gate in front. Pass through the gate and straight across a wooden footbridge over Twattleton beck. Keep ahead along a clear path through a field, towards a way-marked fence post and a metal gate. Pass through the gate onto a grassy path uphill and head towards Angram Grange straight ahead.
- The path bears to the right of Angram Grange onto a way-marked grassy track. Pass through the metal gate and head towards the trees. As the track continues, the beck can be first heard then seen to the right.
- When the track reaches the road, cross it and follow a way-marked Public bridleway sign to a gate. Pass through the gate and with a wind turbine in front, follow the track along the right hand edge of the field. The White Horse can again be seen ahead through the trees as the track continues through another way-marked gate, passing a wire and post fence to the right before heading into the trees. Where the track heads right, continue ahead along a path under the canopy of trees. Pass through another gate and bear right towards some farm buildings.
- Pass between the farm buildings to a gatepost with a way-marker sign. Go through the metal gates and on to a track, and continue along it – the White Horse is now to the left – over the hedge. At a house at the end of the track, cross over the road, following a Public bridleway sign to the right – the path is opposite this.
- Keep ahead along the edge of a field with a Hawthorne hedge to your right. At the end of the field, follow a sign to the left, and straight afterwards turn right following a Public bridleway sign through a gate to a footbridge crossing a beck to another gate.
- Having crossed the bridge and passed through the second gate to enter the field continue almost straight ahead – bearing slightly right towards the hedge line on the far side. Make for a gate in the hedge with fence panels either side of it. Pass through the gate onto a single track road and turn right. After a short distance, the road bends to the right. At this point look for a Public bridleway on the left hand side of the road – it may be hiding in the hedge! Follow the way-marker sign to a gate, also way-marked and pass through following the path to a stile. Climb over and into a field – there may be horses and cattle about, so be prepared to put your dog on a lead here, and continue to a footbridge and stile to the right.
- Cross the bridge and stile, and follow a grassy path leading straight ahead along the edge of a field with the hedgerow to the right. At the end of the field, cross another stile and footbridge, and continue ahead to a way-marked signpost to Cams Head and Coxwold. Take a left heading for Coxwold and head along the edge of a field keeping the line of trees to the left. At a footpath sign, turn right along a clear path across the field keeping to the left of the large tree. The White Horse is once again visible behind.
- Keep heading for the trees in front passing a way-marker post ahead on the path. After passing under the treeline keep the hedge to the right, as Coxwold Church comes into view in front, on the left. Cross a way-marked stile and head diagonally to the left across an overgrown field. Look for a new wooden gate at the bottom left of the field, which quickly leads to another new gate. Pass through both gates, then turn right along a grassy path heading towards the trees in front as the houses of Coxwold come into view.
- To the right, pass through a new way-marked gate on to the green lane used at the start of the walk. Turn left and head back towards the car park at the village hall.
This walk is also available on the iFootpath website and App – Coxwold and the White Horse