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An ancient oak tree in Ripley Park at Ripley Castle
An ancient oak tree in Ripley Park at Ripley Castle

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Route No. 799 - Friday 10 January 2020
Ripley, Hollybank Lane, Clint, Clint Grange Farm,
Whipley Hall, Sadler Carr, Ripley Castle Lake,
10km circuit - Nidderdale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale


The northern corner of the large free public car park on the edge of Ripley village
The northern corner of the large free public car park on the edge of Ripley village

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Setting off from the car park
Setting off from the car park

We left the car park at the northern end and walked into the village. After about 100m we turned left off the main street and followed Hollybank Lane round, past the church on our left and Ripley Castle on our right. We were now on the route of the Nidderdale Way.

The weather today was perfect for a walk with clear blue sky and a gentle breeze. My friend, Jim, and I drove to the large free car park on the edge of Ripley village about half way between Harrogate and Ripon off the A61 at map ref. SE 284 603.

Walking through Ripley village
Walking through Ripley village

Passing the church on our left and Ripley Castle on our right
Passing the church on our left and Ripley Castle on our right

The outlet wier from Ripley Lake seen from Hollybank Lane
The outlet weir from Ripley Lake seen from Hollybank Lane

Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint
Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint

Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint
Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint

The lane from Hollybank Wood to Clint
The lane from Hollybank Wood to Clint

We passed through the gates and joined the public road heading for the village of Clint. We walked along this road for about 800m to the road junction in Clint.

We crossed the bridge over Ripley Beck, the outlet from Ripley Castle Lake, and continued along Hollybank Lane. After about 1.5km we came to the gates at the end of Hollybank Wood next to Hollybank Cottage.

Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint
Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint

Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint
Following Hollybank Lane towards Clint

Gates at the end of Hollybank Wood
Gates at the end of Hollybank Wood

The lane from Hollybank Wood to Clint
The lane from Hollybank Wood to Clint

Road junction in Clint where we turned right to Clint Grange Farm
Road junction in Clint where we turned right to Clint Grange Farm

Huge out buildings at Clint Grange Farm
Huge out buildings at Clint Grange Farm

Field path from the stile by-passing the farm
Field path from the stile by-passing the farm

the path crossed the grassy track and went through the gate
. . . the path crossed the grassy track and went through the gate

We crossed this stile onto a grassy farm track. We crossed the track to a gate into the field on the other side of the track. From this gate the public footpath shown on my explorer map goes northeastwards diagonally across the field to the edge of some woodland. However the field seemed to have been sown with grass fairly recently and the rows of grass were still visible. We decided to walk around the edge of the field to the woodland and avoid walking across the new grass.

At the junction in Clint we turned sharp right leaving the Nidderdale Way and following a public footpath along the farm access road to Clint Grange Farm. As we reached to farm we passed a huge farm out building on our right. Just past the far end on this building we turned left off the farm access road to cross a stile into the field. Once in the field we turned right and followed a footpath by-passing the farm to a stile at the end of the field just north of the farm.

Turning left off the access road
Turning left off the access road

Stile at the end of the field onto a grassy farm track
Stile at the end of the field onto a grassy farm track . . .

We walked along the field edge towards the wood
We walked along the field edge towards the wood

We climbed over the gate and walked in the field around the edge of the wood
We climbed over the gate and walked in the field around the edge of the wood

We walked around the edge of the wood
We walked around the edge of the wood

Following the grassy track towards Whipley Hall
Following the grassy track towards Whipley Hall

Left turn to by-pass Whipley Hall
Left turn to by-pass Whipley Hall

We crossed the stile and walked along the grassy track for about 300m. Just before we reached Whipley Hall the path turned left over a small footbridge over a ditch. From the little footbridge bridge the path turned right to by-pass the hall and came out on the road in front of the hall.

At the corner of the wood we climbed over the steel field gate into the next field by the wood and followed the public footpath route around the edge of the field next to the wood until we reached the corner of the field. Here there was a stile onto a grassy track heading towards Whipley Hall.

Stile at the field corner onto a grassy track to Whipley Hall
Stile at the field corner onto a grassy track to Whipley Hall

Following the grassy track towards Whipley Hall
Following the grassy track towards Whipley Hall

Footbridge over a wide ditch
Footbridge over a wide ditch

Field path by-passing Whipley Hall
Field path by-passing Whipley Hall

Gate to the road in front of Whipley Hall
Gate to the road in front of Whipley Hall

Right turn off the road across a footbridge over a ditch
Right turn off the road across a footbridge over a ditch

Indistinct path through the wood
Indistinct path through the wood

The footpath was heading roughly eastwards for about 100m to a steel pedestrian gate into some woodland. There was a young crop in the field with no defined path but lots a muddy footprints across a wide area. We passed through the gate into the woodland and followed an indistinct path near the southern side of the wood out to the eastern end of the wood.

We walked along the road from the hall for about 60m to a 'Y'-shaped junction where we kept to the left hand fork of the 'Y'. We followed this road for about 70m and then turned right off the road across a footbridge over a drainage ditch. From the footbridge we continued along the route of a very muddy public footpath.

Following the road from Whipley Hall
Following the road from Whipley Hall

Path to the wood across a muddy field
Path to the wood across a muddy field

Path parallel to the southern edge of the wood
Path parallel to the southern edge of the wood

Gate at the eastern end of the wood onto a grassy track
Gate at the eastern end of the wood onto a grassy track

Grassy track along the edge of the fields
Grassy track along the edge of the fields

Path by the boundary wall with High Rails Farm to our right
Path by the boundary wall with High Rails Farm to our right

We continued along the public footpath following the stone wall boundary of the park on our left. After about 300m walking alongside the wall we came to a farm access road with High Rails Farm along this road to our right.

At the end of the wood we passed through a gate onto a grassy track where we turned right to follow the track along the edge of the fields heading roughly southwards. After about 300m we came to a stone wall on our left, marking the boundary of Ripley Park.

The path meets the boundary wall of Ripley Park
The path meets the boundary wall of Ripley Park

Gate to the farm access road from High Rails Farm
Gate to the farm access road from High Rails Farm

We turned left onto the access road coming from High Rails Farm
We turned left onto the access road coming from High Rails Farm

Passing Park Lodge along the farm access road
Passing Park Lodge along the farm access road

Farm storage area by the track at Sadler Carr
Farm storage area by the track at Sadler Carr

Turning left onto Hollybank Lane at Sadler Carr
Turning left onto Hollybank Lane at Sadler Carr

All Saints Church at Ripley seen from Hollybank Lane
All Saints Church at Ripley seen from Hollybank Lane

At the junction in the tracks we turned left and re-joined our outward route along Hollbank Lane heading back towards Ripley. We followed Hollybank Lane for about 500m back to the entrance to Ripley Castle.

At the farm access road we turned left and continued along the access road with the park wall on our left. We continued past the Park Lodge and down to the junction in the access tracks at Sadler Carr.

The access road next to the Ripley Park boundary wall
The access road next to the Ripley Park boundary wall

Part of the herd of fallow deer seen over the wall in Ripley Park
Part of the herd of fallow deer seen over the wall in Ripley Park

Following Hollybank Lane back to Ripley Castle
Following Hollybank Lane back to Ripley Castle

Hollybank Lane at Ripley Castle
Hollybank Lane at Ripley Castle

Turning left from Hollybank Lane into Ripley Castle
Turning left from Hollybank Lane into Ripley Castle

Large cream gates into Ripley Castle grounds
Large cream gates into Ripley Castle grounds

We followed a path out of the wood to a good gravel track with the lake below us. We turned left to walk along the gravel track with a lovely view along the lake on our right. We walked along the gravel track to a large gravel courtyard at the castle buildings.

We turned left here to Ripley Castle and walked along the road between the buildings for about 110m to a pair of high cream painted gates with a sign giving the opening times to the castle grounds (there is no charge at this time of year). We made our way through the gates into some woodland in Ripley Park.

Our first view of the lake in Ripley Castle grounds
Our first view of the lake in Ripley Castle grounds

Crossing the gravel courtyard to the stone steps
Crossing the gravel courtyard to the stone steps

Path from the steps down to the footbridge over Ripley Beck
Path from the steps down to the footbridge over Ripley Beck

Ripley Castle seen from the path by the footbridge
Ripley Castle seen from the path by the footbridge

Following the grassy path by the lake side
Following the grassy path by the lake side

Over the footbridge we turned right to follow a grassy path with the lake a few metres away to our right. There was a large flock of greylag geese grazing to the left of the path. After almost 400m we turned left away from the lakeside and walked up to a very large ancient oak tree a little way up the hillside.

We crossed the courtyard to some stone steps at the far side of the courtyard and walked down the steps to a gravel path leading to a footbridge over Ripley Beck. We crossed the footbridge over the beck at the semi-circular weir outlet from Ripley Lake.

The footbridge over Ripley Beck by the lake outlet weir
The footbridge over Ripley Beck by the lake outlet weir

Following the grassy path by the lake side
Following the grassy path by the lake side

Part of a large flock of greylag geese on the lake side
Part of a large flock of greylag geese on the lake side


Ancient oak tree a little way up the hillside from the lake. The tree is recorded on the Ancient Tree Hunt database

Just admiring this ancient oak tree
Just admiring this ancient oak tree

The gravel track to the bridge over the weir between the lakes
The gravel track to the bridge over the weir between the lakes

We returned down the slope to the grassy track we had been following and at the track we turned left to follow the track across a bridge over a wide ditch with a soft muddy bottom. From this ditch we crossed the grass to a gravel track where we turned right to walk along the track and over a bridge across a weir between the two lakes

I think that this oak tree is well worth a visit. Oak trees are said to have around a 900 year life span, taking 300 years to mature another 300 years as a mature tree and a final 300 years in decline. This one has a very substantial girth and is into its period of decline so it is probably around 600 years old. That's quite a thought standing next to a living thing that probably started life in the early 1400's.



Part of a large flock of black headed gulls on the lake
Black heads in spring & summer going white in autumn & winter

Bridge over the weir between the lakes
Bridge over the weir between the lakes

Fallow deer by the gravel path
Fallow deer by the gravel path

Gravel track leading back to the way out of the grounds
Gravel track leading back to the way out of the grounds

Path through the woodland back to the gate
Path through the woodland back to the gate

We returned to the car park on the edge of the village and the end of our walk. It had been such a lovely day and we had added the walk around the lake at the end. The whole walk had been about 10km that had taken us a little over three and a half hours to walk. It was quite a lot further than we have been walking lately and I will no doubt be very stiff tomorrow but it was certainly worth it.

From the bridge we continued along the gravel track up the hillside away from the lake. On our right there were a number of male fallow deer. I think male fallow deer are called harts. We continued our way along the gravel path around the top of the bank next to the trees for about 400m back to the gate where we had entered the park land. We left by the same gate and retraced our route out of the village.

Fallow deer hart with some fine antlers
Fallow deer hart with some fine antlers

A last look at the lake from the gravel track
A last look at the lake from the gravel track

Walking back through Ripley village
Walking back through Ripley village

Returning to the car park at the end of our walk
Returning to the car park at the end of our walk

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