Brandsby-cum-Stearsby, Skewsby, Whenby and Foulrice

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Statistics and Files
Start: Brandsby-cum-Stearsby Distance: 5.2 miles (8.4 km) Climbing: 87 metres
Grid Ref: SE611714 Time: 2-3 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Brandsby-cum-Stearsby
Start: Brandsby-cum-Stearsby Distance: 5.2 miles (8.4 km)
Grid Ref: SE611714 Time: 2-3 hours
Climbing: 87 metres Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

Summary: A walk from the quiet and quaint village of Stearsby which lies north of York on the edge of the Howardian Hills. From the highest points of the walk you can see York Minister, if the weather is clear that is. A lovely ramble which can be a lovely accompaniment to a stay at the Granary Barn B&B.

The Walk:

Countryside near StearsbyCountryside near Stearsby
Ponds between Stearsby and SkewsbyPonds between Stearsby and Skewsby

I was staying at The Granary Barn Bed and Breakfast with my friend. We both have dogs so were delighted to be able to walk them easily straight from the cottage without having to get in a car. The owners kindly provided us with maps and walking directions to help us. We simply walked down the drive to the corner then turned left to join immediately the waymarked track. After 200 metres the track enters a wood, continuing in the same direction. Here we could see the pens for the gamekeeper's pheasants so made sure to keep the dogs close. Another 200 metres and a waymark post sent us out into the adjoining field, still going in the same direction. At the end of the field we took the path bearing slightly right towards the lakes, then over a footbridge and into the next field. Keeping to the right we took the time to go down to the lakes, which are magical places, created for local fishermen, and home to swans, herons and all manner of wildfowl.

Near the village of SkewsbyNear the village of Skewsby
Lovely countryside and so quiet tooLovely countryside and so quiet too

As we continued round the field we came to a gate on our right. We passed through and went straight ahead, across the boards over the boggy ground through the old hedge, then climbed the hill to arrive at the next gate. This field had spirited young race horses grazing which were fun to watch as they were spooked by the dogs and raced around each other. We took a moment here to turn back and look at the amazing view. After passing through the gate, we turned right and followed the path around the edge of the field to arrive at a waymark signpost by the first houses in the village of Skewsby. At this point, for the shortest walk, we could have turned sharp right and gone through the gate. following the path down the valley then across the next field then turn left along the track to the road. This would have taken us back to Stearsby and the Granary Barn but we wanted to go further.

On the road to WhenbyOn the road to Whenby
Near FoulriceNear Foulrice

We continued through Skewsby. This is a really pretty and well kept village. At the T junction we turned right and followed the road down to Whenby. The views from the top here are amazing. On a clear day, apparently, you can see for between 50 and 70 miles! Today we could see York Minster but not many miles further than that. At the T junction at the bottom we turned right then almost immediately left down a waymarked bridleway, the road to Foulrice. Passing through the large group of buildings, we emerged between two barns to see the waymarked sign on our right.

We went through the metal gate and across this field with trepidation as we could see cattle in this field but they weren't interested in us. In the next field we got a bit lost but eventually found the gate on the right. Once through this one we followed the signs straight towards Foulrice Farm. Again we were joined by three curious and very beautiful racehorses. Foulrice Farm is owned by Peter Beaumont, the racehorse trainer so I wish I had known more about which horses I was saying hello to. Eventually we joined the lane leading away from the farm past the gallops and reached a road.

To complete the 4 mile walk we could have turned right and walked down the road back to Stearsby which is the walk shown on the map but we wanted to go further so we crossed the road and passed through the gate opposite. The fields opened up here with much less hedging. We followed the grass track as it descended to cross a stream. Over the stream the track bore right with the stream on our right. There was a beautiful man made pond here, again with herons hiding in the reeds. The path followed the field round to the left and up a hill then bent right around an oak tree towards a double set of gates.

We passed through the double gates taking the path to the right. If we had stayed left we could have added another 2 miles onto the walk but my old dog's arthritis was beginning to show so, instead, we joined a tarmacked drive all the way back to the main road. Turning right here we walked about 50 metres to a junction and followed the waymarked track through the gate into the field on our left. Crossing the field diagonally to another gate we kept left as we followed this field along the hedge line, through another gate and then across the following fields until we joined the road into Stearsby and back to the comforts of The Granary Barn.

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