Walk 3126 - Kirkham Priory & Pretty Wood from Low Hutton
Walk Route Description
This walk is at the south east edge of the Howardian Hill AONB and covers a stretch of the river Derwent, Kirkham Abbey and the farmland and some of the monuments around Castle Howard. Park in Low Hutton (grid ref. SE762677) then take Water Lane eastwards down under the railway to the river. Cross the river Derwent on the suspension bridge. On the east side of the river go south along the Centenary Way (CW) which follows the road, rather than the river, to Ruffin Road then after 200m turn off back towards the river opposite the entrance to Church Farm kennels.
It is not immediately obvious where the CW leaves the river and heads up alongside the Coldwell Plantation towards Firby. Follow the signs through the village and go past the old Firby Hall walled garden, bear southwards across the fields and come out again on the road to Kirkham. Turning right onto the road into Kirkham there are good views down to the Abbey, the river and the river bridge and the level crossing. Go over the railway and turn off right, still on the CW, to follow the path along the railway and river to Crambeck.
Walk up through the village to the A64 and then take care crossing the road. There is no middle-island here so it can take some time to cross. The CW then heads across the farmlands towards Castle Howard. East of Welburn there are several paths but all are well signposted here and it is easy to navigate past the Four Faces statue in Pretty Wood. When you pass the pyramids in the field on your left turn right up the road away from Castle Howard and pass the Mausoleum off on your left.
You finally leave the CW before Lower Gaterley and take the path over the Mill Hills Beck past High Gaterley and Westerdale then come off the track from Westerdale to take the footpath up to the A64 and Barneygate Lane junction. There is a mid-road island here so crossing is a little easier than the last time.
Follow the road past Hutton Hall then go off right on the path as the road turns to the left. At the junction with the St Andrews lane track either go left back to Low Hutton or, as I did, turn right then next left on the path along the top of Huttons Bank Wood and into the south end of Low Hutton. There are infrequent views into the Derwent valley but it is mostly obscured by the woods.