Parking: Harewood Village Hall
Start Point: Harewood VIllage Hall
Route length: 10.2 miles (16.4 km)
Time taken: 03:57
Average speed: 2.6 mph
Route: Harewood, Fitts Lane, Ebor Way, Carthick Wood, Ebor Way, East Keswick, Gateon House Lane, Leeds Country Way, Lofthouse Farm, Harewood Estate, Stank, North Park
We decided to do this walk after seeing it online and it was refreshing to not have to drive hours to get some decent walking done - such is the quality of the countryside north of Leeds.
The day was cloudy, which was a relief, as the weeks preceding this had been very hot and dry. For once, it was nice not to have to worry about sun cream! Parking at the Harewood Village Hall and donating to their honesty box, we stuck our boots on and made for the main road. Walking briefly along the A61, we had to cross it (with care) to access Fitts Lane that leads down to the Ebor Way and the River Wharfe.
|Fitts Lane, just off the A61|
|Wildlife quickly appeared, despite the close proximity to the main road|
The Ebor Way is a long distance path, 70 miles in length, that crosses the country between Helmsley and Ilkey. The name derives from the Roman name for York, Eboracum. More information about the entire route can be found here. The section we walked ran parallel to the River Wharfe for a few miles before reaching Carthick Wood. The path is quite narrow in places but is generally flat and easy to follow.
|The typical nature of the Ebor Way|
|The path as it passes close to the River Wharfe|
|The River Wharfe|
|An amazing display of wild poppies|
|The Ebor Way leaves the route of the River Wharfe.....|
|.....and leads into a jungle.|
We walked along the Leeds Country Way for a couple of miles before reaching the road which leads to the Harewood Estate. The route is much more popular than the Ebor Way was and we passed a few more people this time, having not seen anyone all morning. Crossing the A61 again, we entered the grounds of Harewood House.
|Signposts point out the direction of the Leeds Country Way|
|The route varies from a single, worn path....|
|....to wide bridleways|
|Stank Beck crosses though the estate|
|The path is wide and easy to follow|
|Piles of wood sat drying|
This was a great walk that was much closer to home than many of the walks we do in the Dales and the Lakes. It's nice to know that you can see so much scenery and wildlife without straying too far from home. Time to start investigating other, similar routes around Leeds and Wakefield.