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Walk 2404 - printer friendly version

Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 2 - South Stainley to Sawley Walk

Author - Phil Catterall

Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km

Ascent - 1050 feet / 318 metres

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SE306631
Lat 54.062942 + Long -1.5339765
Postcode HG3 3NE (approx. location only)

Continuing on the second leg of the 50 miles Ripon Rowel with a walk through Studley Park passing Markenfield Hall and Fountains Abbey. The route is well marked on OS Maps. This is a linear walk with car parking available at St.Wilfred's Church - if used please leave a contribution in the charity box at SE306631. The walk ends at Sawley where parking is available near the Village Hall at SE248678. If car sharing is not a possibility the taxi fare from Sawley back to South Stainley is approximately £ 16 (2008 prices). You may also travel via the regular 36 bus service from Harrogate or Ripon to South Stainley on the A61. The Ripon Roweller 136 Community Bus leaves Sawley for Ripon at 13:41 travelling via Fountains Abbey to reach Ripon Bus Station at 14:37. This is a Monday-Saturday service. Check the latest timetable, but you will need an early start to meet the Roweller bus at Sawley.

You start from St.Wilfred's Church car park to take the footpath off the lane at SE304633. This is near The Red Lion Public House. Take care crossing the A61 at the end of this path to reach Markington Crossing - a former level crossing on the long closed Leeds-Thirsk railway line. The old crossing gate is still in evidence. Markington Village is some distance along the track. When the village is reached cross the main road turning right at the waymarked track 200m on your right before the church. This track takes you across the village sports field - keep left here to find the path taking you to Waterloo Farm at SE292657.

At the junction by the farm turn sharp left to follow an ancient footpath uphill through a copse. A track is soon reached (near Ingerthorpe Hall), turn right here to follow the track to the public road at SE294662 and then turn immediately left on a track known as Strait Lane. After 250m take the footpath on your right at SE293664. The Ripon Rowel route marked on the map was just before this but could not be seen in the field of crops. Markenfield Hall (pictured) can be seen as you approach it. This is a moated 12th century hall and is open to the public for several weeks each year. More details on the Hall's website. Continue right on the access road to the Hall for 100m before passing through a field gate on your left to pass close by the Hall.

Head north now via the path and track to SE297688 where you turn hairpin left. In woodland at SE292686 you drop downhill to the first of the bridges in the valley of the seven bridges (pictured). Here we enter the gorge of the River Skell and Studley Park (National Trust). A weir is found feeding the river from the lake at SE282692 (pictured). Our route now takes us on the estate roads uphill to SE280695 where we turn left onto the straight driveway to the Anglican St Mary's Church and the Obelisk. This is a deer park and there must be 100s freely grazing here.

Toilets and refreshments are available at the National Trust visitor centre at SE272686. We rejoin the private road which has a footpath alongside it down to SE269683 where we briefly join the public road before turning right along a path through Skell Bank Wood. At SE262680 a substantial footbridge takes us across the River Skell to join a country lane at SE261681. Turn right here following the lane to Sawley where refreshments are available at the Sawley Arms.

The third leg of this walk can be found here Walk 2405

Walk 2404 Route Map

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