With Carl and Jess. We started from the Black Horse in Kirklington and headed a very short distance down Winwath Lane before taking the path north passing to the right of the farm buildings of The Hall. This footpath we followed more or less north towards Carthorpe. It’s not much used. There is little signposting – it gets a little confusing for a bit north of Camp Hill but isn’t too bad – and the stiles are often in a state of some disrepair. North of Clarke’s Holdings the right of way branches and we took the right branch which leads diagonally over a field to meet a lane by some houses. Just as we neared the end of the field a couple of loose sheep digs raced out of one of the houses and ran towards us growling and barking aggressively. “Relax,” said I, “They’re just sheep dogs, they’ll not hurt us.” Then the big German shepherd appeared also loose and aggressively snarling running towards us. So we stopped relaxing and very carefully, gingerly backed off till he decided we were far enough from his territory to be left alone. We didn’t really want to advance again and reignite his wrath as we would have to continue as planned so we were not sure what to do. I was thinking maybe best to head west and pick up the other branch of the path… But then the dog’s owner appeared from inside his house and we thought his restraining influence might make it safe to proceed. We walked up the tarred public road from Carthorpe to Burneston. At Burneston there is a right of way off to the left between the pub and the school. It’s one of these slightly discomfiting ROWS that goes right through someone’s garden so we looked to see if there was a way round by following a path alongside the school leading to some playing fields. There wasn’t quite but we were able to regain the footpath in a field between two red gates by climbing over a fence. This leads to the farm at Old Hall where you want to go to the left of the pond after the buildings, then alongside a stream and over some fields to Mires Lane which leads into Snape. Again it all feels very little frequented with little signage and decaying stiles. I’d hesitate to recommend this footpath from Burneston to Snape to the cow-timorous as it is quite cow-populous. Two big fields in a row before reaching Mires Lane have signs upon entry advising one to beware of the bull. Today in the first the cattle were reassuringly far away and in the second Mr Bull was not at home but I guess it is not always thus and we already had some closer encounters with a few beasts earlier on.
We walked through Snape, past the castle and followed the tarred road south to Well. The castle was once the seat of the Latimer family one of who, John Neville, 2rd Baron Latimer was the second husband of Catherine Parr who would go on become the last of Henry VIII’s six wives. Coming into Well, tere there was a well (surprise, surprise!) so we stopped for our lunch. From here we went right up a hill to a pond and then a quick left then right had us on Phlashetts Lane heading south over the B6267 and on to West Tanfield where we took a little detour to check out Marmion Tower. The afternoon was now well underway so with the limited budget of winter light we couldn’t hang about. Northeast we went up Moor Lane past the Nosterfield Nature Reserve, then left down Green Lane and left at the end down towards Thornborough passing the big mounds that are the Thornborough henges. In Thornborough we tod the right fork in the road and then, as we approached the T junction took a field path that cuts a corner to meet the right branch. About 300 m down this road there is a footpath heading off to the right. Or at least there is a right of way which today was completely obliterated by crops. We went this way anyway, following the line of the obliterated right of way turning right at a track that leads off towards the B6267. There were a few men out hereabout with guns and dogs heading across the fields in the now starting to falter light. Left on the B6267, past the entrance to Upsland Farm then right where a well-marked paths leads over a big field, past woods and on back into Kirklington nicely timed as dusk took hold. This was another of WIlliamson's Castle Walks in Yorkshire and not unlike others combined ill-frequented country footpaths with mayby just a bit too much tarmac bashing on roads.
Leave a Reply.