A tale of two villages and a quarry nature reserve

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From Harrogate Bus Station, take the number 36 Leeds to Ripon bus and get off at the stop by the Red Lion pub in South Stainley.

Just after the pub, walk beside the hedgerow and a few well maintained house gardens before reaching the Parish Church of Saint Wilfrid, South Stainley. Here, leave the village road and cross a stile into a field.

The countryside section of the walk begins by crossing some lush pasture fields. A couple of fields later you come beside a small wood but the path goes alongside without entering. After the wood, the fields change from pasture to crop.

After half an hour’s walking you reach the end of the series of fields and enter Jackson’s Wood, immediately making an ascent of 25 metres through the woodland.

Emerging from the woodland higher than where you entered, the views provided across the shimmering countryside are lovely.

Leaving the woodland behind for now, continue across another stubble field into Burton Leonard.

Walk through the village and continue south beside Apron Lane and then south west on Limekiln Lane.

Walk a little further until you come across a gate leading off the track to the left. This is the beginning of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Burton Leonard Lime Quarries site.

Enjoy a rich variety of wild flowers and wildlife during a special walk though the reserve.

The walk through the lime quarries is at about halfway through the walk. The second half begins by rejoining Limekiln Lane and following it down to Mickle Hill.

Here is where Stainley Beck becomes Robert Beck, which continues downstream to Copgrove before continuing on and into the River Ure near Bishop Monkton.

At the point of the name change there is a footbridge which you cross before continuing on a concrete road on a course due south to Thistle Hill, which is where you join Rakes Lane. Here, the journey changes from southbound to south west along another rural concrete lane.

Rakes Lane takes you along on a gentle ascent from 50 metres to 80 metres in height but it is hardly noticeable due to it being so consistently gradual. The only noticeable change is the views of distant countryside emerging again.

Continue following Rakes Lane for just short of a kilometre, also following the Ripon Rowel path which you had joined the course of in Burton Leonard. Leave the course of both at a junction with Green Lane which leads south west towards Green Lane Farm.

Leave the lane near a small pond just before reaching Green Lane Farm and cross a wide lush field with avenues of trees, heading towards Stainley House. On crossing the field you will pass the perimeter of Stainley House, a lovely building in a quiet space.

After passing the grounds of Stainley House, the end of a lovely short walk in exquisite countryside is nigh. Follow the track though a field of sweetcorn, then follow a field down to South Stainley.

The final few yards of non-tarmac walking are enjoyed alongside Stainley Beck until you meet the road you had walked along earlier though South Stainley. Walk though the village, enjoying the quiet as you had done earlier, and reach the bus stop ready for your journey home after a lovely walk.

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