Hovingham and the Howardian Hills

Hovingham and the Howardian Hills

Hovingham and the Howardian Hills

8 Comments on Hovingham and the Howardian Hills

Hovingham and the Howardian Hills

Distance: 6 miles
Duration: 2½ hours
Level of walk: Medium View Walks Key

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Why you should do this walk…

This is a very pretty and quiet walk just off the usual tourist route.  It starts from the quintessentially Yorkshire village of Hovingham and incorporates a variety of terrain with lovely views of the Howardian Hills and countryside beyond. The walk meanders through peaceful woods over green paths and on quiets roads and the fields surrounding Hovingham, with the added bonus of a dog-friendly pub when you reach the end of your walk.

What else you need to know How to get there – Hovingham is half-way between Malton and Helmsley on the B1257 road. From York take the A64 Scarborough road as far as Barton Hill then turn left initially following signs for Castle Howard. Continue on through Coneysthorpe before turning left on to the B1257 at Slingsby. An alternative route from York is via Strensall, Sheriff Hutton and Terrington South Bank. From Pickering, take the A169 road into Malton then follow the B1257 to Hovingham. By public transport; the 194 bus service from Malton to Helmsley operated by Stephenson’s runs through Hovingham.

Suggested map – OS Explorer 300, Howardian Hills & Malton.

Car park – free car parking is available at the village hall, off Main Street, or street parking in Hovingham.

Start – Malt Shovel public house on Main Street.

Length/time – 6 miles, takes around 2½ hours

Terrain/difficulty – MEDIUM, mostly on green, enclosed moorland paths. There is a small amount of road walking, along some very quiet roads.

Dog friendliness – there are just two stiles, a little road walking and cattle may be encountered, however there are plenty of opportunities for off-lead walking if for well-behaved dogs and paddling opportunities in the beck along the way on this quiet walk.

Food and drink – the Malt Shovel pub is dog-friendly and have a tiled area plus snug which your pooch is allowed in. The Hovingham Bakery & Spa Tearoom on Main Street has an outside seating area and a ford to cool down hot paws.

Public toilets – patrons may use the facilities in The Malt Shovel . Other interesting info: The pretty village of Hovingham is on the edge of the Howardian Hills an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which includes farmland, wooded rolling countryside, villages and historic houses with parkland. On the first Saturday of each month (expect January) the village has a lively and colourful market day from 10.30am to 2.00pm. It is also home to the impressive Hovingham Hall, built around 1760 by Thomas Worsley and has been home to the Worsley family for over 400 years.

The Walk

  1. With the Malt Shovel on the left, and school opposite to the right, head through Hovingham along Main Street. Near the school is a dog-waste bin. Nearing the edge of the village just before the road bears left, cross over and head uphill along a path alongside a green area – this path meets the Terrington road. Cross the road and head along it for a short while using the grass verge.
  2. Following a blue arrow and sign for the Ebor Way and Terrington (3 miles), turn left along a hedge-lined track. The track bears right and slightly uphill as it heads towards South Wood. Don’t forget to turn round to enjoy the panoramic views of Hovingham and the surrounding hills available behind.
  3. Enter the woodland and stay on the track as it bears left into the Hovingham Estate. After passing a double bridleway marker on the left, continue towards a yellow way-marker on a big stump.  Following the yellow arrow, leave the Ebor Way taking the grassy tree-lined path to the right. Keep ahead at the crossing of paths and continue downhill into the trees following another yellow way-marker. The path narrows as it heads downhill passing another yellow way-marker on its way to a large wooden gate.
  4. Pass through the way-marked gate and follow the grassy path straight ahead between two wire-and-post fences, uphill towards a farm.  Just before reaching the 18th century barn at Moor House Farm in front, turn right along a track following the blue bridleway arrows. It is always sensible to put your dog on a lead when passing farms, especially when the track heads towards a road as this one does.
  5. Follow the track to the road, and then turn right along the grass verge for a short while. Just before the tree-line, cross the road and enter a field, following a public bridleway sign, with a blue arrow on to a rugged farm track. Follow the track downhill towards some trees and over a beck, then follow a blue marker and continue uphill alongside the edge of another field. At the end of the track, put your dog on the lead again and turn right following a yellow way-marker and signs for Hovingham (2 miles) along a quiet lane. Passing a series of signposts to the right, keep following the ones to Hovingham and proceed straight ahead.
  6. The track heads round to the right passing Thwaite’s Cottage, then to the left. After ignoring the path to Coulton, cross the beck over a stone bridge, then pass through a wooden kissing-gate on the right – following a white arrow and a sign for Hovingham (1½ miles). Keep to the path alongside the beck and enter the next field. This field may well contain livestock so be ready with your lead.
  7. Continue ahead keeping the beck to the right, and cross a footbridge into another field. Climb a stile (there is a large gap which most dogs will easily pass through) and keep ahead on the green path to a wooden way-marked gate. Walk around the end of the gate and continue to a road. With your dog on the lead, turn right and head along the road towards Hovingham. After a short while, cross the road to follow a yellow way-marker next to a white gate. Pass through the gate and head for Pickering Bridge – a very pretty and ornate method of crossing the beck, and head uphill towards a metal gate – look out for cattle here too.  Pass through the gate and follow a wire-and-post fence towards a way-marked stile in the corner to the right. Smaller dogs will pass under this stile while larger breeds will probably bound straight over it. Climb the stile and continue ahead following the trees to a wooden footbridge.
  8. Cross the bridge and continue along the edge of a field with a wire-and-post fence and trees to the right. At the end of the field, turn left on to a gravel track for a short while, then turn right back onto the Ebor Way and follow the blue arrow back into Hovingham – passing a sports pitch and children’s play area. Head through a gate next to a dog-waste bin and head back into the village, passing a church and the cemetery on the way.  Turn left to follow a beck before crossing a footbridge, which leads back to Main Street and the start of the walk near the Malt Shovel.

This walk is also on iFootpath (website and App) Hovingham and the Howardian Hills

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  1. Charlotte  - 27/05/2014 - 9:37 am
    Reply /

    Lovely walk for a lovely May bank holiday Monday. There was even a market in Hovingham to have a quick mooch about before we set off. It is so nice to take the dogs on countryside walks with lots of off lead action in woods as well as fields. Do be aware that the cows have young calves at the moment though and we did have to go through a field of them, but they were fine and the directions warn you to keep your dog on a lead at this point. This weekend is the first time I have used this site and we did 3 of your walks and thought the directions were excellent for all of them. Thank you so much – we will be doing more!

  2. corina  - 01/06/2014 - 2:56 pm
    Reply /

    Great advice about the cows and calves – I think that this is the only point in the walk where we all need to be careful, but I also think that it’s a strong enough walk to keep on the site as long as you watch out for cattle. Hovingham is a lovely place especially with the market, pubs and tea room at the end of the walk. Hope you continue to enjoy the walks 🙂

    • JulesMac  - 28/10/2013 - 9:27 pm
      Reply /

      Brilliant walk. First time we tried it with our 2 rather bonkers black labs, we hardly saw another person (or dog) until we were about half a mile from the end. Lovely sunny day helped. Unless we went wrong somewhere, I would suggest it’s closer to 5 miles rather than 6. Fabulous baker at the end of the walk. We had a lovely lunch of home-made soup and my husband had one of their sandwiches and I tried the ham salad – gorgeous! Well worth a visit, with or without a dog! Great site by the way, very well designed and informative. Well done!

    • corina  - 29/10/2013 - 8:34 pm
      Reply /

      Thanks for the feedback, glad you like the site – will check out the mileage when next in the area. We love the cafe by the forge too! Hope you enjoy the rest of the walks too.

  3. Kevin Pye  - 19/10/2014 - 8:33 pm
    Reply /

    We did this walk today with our 2 great Danes. As usual the instructions were very good with most of the walk very enjoyable. The last stretch into Hovingham was not quite as good though, the reference to the white gate is actually the second gate and not the first when exiting onto the road from the woods and is a bit confusing as the first gate does not allow access to the field with dogs and you have to negotiate the road which we found quite dangerous due to the speed of cars coming round the bend to find the correct gate, I would advise high caution and dogs on a short lead. The last stile was also very difficult to negotiate which we finally did with a lot of difficulty due to the size of the dogs. All in all a really enjoyable walk apart from the last stretch which was not great and a bit on the stressful side

    • Lindsey  - 19/09/2014 - 5:37 pm
      Reply /

      Myself and Uno (the dog) enjoyed this walk very much. Sometimes when following these types of directions I find myself feeling a bit lost and unsure but with this one I was fine until the very end, but by that point I knew where I was anyway 🙂 Such a diverse walk with lots of different things to look at and see.
      Just at the end I tried to walk through the gate next to the dog poo bin but that seemed like a dead end field which only lead in to people’s gardens so I went down the lane instead.
      Very friendly locals around – a man stopped in his car so show me some foraging he’d been doing and gave me some nuts! The cows in the field with the bridge were quite scary when they crowded around us but we just carried on walking and they soon dropped back.
      Thanks a lot for the walk, we have a great time and will do t again 🙂

  4. bonnybadger  - 08/01/2017 - 10:58 am
    Reply /

    Did this wall last weekend. Was great took exactly 2 hours and our lab loved it. Note under point 6 rickety wooden gate next to metal gate now gone. Might also be worth mentioning that dogs need to be on a lead during the initial section along the edge of the wood as part of hovingham estate. Instructions really easy to follow. Really enjoyed it.

    • DogWalksYorkshire  - 26/01/2017 - 2:19 pm
      Reply /

      Thank you for letting us know. We have removed the reference to the rickety gate. Glad you enjoyed the walk.

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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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