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.
Welburn and Castle Howard
Welburn and Castle Howard
Distance: 7 miles
Duration: 2½ hours
Level of walk: Easy View Walks Key
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Why you should do this walk…
If you and your dog would like to stretch your legs on a fairly long, flat walk, through beautiful woodland and fields with inspiring views of the Castle Howard estate. The Howardian Hills and its pretty villages offer a calm and peaceful landscape for you and your pooch to wander through.
What else you need to know
How to get there – Turn off the A64 York to Malton road at Barton Hill, following the brown signs to Castle Howard. After passing under the monument, turn right at the crossroads following the sign to Welburn.
Suggested map – OS Explorer Howardian Hills and Malton 300
Car park – on the roadside in Welburn village
Start – Crown and Cushion pub in Welburn village
Length/time – 7 miles and 2½ hours
Terrain/Difficulty – EASY – mostly flat with grassy paths through wooded areas, on tracks and quiet tarmacked roads.
Dog friendliness – waste bin at the start of the walk, one stile – with a dog-gate. Plenty of off-lead opportunities on the quiet country lanes and paths. Please observe signs regarding nesting birds in Spring and Summer.
Food and drink – Pattacakes Bakery, which has a dog-friendly cafe, in Welburn. See Directories tab in header bar for details.
Public toilets – in the pub for patrons, and at the Village Hall just off the main street through Welburn.
Other interesting info:
Welburn village hall has been built with many renewable technologies incorporated to reduce running costs and minimise the carbon footprint of the building and its impact on the environment.
- Start on the main road in Welburn near the Crown and Cushion pub. Head along the road with pub to the left then turn left down Water Lane. At the end of the lane there is a dog waste bin. Where the lane ends, continue along a track to the left, following a waymarker sign for Coneysthorpe. In the spring and summer, dogs may need to be on the lead here due to the presence of ground-nesting birds.
- At the crossroads of paths, keep ahead following the public bridleway sign towards the woods. Pass through a waymarked gate into the wooded area, following the wide and clear path as it drops to a footbridge ahead on the left. Cross the bridge and continue through the woods uphill – ignoring the wide track that crosses the path. Following the sign to Coneysthorpe, leave the wooded area and continue ahead to a tarmacked lane. To the left is the Pyramid of Castle Howard and the Stately Home itself.
- Turn left then immediately right along a wide grassy path between two fields – still following signs to Coneysthorpe. In view to the right is the Castle Howard Mausoleum. Cross the bridge over the lake then pass through a kissing gate, and head up the grassy path diagonally to the left over the brow of the hill in front. There may be cattle in this field, so be prepared to put your pooch on the lead here. The path then passes the Temple of the Four Winds before following a stone wall. To the right, there are great views of the gently undulating Howardian Hills.
- At the end of the wall, turn left towards a large white waymarked gate. Pass through the kissing gate next to it and continue along the path with an old stone wall to the left and a wire and wooden post fence to the right. Following a waymarked sign for the Centenary Way, turn right onto a farm track.
- Follow the track across a bridge over Mill Hill’s Beck and continue slightly uphill to a junction of paths near some farm buildings. Following the sign for Gaterley (1 mile), head along a track between the farm buildings following a waymarker arrow. The Mausoleum is again visible as the track continues; again crossing the beck guided by a sign for the Centenary Way.
- At Low Gaterley, turn right following the Centenary Way and continue to a quiet tarmacked road. Turn right following the sign for Welburn. The quiet straight road cuts between two fields and is used by very little traffic. Izzy was not on the lead at this point, but remained under close control. Castle Howard is again visible to the right.
- Follow a wide path to the left signposted for Welburn – if it looks familiar, that’s because it was used earlier in the walk. Just inside the tree line, turn left through a gate following the sign to Crambeck onto a wide path through a wooded area – perfect for off-lead romping along this lovely path through the trees.
- Just before reaching another Castle Howard monument, take the right hand path following another Centenary Way signpost. The path leads downhill through the woods to a waymarked style with a dog-gate. Cross the stile and continue ahead to a junction of paths by a signpost for Coneysthorpe and Welburn. Take the Welburn path and on leaving the trees, pass through a gate into a field and continue uphill along its left hand edge. Pass a waymarker post and keep ahead as the path bears right to a public footpath sign to Welburn (½ mile).
- Follow the path towards Welburn, with the village coming into view ahead. The clear grassy path passes through a field towards the hedge line in front. At a crossroads of paths, continue ahead following a yellow waymarker, between the hedgerow to the left and a field to the right. At the end of the hedgerow, follow the waymarker pointing diagonally left across a field towards the road back into Welburn village. Pass through a gate in the corner of the field, turn right and head back into the village.