Kirk Dale

Kirk Dale

Route: Kirk Dale

Area: North Yorkshire

Date of walk: 15th June 2017

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly  

Distance: 4.5 miles

Ascent: 700 feet

Weather: Mixed sun and cloud

We parked in the overflow car park at St Gregory’s Minster (the main car park is best reserved for those attending services) and walked down the lane to visit the minster. This lovely little church dates from the 7th century. It became a centre from which missionary monks went out to preach the Celtic gospel and as a result it now has the distinction of being a minster, despite its modest size

After visiting the minster we continued to the end of the lane and passed through a gate to walk along a narrow valley. Near the end of the field we crossed Hodge Beck to follow a path along the edge of woodland

We then climbed up Cat Scar and near the top doubled back to climb steeply up the hill, eventually reaching open countryside. As we strode across the fields there were long distance views to the Moors looking north and the Vale of Pickering looking south

A short section along quiet lanes followed, taking us past Hagg Farm, and beyond the farm we turned right to follow a path descending gently down through Robin Hood’s Howl. There was wild garlic here growing in profusion but the flowers had gone by now, though their unmistakeable scent lingered on

At the end of the wooded valley we passed by Kirkdale Cave, an old quarry. In 1821 workmen discovered a cave in which they found hundreds of bones, the remains of bears, elephants, tigers and other animals that roamed the valley some 70,000 years ago

It was a short stroll from the quarry back to the end of a very enjoyable walk. It wasn’t the end of the day however, and there still remained time for a visit to nearby Nunnington Hall where we wandered round the beautiful organic garden before heading home

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