Helmsley to Hutton-le-Hole
|Our battered bible|
We decided to do this walk during the last week of April hoping for Spring weather. In fact we had rain, snow and blizzards as the weather gradually deteriorated over the course of the week. It didn't matter, it was a great walk and we enjoyed it very much.
We arrived in Helmsley on Sunday night and after dining at The Feathers stayed for bed and breakfast at Carlton Lodge, which was first class. Our hotels and luggage were organised by Brigantes and everything ran like clockwork. Luggage waiting on our arrival and first class accommodation.
After a good breakfast we were ready to hit the trail by 9.30am and walked out of Helmsley on the A170, crossing the bridge over the River Rye and coming to our first Inn Way sign immediately after the bridge. The weather was cool but fair and this and the last day were to be the only dry days of the walk.
|The first Inn Way sign - turning of the A170|
The first section of the walk was a peaceful stretch alongside the River Rye. Eventually we came to an arched bridge which took us over the water and past a fish farm.
|Next to the fish farm|
Shortly after the fish farm we passed under a railway bridge and walked through fields to join the road to Harome. We walked along this for a while leaving it by a bridge over the River Riccal. Crossing two fields brought us to the pretty village of Harome. Carole posed on the little wooden bridge where three years ago she slipped on wet wood and cracked her ribs.
|Lots of sheep and lambs but no cattle out in fields yet|
|Wooden bridge into Harome|
|The Pheasant at Harome|
We noticed that The Pheasant Inn had a sign saying Morning Coffee, so we popped in and had coffee and cream scones. We both agreed this was a good way to start the trek!
|Coffee and scones at The Pheasant|
We left The Pheasant and Harome following the sign for 'Wombleton, Nunnington', before turning left into Back Lane next to a thatched cottage.
More fields and stiles followed before we arrived in Wombleton where we turned left at the pub, walked by a sports field and continued through more fields to reach the road at Welburn.
|"New balls please"|
|Pig weather vane at Wombleton|
|The Plough at Wombleton|
|A stone stile|
|Sign near St Gregory's Minster|
We reached St Gregory's Minster, which has been in this place since the 7th century. Our Inn Way book explained that monks from Lindisfarne lived here until the church was attacked by Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. The church was unlocked and we enjoyed looking round. There is a Saxon sundial above the door which has the world's longest complete Saxon inscription.
|St Gregory's Minster|
|Weather vane at St Gregory's|
|Inside St Gregory's|
|The Church warden, with whom we had a chat before leaving|
There was no-one at the church so we sat at a sheltered memorial bench against the wall and enjoyed a coffee from our flask. As we left the church warden arrived and passed the time with us, wanting to know whether we were walking to Hutton-le-Hole via road or field.
|The Inn Way book says a bridge was washed away in 2005 at this point. No water in Hodge Neck today.|
|Wood anemones and violets|
|Lots of wild flowers in Brockhill Hagg woods|
|Turn right off Sleightholme Dale Road across fields|
One of today's highlights was seeing lambs frolicking. We laughed when we saw one run so fast its back legs overtook it and it turned a complete somersault as it ran, hardly pausing.
|Carole checks the old sundial is on time|
|St Aidans, Gillamoor|
We stopped and chatted for a while with two hikers from York, resting on a bench outside St Aidans.
|Fish weather vane at St Aidans|
Just after St Aidans Church in Gillamoor, where the road turned sharply to the left, we came to 'Surprise View' looking out over Farndale and Douthwaite Dale. A lovely view which has moved someone to add a plaque with the words of John Keble.
We followed the road past Surprise View to the bottom of the hill where we turned right onto a stony track which led down to an old mill which we skirted round before crossing several fields and stiles. We were making height now and soon reached a green track through dead bracken, before joining an enclosed path that meandered down to Hutton-le-Hole, where we found our accommodation for the night at The Barn.
|Hutton-le-Hole rooftops appear in the distance|
|Walking into Hutton-le-Hole|
We made ourselves known to our host who welcomed us with a fresh cafetiere of coffee. After a welcome shower and change of clothes we enjoyed a good meal at The Crown, just a few yards from our accommodation.