It’s easy to dismiss walking in the Vale of York, surrounded as it is by the Dales, the Pennines and the North York Moors. That would however be unfair as the area offers numerous opportunities for easy walking through pleasant countryside. This route, easily accessible from both Leeds and York by bus, goes through the grounds of a fine country house and visits one of the area’s prettiest villages before finishing in a small town regarded as Yorkshire’s brewing metropolis.
The walk starts at the point where the Leeds Country Way crosses the A64 at Kiddal Bridge (GR SE391392). From the layby on the north side of the road, follow the path through the wood to emerge at a field boundary which leads into a lane heading towards Thorner. Some 600m along the lane, turn right at a waymarker at GR SE386404 and follow the clear path over the fields of Thorner Moor for 1.5K. Go through a gap in the hedge to reach a bridleway at the edge of a wood at GR SE401405. Turn right following the edge of the wood and after 300m turn left, turning left again after a further 400m on to a broad track.
These are the extensive grounds of Bramham Park but most of the estate is privately owned and not open to the public The route follows the only Public Right of Way across the estate and is clearly waymarked with distinctive signs put up by the landowner. The route runs for 4K across the estate and views open out to the left towards Bramham House. However, the rural solitude of Bramham Park is quickly broken as the route leaves the estate and meets the A1M motorway at GR SE425424. Turn right to parallel the motorway for 150m before turning left to cross it by a bridge. Go left at the road junction and fork immediately right down Aberford Road.
Follow the road as it skirts the edge of Bramham, once a coaching halt on the A1 but now a commuter village for Leeds. After 600m where the road swings right, go left into Windmill Road, turning right into Heygate Lane after a further 150m (GR SE430431). Continue along the lane for just under 2K, turning right where the lane ends to reach a stile at another lane after 300m. Turn right and then immediately left over a stile and follow the clear path over the fields to reach the pretty hamlet of Toulston after 1K. Cross a stile to continue along a lane to reach a road after 200m.
Go straight across the road and under a disused railway bridge before reaching the A659 after 200m. Cross the A659 and continue down the lane opposite to reach Newton Kyme after 500m. This charming village contains some fine houses from the Georgian era, but the settlement is far older having been the site of a Roman encampment. At a junction where the lane turns right, go straight ahead for 100m. Turn right through a gate at an Ebor Way waymarker to pass the impressive Newton Kyme Hall and St.Andrew’s church. The British History Online website refers to the church as a “venerable structure” and that it certainly is. Should time permit, the churchyard is worth a visit and headstones near the door date back to the 17thC.
Continue along the path to shortly arrive at the bank of the River Wharfe which is followed to the end of the walk at the bridge at Tadcaster. For bus users, the bus station is a further 200m over the bridge. Tadcaster, despite its modest size, is home to no less than three breweries so why not celebrate the end of the walk by sampling at least one of the local products before setting off for home?
The start and finishing points are linked by Coastliner routes 840-843 which makes this walk very accessible to those without their own transport. The service operates every half hour (hourly on Sunday) and full details can be found on the Metro website at www.wymetro.com.
OS Map showing start
Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here
It is recommended you take a map with you when following a walk route. The preferred scale is 1:25000 used by the Explorer series.
Note : If two maps are listed at the same scale then either (a) both are required for full coverage of the route or (b) the route is covered on both maps.
Rose Cottage, Shibden Fold, Shibden, Halifax
Cherry Tree Cottages, Barkisland, Halifax
The Granary Barn, Stearsby
Tyas Cottage, Slaithwaite
Wharfe View B&B, Burnsall
Bivouac, Ilton, Masham
Bridge End Farm, Grassington
Low Sutton, Masham
Self Catering Directory
NOTE - all distances are "as the crow flies"
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