Friday, 8 April 2016

Wharram Percy Ruins And Deserted Village - North Yorkshire Walk

I generally prefer the mountain routes and peak hikes, hence the blogs name! However, this short walk around Wharam Percy ruins and deserted village proved very enjoyable. We start near Wharram le Street which is easily accessible from York and Malton in North Yorkshire.

Wharram Percy is a lovely village featuring ancient Roman ruins, creepy abandoned structures surrounded by trees, colourful valleys and a beautiful lake. After waiting out the morning I was blessed with no rain or wind, just warm weather. The birds were in good voice and tourist walkers were sparse, bar me!

Wharram Percy Ruins And Deserted Village Walking Route - North Yorkshire

Starting point - Wharram le Street (Follow B1248 south East from North Grimston), turn right onto Station Road and immediately left in lay-by. The nearest postcode is YO17 9TD.
Distance - 4.5 miles
Time - 1hr 30mins to 2hrs
Difficulty - Easy
Terrain - Generally good but can be boggy in areas after heavy rainfall.

The map below marks out my route (which was found on Viewranger.) The numbers are relevant to text in the images throughout this post. The route starts from the green pin and ends in the same place with the red pin.

GoPro Photography And Route Directions

We start the walk from a lay-by situated on Station Road in Wharram le Street, a petite village surrounded by countryside. I walked along the tarmac path up Station Road leaving behind me the last few houses for fields.

As the road weaved down, fields transcended into trees and the faint sound of birds came into earshot. This entire stretch was straight forward, a winding down hill road, with photo opportunities like the one below...for the creative photographer.

My initial relief saying goodbye to tarmac was short lived as I remembered the heavy recent rain, this made my next stint quite boggy. Along the way I found a few streams, rabbits, pheasants and some creepy abandoned buildings. One is illustrated below, standing alone surrounded by trees, how random!

I came across two such structures. No windows, boarding and purely concrete, I couldn't help but wonder if squatters may reside within these gloomy structures and soon hurried along.

After a short while I exchanged boggy terrain for grass and an open expanse. A tree line to my left I followed the track and decided to explore photo opportunities up the bank to my right, an unexpected surprise, ancient Roman ruins. Just the foundations of but ancient ruins all the same, the next half mile is covered in them...Passing yet more ancient foundations I explored the Church ruins and graveyard.

You really cannot appreciate the feeling and personality of Wharam Percy unless experienced first hand. This just epitomized the walk, who'd expect to find such well preserved ruins around nature, trees and greenery.

I was wary of time and would later regret rushing my photography in the Church ruins, but I did manage one keeper, a complete fluke collecting my GoPro from the floor shown below.

Feeling fulfilled I scampered on and found another pleasant surprise. Ruins were replaced by a lake and a beautiful one at that. Crystal clear, a bridge crosses the middle and as with the rest of my walk I found the area completely deserted.

Following the lake round to my right, I crossed a charming old bridge and carried on toward my next climb up a boggy bank side, not quite the crystal waters I'd just gawped at.

The pleasant image below doesn't paint a complete picture. For the next 15 minutes the echo of gun shots sounded in one to two minute intervals. While it seems out of season...trees plus pheasants usually equals one thing in Yorkshire.

The next mile may have been simple, lacking in detail and even views but it was very enjoyable. Just me and a massive field, stretching to a distant tree line. No people, no hassle and serenity.

The picture above took some editing but I felt it worth the effort. Making all but my frame black and white represents the feeling of quiet and peace, this stretch ended too soon for me.

The long line home; one and a half miles of farmland separated only by a thin strip of tarmac. Again, I quite enjoyed this, just me and my thoughts. No more gun fodder and the sun on my back.

With that my pleasant, short walk around Wharram Percy was over. Well worth an hour or two from your day.

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