The triangular route encompasses three charming villages in the Harrogate area. The walk also has the added charm of passing several pubs en route, a bonus for the thirsty and unhurried.
The starting point is Spofforth Castle. Home of the Percy family in the middle ages, it was shelled by Parliamentarian troops in the Civil war and has lay in ruins ever since. Notwithstanding, the turret at the Northwestern corner still stands proud and is reputedly home to the ghost of a lady who jumped from the top of the tower.
From the castle, leave the grounds along Manor Garth and follow the path underneath an old stone rail bridge.
Progressing up a slight hill after the railway bridge the path bisects Spofforth Golf Course for several hundred metres before reaching open pastures.
Continue over a small footbridge with Lodge Wood on the right hand side. At the end of the wood there are several curiosities, including a hidden pond and huge spider-like tree stump.
Pressing on due west on a track through farmland, a clear day affords excellent panoramas of the surrounding countryside,
Follow the track in a westerly direction to Sunrise farm before turning more southerly to the village of Kirkby Overblow. The village was featured in the Domesday book, and is so-named due to its Iron-smelting past.
Following the main road SE through the village, the cross-country path resumes to the left amongst the last of the houses.
The route now heads in an easterly direction, alongside hedgerows and skirting a small wood.
At the end of the wood, turn hard right over the wall onto the ‘Keeper’s walk’, keeping the fence on your immediate right.
Across several fields, meeting several sedentary bullocks, the route again changes direction.
This time, a wall and hedgerow have to be crossed onto Marsh Lane, a small track.
Further farmland and open meadows surround the track from here, before a slight incline with Addlethorpe Wood on the left hand side.
From here, turn right down Addlethorpe Lane to meet the main road into Sicklinghall village, which is reached after a brief half-mile walk on the roadside verge.
There are several paths from this village across open countryside. This path lies at the far end of the village, passing the Scotts Arms and village pond.
Take a left onto Stockeld Lane immediately after the pond. Follow Stockeld Lane for around 100 metres. Keep a close look out for the style onto the fields on the left, which can become very overgrown in summer.
From here, walking due north, there are several open fields to cross and styles to negotiate, with the grounds of Stockeld Park visible on the far right hand side.
Continue due north and meet Park lane on the outskirts of Spofforth, crossing the road onto the path on the far side. With the cricket ground over to the left, the end is near when again a stone rail bridge comes into view.
Once under the bridge, continue straight ahead to the wooden gate which is marked as a right of way.
At the end of the path turn left to process through the village to the starting point at Spofforth Castle.
Three villages and, hopefully, a great day out.
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This week’s walk is courtesy of the Walking Englishman and Martyn Lee