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Route No 86 - 15 July 2003
Wass Bank, Ampleforth, Sproxton circuit - 15km
Howardian Hills

Map: OS Explorer OL26 Map of North York Moors Western area at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base map from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth

Memorial seat at High Woods FarmAnother brilliant sunny day with temperatures forecast to soar into the high twenties. We chose a local route with plenty of shade and drove to the top of Wass Bank, map ref. SE 561806. We set off at about 9.30am down the road for about 200m and turned left on to a farm road. Near the junction was a large bed of wild raspberries with the last of the fruit just waiting to be picked, so we had to oblige. After a few minutes of sheer indulgence we continued on our way for 300m to Long Grain, a large modern style house by the track. Opposite the house the path crosses a field and enters the woods above High Woods Farm. Where the path emerges from the woods there is a very substantial stone memorial seat with a lovely view down the valley called Our lunch stop on a bank overlooking AmpleforthShallow Dale. We followed the path on to the access road to High Woods Farm and up the valley for 200m to cross the beck and turn back contouring round the valley side to join Westwood Lane and drop down to the edge of Ampleforth at map ref. SE 576788. We walked along the village street for a few hundred metres past the White Horse Inn (good atmosphere and good food) to map ref. SE 582787. Here we turned left up a very narrow tarmac road between the houses. The road led up the hill through some imposing iron gates. Near to top of the hill we climbed over a stile where two paths cross and there was a convenient tree casting some pleasant shade over a small bank where we sat for our early lunch with a lovely view over Ampleforth to the hills around Yearsley, where I lived for a few years some time ago. After our break we continued up the hill to the end of a green road at map ref. SE 582795. We turned Footpath through the barley near Beacon Houseright on to the green road and followed it out on to a minor road near Windmill Farm, the site of an internationally renown sheet music library. We continued on the minor road to Beacon House, about 500m, and turned left over the stile on to a footpath heading across the fields of barley and potatoes and along the edge of the woodland for about 2km. At the end of the woodland the path crosses a farm track and one more field, pasture this time, to emerge on to Hag Lane about 400m from the village of Sproxton. We turned away from Sproxton to walk along Hag Lane to Holly Bower Farm. Part way along the lane we stopped under the shade of a large ash tree for another break and lots of water. On a really hot day I find there is nothing as good a Forest track through Pry Rigg Plantationplain old water to quench your thirst. We continued passed Holly Bower farm to the woods and at map ref. SE 589807 we turned right on a stoney forest track for 200m to map ref. SE 590809. Here we turned left on to a forest track heading for a minor road near Studford Farm. About 100m before the road the track turns right and then left to come out on the road oposite Studforth Farm drive. We turned on to the road and followed the road for about 2km back to our starting point. You can get off the road and make your way along the forest tacks but this route is a bit up and down and frankly it was just too hot to be bothered walking any further! The whole route was about 15km and took us about 5 hours including our stops.



Looking over High Woods Farm down Shallow Dale towards Ampleforth
Looking over High Woods Farm down Shallow Dale towards Ampleforth

Farm track in Shallow Dale

Path beside Oxclose Wood heading towards Sproxton

Farm track in Shallow Dale

Path beside Oxclose Wood
heading towards Sproxton