Friday, 29 April 2016

Walk Around Garrowby Hill, Kirby Underdale And Thixendale - North Yorkshire

A pleasant walk around some of North Yorkshires finest countryside. This is different to the moors, Lakes and Scotland. We enjoy typical farmland, valleys, trees, wildlife and of course cracking views most the way round reaching York, Malton and beyond. Not the easiest route to navigate but don't worry, I've uploaded one for you to follow.

This walk around Garrowby Hill, Kirby Underdale and Thixendale is about 9 miles long featuring mainly tracks and grass. We were blessed with glorious sunshine and clear skies during Spring...

Walk Around Garrowby Hill, Kirby Underdale & Thixendale Route - North Yorkshire

Starting point: Car park at Wayham Picnic site. Head toward Stamford Bridge from Fridaythorpe on A166, turning left from Garrowby Street onto Stonedale. Nearest postcode YO42 1TA 
Distance: 8.75 miles
Time: 3hrs 30 mins to 4hrs 30mins
Highest point: 239 meters
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Terrain: Boggy in places if recently rained. Mainly grass and track under foot.
GPX Route: download here

Below is a map of the route, its fully interactive. If you download ViewRanger simply click 'view route in full..' and from there 'get this route' and enjoy. You can sync to your phone app and just follow the route with no stress or navigation. Alternatively download the GPX route to upload and use with other apps. Further down you can see photography and at the bottom in depth directions.


Photography And Experience

Starting out around 8am on Sunday morning we couldn't have asked for better weather. The sun was shining, skies clear and not a hint of wind. I of course purposely targeted the morning as lunchtime showed cloud turning overcast later on.

Our walk started around farmland, crossing fields and turned into woodland and trees. Pheasants were out in force and we even spotted the tail end of a deer.

3 miles in and the landscape opened out somewhat, a few glances at the tree below and I couldn't help but start my GoPro up for a 'proper' picture. Until then I'd mainly been documenting in an effort to help make directing easier.

I've been waiting since the purchase of my GoPro for the 'perfect' day to snap some 'vibrant' pictures and this was it. The sky helped expose and bring out colour, which isn't easy around this time of year, the trees are bare and grass a little dull...below you can see a local farmers hard work coming to fruition and by contrast the skinny bare trees we passed not far from Kirby Underdale.

I can't wait to get back out in summer when there are leaves on the trees and flowers to offer differing shades and colours. What is it with me and trees?

Moving on...the picture of me seeming content below was taken just shy of realizing we may well be heading in the wrong direction. Following a field fence line we ended up going the full length forming a 'U' like shape before finally finding the gate to exit.

As you can see the whole area is pretty saturated and small streams trickle into marshes, which are hard to spot until your foot begins sinking!

Heading out from Bradeham Dale the sun glistened just above the treeline. You can actually see the clouds start to come in, this was taken pushing toward lunch when the weather was due to take a turn.

Leaving the woods behind we were almost back at the car and couldn't have timed it better. Two hours later and the cloud cover was worse, by mid afternoon it was completely overcast, all in all a lovely walk and well worth the trip out.

Route Directions

1) Start in the car park picnic area, head straight onto the road from here and walk left. Once you reach a fork bare right heading between trees. This leads to a gate, pass through into the field. Walk across this field and into the next. Immediately after entering the second field turn right and walk downhill with the hedge to your right.


2) After about 600 meters you'll reach a small gate, pass through. Now turn left and follow the track until reaching another gate. Enter this and follow the next track until it turns to tarmac road.

3) Turn left onto the tarmac road and follow keeping trees to your left. After 300 meters turn right onto a track which you should follow toward trees and yet another field.

4) The track opens out into a valley. Walk along the top until near the end and start descending as shown below. Go downhill heading to the left where you will see a gate in the corner. Pass through but do not head right as you'd expect, instead go straight over the track baring slightly left toward steps that have been crafted into the grass.

5) Ascend the steps (can't remember if theres a gate at top of steps if so pass through.), they get narrow toward the top where you will eventually turn right and follow a track around constantly rising. The treeline either side of you is rising to your left and falling to your right. This goes on for 400 meters.

6) Enter gate at end of this track and follow the next track passing a field to the road. Go straight over road to track on other side. Follow this to a gate, pass through and start descending.

7) This descent takes you to a dead end and a gate, ignore the gate at the bottom, instead look to your right and follow the public path. This is quite tight and has views of a valley down to your left and a field to your right. After 400 meters bare left downhill with wooden verge to your left.

8) This opens out into a main road, turn right and start ascending uphill on tarmac. This leads to the A166, cross over and follow track.

9) The track continues for some time, you are on the right one if theres a tree in the middle of the field to your left. You will eventually pass through two gates and end up in a large field. From here you need to get to the right end of the field where there is a gate. The best route is to follow the field down and along to the right then make your way back uphill. The gate is after some small wire fencing and near a couple of trees. Pass through this.

10) In next field follow the worn track across heading toward distant tree. Somewhere along the track you should see a crooked tree to your left downhill. Head towards this and keep going to the bottom heading for a stream and the footbridge. Cross and enter field through gate.

11) Walk up this field to the far right corner where there is another gate.

12) Pass through gate and turn immediately left to pass through second gate. Follow the bridleway for 300 meters. Track bares right onto road, follow this and turn left at the T-junction. Follow road and turn off onto next available track on the right.

13) Follow the bridleway for half a mile, at 'T' section bare left and follow onto field ignoring right turn. Follow the orange string fence in field to right. The ground can get boggy and very muddy, cross this before entering gate and heading toward valley.

14) Walk along the valley bottom and after man made pond turn right. Follow to gate, pass through and bare right (there may be a gate before this one where you can just carry on straight.) After a short while follow path between trees. This a nice part of the walk and leads to another gate, just pass through and carry on.

15) You will reach the last gate that then leads to roadside. Simply cross road and walk to your right until you see an opening in the trees, follow path back to car park.

That is it, as mentioned not the easiest to navigate but simple once you get your head around the general direction at each stage.
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