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Looking across Wharfedale towards Harwood from the start of our walk
Looking across Wharfedale towards Harwood from the start of our walk

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Route No. 815 - Thursday 13 August 2020
Kirkby Lane, Kearby Methodist Church,
Kirkby Lane, public bridleway,
Lund Head Lane, Kirkby Lane circuit - 4km
Lower Wharfedale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 289 Leeds, Harrogate, Wetherby & Pontefract


Setting off on our walk from a little gravel lay-by on Kirkby Lane
Setting off on our walk from a little gravel lay-by on Kirkby Lane

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Kirkby Lane heading towards Kearby Methodist Chapel
Kirkby Lane heading towards Kearby Methodist Chapel

From the lay-by we walked back along Kirkby Lane towards Kearby Methodist Chapel. A lady horse rider stopped to chat to us and it turned out that we were planning to go along the same route except for the footpath from the Methodist Chapel. We continued along Kirkby Lane to the turning on our right down an access track towards the chapel.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove south from the Harrogate by-pass through Kirkby Overblow and along Barrowby Lane. We parked at a little gravel lay-by on Kirkby Lane at map ref. SE 340 473 about 100m before we reached the road junction at Cliff Top. The weather was mild but dull and overcast with a strong breeze.

The entrance to Kearby Methodist Chapel
The entrance to Kearby Methodist Chapel

Turning off Kirkby Lane to the track down towards Kearby Methodist Chapel
Turning off Kirkby Lane to the track down towards Kearby Methodist Chapel

Track down to Kearby Methodist Chapel
Track down to Kearby Methodist Chapel

Passing Kearby Methodist Chapel
Passing Kearby Methodist Chapel

Path across the field with round bales awaiting collection
Path across the field with round bales awaiting collection

One of the horses in the next field
One of the horses in the next field

Here the path led us to another stone step stile over the stone wall. In this field there were half a dozen well behaved riding horses that we passed as we crossed the field to a wooden stile over the fence at the far side of the field. We continued along the footpath in the same straight line across this field to a ladder stile on our right over a stone wall topped by a high hedge.

After about 30m down this track we turned right along a path past the Kearby Methodist Chapel to a stone step stile into the fields. We crossed the stile and from there we followed a clear green footpath diagonally across the field where round bales of straw were waiting to be collected. We continued into the far corner of the field.

 Turning onto the footpath past Kearby Methodist Chapel
Turning onto the footpath past Kearby Methodist Chapel

Stone step stile from the chapel to the path across the fields
Stone step stile from the chapel to the path across the fields

Next stone step stile at the far corner of the field
Next stone step stile at the far corner of the field

Kissing gate into the last field before the road
Kissing gate into the last field before the road

Ladder stile onto Kirkby Lane near the road junction at Clap Gate
Ladder stile onto Kirkby Lane near the road junction at Clap Gate

Joining Kirkby Lane from the ladder stile
Joining Kirkby Lane from the ladder stile

Walking along Kirkby Lane towards Sicklinghall
Walking along Kirkby Lane towards Sicklinghall

We walked along Kirkby Lane past the road junction at Clap Gate, for about 350m to a bridleway along a farm access track off the road on our left.

We crossed the ladder stile to the grass verge at the road side, back on Kirkby Lane. The name Kirkby Lane follows the road from our parking spot and round the corner to our present position and continues along towards Sicklinghall.

Passing the road junction at Clap Gate along Kirkby Lane
Passing the road junction at Clap Gate along Kirkby Lane

Walking along Kirkby Lane towards Sicklinghall
Walking along Kirkby Lane towards Sicklinghall

Turning off Kirkby Lane onto a bridleway along a farm access track
Turning off Kirkby Lane onto a bridleway along a farm access track

Following the bridleway northwards along the edge of the fields
Following the bridleway northwards along the edge of the fields

Field boundary ahead where we turned left
Field boundary ahead where we turned left

About 600m from the road (Kirkby Lane) we came to a field boundary ahead where we turned left to follow the bridleway along a farm access track heading towards Lund Head farm.

We walked along the wide stone track for about 100m to a new farm building on our left and from there continued along the bridleway at the edge of the fields.

Following the bridleway northwards along the edge of the fields
Following the bridleway northwards along the edge of the fields

Turning left along the bridleway towards Lund Head farm
Turning left along the bridleway towards Lund Head farm

Farm gate to the bridleway between overgrown hedges heading towards Lund Head farm
Farm gate to the bridleway between overgrown hedges heading towards Lund Head farm

Bridleway heading towards Lund Head farm
Bridleway heading towards Lund Head farm

Bridleway overgrown with Japanese water balsam
Bridleway overgrown with Japanese water balsam

Crossing a farm track next to Lund Head farm
Crossing a farm track next to Lund Head farm

Here we came to Lund Head farm on our left. Just past the farm the bridleway joins a wide farm access track called Marsh Lane. Here we turned left to head south past the side of Lund Head farm.

After about 200m we passed through a farm gate from the field to continue along the bridleway between overgrown hedges and quite stony underfoot. We walked along the bridleway between the hedges for about 600m.


Bridleway heading towards Lund Head farm
Bridleway heading towards Lund Head farm

Bridleway about to join Marsh Lane at Lund Head farm
Bridleway about to join Marsh Lane at Lund Head farm

Turning left to follow a bridleway along a farm track heading south past Lund Head farm
Turning left to follow a bridleway along a farm track heading south past Lund Head farm

Bridleway along a farm track past Lund Head farm
Bridleway along a farm track past Lund Head farm

Lund Head Lane heading away from the farm towards the road
Lund Head Lane heading away from the farm towards the road

At Harwood House there was a red kite breeding programme as part of the project to reintroduce these magnificent birds into England. They have the misfortune to look like predators but in fact they are basically scavengers doing the same job in our countryside as vultures do in the tropics.

As we walked up the access road away from Lund Head farm a red kite soared by making tiny adjustments with its forked tail and wing tips using the strong breeze to power its flight. It passed by so quickly and was gone over the farm buildings. Here we were just across the River Wharfe from Harwood.

Lund Head Lane heading away from the farm towards the road
Lund Head Lane heading away from the farm towards the road

Lund Head Lane heading away from the farm towards the road
Lund Head Lane heading away from the farm towards the road

Turning left onto the road at the end of Lund Head Lane
Turning left onto the road at the end of Lund Head Lane

Kirkby Lane heading back towards Kearby Chapel
Kirkby Lane heading back towards Kearby Chapel

Kirkby Lane heading back towards Kearby Chapel
Kirkby Lane heading back towards Kearby Chapel

The road became Kirkby Lane and we followed it past the Methodist Chapel and back to our parking spot at the lay-by and the end of our walk. This little walk was a little over 4km and it had taken me about 90mins to walk it.

We continued along the farm access track (Lund Head Lane) to the road. At the road we turned left and walked along the road back towards the Kearby Methodist Chapel.

Kirkby Lane heading back towards Kearby Chapel
Kirkby Lane heading back towards Kearby Chapel

Kirkby Lane heading back to the lay-by at the end of our walk
Kirkby Lane heading back to the lay-by at the end of our walk

Returning to the lay-by off Kirkby Lane at the end of our walk
Returning to the lay-by off Kirkby Lane at the end of our walk

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